For that reason, I think it's time to make this year's Christmas release my final one. So let's end with a bang - and a compilation of 21 of my "best recordings" of these annual releases that ended up spanning a whole decade.
There are some gems in this collection. Be sure to check out the liner notes on this page! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, all.
01 – White Winter Hymnal (2015)
As a musician, I’m known mostly for being a pianist. I suppose that’s why I decided to start off this compilation with a track that contains no piano or keyboard. Here, I’m playing my electron blue Fender guitar, and actually singing. The humming sections were tweaked to sound like me when I was a kid. A bit of a violent song, yes.
02 – Jingle Bell Rock (2014)
There are 4 hands here – I’m playing a duet with myself. The hands of the left were recorded in 2013, while the hands of the right were recorded a year later.
03 – Christmas Time is Here (2014)
This cover of the classic “Peanuts” holiday theme … was originally just album filler for the 2014 album. But relistening to it now – it’s one of my best.
04 – God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (2009)
I was a church pianist for several years, so songs like this became second nature at one point.
05 – Sleigh Ride (2015)
That’s me, my piano, and my melodica. (And not my whip – that’s just a sound effect I threw in later.)
06 – Nativity (2010)
Inspired by the dub music that I hear once in a while in Thai restaurants, I decided to make an ethnic recording. I named it “Nativity” so that I could throw it onto a holiday album – it works in this context.
07 – Little Baby Jesus (2014)
Here is my “thesis ” on what Christmas is all about – no more and no less.
08 – Please Come Home for Christmas (2011)
I had decided to skip a visit to Wapato for Christmas in 2011. Out of that mess came this recording – complete with the hustle and bustle background of Westfield Mall in Tukwila. Such a sad but poignant performance.
09 – Livin’ on a Prayer (2011)
Another once-filler track that now sounds fresh and longing.
10 – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (2008)
The lead-off track from my 2008 Christmas album.
11 – Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus (2016)
I needed a 2016 track to bring this compilation up-to-date. I decided to re-record this song that I had originally used for the 2010 EP. It didn’t quite work back then, but I recorded it correctly this time around.
12 – Mary, Did You Know? (2015)
Good things happen when I record amidst the light of candles and Christmas tree lights. I was originally going to release this as a single…
13 – Mary’s Boy child (2014)
…along with this track as the B-side. It didn’t quite work out, but here are the two “Mary” songs side-by-side for the first time.
14 – O Holy Night (2012)
Requested by my cousin-in-law, Jenn.
15 – White Christmas (2011)
My cover of the version performed by the Drifters.
16 – Someone to Watch Over Me (2013)
My 2013 holiday album was void of holiday songs, but this song works now in that context.
17 – You Are the Woman (2007)
Here’s the recording that started my “holiday” series. Released as a “holiday single” in 2007, it was a nod to how I had played this song live at my cousin Jon’s wedding, hours after hearing my Uncle Steve used to play the original recording to my Aunt Mely. I do my best to try to share an “everything will be OK” message, either in person – or in music … that’s what this song sort of does.
18 – Still Crazy After All These Years (2015)
I recorded both the piano and melodica amidst candle light. A good song to play when it’s cold out, or New Year’s Eve is approaching or nigh.
19 – Happy Xmas (Oppression is Over) (with The Fringemunks – 2012)
From the Fringemunks’ holiday album, “Yule! Freakout”. Check out my fierce tremelo guitar!
20 – Last Christmas (2009)
21 – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (2008)
A more somber take on this classic.
[ZIP file - 82.4 MB]
Produced by David Wu
All instruments and vocals performed by David Wu