Over the years, one of my favorite Christmas traditions has become Brendan & Jake’s acoustic holiday show. From my early days of mixing & recording these gigs, it’s a good annual reminder of how grateful I am to be surrounded by warm friends & family, both immediate and the extended UM clan. Saturday at Park West was no different as Brendan & Jake (with a little help from Farag on Drums, Cummins on Keys, & Mike Racky on Pedal Steel) cruised through a list of tunes spreading eggnog-spiked cheer.
As has also become tradition, Jake has taken pen to paper to rework the lyrics of a classic tune with a Christmas bent. “The prep time between Holidaze was tight this year so I wasn’t sure what I was going to do until the night before,” Jake said when I asked him how he chose The Door’s “L.A. Woman.” “I opened iTunes and started scrolling for something very familiar while asking myself if it would translate to a Christmas atmosphere. I tried to use the same signature linguistics as Morrison, stressing his consonants and vowels but substituting holiday phrases. To be honest, once I got started it essentially wrote itself.”
After “L.A. Santa” was still ear worming me on Monday morning, I figured we should probably do something with it, and Jake & Brendan agreed. So now you have one more Christmas song for your holiday playlist. Enjoy! – Kevin Browning
For those of you scoring at home….a peek inside Jake’s lyric notebook
Special thanks to Shane Hendricksen & John Engelman for letting me keep them up late to remix the multi-tracks and dial in the album cover.
Brendan Bayliss – Bass
Jake Cinninger – Guitar
Joel Cummins – Piano
Andy Farag – Drum Kit
Mike Racky – Pedal Steel
Shane Hendricksen – Recording & Mixing
John Engelman – Design
Tara Gracer – Photography