Spreading good cheer with a fresh collection of original holiday music.
1. Sing the Winter Away - Heading into winter is not usually something to celebrate but this song bounces along cheerfully and optimistically, recalling warm memories and anticipating the eventual arrival of spring. Hammered dulcimer, tambourine, bouzouki, acoustic guitars, wine box brushes, acoustic piano and upright bass fill out the sound as the song undergoes several changes in tempo culminating in a very singable chorus.
2. Christmas on the Shrimp Boats - The energetic Cajun approach to this song can’t help but propel people to the dance floor. The character in the song was inspired by our friendship with an eternally optimistic “man of the water”. There’s lots of fiddle fun with accordion, upright bass, piano and guitars. Couldn’t contain our enthusiasm while the mics were being placed and can’t wait to sing this to a live audience now that it’s recorded.
3. One Storm From Home - The sailors on board this vessel have known a great deal of bad weather in their time – the Captain and some of the crew are thinking of retiring but first they have to get through one more wintery storm. The basic track to this song was the first one we laid down in the studio and the smiles from all the musicians let us know that we were definitely on the right track.
4. Winter Awakening - Stylistically renaissance flavoured with harp, recorder, violin, tambourine, cello and nylon-stringed guitars - lyrically it finds a dash of optimism even in the midst of the unforgiving barren landscapes of winter.
5. Caroling On - This song pays homage to the classical composers whose tunes eventually became carols sung and loved worldwide. It is a song of gratitude that wears a smile easily. An image of carolers holding lyric sheets standing outside in the lamplight – their breath visible in the winter air while villagers open their frost covered windows and doors to peer out and listen and perhaps join in, comes to mind. Adding to the guitars and harmonies is an ensemble of recorders, accordion and mandolin.
6. When the Carols Began - Though lyrically recalling ancient times and exploring the beginnings of Christmas music, the musicianship of Tom Leighton on grand piano and John Geggie on bass modernize the sound with a hint of jazz sophistication. Harp, acoustic guitar and viola explore the song’s healthy variety of chord progressions and themes.
7. Painter of Wintertime - A group of Winter/Christmas card scenes strung together in music and poetry. Cello, piano, acoustic guitars and bass arrangement.
8. Christmas Wish - Sometimes fishermen have to work during what the rest of us consider holidays. They work around tide-tables, weather and the moods of the sea rather than red letter days on the calendar. This tale, set in a Maritime coastal community, tells of a young boy whose brothers are planning to be away at sea during Christmas so he wishes a storm to come BEFORE they leave the shore to enable all of his family to spend Christmas together. Fiddle carries the breaks along with tin whistle, accordion, bass and a background chorus of whistlers. Very uptempo.
9. Angels in the Snow - Two people spending a perfect day of childlike innocence embracing winter. A Martin backpack guitar gives a unique sound to the accompaniment which also includes electric piano. The song has a subdued and dreamlike quality but breaks free from the mood at the end as it transitions to the accompanying track (#10 Frolics) as if the couple suddenly and playfully throws clouds of snow into the air like grown up kids. Here accordion, bass, and snare drum pick up the pace gleefully dancing celebrating then fading into the distance.
10. Frolics in the Snow (instrumental) - If this were a video, grown-ups would be behaving like kids tossing dry plumes of snow with both hands into the air. Derived from the music of Angels in the Snow it is a companion piece to track #9 and is designed to brighten the mood from dreamy to almost gleeful. Accordion and bass help to raise the spirits.
11. Klondike Christmas - An old prospector in the far North – resembling a tired worn out version of Santa Claus pauses in a little village and is welcomed by a young boy and his folks into their home. Continuing the premise set by the title track, “the night was spent singing and telling the stories of old – and the candles and the fire and our warm hearts had kept out the cold”. The ending contains a surprise. Classical guitar, accordion, cello and bass support the harmonies.
12. Lay Down Your Weapons - Amongst the winter and Christmas-flavoured material, a song with a strong message of peace emerges. In an old English style it is an idealistic song about the surrendering of the horrific weapons of war. Lyrics lines such as “No lives shall we take – no wrongs to commit for righteousness sake” and “Lest we forget the value of one soldier’s life – the riches of this earth aren’t worth the sacrifice” emphasize the need to rid ourselves of the instruments of war and to encourage compassion for our fellow man. Classical and acoustic guitars, piano, harpsichord and bass accompaniment.
released November 7, 2018
Recorded, mixed and produced with patience, professionalism and TLC by Phil, Gilles and Bill.
Recorded by Phil Bova at Bova Sound, Ottawa.
Additional recording and mixing by Giles Castilloux at the Treatment Room, Montreal.
Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering, Montreal.
Naming the Twins is the Nova Scotia based guy gal duo of Robbie Smith & Kath Glauser who sound a little bit like Peter, Paul
and Mary if one of the fellows took the night off, a bit like Simon & Garfunkel if Art was a girl, a bit like Gordon Lightfoot or Stan Rogers if either had a girl harmonizer. Not twins by birth, but twins at heart, they share a sibling like sense of humour and harmony....more