I won’t lie to you. This morning was a test of character. I brewed a cup of coffee, and I pondered the icy sidewalks at 6am this morning. The temperature was in the single digits, and the gusty wind made it feel as if it was -9 degrees. But I knew once I made it past the railroad tracks, it wouldn’t be long before I was sufficiently warmed. That transmitter puts out!
I knew we had some extra folks in the audience. The list of school closings was pretty impressive. I read through that thing only once. I figured if you thought your school might be closed, it should be. Made me a bit nostalgic for the days when my girls were little. So when I got home from the station, I replayed my show as I cut the last of my greens from this year’s garden, built a curried vegetable stew, and baked off some buttermilk cornbread in an ancient caste iron skillet.
If this had been 15-20 years earlier, I would be making home-made playdough for stocking stuffers and baking off batches of holiday cookies or mini-loafs for holiday gifting. We’d be finding seasonal specials on TV. I’d make up some fresh popped corn…for real, not that microwaved stuff. And whisking up a pot of milk, cocoa, chocolate pieces and other secret goodnesses into a dark brown froth. A little bit of effort, money spent on the ingredients that matter…and however humble, my home would feel both cozy and opulent. Ah, those are the things that memories are made of.
I’m still pulling out the holiday music for the December playlists. This week is no exception. I find that with the right arrangements and quality performances, I can feel both nurtured and nourished. I’ve worked in restaurants and done seasonal retail enough to groan at the muzak versions that play endlessly through the loops. I hope my selections are a good antidote for all that jades us to the magic of the season.
Last Thursday, I saw Carbondale Morning Etude Club. How wonderful to see and hear such wonderful live performances. I searched the WDBX library on two separate occasions to find Wil Maring‘s album containing some of her Christmas tunes, but came up empty. She sent me the files for them, so I promise an airing for next week. Her songs were a terrific counterpoint to the more formal arrangements. But with total humility…(I cannot sing a lick)..the best part of the program was the end where they invited the audience to sing carols that were so familiar. With all of those talented voices bolstering my own feeble croaks, it felt so amazing to be grounded in that much tradition and be part of such a beautiful community. My special thanks to Martha Ellert for her beautiful soprano voice, and her ability to bring the community out in others.
Zydeco Christmas C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band
Let It Snow Rosemary Clooney
Song For A Winter Night Erica Wheeler
Light Upon Light Do’a, Randy Armstrong, Ken La Roche
White Christmas Louis Armstrong
Christmas Snow Michael Burks
Christmas Waltz Frank Sinatra
The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot Nat King Cole
Klezmer Medley #1 New Klezmer Quintet
Librescu Tango Klezmer Juice
Christmas Time Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
Christmas Carol Nerissa & Katryna Nields
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Lena Horne
Jingle Bells Maynard Ferguson
Mists of Ennistymon Dannsair
Peace Lisa Fenstermacher
Scheherezade L’Andalous The Ikhwani Safaa Musical Club
I Wonder As I Wander Brooks Williams
Zephyr Monique DiMattina
Zomba House of Bamba
You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch Pete Nelson
Bahamut Hazmat Modine
Black Ice One Fell Swoop
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Judy Garland