By the time you read this, it’s a safe bet that holiday music has infiltrated the sound systems at all your local shopping and dining establishments. Holiday albums have become staples in many artists’ catalogs and for good reason. From “Joy to the World” to “Frosty the Snowman,” many of these classics evoke holiday memories and represent a time of the year where time with our family, whether blood or created, is of the utmost importance. This year, Art Four Sale, a Nashville based Jazz quartet, joins the holiday ranks with their holiday CD Four the Holidays, available November 5.

What began in 2007 with an invitation to an acoustic guitar duo to play background music while listeners enjoyed a glass of wine on the back deck of the newly opened Arrington Vineyards in Arrington, TN has evolved into a four-piece contemporary jazz group whose songs and sound still retain that familiar good-time feeling for audiences relaxing with friends and family.  Drawing from a variety of influences ranging from pop and Brazilian music to R&B and jazz, Art Four Sale's music has been described as “fun,” "upbeat," and "just right for setting the perfect mood.”

The initial complement of two guitarists, writer/producer Paul Buono and singer/songwriter Steve Savage, along with bassist Dougie Keebler and drummer Ryan Pruitt formed the band Art Four Sale in 2009. When original member Steve Savage moved to Europe in 2011 to pursue his solo career he was replaced by multi-instrumentalist Guy Lemon, whose keyboards, drums and percussion have helped to solidify the band's new direction toward a contemporary jazz sound.

While Art Four Sale is now embarking on a national and global promotional and marketing campaign with singles from Four the Holidays, O&AN spoke with bassist Dougie Keebler about the album.

 

The holiday season marks not one but two upcoming releases for Art Four Sale. Let’s talk about Four the Holidays. With some many to choose from, was it tough to pick holiday songs for your first holiday collection?

Paul Buono and Guy Lemon headed up the song selection process.  As we mostly perform/create original music, a few gigs around the holidays last year lead us to create our own renditions of some classics. This was to kick-off in creating Four the Holidays.


 

Looking at the tracklisting it looks like all classics, was there any discussion of creating an original track for the album?

Yes.  The track “Merry Merry Christmas” is actually our original holiday tune on Four the Holidays.


Dougie, what is your favorite holiday song?

It’s a toss-up between “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “O Holy Night.”



Does Art Four Sale have exciting holiday plans?

Our performance season generally falls between March-November, so we have taken a few weeks off the past years.  Obviously, this year will be different with our holiday release and getting back into working on promoting our 2014 release.



Finally, you’ll also be releasing another album early next year. What can you share about that? 

We are in the studio writing and rehearsing now.  We have several tracks already completed.  

Our 2014 release will actually be the fourth release of Art Four Sale.  The prior releases were released locally, and the 2014 release will be the follow-up to the national radio promotion we are doing on Four the Holidays.  We are excited for the doors that will open from our holiday release.

 

You can learn more about Art Four Sale or order Four the Holidays here.

More 2013 Holiday Releases

Kelly Clarkson Wrapped in Red (available now)

The original Idol has released several holiday tunes over the years including cuts on best-bud Blake Shelton’s holiday album. The singer even included her iTunes session version of “I’ll be Home for Christmas” on her 2012 Greatest Hits package. Well Ms. Clarkson (or is it now Mrs. Blackstock) finally gets her holiday wish as Wrapped in Red makes it way to shelves and stockings across the world. The album features nine classic covers and five contemporary, original tracks created with Greg Kurstin, best known for Clarkson’s mega hit “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).”

 

Erasure Snow Globe (available November 11)

Produced by Erasure, Gareth Jones and Richard X, Snow Globe is a collection of original compositions and seasonal classics, and follows 2011’s album, Tomorrow’s World. The first single, "Gaudete," is Erasure’s take on the traditional Latin carol and was released in late October. Unlike the bells and whistles, glitter and tinsel sets that crowd the market come Christmas-time, Snow Globe is possessed of something more in the wistfully, strangely subdued celebratory mould of recent seasonal albums by Tracey Thorn and Kate Bush. Erasure fans will want to snag the deluxe 3CD box set which includes a second disc of alternate versions and holiday classics not on the record itself, plus a recording of the duo’s Christmas radio show on a third disc.

 

Mary J. Blige A Mary Christmas (available now)

Mary J. Blige may have scrapped her Nashville show earlier this year but the queen of R&B/Soul pulls out all the stops (and guests) for her first holiday album A Mary Christmas. Jessie J, Marc Anthony, The Clark Sisters and Barbra Streisand (yes Barbra) all make guest spots on Blige’s record. The only downside to this record? While Ms. Blige slays the classics, a true holiday present would have been a holiday original.


   

 

 

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

Red Bull Unlocked Nashville


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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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