Mann's homage to the holiday variety show of yore has consistently played to sold-out crowds on both the East and West Coast, featuring a mixture of music from One More Drifter in the Snow, a host of comedians ranging from Paul F. Thompkins and Fred Armisan and special drop-in guests including Jackson Browne, John C. Reilly, Amos Lee, Chuck Prophet, Rachel Yamagata, Nellie McKay, Josh Ritter, Ben Lee, Ben Gibbard, Morgan Murphy and fellow singer-songwriter Grant Lee Phillips pitching in as the Grinch along the way. The New York Times describes the holiday pageant as "Delightful�a Santa-stupefying balance of naughty and nice�with the giddy warmth of an eggnog buzz. Hangover included of course."
This year Paul F. Thompkins will return to trade off hosting duties will fellow comedian Patton Oswalt. Also confirmed to play are fellow singer-songwriters Nellie McKay, Grant Lee Phillips and comedienne Morgan Murphy. The tour will kick off on the West Coast in San Diego and head up the coast through Los Angeles, San Francisco, and then on to the East Coast for ten dates with multiple shows in the Boston and NY area.
One More Drifter in the Snow, Aimee Mann's first Christmas CD released through her own SuperEgo Records, has continued to be a holiday standard on the shelves. With the new edition package Aimee takes on the Joni Mitchell classic "River" which so aptly reflects the bittersweet tone of the album with its heartbroken lyrics set against the backdrop of the Christmas scene. "I wanted to do a Christmas record that reflected the whole range of emotions that people have around Christmas." Aimee said, "I thought a lot about the feeling I had about Christmas as a kid, the almost spooky beauty and mystery that the holiday has, and wanted to do something that echoed that musically."
Mann and her producer Paul Bryan used the Peanuts Christmas special as one jumping-off point, with both the jazz-inflected Vince Guaraldi Trio soundtrack and comic melancholy of Charlie Brown as influences. "Another major influence for me was the Johnny Mathis Christmas album, which was a record I heard as a kid in my house every Christmas, and almost came to be the archetypical Christmas record for me. That's why I wanted to make sure at least half of the songs on the record were classic Christmas standards that everybody knows."
The album is also sprinkled with some lesser-known but no-less-classic songs: the Jimmy Webb song "Whatever Happened to Christmas," which opens the record; "Christmastime" written by Michael Penn; the brilliant "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" from the Dr. Seuss cartoon "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," featuring Grant Lee Phillips' inspired narration; and an original song, co-written with producer Paul Bryan, "Calling On Mary."
Producer Paul Bryan explains, "The CD definitely harkens back to the classic albums of the 40's & 50's but it's not retro at all, it's a soulful album influenced by the bar-setting albums of Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Peggy Lee. We aimed for an album that would be just as beautiful and thoughtful as those still
With lush artistic musical arrangements, Bryan notes that "the band had a great deal to do with this record, and really sounds like a little orchestra at times. Patrick Warren had an arsenal of vintage keyboards that he used, percussionist Jay Bellerose brought in a 1930's style orchestra kit and guitarist Duke Levine's Glen Campbell California-like sound all contributed to the distinctive quality of the music."
Look for the new edition of One More Drifter in the Snow to arrive on November 10th along with Aimee's critically acclaimed 7th solo album @#%&! Smilers released earlier this year. In the spirit of the classic Christmas variety show, Aimee will also play a select number of holiday tour dates hosted by a well known comedian and featuring special guests. For advanced tickets please go to http://www.aimeemanntickets.musictoday.com and check out www.aimeemann.com for updates on the tour and guests.
1. Whatever Happened To Christmas
2. Christmas Song
4. I'll Be Home For Christmas
5. You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
6. Winter Wonderland
7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
9. White Christmas
10. Calling On Mary
12/5/08 The Belly Up Solana Beach, CA
12/6/08 The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA
12/7/08 Bimbos San Francisco, CA
12/9/08 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield,CT
12/10/08 Somerville Theatre Somerville, MA
12/11/08 Somerville Theatre Somerville, MA
12/12/08 John M. Greene Hall Northampton, MA
12/13/08 Keswick Theatre Glenside,PA
12/15/08 Birchmere Alexandria,VA
12/16/08 Birchmere Alexandria,VA
12/18/08 Nokia Theatre New York ,NY
12/19/08 Tarrytown Music Hall Tarrytown,NY