“Put it on the Sleigh” – Absolute candy to the ears and much-needed manna for the Gathering of Mountain Eagles
The Collaborateurs are a group of musicians who love writing and recording together. They have just finished work on their Xmas album, explaining the project here: “We believe our new Christmas album, Put it on the Sleigh, is something special, and we’d love for you to hear it and enjoy it. We also want to help out a good cause. Hardly anybody makes money selling records anymore, so we figured donating the proceeds from sales wasn’t good enough. Instead, we’re donating all the money we raise and giving the album away as a thank-you gift. Gathering of Mountain Eagles is a small charity that does great things for wounded veterans and their families. They’re not as well-known as other wounded veterans charities, but what they do is as good if not better. We’re honored to be associated with them.”
Put it on the Sleigh was officially released on November 1st. It features 14 tracks with a classic Christmas vibe and a whole lot more added in. I am a big fan of Rog & Glenn, but I was skeptical of a Christmas album from the boys and Co. I would say they pulled it off, bigtime. Of course we’re talking about talented veterans and it’s not like it’s their first ride on the Big Dipper, even if I think this is their first Christmas album together.
Put it on the Sleigh is upbeat and fun without being over-the-top, in your face Christmas cheer. A touch of rocking, blues and gospel influenced rhythms thrown in, made me want to do back flips. The musical nature of this album makes it a must have, over and beyond the Xmas theme and the noble, wounded veterans charity involved in the project.
After listening to this collection three times and counting, I have one question for the band. Fellas, what took you so Christmases? Though this is a Collaborateurs album, the arrangements are stamped with the unmistakable funky and swinging, rock and roll sound of Rog & Glenn. Filled with walls of vocal harmony, a plethora of acoustic and electric piano sounds, bunches of beautiful brass and just about every aural wonder these guys could fit in, to make this package as completely satisfying as possible.
The best part is the whole family will enjoy Put it on the Sleigh. I own about 900 Christmas albums, most of which I hate. And I also write and produce music. So I like to think that makes me a bit of an ‘expert’ at what works and doesn’t work, when a group approaches the production of a Christmas album. Collaborateurs nails it!
Their arrangements are really different from the typical run of the mill Christmas albums. The minute the funky horns of “Sleigh” kicked in, I knew this album was on a higher level. And by the time I got to the sublime, broiling sax and piano duet on “What Child Is This”, any residual doubts I may have had, vanished like melting snowflakes beside a raging campfire flame.
“Mellow Fellow”, “Ever Christmas”, “Christmas Time Living”, “A Christmas Song”, “Drummer Boy” and “December 24th” – but I could easily mention all the tracks – are absolute candy to the ears. The arrangements are creative and original, finely crafted, skillfully executed, and simply exude excitement and joy. Are there any emotions better than these at Christmas time?
Well, to be honest, yes there is. The gift of giving! So why not donate to the Gathering of Mountain Eagles charity and get this album FREE to give to a colleague, friend or family member for Christmas and wrap all those emotions into one!
Glenn Hubbard: vocals, piano, keyboards, bass, guitars, percussion, vibraphone
Curt Hubbard: vocals, mandolin, guitars, keyboards, percussion
Jeremy Cayton: drums
Matt Vance: saxophones
Mike Eastlack: trombones, vocals
Roger Brandon: vocals
Bill Carl: vocals (Santa’s Karaoke), keyboards
Ken LaDeroute: guitar (Overboard)
Reba Moretz: organ (December 24th)
Lisa Combs: backing vocal (December 24th)
Steve Roark: intro vocal (December 24th)
Rich Heacock: strings (Christmas Time Living)