Jeremy Kneeshaw just released his first Christmas album. It is called Got My Love to Keep Me Warm. He told me, “You know I’ve always wanted to do a Christmas album. Just the vibe that Christmas music gets you in. It’s a lot of fun, right? So, I kind of wanted to encapsulate that. I tried to make it a throwback to the “Golden Era” of Christmas music, probably between 1930 and 1945ish. The Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and these guys; the big band arrangements of Christmas music. That’s kind of what I imagine when I hear Christmas music or when I think of it. The strings and the horns and the big swing bands. That’s kind of what I was trying to emulate here in this album. But, these are some of my favourites, these are the ones that when I think about Christmas, these are the songs that I hear: White Christmas, Blue Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
All the songs are instantly recognizable. Kneeshaw puts his own twist on some of the songs, as he did all the arrangements. But he is careful to respect the tradition of the genre. “When I imagine Christmas in my mind, I think of garland on the fireplace mantle. My grandpa doing a puzzle, my grandma knitting, and the turkey’s in the oven. The big snowflakes and the moon shining through. Just the dead quiet that’s out there when the snow falls. That’s the visual that I’m trying to represent with this music. I was thinking, ‘What would people want to have on in the background, while they are sipping on their rum and eggnog around the fireplace. Fireplace channel for us,” he jokes. “Thats what I want from this album. These songs are what I think of as kind of that downtown, hometown, Christmas vibe, that we all try to get to.” Indeed he does take us there.
Jeremy Kneeshaw performing at Ribfest in 2019.
Jeremy Kneeshaw did all the arrangements, and played all the instruments and he recorded Got My Love To Keep Me Warm in his new studio. He likes the freedom that working in his own studio allows and that he can have time to create and improvise without worrying about expense. When asked what his favourite Christmas songs are, he answered, “O Holy Night is my all-time favourite Christmas hymn. I cry every time I listen to that. Just about any version you want to listen to. It’s good. [The secular] Christmas song, would definitely be Baby It’s Cold Outside. I’ve done a version of it in the past and there are lots of different ones. My favourite version is the Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald version, because it’s so hilarious. Louis just sings whatever he wants, (laughs) it’s really funny. We put that on every Christmas.
This year the Kneeshaw’s will be staying home, “The restrictions just came down again with Covid. I’m not sure what it is going to look like this year, but if I got to do what I wanted, we’d be on a beach in Bali, drinking out of a coconut, but I think this year we are probably going to stay close to home. ‘
Jeremy Kneeshaw’s new album Got My Love To Keep Me Warm is available digitally anywhere you find fine music including: Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, Youtube, and Distrokid.