When you invite a number of Austin's favorite singers and songwriters to record a holiday benefit album, it's almost inevitable that something magical will result.
Music lover Dr. Shane Matt set the groundwork for a new Austin holiday tradition when he invited musicians Rod Williams, Shelley Mac and Jimmy Ruggiere to make up the core of a holiday benefit show for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).
In less than one month, the benefit — the Holiday HAAM Jam — quickly grew into a major showcase of more than 30 Austin stars including Dan Dyer, Shelley King, Tortilla Factory, David Garza, Jon Dee Graham, Wendy Colonna, Laura Scarborough and Patrice Pike.
With all these noteworthy names attached, Austin's Aerie Recording Studio agreed to help the cause by recording the assembled artists' original songs and renditions of Christmas classics for a compilation CD to also benefit HAAM.
Nine songs were recorded in a single day, while two more were recorded in New Orleans and El Paso. Adding in five previously recorded songs from Austin artists, the compilation is an amazing mix of sounds that reflects Austin's famously diverse music scene.
Tonight, most of these artists are also gathering at Antone's for a very special benefit concert and official release of the Holiday HAAM Jam CD. Bassist Andrew Duplantis and percussionist Dony Wynn will be part of the HAAM Jam All-Star Band, adding to the amazing talent on the line-up.
Come see the awesome outcome of Dr. Matt's idea and hear your favorite Christmas songs like you've never heard them before.
If you can't get a copy of it at the show, the Holiday HAAM Jam CD is also available at Waterloo Records and through the online music store CD Baby. Downloadable holiday cards featuring the album's songs are also available by emailing the HAAM Jam team.
Show some love, feel the beat and see how a great idea came to fruition for the holidays.
The Holiday HAAM Jam happens Monday night at Antone's at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.00.