Happy Holidays! 

In this time of caroling, spiced drinks, and mistletoe, we are happy to ring in the holidays with you, our friends of the Collective! We are thrilled to announce that our surprise featured artist will be Tanner Merritt of Atlanta’s own O’Brother. To spread even more holiday cheer and help get you as excited as we are, here is a blog by our co-founder David Berkeley. David is writing from San Francisco, where he is continuing his music and writing career. His albums and books make great stocking stuffers and you can find them on his website. We look forward to seeing you this Wednesday, December 14th at Eddie’s Attic for Burl Ives’s “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas”!

Nothing Beats Burl for the Holidays by David Berkeley

In researching a bit to write this blog, (from respected sources, including Wikipedia), I learned a few great facts about our good friend Burl. First, his full name is Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives. I could probably stop right there, and this would already be a tremendous blog. Icle? Ivanhoe? As if the Burl part weren’t enough. He also dropped out of college, (the college which has since named a building after him), and was a Freemason, an organization about which I’ve always been curious myself. 

Burl, of course, released a ton of records and appeared in an impressive list of TV shows and films. He also performed in several Broadway productions and authored an autobiography and several songbooks.

But onto matters at hand: the album, Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, a wish most of us share (at least for those we love). The album came out in 1965 and includes such favorites as “White Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Silver Bells,” “Drummer Boy,” (yes the little one), and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

There may be nothing groundbreaking about this album, but who wants a groundbreaking Christmas album? What we want, and yes even I, (a member of the Jewish faith), want it, is familiarity, comfort, warmth. We want to basically be serenaded by our grandpa…or even by Santa. And Burl manages to channel both (assuming your grandpa sounded similar to mine). We want the classics done in classic style.

Burl’s voice and these arrangements bring a blast of snow and a glimpse of colored lights, a puff of chestnut smoke and peppermint right into our living rooms and, if I may, right into our hearts. The music makes us feel close to our loved ones—even those far away. And as I write this, almost 3000 miles from you, my dear Collective, this is exactly what I want in a Christmas record.

And although I can’t be there with you, I’ll be thinking of you. And I’ll be looking forward to our Collective in January, where I will be back among you to welcome in 2012.

Lots of love and holiday cheer,