Lisa Howard’s (It Shoulda Been You, Escape to Margaritaville) new CD “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” is a must have for everyone who loves holiday music that is festive, eclectic and full of life. Lisa’s clear tones are lilting, textured and beautiful. Her vocals are equally matched by her orchestrator, arranger and musical director Michael Shaieb. “The House Where I Grew Up At Christmas” by Shaieb is sure to become a classic.
I must admit I am addicted to the title song, wonderfully arranged and sung like the score to a film. Each of these songs has Lisa’s and Michael’s take, which is magic. I also love that she included Joni Mitchell’s “River,” which adds a haunting element.
“Sleigh Ride,””Christmas Wrapping” and “Under The Mistletoe ” all feature guest vocalist Derrick Baskin, original cast member and Tony award-nominee for Ain’t Too Proud. This pairing is perfectly suited and I would love to see a concert of these two.
Lisa’s interpretations are well worth countless listening as there isn’t a song that you will wish she included. This CD is a great pairing of old and new classics, with little unknown treasures like presents to unwrap.
Lisa and Michael have been collaborating for years and it shows on this CD. They dreamed of producing their own Christmas albumin thanks to the pandemic, this jewel was born. Lisa has said she chose the songs for the album by envisioning that they were the score to any one of her many favorite holiday classics and she achieved this pairing..
This is a holiday album that you’ll want to listen to over and over.
The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Track List:
- It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (Edward Pola, George Wyle)
2. Santa Tell Me (Ariana Grande-Butera, Savan Kotecha, Ilya Salmanzadeh)
3. Sleigh Ride feat. Derrick Baskin (Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish)
4. The House Where I Grew Up At Christmas (Michael Shaieb)
5. All I Want For Christmas Is You (Walter Afanasieff, Mariah Carey)
6. I’ll Be Home For Christmas/Home For The Holidays (Kim Gannon, Walter Kent/Buck Ram/Robert Allen, Al Stillman)
7. Christmas Wrapping feat. Derrick Baskin(Chris Butler)
8. We Need A Little Christmas (Jerry Herman)
9. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin)
10. Last Christmas (George Michael)
11. River (Joni Mitchell)
12. Under The Mistletoe feat. Derrick Baskin (Kelly Clarkson, Aben Eubanks)
13. What Christmas Means To Me (Anna Gaye, George Gordy, Allen Story)
14. Holly Jolly Christmas/Here Comes Santa Claus (Johnny Marks/Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman)
The album was released by FatLab Music and was released on all digital music platforms Saturday, November 20th.
Ms. Howard appears at Feinstein’s/54Below, 254 West 54th Street with Mr. Shaieb and his trio in “What Christmas Means To Me” on Sunday, December 12th at 7pm.