Stephen Arnold Music

The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America

Tag Archives: Christmas Music

The Six Strings of Christmas – Behind the Scenes

It’s been a few years since the successful launch of our 1st Christmas album, The Six Strings of Christmas. And with 100% of the proceeds of the sales benefiting Little Kids Rock, thousands of school-age disadvantaged kids across the nation received musical instruments and lessons at no cost. We’re pretty proud of that. So, this year, we are VERY excited to release our newest holiday collection, The Six Strings of Christmas, Volume 2. We’ve been hard at work on this project since last summer (it was sort of strange recording these holiday classics in 90 degree Texas heat). We brought together many of the finest studio musicians who work on our various sonic branding projects to perform 14 tracks on stringed instruments. It’s REALLY beautiful stuff. And again, all proceeds will benefit Little Kids Rock so that more kids can pursue their musical dreams.

All of these cuts were recorded, mixed and carefully mastered at Stephen Arnold Music’s T-Bone studios in Fairview, TX (just north of Dallas). We used a tremendous range of stringed instruments on this project, like dulcimer, nylon, steel and 12 string acoustic guitar, mandolin, double bass, harp guitar, fiddle, dobro, piano and, of course, sleigh bells! (we know, NOT stringed – but they are strung together!) Each of these musicians created their own arrangements of these Christmas classics and performed them either solo or with other musicians. We particularly enjoyed recording We Three Kings with three “kings” of guitar, all playing together in the studio in a single live performance – with no overdubs!

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ALL the musicians on this album are truly “kings” of their instruments. For example, one of our artists, Milo Deering, has toured extensively with LeAnn Rimes, and has played on most of her albums. Most recently, he has also toured with Don Henley. Chris Carrington, classical guitarist extraordinaire, grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and has served on university music department faculties nationwide. He is also a renowned luthier (that’s a guitar maker). You can check out his amazing creations here.

Hmmm…does a guitar maker who builds Martin guitars call himself a “Martin Luthier”? But I digress…

Stephen & Demitri

Stephen Arnold even played a Greek instrument on one of the tracks! One week into the recording sessions, Stephen was off traveling in Greece. While strolling through a flea market, he spotted and snagged a 50 year-old, hand-made “bouzouki” (an instrument that was introduced in Greece in the 1900’s by immigrants from Asia Minor – similar to a mandolin with a long neck). Well, it might have been Greek to Stephen, but since it only has 3 strings (each doubled), he was able to somehow make it work! You can check out this unique sound on the track Joy to the World.

So do yourself – and your loved ones – a favor, and pick up our new Six Strings of Christmas, Volume 2. You can order or download it here.

And while you’re on that same page, purchase a copy of the Six Strings of Christmas Volume 1! We’re very proud of these collections that will bring lots of joy and good cheer into your holidays. Plus, they make a great gift! And remember, 100% of the proceeds goes to Little Kids Rock. Who knows, maybe one of the kids who benefits from instruments and lessons from this project will one day perform on a FUTURE volume of The Six Strings of Christmas! As we say in the stringed instrument business … stay tuned.

The Six Strings of Christmas, Volume 2

It’s Here  – Hot off the Press!

We’re really excited about our newest holiday edition of The Six Strings of Christmas – Volume 2! Our first album was a big hit, and now you can enjoy 14 NEW beautiful performances from our stable of outstanding studio musicians on this latest collection. Best of all, 100% of the proceeds benefit Little Kids Rock, which provides free musical instruments and lessons to underprivileged kids across the country.

Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of the tracks:

It’s available on Amazon right now, so get your copy in time for the holidays! It’s a great album, benefiting a wonderful cause. AND it makes a terrific Christmas gift!

Order yours today, and Happy Holidays to all of you!

Joy To The World – Six Strings Style

Hey everyone. Wanted to share a track from our “Six Strings of Christmas” CD – 16 Yuletide Classics performed by world-class six-string musicians.

Here’s track #2:  “Joy To The Word” performed by Milo Deering (acoustic guitar) and George Anderson (double bass). All of the proceeds (that means 100%) of this album sales goes directly to benefit disadvantage children via Little Kids Rock charity.  We are really proud to have partnered with such a great charity and worthy cause.

100% of each $9.99 CD purchase goes directly to Little Kids Rock, which means:
1 CD = One “rock band” lesson for an entire classroom of students!
2 CDs = An entire year of music lessons for one student!
5 CDs = One brand new acoustic guitar into a classroom
10 CDs = One brand new electric keyboard and amp into a classroom

You can hear more tracks and purchase the CD here »

Christmas Music CD

 

 

 

 

 

And here is our complete track listing:

1.  Prelude To Coventry Carol Chris Carrington
2.  Joy To the WorldMilo Deering (Acoustic Guitar), George Anderson (Double bass)
3.  It Came Upon a Midnight ClearTom Faulkner & Milo Deering (Acoustic guitar)
4.  Deck the HallsStephen Arnold & Bud Guin (Acoustic Guitar)
5.  Away In a Manger – Chris Carrington & Mack Price (Nylon Guitar)
6.  Angels We Have Heard On High – Stephen Arnold (Resonator)
7.  O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Chris Carrington & Mack Price (Nylon Guitar)
8.  The First NoelKevin Afflack (Baritone & electric guitar)
9.  Coventry Carol – Chris Carrington (Nylon Guitar)
10.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed-ReindeerGeorge Anderson (Electric & double bass)
11.  Ave Maria – Milo Deering (Acoustic Guitar, viola)
12.  Jingle BellsWhitney Arnold (Banjo)
13.  Good King Wenceslas – Mack Price (Nylon guitar)
14.  Silent Night – Tom Faulkner (Nylon & Slide guitar)
15.  Little Drummer Boy – Kevin Afflack (Acoustic Guitar, bouzouki, dobro, bass)
16.  Auld Land SyneDave Powell (Harp guitar)

Enjoy!

“The Six Strings of Christmas” – An album benefiting Little Kids Rock

Christmas CD - Little Kids Rock

We have just finished production of our new acoustic holiday album “The Six Strings of Christmas” to benefit Little Kids Rock.

It is an opportunity to highlight the amazing talents of our extended family; the studio musicians we are so privileged to work with on our many demanding projects. Each Yuletide classic was arranged and performed by this group of incredible six-string guitar players—with a few four, eight and 12-string instruments thrown into the mix just for fun. Speaking of which, here’s a snippet of “Auld Lang Syne” featuring Dave Powell on his 12-string harp guitar:

With the purchase of The Six Strings of Christmas by Stephen Arnold Music, you will be helping Little Kids Rock provide free instruments and music lessons to disadvantaged public school students in some of the most economically challenged communities in the United States!

100% of each $9.99 CD purchase goes directly to Little Kids Rock, which means:
1 CD = One “rock band” lesson for an entire classroom of students!
2 CDs = An entire year of music lessons for one student!
5 CDs = One brand new acoustic guitar into a classroom
10 CDs = One brand new electric keyboard and amp into a classroom

So light the fire, decorate the tree, pour a frothy cup of eggnog and enjoy the magical, musical sounds of “The Six Strings of Christmas”.

You can listen to some tracks and purchase the CD here »

Season’s Greetings everyone!

Christmas Faves, Then and Now

The “Arts” always come out in full bloom at year’s end. We all have our favorite, iconic holiday book/film/play/TV show, maybe even a favorite toy, and last but not least, favorite Christmas song or carol.

Since I was a kid, some of those iconic holiday classics have been replaced — a change made ever more apparent as the father of three young ones (although only one still young enough to “believe”).

I will never forget those classics near and dear to me come Christmas, but as a sign of changing times, here’s a quick comparison of my favorites against those of my children:

BOOK
Then: The Night Before Christmas
Now:  The Polar Express

MOVIE
Then: A Christmas Carol
Now:  Elf

TOYS
Then: Atari
Now:  Xbox 360

MUSIC
Ironically, when it comes to music, this is one of the few Christmas favorites that really hasn’t changed. My kids love “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, and my personal favorite has always been “The Little Drummer Boy”, especially Bob Seger’s version.

Sonic Branding is as common a phrase as any other here at Stephen Arnold Music. I’ve explained it a thousand times to clients and would-be clients. “That set of notes that musically identifies a program, a film, a product…” I didn’t have to be in the room looking at the TV last night to know Monday Night Football was coming on – I could hear the sonic brand from across the house.

Think of the concept as it applies to Christmas. There are hundreds of “sonic brands” out there that immediately tell us what time of year it is…Christmas time!

What’s your favorite Christmas Sonic Brand?