I finally got around to writing the detailed review (it’s around 2200 words!) of my school’s Christmas Concert this year. The full review is over at my SubscribeStar page, and includes the video for this performance and “O Holy Night,” which I wrote about last week. It was a really stellar performance, and I am super proud of the kids.
This week I’m featuring the video of our grand finale, “Please Come Home for Christmas.” Most readers will be familiar with the version by The Eagles, which was the version my High School Music Ensemble used as its primary reference. The song goes back to 1961 and Charles Brown, a blues pianist.
It’s also quite challenging, with a lot of secondary dominant chords and a slightly irregular structure. For example, sometimes students would hang on the B7 chord for four beats before resolving to E major, which shifted after two beats to a delightful E augmented chord. Other times, though, the B7 would only play for two beats, followed by E major (or E7), before resolving to the tonic, A major.
A number of my private lessons leading up to the concert involved diving into some of the nuances of the piece in more detail (naturally, quite a few of the students enrolled in High School Music Ensemble also take private lessons with me after school). The barre chords are challenging for guitarists, and the different ways of playing that fun little E augmented chord also provided some educational mischief. For my bassists, we worked quite a bit on the various walkdowns, such as the opening A->Amaj.7/G#->A7/G sequence. That’s not hard to play, but there’s a lot a budding young bassist can do with it.
Regardless, as you’ll hear, this piece brought the house down, and the young man singing it was a hero the rest of the day—I heard him greeted to wild applause and cheers upon arriving to his first period class after the morning concert. The video here is from the same mother who took the “O Holy Night” video, so if you see her lingering on a particular guitarist/bassist for an extended period of time, that’s why.
But enough of my yakking; here’s the performance:
It seems I have a young Elvis on my hands. Thank you, Lord!
Here’s hoping you’re not alone this Christmas, pining for your lost love. If you are, maybe this blues song will make you feel a bit better… or just bring you down further. As Bleeding Gums Murphy once said, “The blues isn’t about making yourself feel better; it’s about making other people feel worse, and making a few bucks while you’re at it.”
On that note… Merry Christmas!
Other Editions of Open Mic Adventures:
- “Open Mic Adventures I: Oingo Boingo’s ‘Just Another Day’“
- “Open Mic Adventures II: Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man’“
- “Open Mic Adventures III: Joanie Sommers’s ‘Johnny Get Angry’“
- “Open Mic Adventures IV: KISS’s ‘I Still Love You’“
- “Open Mic Adventures V: ‘There’s a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place)’“
- “Open Mic Adventures VI: Journey’s ‘Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’“
- “Open Mic Adventures VII: ‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes’“
- “Open Mic Adventures VIII: Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’“
- “Open Mic Adventures IX: Journey’s ‘Faithfully’“
- “Open Mic Adventures X: ‘Time Warp’”
- “Open Mic Adventures XI: Spooktacular Supergroup Covers ‘Monster Mash’“
- “Open Mic Adventures XII: ‘Ghostly’“
- “Open Mic Adventures XIII: The Penguins’ ‘Earth Angel’“
- “Open Mic Adventures XIV: ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’“
- “Open Mic Adventures XV: ‘O Holy Night’“