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Two local performers release Christmas videos this season

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If you're like me, you're probably planning a great big nada burger for New Year Eve. Nobody wants to close out the crappiest year in modern history with a super-spreader event. However, Craig B. Kincaid and Ynana Rose, and their respective musical cohorts, want you to squeeze the last couple drops of Christmas cheer out of 2020 before we can look ahead to a new—and hopefully live-music-filled—year.

'SANTA'S GONNA BE HERE TONIGHT' Craig B. Kincaid recently released a new video for his original Christmas song, available on YouTube and Soundcloud. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAIG B. KINCAID
  • Photo Courtesy Of Craig B. Kincaid
  • 'SANTA'S GONNA BE HERE TONIGHT' Craig B. Kincaid recently released a new video for his original Christmas song, available on YouTube and Soundcloud.

On Dec. 21, Kincaid released the brand new video for his original song "Santa's Gonna Be Here Tonight," which you can find on YouTube (watch?v=cA_SJFdgMH8) and Soundcloud (user-867919964/santas-gonna-be-here-tonight). It's a jazzy Western swing tune that features terrific guitar work by Kincaid, great fiddling by Ryan McKinley, and lovely vocals by Judy Philbin.

Damon Castillo engineered and mixed the recording at his Laurel Lane Studio, while Bonnie Ernst of Pacific Coast Professional Media did the video editing using animation and stock clips as well as close-up shots of McKinley and Kincaid working their fretboard magic. Vocalist Judy Philbin wasn't available for the video shoot, so Craig's wife, Toni Kincaid, lip-synched to Philbin's voice. One clip shows a note to Santa signed by "Jack, Ty, and Madison"—Kincaid's nephews and niece.

"Snowflakes are falling, bright lights are calling, Santa's driving his sleigh tonight. He's singing out to Dancer, calling out to Prancer, and counting every chimney in sight."

It's a very sweet song with an effective video—smiles guaranteed!

Ynana Rose decided to cover Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson's holiday classic "Blue Christmas," sung most famously in 1957 by Elvis Presley: "I'll have a blue Christmas without you. I'll be so blue, just thinking about you. Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree won't be the same, dear, if you're not here with me."

'BLUE CHRISTMAS' Local performer Ynana Rose covers Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson's holiday classic, sung most famously in 1957 by Elvis Presley, available in lyric video form on YouTube. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GOYETTE
  • Photo Courtesy Of Barry Goyette
  • 'BLUE CHRISTMAS' Local performer Ynana Rose covers Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson's holiday classic, sung most famously in 1957 by Elvis Presley, available in lyric video form on YouTube.

"'Blue Christmas' is a jazzy, bluesy stroll through holiday heartache ... a new take on Elvis Presley's iconic holiday song," Ynana said. "The lyrics are sad and the music feels good. This 2020 holiday season will be hard for many of us, with bittersweet memories of lighter times. This song puts a smile on my lips, good memories in my heart, and a swing in my hips. I hope it does that for you too. Co-produced and engineered by Damon Castillo, it features Kenny Blackwell on lead guitar, Kristian Ducharme on keyboard, Dylan Johnson on electric bass, and Paul Griffith on drums."

It's a great version, and you can listen to a clip and buy it at ynanarose.hearnow.com/blue-christmas, or watch the animated lyric video by Grant Thorshov on YouTube (watch?v=dZyr-qME5aM).

Happy New Year! Wear a mask, get a vaccination when you can, and see you at live music shows hopefully in a couple of months!

Streaming is better than nothing!

I have to commend all the local venues and music organizations for their tenacity and innovative spirit. They've continued to provide entertainment opportunities for their patrons despite dried-up revenue. There are quite a few recently released Central Coast productions available for online viewing.

The Clark Center's ongoing Winter Date Night series has been a blast, and past streamed events from November through December are still available for online viewing. If you missed one, go to the venue's YouTube channel (ClarkCenterAG/) and watch An Irish Christmas, Dirty Cello, The Bronx Wanderers, Steve & Ash Duets, and Diana Boadella, which will remain up though Jan. 4. You can still make donations for these presentations, which will be split between the performers and the venue.

OperaSLO has also been regularly posting previously recorded concerts.

"I hope you're all safe and well and preparing for peaceful and hopeful holidays," Brian Asher Alhadeff, general and artistic director of OperaSLO wrote. "These videos are brought to you entirely free of charge, with the hope of bringing your families closer to one another. This time of year also reminds me how close we are as a community and how long we've been forced to separate."

HOLIDAY RECITAL OperaSLO presents soprano Francesca Sola in a concert recorded at Mount Carmel Lutheran Church of San Luis Obispo on Dec. 9, 2020, available on its Vimeo channel. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FRANCESCA SOLA
  • Photo Courtesy Of Francesca Sola
  • HOLIDAY RECITAL OperaSLO presents soprano Francesca Sola in a concert recorded at Mount Carmel Lutheran Church of San Luis Obispo on Dec. 9, 2020, available on its Vimeo channel.

Head to their Vimeo channel (showcase/operaslo) to see Virtual Recital No. 4: Francesca Sola (soprano) with Susan Davies and Paul Woodring.

Recorded at Mount Carmel Lutheran Church of San Luis Obispo on Dec. 9, 2020, and produced and filmed by Highlight Media, the recital features 12 great holiday classics and concludes with an audience sing-along.

Sola, who's based in Los Angeles, made her OperaSLO debut in the 2018 production of Oklahoma! She's performed with San Diego Opera, Point Loma Opera Theatre, Center Stage Opera, and, in addition to appearing with L.K. Taylor Performing Arts Center, she toured with the California regional production of Les Misérables.

Finally, I highly recommend you check out the 30-minute video by independent filmmaker Barry Goyette, which he made about Civic Ballet San Luis Obispo's shortened version of The Nutcracker, featuring the Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra, available on Vimeo (492763360). This annual live holiday event was obviously canceled due to the pandemic, but the ballet created this special version that's truly wonderful. Usually The Nutcracker clocks in at around 2 1/2 hours. They manage to stay true to the story in one-fifth the time. This is the first time in 43 years the live event was forced to cancel. Δ

Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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