A few years ago a friend of mine called me and told me he’s putting together a CD for the holidays and he’d like me to participate. “It sounds like a great idea” he said. Then he told me that the other artist besides himself on the CD would be Johannes Linstead, one of my favorite guitarists.
It took a little while but we were able to put together a wonderful selection of traditional Christmas songs along with a few originals. Each of us contributed 4 songs and the blend of our styles makes of a nice variety while still sounding like a coherent project. On the song “Angels We Have Heard On High” Johannes adds a festive, tropical feel. It’s hard to keep your feet from moving. Bryan adds his own jazzy sound on “We Three Kings”. The tone is both soothing and uplifting at the same time.
My favorite contribution of my own is “Little Drummer Boy”. I used a Middle Eastern instrument called a Doumbek (also called Darbuka) to create a subtle, hypnotic groove. When I recorded the song I had neglected to do a search to see who owns the copyright. Many traditional Christmas songs are what is termed Public Domain. This means that they can be performed and recorded without paying royalties (legally). It turns out that “Little Drummer Boy” is under copyright. I’m still glad I recorded it since it is one of my favorite songs, even though I pay a small percentage of every CD to the copyright owner.
After finishing the CD our first customer was a chain of craft stores in the mid west that purchased 15,000 CD to distribute in their stores. Not a bad first sales! Johannes, Bryan and myself went on to do a series of concerts in the mid west to celebrate our collaboration. Johannes and I have kept in touch and share music, Yoga, healthy eating and life philosophy.