The band had recorded a few tracks back in March, including David Bowie's "Send Me A Coat", and figured they would issue an expanded version--a "deluxe" version, if you will--of "Winterland". When they returned to the studio in May to polish up the bonus tracks, they ended up writing and recording two more. Hmm. Well, a "bonus EP" with the planned re-release became the new plan. Call it "Winterland Re-Gifted".
But when Jigsaw Seen returned to the studio in July, to record "The More You Change" (a "Winterland" leftover), the spark of creation would not stop and, before long, they had four all new songs--bringing the total number of "bonus tracks" to ten. By anyone's math, that's a full album. Bye bye "Winterland Re-Gifted", hello "Gifted".
"Gifted" is Jigsaw Seen's third album in two years, marking an incredibly productive period (and we haven't even mentioned that they are planning another album for early 2013--presumably not another winter-themed set). While some might see "Gifted" as a sequel, guitarist Jonathan Lea has a different model in mind. "If 'Winterland' were a movie," he says, "'Gifted' could be it's soundtrack album." Lea notes that, because they weren't specifically planning any of this, the feel of "Gifted" is much looser and more irreverent than "Winterland". Mastered by the legendary Peter Mew (The Beatles, Pink Floyd, David Bowie) at Abbey Road studios, "Gifted" arrives November 20. Pre-orders are already available through Amazon and at the Jigsaw Seen web site. At present, there are no plans for a vinyl release of "Gifted"; but, then again, there were originally no plans for a "Gifted" album at all. ;-)
01: Open Up The Box Pandora
02: Myth Of The Season
03: Christmas Ain’t For Christians (Anymore)
04: Couples Skate
05: Sell Me A Coat
06: Hag Of The Barren Trees
07: The More You Change
08: Rise Of The Snowflake Children
10: Pretend It’s Christmas
Tim Halperin was a semi-finalist in Season 10 and, despite failing to reach the finals, Tim's place in Idol history is secure as the first contestant to perform an original song in competition to reach the top 24. Since his commitment to Idol ended, Tim has done a lot of charity work, most recently with the Kidd's Kids Foundation. Last December, Tim officially released his debut album, "Rise And Fall". He also released an original Christmas song in at least 4 distinct versions. "Merry Christmas" came in generic form, instrumental, and customized for either Dallas or Texas.
Tim's got a great modern pop sound and has a way with memorable melodies and catchy lyrics--enough so that, upon his elimination, fans spontaneously staged an "Idol got it wrong" campaign.
Tim's Christmas set will feature at least three original songs and a handful of covers. One of the original songs is called "Miracle" and, earlier this week, Tim let fans in on the creative process via USTREAM as various parts of "Miracle" were recorded.
"Under That Christmas Spell" drops November 6.
Mark Bloomer and Andrew Cadie are very talented multi-instrumentalists from the UK, and both very good singers as well. Separately, they are highly sought after for guest appearances on the CDs of other artists. Together, they are the emerging folk duo Broom Bezzums. (The name "Broom Bezzums" is probably a reference to the old British folk song "Broom Buzzems", usually attributed to 18th century songwriter and performer Blind Willie Purvis.)
Launched in 2006, Broom Bezzums sing and play a lot of the traditional olde English and Gaelic folk songs, but they also write a great deal of their own music, which helps add a modern touch and keeps performances and albums fresh. Both Mark and Andrew are fluent in German and Broom Bezzums has triggered huge interest in English folk music in Germany, while their reputation and fan base in the UK is steadily growing. It doesn't hurt that the pair imbue the music with charm and energy and present it with easy going humor.
The next regularly scheduled release for Broom Bezzums will be in the fall of 2013, but the duo is taking time to record a Christmas/Winter album to accompany them on their Winter Carol Tour this December. Most of the tracks will be traditional folk songs and carols. The album will also feature an upbeat carol, "Salt Sea And Coal", written by Katie Doherty (who has worked with the boys often enough to be known as "the third Bezzum"). Plus, the group is promising a surprise reworking of "a well known Christmas hit". Initially, the album will turn up at Broom Bezzums gigs (likely in October), but hopefully they'll get it up for sale at their own web site, if not the other online outlets, sometime before Christmas.
Here's a couple of clips from last year's winter tour to take the chill off your 90 degree days and 80 degree nights (dog days, indeed).