More than 50 years after he first hit the music scene, Gary U.S. Bonds proves that he can still rock with the best of 'em by releasing his very first full-length Christmas CD titled, Christmas is ON!
The disc -- which will be officially released on Tuesday, November 27 via G.L.A. Records -- features ten tracks including three originals written by Gary and his daughter, Laurie: "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," "Christmas Is A Phone Call Away" and "Santa Bring My Baby Home To Me."
Christmas is ON! also includes the Irving Berlin classic "White Christmas,"and the holiday season staple "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," along with eight other numbers that celebrate the spirit of the holidays.
Christmas is a time to be spent with family and friends and with this new release, Gary U.S. Bonds shares his musical gifts and brings the party.
"I love a good time had by all and what better way to spread the good cheer than release a Christmas CD full of music to get your feet moving and your spirits lifted," states Bonds, the legendary master of good time party sounds. "All I can say is that it's been 45 years since I recorded a Christmas song and thought that it was about time to do it again. I really enjoyed making this album."
Christmas is ON! finds Gary sharing production chores with his daughter, Laurie ("Lil' Mama"), who is also a featured vocalist on the album alongside her mother and Gary's wife, Laurie.
The collection of cuts is a tasty assortment of Christmas old, Christmas new, Christmas borrowed and Christmas blue.
"We Wish You A Merry Christmas" simply brings the house down capturing the essence, energy, spirit and style of Bonds.
"Baby, Baby It's Christmas" is a rare, unplugged anthem to the holidays that highlights Gary soaring above a chorus of strings, treating the elegant lyric like an old friend who's dropped in to remind us all about what's really important this time of year.
Of course, no Bonds effort is complete without an up-tempo party sound or two and the "Christmas Is On" title track easily fills the wish list along with the sly, "Christmas Is A Phone Call Away," which calls to mind The Coasters classic, "Shoppin' For Clothes," done Bo Diddley style.
"It's Christmas In Nu Awlins" is a solid second line stomp in familiar territory for Gary, who then takes us further down south from the Crescent City to parts near Montego Bay and shows that his Caribbean repertoire includes both calypso and reggae beats.
On Thursday, November 29, Gary U.S. Bonds and Special Guests will be performing hits, rarities and new Christmas songs at The Strand Theatre in Lakewood, New Jersey (www.strand.org) as part of the venue's "Restore The Shore" concert series, in what promises to be an unforgettable night of music.
The following week, on Tuesday, December 4 at 6:00pm eastern, Gary will be appearing at J&R Music World (located at 23 Park Row in New York City - www.jr.com), where he'll performing a few songs from the Christmas is ON! CD, and personally signing copies for fans in attendance.
This will culminate another busy year for Gary, who has nine Top 40 hits, five Top 10s and a number one song -- the immensely successful 1961 million-selling single, "Quarter to Three" -- under his belt.
Although Bruce Springsteen has been known to play Gary's biggest hit, "Quarter to Three," on occasion, The Boss (who's been a friend now for well over 30 years...) recently invited Gary up on stage at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on September 21 to join him and the E Street Band on "Jole Blon" and "This Little Girl," two hits made famous by Gary, the latter of which was written by Springsteen.
It was the first performance of "This Little Girl" by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band since 1981 and only the third of "Jole Blon," making it a truly special evening.
In addition to Gary's new CD, he's in the final stages of his forthcoming memoir, By U.S. Bonds: That's My Story, due out early next year on Wheatley Press.
But first things, first... CHRISTMAS IS ON!
It makes no difference if you've been naughty or nice this year as Santa Gary is coming down your chimney to start your party and he's not leaving until he's had a good cup of cheer and a slow dance with your sister.
Put down your egg nog and move your feet... the sounds of Gary U.S. Bonds this holiday season are hard to beat!
For further information on Gary, please view his official website at www.garyusbonds.com.