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Dan Amato Releases "Home For Christmas"

By Gary Wien

Dan Amato Releases "Home For Christmas"What happens when a musician is stuck in quarantine with two things: no studio to record and an undying love for the holidays? He puts together a Christmas record with the help of some friends. 

Conceptualized, recorded, mixed and slaved over in his basement in New Jersey, Dan Amato is releasing Home For Christmas on Thanksgiving.  This is his first full holiday EP, which features five of his favorite Christmas songs. The record was completely home-produced by Amato.

"I decided to put out this EP because I think this year more than ever my family, friends and some people I am lucky enough to call fans could use the concept that is this record; making the best of what you have right at home," explained Amato. "This is essentially the product of me doing exactly that. I have always wanted to learn how to professionally engineer, record and mix my music at home from sitting in the studio for countless hours with people like my good friend Adam Vaccarelli at Retromedia Sound Studios in Red Bank, NJ. If I didn’t have this time to myself to sit and actually learn & practice, this definitely would not have been a thing. In a lot of ways, I took this time as a blessing to work on myself and my skills and i couldn’t be happier to have a product to show for it."

The record contains Amato's takes on "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)," "Blue Christmas," "Christmas Vacation," "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."  His favorite Christmas song was previously released as a single in February 2020 and can be heard here.

"My all time favorite Christmas song is without question, 'All Alone on Christmas' by Darlene Love," said Amato.  "As a kid it was tradition in my house to wake up to that song blaring over the stereo on Christmas morning. It’s definitely stayed with me over the years- so much so that I even covered it last year and released it as a single. I came to love the sound of Bruce, Clarence, Stevie and the E Street Band as I got older and discovered it for myself. It wasn’t until I got into music as a passion that I put two and two together to realize it was most of them on the record and their sound was integral to my growing up and musical taste."

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Amato, a singer-songwriter from Paramus, graduated from Monmouth University’s music program in 2019 and has been performing as well as recording independently since 2017. He's released three EPs and can be found performing at venues like the Orange Lantern Saloon in Paramus and all over Asbury Park (clubs like The Stone Pony, Wonder Bar, Saint, and Asbury Park Yacht Club).

"I am blessed to be friends with and know such incredible musicians all over the globe," added Amato. "Musicians on this record include: Nicole Govel from Marlboro, NJ on backing vocals for the whole record, Bob Gizzi, one of my musical mentors as well as elementary and high school music teacher on Saxophone for the first track, Elizabeth Lister from Leeds, UK on strings for the first and last track, Jeff Dombrowski from Highland, Indiana on Pedal Steel through most of the record, Alina Zimmerman from Howell, NJ on auxiliary backing vocals on the first track and Luca Giacobbe from Italy on Tubular bells on the first track."

Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.

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originally published: 11/19/2020



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