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Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Here We Come A-Wassailing" by Laurie Berkner Band feat. Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche


By Bob Makin

originally published: 12/09/2022

Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Here We Come A-Wassailing" by Laurie Berkner Band feat. Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche

Princeton-raised kindie-rocker Laurie Berkner, center, is flanked by singer-songwriter Lucy Wainwright, left, and her legendary Jersey native mom, Suzzy Roche, during the recording of “Another Laurie Berkner Christmas,” her recently released second holiday outing. The vocal trio teamed on the carol “Here We Come A-Wassailing,” the Makin Waves Song of the Week. PHOTO COURTESY OF TWO TOMATOES RECORDS 

My all-time favorite Christmas album is “We Three Kings,” the 1990 collection from one of my favorite Jersey-bred acts, The Roches, because of the refreshing and revitalizing way they approached traditional carols. Park Ridge sisters Suzzy, Terre, and dearly departed Maggie were a vocal treasure whose rich harmonies gorgeously are recalled on “Another Laurie Berkner Christmas” with Laurie’s treatment of the carol “Here We Come A-Wassailing.”

On that Makin Waves Song of the Week, Laurie is joined by Suzzy and Suzzy’s daughter, acclaimed singer-songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche, in a stirring, stunning Roches-like holiday harmony. 

As the Makin Waves Song of the Week, “Here We Come A-Wassailing” also can be heard between 6 and 8 p.m. on Dec. 9 on “Radio Jersey” at ThePenguinRocks.com. If you miss it, you also can tune in any time in the archives at The Penguin or MixCloud

“I love singing with friends and family at Christmastime, and there are so many wonderful Christmas carols to sing,” said Laurie, whose first holiday collection is 2012’s “A Laurie Berkner Christmas”. “So, after 10 years, I decided it was finally time for me to release a second Christmas album. I am extremely lucky to have been able to meet and collaborate with Suzzy Roche, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and Norm Lewis on a couple of the tracks. I can’t wait for my fans to hear the new songs I wrote, and I hope ‘Another Laurie Berkner Christmas’ brings joy and wonderful memories to all.”



 
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Norm Lewis, the original King Triton in the Broadway production of “The Little Mermaid,” lends his glorious voice to a heartwarming version of “Good King Wenceslas.” Laurie Berkner Band — keyboardist Susie Lampert, bassist Brady Rymer and drummer Bobby Golden — also are joined on the album by Broadway musicians David Mann on saxophone and horn arrangements and Trevor Neumann on trumpet.

Of the album’s 18 tracks, five are originals: the charming fairytale “I Live Inside a Snow Globe,” the chilly charmer “Icicles,” the festive “Time to Eat,” the year-end dance party “Happy New Year,” and the uplifting “Little Tree,” a merry mashup of Charlie Brown, Shel Silverstein, and “Twelve Days of Christmas.” That tune is one of several kid-friendly classics on the LP, along with "Holly Jolly Christmas," "Up On The Housetop," “Deck the Halls” and "Winter Wonderland.”

Released on Laurie’s Two Tomatoes Records, the kindie Christmas collection also features many other traditional carols, such as “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Joy to the World,” and “What Child Is This (Greensleeves)”. Laurie even takes on Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” the bright, cheery vocal layers of which also recall The Roches. 

On Dec. 16, Laurie will play a free 30-minute holiday concert featuring Christmas, winter and Hanukkah songs, at 11 a.m. on Facebook and Instagram. If you miss it live, the show will be added to YouTube (https://youtube.com/@TheLaurieBerknerBand) and remain on Facebook and Instagram.

For more info, visit www.laurieberkner.com.

Bob Makin has produced Makin Waves since 1988. Follow Makin Waves on Facebook and contact Bob at makinwaves64@yahoo.com



 
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