The Christmas Collection

Marc Martel

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Marc Martel, an artist who has fostered a steadily increasing presence in the realm of holiday music, has released his latest offering of Christmas favorites. An album four years in the making, The Christmas Collection features an all-star cast of collaborators (Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Jason Gray, Buddy Greene, Plumb, Scott Mulvahill, and Ron Block of Alison Krauss & Union Station), some of whom have graced the top of the Christmas charts on multiple occasions themselves.

This 21-track project includes Martel’s four AC Billboard Top 10s: “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”, “What Child Is This?”, “O Come, All Ye Faithful”, along with his majestic rendition of “The First Noel.” And brand new for Christmas 2019, Martel has teamed up with two of his own music heroes, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, for a fresh take on “Silver Bells.” The rest of this comprehensive mix of sentimental classics and yuletide hymns beckons the listener on an expertly-paced journey from cozy fireside, to lively annual get-togethers, to the quiet hillsides of Bethlehem, covering an extremely satisfying gamut of all that is the most wonderful time of the year.

Track Listing:

  1. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (feat. Plumb)
  2. Silver Bells (feat. Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith) 3. The Christmas Song (feat. Scott Mullvahill)
  3. All I Want For Christmas Is You 5. Christmastime Is Here 6. O Come All Ye Faithful (feat. Jason Gray)
  4. What Child Is This? (feat. Ron Block of Alison Krauss & Union Station)
  5. Mary, Did You Know? (feat. Buddy Greene)
  6. Ave Maria 10. The First Noel 11. How Many Kings (feat. Downhere) 12. Little Drummer Boy 13. The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah”
  7. Noisy Day 15. Silent Night 16. In The Bleak Midwinter 17. O Little Town of Bethlehem 18. O Come, Emmanuel 19. O Holy Night
  8. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  9. How Many Kings (Reboot)
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Thunderbolt & Lightning : CD
  • Thunderbolt & Lightning : CD

Thunderbolt & Lightning : CD

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$12.00

Reimagining well-loved songs always comes with an appropriate sense of risk, danger, and terrifying moments of self doubt. When it comes to artists like Queen, though, who are veritable giants of recording history, that feeling is magnified. Throughout their career, they apparently set out to avoid all shortcuts; were never happy to merely repeat sections of songs (as is quite customary in all genres of popular music), and everything was through-composed. They habitually pushed the boundaries of available technology beyond what even its inventors envisioned. Queen are the progenitors of many studio tricks and processes which have since become commonplace, and even some that have never been successfully replicated. Über-ambitious multitrack layering, Wagnerian vocal arrangements, guitar tones that mimic the sound of other instruments, and lyrical rhythm parts, are just a few of the ways they cut their unique path through the wilds of a recording industry in its adolescence. They set the bar high, and they got it right the first time.

Like technology, music has this uncanny transformative nature; taking on different shapes and telling equally true stories that the original composer never intended. Perhaps like a crab moving from conch shell to conch shell. And we music lovers possess the strange capacity to fool ourselves into a sense of ownership of this immaterial thing whose creation we’ve played no part in. Couples do it all the time. “Hey, that’s our song!” A great song can forge a bond with its listener so strong that one becomes incredulous, and even jealous, to think that anyone else could have the same, never mind stronger, experience with that very same song.

So, who am I to come along three, four decades later, spending the time, energy and resources to reinterpret these already flawless songs? Having gradually immersed myself over the last seven years in the music of Queen, I’ve developed a sort of stepchild-esque kinship with it, along with a growing desire to place a more pronounced emphasis on the latter half of the term “tribute artist” - a role I never imagined myself playing earlier in my musical career. And as a songwriter myself, I do know a little bit what it feels like to have a song of mine covered. I’ve heard some pretty good, and some less good renditions of my own tunes, but the fact is, it’s always a huge compliment.

Clearly, I could never dream of improving on what, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon created together. That was never the spirit of this project. Rather, I hope you’ll approach this EP with an inquisitive, openminded attitude that is something like, “What if Queen had recorded these songs in an alternate universe?” And if that’s a little too sci-fi for your blood then, “Hey… why not?” will do just fine.

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Impersonator

Marc Martel

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Live At The High Watt

Marc Martel

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This album was recorded live at the High Watt in Nashville, TN on March 28th, 2016

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