A Bull City Holiday

by Keenan McKenzie

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1.
(Vocals by Mark Wells) The house I built for the one I love Is the envy of the street With a newfound snow like a blanket, pure and sweet Well it ain't too big, but I think you'll dig What I've done with all the trim And the little abode is packed with goodies to the brim I cut all the boards for the walls And assembled them gingerly Now nutmeg and cinnamon in the hall Says "Christmastime" to me There's no more need to decorate 'Cause it's festive, through and through And I won't roam from our sweet home I'm gonna stay and savor the view *** I cut all the boards for the walls And assembled them gingerly Now nutmeg and cinnamon in the hall Says "Christmastime" to me There's no more need to decorate 'Cause it's festive, through and through And I won't roam from our sweet home I'm gonna stay and savor the view
2.
Coal for Me 04:21
(Vocals by Tamisha Waden) I wrote Saint Nick a letter Told him to bring me coal (Said) I wrote Saint Nick a letter Told him to just bring me coal I've been pretty good this year But keepin' him happy takes a toll Why should I make the nice list How does he get to draw the line? Why should I make the nice list How does he get to draw the line ? That old man wants me to act Like it's 1929 Coal for me and coal for you That's the thing I desire Coal for me and coal for you Baby that's the thing I desire And when we put it all together Maybe we can spark a fire *** Coal for me And Coal for You Saint Nick should listen up 'Cause I'm gonna tell him what to do Coal for me and coal for you That's the thing I desire And when we put it all together Maybe we can spark a fire And when we put it all together We'll ride out the winter weather Coal for me and coal for you And baby we could spark a fire
3.
Santa's Cap 02:54
(Vocals by Laura Windley) Santa's cap went missing this year He didn't know he held it quite so dear He and Mrs. Claus came back from all their summer travel He looked right where he left it, and things started to unravel 'Cause without his cap old Claus, he ain't the same It's where he kept his precious list of names Should have been more careful, now it's nowhere on the map And he longs for the good old days when he had his cap *** Without his cap old Claus, he ain't the same It's where he kept his precious list of names Should have been more careful, now it's nowhere on the map And he longs for the good old days, he longs for the good old days
4.
(Vocals by Shana Tucker w/ Mark Wells) Sippin' tea and contemplatin' By the fire I don't mind waiting for The storm passing by, not I It's another cozy moment with you Don't know how I had mistaken You for someone who was taken But now when you sigh, oh my It's another cozy moment with you I used to worry that we were in a hurry And our feelings would grow cold But now when it's a-stormin' our toes they are a-warmin' And we talk of growing old As the embers gently wink out I know what that look is all about And the gleam in your eye, I'd die For another cozy moment with you *** Sippin' tea and contemplatin' By the fire I don't mind waiting for The storm passing by, not I! It's another cozy moment with you Don't know how I had mistaken You for someone who was taken But now when you sigh, oh my! It's another cozy moment with you I used to worry that we were in a hurry And our feelings would grow cold But now when it's stormin' our toes they are a-warmin' And we talk of growing old As the embers gently wink out I know what that look is all about And the gleam in your eye, I'd die For another cozy moment with you Another cozy moment with you
5.
Snow Day 03:01
(Vocals by Mark Wells) Go look out in the yard I'm shook: flakes are falling hard The school bus ain't comin' up the hill today Now go grab your coat and hat You know where the party's at The school bus ain't comin' up the hill today When we get to slidin' down Our favorite spot in this old town The snow will melt all our cares away We're out 'till the sun is set No doubt that the folks will fret Snowballs are slingin', 'till the dinner bell's ringin' And the school bus ain't comin' up the hill today *** When we get to slidin' down Our favorite spot in this old town The snow will melt all our cares away We're out 'till the sun is set No doubt that the folks will fret Snowballs are slingin', and the dinner bell's ringin' And the school bus ain't comin' up the hill today
6.
(Vocals by Meggan Cashwell) A couple hundred years ago When the temperature would dip down low Christmastime, wasn't much like today Less caroling in the air And no stockings hung with care No cards or crackers or national holiday Then queen Vic, she let Albert Go out and cut a tree He brought it inside like they did back home With the kids in Germany Soon it was the talk of the town As they decorated up and down And a Queen's Christmas became the brand new way *** Little bells on a sleigh Used to mean "step out of the way" Then a brand new song came along in a happy key Shippin' on steam and rail And a half a penny for the mail Brought toys and cheer from the mountains to the sea Pretty soon, workin' folk had a day off And it was s'well And Dickens and Moore wrote a couple of tales I'm sure you know pretty well Victorians one and all Had tradition on the ball Now it's a Queen's Christmas each year around the tree
7.
(Vocals by Laura Windley) A frosty night, you're snug in bed Worry dances through your head You lock the door, the window too But you can't lock the chimney A string of break-ins in the town Authorities can't track him down The next one on the list is you When you can't lock the chimney Suddenly, there's a clatter on the roof Like climbing gear, or a creature's hoof You spring up, but it's too late He's coming through and feeling great It's an open avenue When you can't lock the chimney *** Hits the bottom with a thud Weathered coat as red as blood He's already in the room Yeah, you can't lock the chimney Eats your cookies, drinks the gin Grizzled face it forms a grin With all the treats that he'll consume Oh you can't lock the chimney Belly full, then he opens up a sack Your precious toys won't be coming back Through the branches of the tree The silver and the jewelry It was easy to assume That you can't lock the chimney *** Sirens wail, and he hurries up the chute Gone in a flash, and he's got the loot How he fits you can't conceive A children's tale you may believe If only it were Christmas Eve But no you can't lock it And the man's gonna rock it No, you can't You can't lock the chimney
8.
(Vocals by Dave Wright) Every now and again I stumble back in To your memory It's like a pine needle found 'neath the cushion From last year's Christmas Tree As the seasons turn, I still feel the burn Of what might have been But I won't give in To sweet sympathy, not me Many sweethearts depart and a broken heart Prays for love to return But if Kris Kringle brought all our old lover's back Then we'd never learn While the sting is still there, there's a thrill in the air Made of hope and possibility So I'm happy for now With the single tree *** Many sweethearts depart and a broken heart Prays for love to return But if Kris Kringle brought all our old lover's back Then we'd never learn While the sting is still there, there's a thrill in the air Made of hope and possibility So I'm happy for now Yes, I'm happy for now Just me And the single tree
9.
(Vocals by Laura Windley) As the nights grow longer I long to be by your side When the wind grows stronger Strong feelings I'll confide Before we know it, spring will break the cold And thaw the ground, but Nothin' like the winter When turning loneliness around *** Before we know it, spring will break the cold And thaw the ground, but Nothin' like the winter When turning loneliness around
10.
(Vocals by Mark Wells) It's a special day, in case you hadn't heard And if you're ready to celebrate, just say the word If the months have worn you down, and you need a little cheer We've got the greatest birthday party of the year Doesn't matter who you are or who you love Come on down to my place, where the hang's a cut above All of my friends are lookin' grand We're gonna cook up a storm and book a band It's the greatest birthday party of the year *** It's a special day, in case you hadn't heard And if you're ready to celebrate, just say the word If the months have worn you down, and you need a little cheer We've got the greatest birthday party of the year Doesn't matter who you are or who you love Come on down to my place, where the hang's a cut above All of my friends are lookin' grand We're gonna cook up a storm and book a band It's the greatest birthday party of the year
11.
(Vocals by Laura Windley) The holidays are ending The caroling is through No more gifts to open As our loved ones bid "adieu" But anticipation tingles Down through every single toe And if you want to move your feet You oughta know: There's a charming winter town In the west of Caroline I'll be headed there When the stars align I'm gonna see some old friends And I hope to make some new And if you pack your shoes Maybe you can Focus too A certain kind of magic Pervades every song I hear And the big band swingin' will keep me singin' Right into the brand new year If you think the party's over On December Twenty-Five You're gonna change your tune Just as soon as you arrive!
12.
(Vocals by Marcia McKenzie) Should old acquaintance be forgot And never brought to mind Should old acquaintance be forgot And old lang syne For auld lang syne my dear For auld lang syne We'll take a cup of kindness yet For auld lang syne For auld lang syne my dear For auld lang syne We'll take a cup of kindness yet For auld lang syne

credits

released November 25, 2019

Music composed and arranged by Keenan McKenzie
except Auld Lang Syne, an 18th century poem by Robert Burns, based on a traditional melody

Anne Bennett, tenor saxophone [2,6,7,11,12]
Lucian Cobb, trombone [2,3,7,9,11,12]
Jim Crew, piano [5,6,8]
Meggan Cashwell, vocals [6]
Daniel Faust, drums [all tracks]
Billie Feather, guitar [10]
Jason Foureman, bass [3,9]
Lynn Grissett, trumpet [2,7,11,12]
Aaron Hill, alto saxophone [2,3,7,9,11,12]
Jim Ketch, trumpet [2,3,7,9,11,12]
George Knott, bass [10]
Ben Lassiter, guitar [1]
William Ledbetter, bass [1,2,4,5,6,7,8,11,12]
Shaena Ryan Martin, baritone saxophone [2,6,7,11,12]
Renée McGee, trumpet [2,6,7,11,12]
Keenan McKenzie, tenor saxophone & clarinet [all tracks]
Marcia McKenzie, vocals [12]
Woody McKenzie, fiddle [5]
Chip Newton, guitar [2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,12]
Wes Parker, trombone [2,7,11,12]
Paul Rogers, trumpet [5,6,8]
Kyle Santos, trumpet [2,7,11,12]
Al Strong, trumpet [1,4,10]
Alan Thompson, alto saxophone [2,7,11,12]
Robert Trowers, trombone [2,7,11,12]
Shana Tucker, vocals [4]
Tamisha Waden, vocals [2]
Mark Wells, piano [1,2,4,7,9,10,11,12] vocals [1,4,5,10]
Laura Windley, vocals [3,7,9,11]
Dave Wright, trombone [1,8,10] vocals [8]

Recorded at Overdub Lane in Durham, NC
August 23-24, 2019
Engineered/mixed/mastered by Jason Richmond

Cover painting by Collin Williams (@artbycollin)
Inspired in part by Conway Li Photography

Thank you: Jeremy & Jennifer Brantley, Kelly Collette, Brian Curry, Pamela Dickey, Ken Heil, Adam Hitchcock, Hayley Hunt, Jammin' on the James, Marcia & Woody McKenzie, Ori & Valen Moore, Andy Nishida, The Outlaws, Suzanne & Nirav, Curtis Ullerich, and Donna Williams

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Keenan McKenzie Durham, North Carolina

Keenan McKenzie is a Durham-based saxophone and clarinet player, specializing in dance-oriented music. In addition to leading his own band, the Riffers, he appears with The Mint Julep Jazz Band, Michael Gamble, Jonathan Stout, The Rhythm Serenaders, and The Shakedown. ... more

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