About the Album
Just in time for this holiday season, award-winning violinist and vocalist, Wickam – often known as Vi the Fiddler – releases ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, a new collection of music featuring his unique interpretations of Christmas classics. Wickam’s yuletide compilation serves up influences from bluegrass to jazz, reggae to rap and captures the holiday spirit in a wonderful way.
Wickam brought together his favorite musician friends to make this album. It features an all-star cast from Colorado and beyond including special vocalists: the amazing Mandy Harvey; Paul Chet; Amy Madden and rapper, LOS.
The 14-song album features performances of holiday standards and favorites such as Jingle Bells, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, as well as Wickam’s unique and playful take on Clement Clarke Moore’s immortal poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. As can be expected of something coming from Wickam, the music is spirited, heartfelt and fun.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is sure to become another defining moment in Wickam’s already remarkable career.
“This Christmas album is FUN music. It’s a genre bender to be certain. This album will make your feet tap and yearn to dance. We give the songs a twist where they need it and still give them the reverence that they deserve,” Wickam says. “I love Christmas, and the spirit of love and giving that it represents. I hope that I created a little bit of magic that I can share with each person who listens to this music.”
Listen to Tracks
1. Jingle Bells – James Pierpont 1857, Arranged by Vi Wickam – bordering on a whole new song (Vocal, Blues, Jazzy)
A groovy minor blues adventure. It’s the sound of Christmas in an old smoky speakeasy.
2. Greensleeves – Traditional (Instrumental, Folk, Jazzy)
Violin and Piano waltz and wind their way through this beautiful ballad.
3. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (feat. LOS) – Music by Vi Wickam, Lyrics by Clement Clarke Moore 1822 (Vocal, Upbeat, Tropical, Latin, Pop, Rap)
You will never listen to this poem the same way once you sing along with this fun melody.
4. The Riddle Song – Traditional (Instrumental, Celtic, Folk)
While this song isn’t necessarily a traditional Holiday song, it’s a beautiful traditional melody, and it feels like a cold celtic winter to me.
5. The First Noel (feat. Amy Madden) – Traditional (Folk, Vocal)
This yuletide favorite honors one of my favorite singers Amy Madden (also featured on this track) who was born on Christmas Eve.
6. O Come O Come Emmanuel – Traditional (Vocal, Folk, Funky)
This beautiful song starts mournful and bare, the medieval sound harkening to its origins. Then, we get funky with it. It’s groovy, and ends triumphantly.
7. Carol of the Bells – Traditional Ukrainian (Instrumental, Rockish)
Violins start alone, but are soon joined by Bass and Drums as this Ukrainian new years carol gets a rock and roll infusion.
8. Hark the Herald Angels Sing – Charles Wesley 1739 (Vocal, Tropical)
These Angels are heralding from a sunny beach with a tropical drink in hand. This song also features a great electric mandolin solo by Matthew Hartz.
9. Silent Night (feat. Paul Chet) – Franz Gruber 1818 (Vocal, Country, Acoustic)
It’s a still night on the prairie, undisturbed by the lights of the city.
10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Traditional English (Vocal, Cowboy, World, Middle Eastern)
Imagine 3 cowboys decked out in western wear riding their camels through the desert.
11. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – Edmund Sears, 1849 (Vocal, Jazzy)
I tried to conjure the sounds of Nat King Cole in this jazzy waltz.
12. O Holy Night (feat. Mandy Harvey) – Adolphe Adam, 1847 (Vocal, Groovy, Epic)
Bob Montgomery’s epic New Orleans Strut is the perfect counterbalance to Mandy Harvey’s angelic voice.
13. O Little Town of Bethlehem – Phillip Brooks, 1865 (Vocal, Acoustic, Folk)
Simple and beautiful.
14. We Three Kings – John Henry Hopkins Jr. 1857 (Vocal, Upbeat, Swing)
These kings were some cool customers.
Vi Wickam – Based in Loveland, Colorado, Vi Wickam is a champion fiddler and inspired performer who brings his full energy to every performance. He is a champion of music’s power to improve and enrich our lives in tangible ways, and infuses that goal into every project and performance. Drawing from styles such as bluegrass, jazz, rock, old-time fiddle, and classical music, Vi regularly performs as both a solo artist and as a member of several prominent groups, including Vi Wickam and The Band, Paul Chet and the Whiskey Chickens, and Fiddle Whamdiddle, whose 2014 and 2016 albums were on the Grammy Ballot. Vi’s most recent release, Armadillo On a Hot Tin Roof spent 5 months in the Folk DJ top 40, peaking at #4 in April of 2018.
Mandy Harvey – Mandy Harvey is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and inspirational speaker who lost her residual hearing at the age of nineteen. Mandy tours the world performing her original music and presenting her inspirational story of never giving up and continuing to try – she calls these messages Wisdom For Life. Mandy is well known for her 4th place finish in America’s Got Talent in 2017. She has the voice of an angel, and she is completely deaf.
Paul Chet – Paul Chet has been performing for the past 20 years professionally along the Front Range of his home state Colorado. Known for his powerful and versatile vocals in all areas of country music he continues to record in both Fort Collins,Colorado and Nashville,Tennessee.
Amy Madden Copp – Amy Madden is well known throughout Northern Colorado for her beautiful voice, and her acting talent. She has been a featured in many musicals including Les Miserables (Fantine) and Sister Act (Mother Superior).
LOS – Hailing from Austin Texas, LOS is an enigma wrapped within a mystery, but “Holy Cow!” this guy can lay down the rhymes.
Matthew Hartz (Guitar, Electric Mandolin) – Matthew Hartz holds a unique position in roots and americana music. A consummate musician, Matthew is one of the most decorated contest fiddlers alive. Matthew is a talented songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, as comfortable on guitar or mandolin as he is on Violin. He performs and teaches regularly around the US.
Jim Abraham – Jim Abraham‘s funky electric bass gives a fresh feeling to the sound. A diverse player, he has recorded multiple projects including the styles of funk, jazz, R&B, celtic, Christian rock, bluegrass and folk. His current projects include the Vi Wickam Band, Paul Chet and the Whiskey Chickens, Lalla Rookh, and Meadowlark Jivin.
Adam Bodine – This talented pianist and multidimensional keyboardist joyfully excels in a variety of roles and situations. A soulful improviser, tasteful accompanist, evocative composer and arranger, prolific producer, diligent bandleader, sought after sideman and charismatic performer, Bodine embodies keen musicianship and remarkable versatility.
Bob Montgomery – Bob played his first jazz gig with his dad at the age of 14. Bob spends most of his time juggling the seven or eight bands. Besides playing piano with the whiskey chickens, he plays piano, accordion, bass, and middle-eastern drums in a number of other prominent Northern Colorado groups.
Brent Hawley – Brent Hawley is one of Colorado’s finest bluegrass guitar and mandolin players. Brent has spent many years playing as a side man around the country.
Hugh Castor – Hugh’s diverse music experiences have ranged from playing in an orchestra backing Ray Charles to marching in a samba band in Mardi Gras. For the last 10 years he has performed with Fale, a West African drum and dance ensemble in addition to playing drum kit in a variety of groups.
- Vi Wickam (Vocals, Fiddle)
- Mandy Harvey (Guest Vocalist)
- Paul Chet (Guest Vocalist)
- Amy Madden Copp (Guest Vocalist)
- LOS (Guest Rapper)
- Jim Abraham (Bass)
- Brent Hawley (Guitar, Mandolin, Mandola)
- Hugh Castor (Drums, Percussion)
- Adam Bodine (Piano)
- Matthew Hartz (Guitar, Electric Mandolin)
- Bud Gudmunson (Bass)
- Pat Jones (Drums)
- Bob Montgomery (Piano)
- Jon Gray (Trumpet)
- Franklin Taggart (Electric Guitar)
Produced by: Vi Wickam
- Insight Sound
- Hartz Studios
- Dan Matthews, Insight Sound
- Stuart Havlicak
- Dan Matthews, Insight Sound
- Ryan Foster, Foster Mastering