Kitchener/Waterloo’s FOG Blues & Brass Band Put the Swing in ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’
Kitchener, Ontario band FOG Blues & Brass Band release a swinging arrangement of ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ to enliven the 2022 holiday season. The latest single from the accomplished 7-piece band rejuvenates the Christmas standard with keys, horns and a spirited vocal by lead singer Hilliard Walter.
Produced by Grammy and Juno Winner John ‘Beetle’ Bailey at Jancar Studios, Cambridge ON, and at The Drive Shed, New Hamburg, ON, the cheerful ode to St. Nick was a natural fit for the group of veteran musicians who are known for their rousing and joyful playing style. Having worked with the FOG Blues & Brass Band on its well-received In the Fog! Record, Bailey suggested the band reinterpret the classic song in their own style.
‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ was written and first performed by Gene Autry in 1947, quickly reaching #5 on the country charts and going on to become even more popular in subsequent years. In FOG Blues & Brass Band’s hands, the song is renewed yet again, buoyed by a swinging four-piece horn arrangement by writer/performer and Emmy-award winner Don Beithaupt (Monkey House, Breithaupt Brothers), guitarist Tim Palser’s melodic slide and the rest of the band’s accomplished playing.
“We had a blast cutting this one in the studio,” the band members recall. “The smiles on all our faces while tracking our first take said it all. All the pieces fit together easily.” The result is a jovial, freewheeling track, tailor-made for listeners in search of some Christmas cheer.
Formed in 2015 and based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Fog Blues & Brass Band is Hilliard Walter (Vocals), Al Hosjak (Bass), Domenic DiNino (Drums), Bobby Becker (Keys), Tim Palsar (Guitar), Dan Jancar (Saxophones), Joe Dublanski (Alto Saxophone), a group of seasoned musicians with a wealth of performing and recording experience. Semifinalists in the Band category at the 2020 International Blues Challenge, they released their debut record Into the Fog! In 2018, which quickly found widespread radio airplay and popular acclaim. With its firm command of classic blues, R&B and rock and roll and deep bench of soloists, the FOG Blues & Brass Band is a riveting live act, performing regularly at venues and festivals throughout Ontario.