Ring in the Holidays With Us With “Almost Christmas” Single, Releasing November 8 on All Digital Platforms
Seasonal Single and Accompanying Video Are Filled with Down-Home Holiday Warmth
DOWNLOAD HERE: https://orcd.co/almostchristmas
I set out to capture the simple sincerity of longing for home during the holidays with Almost Christmas, a seasonal single and video full of holiday warmth and charm. My latest album, Wayward Troubadour (Northwind Records), has drawn rave reviews and exceptional radio airplay, joined forces with renowned performer Henry Paul (Blackhawk, The Outlaws, Henry Paul Band) to create the latest single, “Two Lane Highway” which released just last month. Now, Amy Aiken and I are focusing our efforts on the holidays and spreading some joys of the season with Almost Christmas, which is sure to be welcomed addition to your holiday listening this year.
The warm glow of holiday lights, a train rolling across snow-covered tracks, and the Christmas store’s thousands of ornaments all come together to make the video and single a perfect holiday combo for all families. Filmed on location in Smithfield, Virginia and specifically at Windsor Castle Park and The Christmas Store on Main Street, the video lends itself to the feel of holidays past and present. The glass candy-cane guitar slide I used sparkles magically and worked better than you might expect. The town’s charm perfectly fit how I felt when I wrote the song. I was reminded of holidays past and the anticipation many of us feel as the holidays draw near. It’s a time to reflect with friends and family and enjoy the company of one another. I think this song, and the video, capture this perfectly.
“Aiken has spent a lot of his time and music in a tropical sense of mind, and his first holiday offering reflects this. Said Chuck Dauphin of Music News Nashville. “There’s a laid-back feel all over this disc, which could very well alleviate the stress that goes along with the season. It doesn’t matter if you can see pine or palm trees outside your window …you will find this a very warm and enjoyable holiday experience.”
Here Comes Santa Claus is a focus track from the Almost Christmas EP that will also be available digitally on November 8. It is a delightful remake of the classic to the tune of the non-holiday leaning, but incredibly well known, Happy Trails.
The Almost Christmas EP, on Northwind Records from which these two singles come, also includes three originals; Almost Christmas, Christmas Schooner, and the instrumental Stocking Stuffer as well as these classics recorded in my own style, Mele Kalikimaka, Here Comes Santa Claus, and Christmas Island. The Almost Christmas EP was recorded in Nashville at the legendary Creative Workshop Studio and is available for purchase through online retail outlets and in stores and on our website at www.mikeandamyaiken.com.
In September we completed the 14th annual Aiken & Friends Fest at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey, a three-day event of ticketed and free music performances, songwriting workshops and other fun activities for the whole family, which was headlined by the Mike and Amy Aiken band. We are currently on an extended tour of the South, Midwest and Southwest in the U.S. as well as several dates in Canada.
Song “Two Lane Highway” with Special Guest Henry Paul for New Digital Single, Releasing October 25 on All Platforms
The latest CD, Wayward Troubadour (Northwind Records), has drawn rave reviews and exceptional radio airplay. Amy and I joined forces with renowned performer Henry Paul (Blackhawk, The Outlaws, Henry Paul Band) to create the new single, “Two Lane Highway,” which is set for digital release October 25 and available in advance thru all platforms at https://orcd.co/2lanehwy.
“Two Lane Highway” was written by me and Henry Paul, recorded in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, and included on the Wayward Troubadour album released last year. As a special guest on the recording, Henry Paul played mandolin and sang background vocals along with Amy Aiken.
Wayward Troubadour was the anticipated follow-up to my Grammy-nominated album, Captains & Cowboys (produced by Dan Baird of the Georgia Satellites). The band Amy and I put together for Wayward Troubadour included Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart Band) on electric guitars; David Roe on stand-up bass; Amy Aiken on background vocals and percussion; and guest writer Chris P James of The Burrito Brothers.
Henry and I got together in Henry’s studio in Atlanta to write. We started talking about our backgrounds and came to discover we both spent our childhoods in rural New York State. Exploring those memories took us down a literal and figurative ‘two lane highway’ of our memories and where life can take you.
I was lucky to catch Henry in Nashville with four free hours before he boarded his bus and got him in the studio to sing background vocals and a signature, cameo part. Henry Paul has a very distinctive voice that worked really well with mine and Amy’s on the harmonies.
The CD was greeted with universal rave reviews from the media:
“Mike Aiken’s new release is one of those summertime Americana ‘kick back and hang out’ collections perfect to pop in the stereo and launch into the season.” – Americana Highways
“With so much fake country music hogging the airwaves, it’s downright refreshing — like a cool mountain breeze — to hear such a Wayward Troubadour as Mike Aiken.” – Aquarian Weekly
“Mike Aiken delivers an album rooted in traditional country, with moments of Western Swing that will fit very nicely in your summer playlist… These are songs that will have you smiling and head-bobbing and generally feeling carefree. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Just wait until you hear this album.”
– Parcbench.Live – New York City
“Mike is something of a floating John Prine crossed with Ry Cooder.” – Sail Magazine
I had a ball writing Two Lane Highway with Henry Paul. It was something I had wanted to do for quite a while. Icing on the cake was finishing the song the next morning ‘round the kitchen table while Henry made killer pancakes!
Mike and Amy Aiken recently signed a new management and booking agreement with Steve Johnson of the Bonfire Music Group Management: http://www.bonfiremusicgroup.com/management/.
Hi-res Mike & Amy Aiken photo by Jeff Fasano:
Wayward Troubadour (2018)
Captains & Cowboys (2013)
Almost Christmas (2011)
Hula Girl Highway (2008)
Just Add Salt (2007)
Travelin’ Bone (2002)
Country Vol.2 Compilation by Universal France
Songs for Sailors Compilation
Songs of the Chesapeake Compilation
Mike Aiken – vocals, guitars, mandolin
Amy Aiken – vocals, percussion
Jordan Ponzi – vocals, bass