From the compilation album, A Very Yinzer Christmas, the all-star line-up in the Nied’s Hotel Band offers Merry Christmas Baby. A straight blues jam that sticks to the 12-bar format while blending syncopation and upbeat grooves that are highlighted by the acapella vocals during the silent dropouts of the jam. Featuring John Vento on vocals, the performance brings out the true power and emotion that comes with this holiday feeling. The call-and-response style blues the vocals employ with the band allow the groove to steadily build momentum and tension. As the chorus section reaches its crescendo, the veteran musicians’ dropout allowing John Vento to deliver a capable and compelling articulation that culminates the entire feeling of the song. Contrasting guitar and saxophone solos keep the melodic aspects of this song bright and vibrant as the blues shuffle chugs along. This steady and energetic backline keeps everything in the pocket as these players are given the liberty to really channel their inner Santa Claus and bring musical joy to a very expectant audience. As the artists convey their emotional vibes with this soon-to-be holiday classic, it is hard not to point out the fun the band is having while making his song.
As a local Pittsburgh project, A Very Yinzer Christmas features a vast variety of talent from the area. This is culminated by the big band, blues of the Nied’s Hotel Band as they deliver one of the highlight pieces of this collection of local Christmas hits. The replayable nature of this upbeat and quick tempo jam makes this a required addition to any holiday party playlist and will see considerable plays on any Adult Contemporary, Middle-of-the-Road, or Pop commercial radio. The production of Merry Christmas Baby is quite solid and well-executed, giving this track a live feel while maintaining a solid frequency blend across each instrument and accompanying singer. Nestled right in the middle of the compilation album, Merry Christmas Baby gives the Nied’s Hotel Band an opportunity to stick out and shine as a highlight track for this playlist, which they accomplish with ease and delight. A very enjoyable track, Merry Christmas Baby is arranged very well with each section clearly defined and playing into each other. Audiences will be keen to dance along with this holiday jam filled with joy, and enthusiasm.
Reviewed by: Lee Callaghan
Evolution Music Press
December 11, 2022
In collaboration with MTS Management Group