by Kevin Burton
Just broke my rule against playing Christmas music before Dec. 1.
Well it’s not a hard and fast rule and I had good reason. On this Christmas album I had a very small singing role.
Yesterday was the digital release day for Winter Warmer, the latest project from British singer/songwriter Alison Trelfa. I discovered her on one of the Facebook groups for blind musicians.
In August I wrote three posts about her. Trelfa was heavily influenced by The Carpenters, ABBA, and many other performers who were in their prime in the 70s when I was absorbing pop music. Her mother helped with that by playing that music in the car.
She plays keyboard and ukulele and I think, some other instruments.
Today there will be a release party for the album on the Alison Trelfa Music page on Facebook. It starts at 8 p.m. her time, which is 3 p.m. Eastern and 2 p.m. Central in the US.
If you check out the party you’ll see she is very talented and full of energy. She does a song on Facebook most every day. Last Saturday she did “Waterloo” by ABBA, infusing it with the joy of song.
Some months ago on one of her Facebook Live posts, Trelfa said she hoped to include voices from “many of you” on her next project.
That sounded good to me. So good in fact that I learned a handful of new technologies to make it possible for me to contribute.
I submitted parts for two of the 11 songs on the album and made it onto “Perfect End” the final song, which is actually a song about New Year’s Eve and a gathering of friends.
I think everyone else on the album is a friend of Trelfa’s from school or elsewhere. I believe I am the only stray.
“Winter Warmer” includes several songs written by Trelfa, including the title track and others from the storehouse of Christmas music in the public domain, such as “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night” part of which she sings in German.
So this is my very, very small debut in music. I am a footnote to the footnotes. But this does serve to boost my confidence (which needs it) and keep me moving toward releasing some of my original music.
Monday night at midnight her time Trelfa jumped on Facebook live to talk to followers the moment Winter Warmer was released. I didn’t know that ahead of time and found out by chance.
Near the end of the live post she mentioned my being on Perfect End. The funny part is she thinks I’m from Canada. This comes from her listening to, I think, one of my zoom messages very fast using Jaws, the computer speech program for blind users. I mentioned being from Kansas and she heard it as Canada.
Well I was born in the northern part of North Dakota, so that’s pretty close, eh?
You can purchase Winter Warmer on I-Tunes and stream it just about anywhere. I’ve got it going on Spotify as I write this.
If you look up this music because I mentioned her or because you want to support blind musicians, great. But once you hear her, you’re going to like her and I bet you’ll be watching for her next project right along with me.
My early favorite from the new album is “Let’s Kick This Winter Off,” which kicks off the album. After that you HAVE TO stay tuned for “The Twelve Guide Dogs of Christmas.” Trelfa had some of her friends record their dogs barking and whining and used the sound on the song.
“Get your dogs in the room when you play it,” Trelfa said Tuesday on Facebook, “you will find they get very excited.”
It’s tough to take when your musical debut is upstaged by dogs making theirs.
Trelfa said she had a bad case of writer’s block while working on Winter Warmer, with time running down and release already scheduled.
Her husband said she should write the title tune about a couple snuggling, to make winter warmer. Her original idea was about the drink Winter Warmer, which I had never heard of.
I’m very happy she fought through the writer’s block. You’ll be glad too if you check out Winter Warmer.