Have Yourself a Merry Christmas, Eau Claire

All of the holiday songs below were hand-selected by Andy Plank, who's been asking locals to create holly jolly cover tunes every Yuletide Season since 2009-ish.

Click here to download
the entire album ('tis free)
12 songs, 85 MB, (mp3 files zipped)

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2013 Tunes

"Christmas Wine" by Josh Ingersoll

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"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" by Andy Hofer

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"In the Bleak Midwinter" by Sarah Bodeau

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"The Friendly Beasts" by Matt Vold & Emily Jensen

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"Still Still Still" by Alyssa & Aaron Hedenstrom

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"What a Wonderful World" by Hot House

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"Christmas Resolutions" by Paul Brandt

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"Joy to the World" by Brian Bethke

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"The Most Wonderful Day of the Year" by Andy Plank

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"Soul Cake" by G String Theory

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"Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" by Justin Hertz

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"O Holy Night" by Nancy D Olson

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2012 Tunes

"Mele Kalikimaka" by Zachary Hoff

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There are many ways to say Merry Christmas. If you’re from Hawaii, you use the phrase Mele Kalikimaka. If you’re Zachary Hoff, you recorded this song using a microphone that was built from a shotgun shell.

"Silver Bells" by Paul Brandt

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Fun fact: Silver Bells was originally written as Tinkle Bells. Paul Brandt has played in a bunch of EC bands (Frenettes, Meridene, Gentle Guest, etc.) and rocks Christmas joy yearly. Davy Sumner, the Good, played drums on this Silver Bells remake.

"Coventry Carol" by Alyssa and Aaron Hedenstrom

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While Alyssa and Aaron now reside in Denton, TX, their Wisconsin roots are very strong. This year, they recorded this 16th century carol, which woman originally sang to their newborns in a mystery play called Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors.

"Jolly Old St Nick" by Andy Hofer

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Jolly Old Andy Hofer is perhaps best known for his brass mastery in The Gentle Guest and Meridene. Here he used his brasstery in a tribute to the Christmas hero every boy and girl eagerly awaits.

"River" by Yohuna

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Yohuna delightfully turns the hit Joni Mitchell song River on its head. Yohuna is the dreamy, casio-based project of locals Johanna Swanson, Caleb Johannes, and Addie Strei.

"Please Christmas Don’t Be Late" by The Heart Pills

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With Josh Ingersoll as David, and the rest of The Heart Pills as Alvin, Simon and Theodore, EC folk-punkers The Heart Pills one-up the Chipmunks on their version of Please Christmas Don’t Be Late.

"Carol of the Bells" by Andy Immerman

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Eau Claire-native artist and solo electronic musician Andy Immerman has contributed to a long list of local bands, including assistant engineering for Bon Iver. He created an expansive remix edition (hot and fresh) of Carol of the Bells for the compilation.

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by Wisconsin Built

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On Christmas Day in 1863, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem “Christmas Bells.” In 1872, an English organist made a song from it. In 2012, EC’s Wisconsin Built finally perfected the piece.

"Joseph and Mary" by Shane Leonard

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He does folk music in Kalispell, he does funny stuff in the Barebones and Shambles improv teams, and for his latest act, Shane Leonard did Joseph and Mary, aka The Cherry Tree Carol.

"Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming" by Andy Plank

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Ex-Meridene banjoist and current casual bedroom-recording dabbler Andy Plank got low for a loud version of a hymn usually sweetly sung. “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen,” say people in Germany, where the song was written. Plank passed German 101 at UWEC.

"What Child Is This" by Addie and Leo Strei

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People used to get them confused with one another, wondering, “what child is this?” OK, that’s probably not true, but the brother and sister duo from EC’s Adelyn Rose recorded this traditional holiday song, which is set to the tune of Greensleeves.

"Last Christmas" by Sarah Bodeau

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One-fourth of The Heart Pills, Sarah Bodeau went solo for a smokey-cool, swingin’ jazz version of the 1984 Wham! song, Last Christmas. For a good time full of hunky mullets, flirty tinsel tossing and 80s nostalgia, YouTube the original music video!

"Go Tell it on the Mountain" by Matt Vold and Dane Stewart-Disch

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There aren’t any mountains ‘round here, but don’t tell that to Osseo’s Matt Vold and Green Bay-native-turned-EC-resident Dane Stewart-Disch. They teamed up for this folk rendition of an old African-American spiritual song.

"Silent Night" by Brian Bethke with Merry Weathers

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Osseo’s Brian Bethke recorded a soulful Silent Night, and employed the many talents of Merry Weathers. They’re a group of local musicians including Stacy Hanson, Jym Farley, Laura Ann Obenauf and Rick Kreuziger. That’s a lot of merry men and women!

"Baby, It’s Cold Outside" by John and Stasia Nietz

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Members of the Ukulele Klub of Eau Claire (U.K.E), area husband and wife duo John and Stasia Nietz go back and forth on the always heartwarming call and response tune, Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

"River" by Hannah Hebl

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With just a piano and her voice, Hannah Hebl hits the highest notes of this year’s Christmas album in her cover of River by Joni Mitchell. It’s hard not to wish for a river to skate on after hearing this lovely recording.

"This Eau Clairian Life" by Scott Morfitt and Eric Christensen

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EC independent radio personality Scott Morfitt and Wisconsin Built guitarist/vocalist Eric Christensen contribute equal parts to a special holiday edition of This EauClairian Life. It seems a bit like This American Life, but a lot better.

"Little Drummer Boy" by Cobra Winfrey

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Little Drummer Boy Matt Haapala, guitar man Ben Hinz, and Kyle Flater of Laarks fame are the three carolers behind Cobra Winfrey. They like to create songs that stretch out over a long period of time. Why not? If something’s sweet, make more of it!

"Hark Christmastime" by Kyle Flater and Natalie Mastin

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Kyle Flater of Laarks used to do these Christmas songs all by himself. Then he found Natalie Mastin. Now they do them together and are going to get married. The end.

2011 Tunes

"White Christmas" by Paul Brandt

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Tall, multi-talented Paul Brandt (Cranes and Crows, Gentle Guest, ex-Meridene) opens the compilation with an epic version of a classic.

"Winter Wonderland" by Kyle Flater & Natalie Mastin

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Flater (Laarks, Peter Wolf Crier) & Mastin recently did the job while they were in town, getting engaged to one another.

"Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer" by Brian Bethke and the Locals

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Osseo-based Brian Bethke combines efforts with “Locals,” Danette Brown, Dave Burki and John Nietz to have a poke at Grandma’s expense.

"Mr. Santa" by Zach Hoff

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Yes, Mr. Santa sounds kind of like Mr. Sandman, and Hoff’s version is just as dreamy.

"Jingle Bells" by Andy Plank

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Saving his musical efforts almost exclusively for Christmas songs, Plank’s jingle doesn’t have bells this year.

"Silent Night" by Ellyse Wagener

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Wagener hitched a wagon from Hudson to Minneapolis, where she creates earthy, folky musical goodness. Brace yourself for this one.

"I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Wisconsin Built

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They made a four-song EP called, “One of Many Alternatives to the Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack.” Download it from their Bandcamp/Facebook page!

"Winter Wonderland" by 3rd Ear

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Jim Jackson and the Silloway brothers jazz up Winter Wonderland in this timeless recording.

"Blue Christmas" by Matt Vold

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Folk crooner Matt Vold gets real, real bluesy-blue on one of the saddest X-Mas songs ever written.

"Fairytale of New York City" by The Bloody Mummers

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Trevor Ives(ex-Meridene), Peter Raymond, Tina Wolff, Adam Mackley and Olivia Nelson are a bunch of mummers.

"O Holy Night" by Addie Strei

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Adelyn Rose’s Addie Strei sings the tale of O Holy Night behind some magical-sounding synthesizers.

"Trim My Tree" by Coconut and the Duke

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Self-proclaimed Eau Claire and Bethlehem-based Coconut and the Duke bends the rules and contributes the compilation’s first ever original tune.

"Santa Baby" by The Heart Pills

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The Pills use their sexy voice for a version of the song Eartha Kitt popularized.

2010 Tunes

"Holly Jolly Christmas" by Paul Brandt and Adelyn Strei

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Brandt (Meridene, Gentle Guest) is joined by Strei (Feathe) this Holiday Season for a duet!

"Silent Night" by Kyle Flater

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Laarks guitarist Kyle Flater has a whole lot of jolly good charm.

"I Wander as I Wonder" by Conrad Plymouth

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He used to play wonderful music in Eau Claire. Now Chris Porterfield does so as Conrad Plymouth in Milwaukee.

"The First Noel" by Andy Plank

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Andy Plank only does Christmas songs these days. He used to do In Reverence and Meridene songs.

"Auld Lang Syne" by The Heart Pills

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Volume One readers voted folk-punkers The Heart Pills in as one of the Valley's Best New Bands of 2010!

"'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Scott Morfitt

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The host of Local Independence on Wisconsin Public Radio, Scott Morfitt, lends his voice on a spoken word track.

2009 Tunes

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Paul Brandt

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Brandt performs in a variety of local groups including Cranes and Crows, Meridene, and more.

"Santa Baby" by Ellyse Wagener

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Wagener is a solo musician from Hudson.

"We Three Kings" by Kyle Flater

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Flater is the guitar player for local indie rock band Laarks.

"Good King Wenceslas" by Mages

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A relatively new local folk trio.

"Silent Night" by Feathe

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A Chippewa Falls-based trio.

"Away in a Manger" by Trevor Carl Ives

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Ives is the songwriter, singer, and guitar player for local rock band Meridene.

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" by Andy Plank

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Plank has performed in a handful of local bands including In Reverence, and was a founding member of Meridene.

"All I Want for Christmas" by Weed

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Weed is a solo project from former local Will Anderson.


And hey! If you're a local musician and you'd like to do a holiday song next year,
just email the very jolly Andy Plank. eauclairechristmas@gmail.com

 

Brought to you by the fine musicians above and Volume One

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