Sign up for our mailing list Real artists creating records on their own terms

Sign up for our mailing list


Friday, November 9th, 2018

Delicate Steve Bio (2018)

Oh, the power of Christmas Music!

A little Johnny Mathis and we are all pre-war, or post-war again, whatever was best. Put on a 45 and let us remember that cozy world where Bowie dropped by his neighbor Bing’s house to share a moment around the piano in the den.

Oh Christmas Music! Return us to those shared places of comfort, those places that never really existed.

Yes, there was snow on the ground, but there were no fine-ass thoroughbreds pulling a wagon through your suburban neighborhood. And yeah, that was a good looking ham on the dining room table, but the guy about to cut into it had been methodically putting back cans of Olde Style since 10 that morning. Remember? No, you don’t. We create the memories we want, so every December we can return to the most wonderful time of the year. Shared memories of times and places that never exactly were.

The nine standards on Delicate Steve’s The Christmas Album (Anti- 2018) are faithful, intentional or not, to the essence of what makes great Christmas music timeless. These songs are grounded in something deeply familiar, but channeled through the celestial perspective that has been a hallmark of the acclaimed guitarist, songwriter, and producer’s music thus far. They come without regard to genre, geography, or calendar, or reality, really -- from a place we know, but that never exactly was.

Understood it may be atypical to use the term ‘murderer’s row’ on a holiday record, but that’s who showed up to help Steve bring The Christmas Album to life. Joe Russo (Cass McCombs, Trey Anastasio, drums), Dave Dreiwitz (Ween, bass), Marco Benevento (keys), Kelly Pratt (St. Vincent, Arcade Fire, horns), and Dan Lead (Cass McCombs, pedal steel) naturally guide arrangements that catch glimpses of the Shangri La’s pomp (“Away in a Manager”), the Swampers swamp (“O Little Town of Bethlehem”), a martini-soaked department store visit (“White Christmas”), and the slack-key-vibed “Silver Bells.” They also have to take partial credit for inspiring the first time use of the phrase ‘absolutely epic one-two punch of “Little Drummer Boy ----> “Frosty the Snowman,”’ which closes out the record.

The Christmas Music magic is here on The Christmas Album, but Delicate Steve’s addition to the canon brings with it its own gift. It imagines for us new memories, returns us to different places. It is our past untethered from reality. On offer is a new nostalgia; turns out, it is a welcome respite.

Delicate Steve's artist page

Browse by Artist

1689All Artists 59Mavis Staples 56Dr. Dog 54The Milk Carton Kids 51Sean Rowe 50Tinariwen 49Neko Case 43Lost In The Trees
41Son Little 36Saintseneca 33Michael Franti and Spe... 33Galactic 32Glen Hansard 31Jolie Holland 28William Elliott Whitmo... 28Doe Paoro 27Man Man 25Bettye LaVette 23Jason Lytle 22Tom Waits 22Booker T. Jones 22Sage Francis 21Islands 21Christopher Paul Stell... 20Daniel Lanois 20Calexico 20DeVotchKa 20Xenia Rubinos 20Andy Shauf 19Prism Tats 18Joe Henry 18Wilco 18So Much Light 18Delicate Steve 17Tim Fite 17Grinderman 17The Drums 16Porter Wagoner 16Peter Silberman 15Yann Tiersen 15Jade Jackson 15Girlpool 14John K. Samson 14The Antlers 14The Dream Syndicate 13The Coup 13Busdriver 13Rain Machine 12The Melodic 12Cass McCombs 11Kelly Hogan 11Beth Orton 11Keaton Henson 11Japandroids 11Richard Reed Parry 10Roky Erickson 10Os Mutantes 10Xavier Rudd 10Bob Mould 10Dead Man's Bones 10Beat Connection 10Deafheaven 10Ryan Pollie 10Ben Harper and Charlie... 9The Locust 9Mose Allison 9Marketa Irglova 9Kate Bush 9Cameron Avery 8The Frames 8A Girl Called Eddy 8Greg Graffin 8Yves Jarvis 8Darrin Bradbury 7Solillaquists of Sound 7The Field 7Alec Ounsworth 7Foxwarren 6Ramblin Jack Elliott 6Broken Twin 6Kronos Quartet with Br... 6N.A.S.A. 6Pops Staples 6Combo Chimbita 6Rafiq Bhatia 6Jeremy Ivey 6Boy Scouts 6Purr 5The Weakerthans 5Tweedy 5Elliott Smith 5Cadence Weapon 5The Swell Season 5Walter Wolfman Washing... 5Mothers 5Marc Ribot 5The Good Ones 4Eddie Izzard 4Antibalas 4One Day As A Lion 4Muggs 4Petra Haden 4Curtis Harding 4Arc Iris 4Lido Pimienta 4case/lang/veirs 3Danny Cohen 3Marianne Faithfull 3Sierra Leones Refugee... 3The Book Of Knots 3Simian Mobile Disco 2Chuck E. Weiss 2Blackalicious 2Savath & Savalas 2Spoon (Europe only) 2Billy Bragg 2Lyrics Born 2Various Artists: RANGO 2Screaming Lights (Euro... 2Title Fight 2Wynonna 2Jeff Tweedy 2Glitterer 1Nick Cave & The Bad Se... 1Various Artists: ROGUE... 1Rogue's Gallery 1Ben Harper
See Full List+