After more than 20 years together, Neon Swing X-perience releases first-ever holiday album | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

After more than 20 years together, Neon Swing X-perience releases first-ever holiday album

click to enlarge Neon Swing X-perience - PHOTO: NICK PAYNE
Photo: Nick Payne
Neon Swing X-perience
Sway into the holiday season with the Neon Swing X-perience. This Sat., Nov. 9, the jazz, swing, and rockabilly band debuts its ninth album — and its first-ever holiday recording — O Howly Night, at the Four Seasons Brewing Company in Latrobe.

In addition to traditional big-band style arrangements (“Big Noise From The North Pole,” “Deck The Halls,” “Joy To The World,” “Auld Lang Syne"), the album also includes a classic rockabilly Christmas tune (“Rocking Around The Christmas Tree”); a horn chorale (“O Holy Night”); two originals (“Santa Claus,” “Christmas Eve Eve”); a bluesy reworking/mash-up of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (“Red Nose Blue”); and two others described as "kitschy vintage chestnuts," (“The Chipmunk Song [Christmas Don’t Be Late],” and “Dominick The Donkey.")

“This album is very much us," says Mike Urick, who wears multiple hats in the band including founder, manager, and lead vocalist. "It’s fun. It’s weird. I can’t think of any other band that would sing falsetto like The Chipmunks, do a noseflute feature, rework 'Rudolph' in a way that it would fit in at a smoky blues club, and be bold enough to do 'Dominick The Donkey' all on the same album.

"Some of these tunes we’ve been playing at holiday shows for years. Others will be new to our setlist when we debut them live at our November 9th release party," he says. "We’ll try to keep a straight face when we debut 'The Chipmunk Song' and 'Dominick The Donkey' to our live audiences.”

All sales of the album, as well as a portion of Four Seasons’ drink profits, during the release show will be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.

“For our holiday album, we wanted to contribute something positive to the community," says Urick. "In the spirit of Christmas, we wanted to do something that would benefit children. We believe that every child should have a happy holiday season. So, when we were thinking about organizations that benefit children in need, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation was obviously our top choice because of the excellent care that they help provide to sick kids.”

Neon Swing asks a $5 minimum donation (cash only) to the Children’s Hospital Foundation at the party in exchange for a physical CD. For those that want the album in digital form or cannot attend the release party, it will be available at most download and streaming sites and other retailers such as CD Baby. Additionally, the band has launched a website to donate to the Children’s Hospital Foundation via non-cash methods.

Neon Swing X-perience "O Howly Night" release.
Sat., Nov. 9. 8-11 p.m. Four Seasons Brewing Company & Pub, 745 Lloyd Ave., Latrobe.

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