December 14, 2015

Merry Christmas from The Claes4 - 2015 Edition

Merry Christmas from The Claes4 - 2015 Edition

For the 14th year in a row BoysenClaes Productions brings you our annual Christmas CD. These are bands/songs we’ve heard over the last 12 months that have struck us as something we think you (and the world) should hear. It is our hope each year that you listen to the music, find something you enjoy, and buy some of their music. 

Merry Christmas and enjoy.
- The Claes4 and Towdah

1.    I Heard the Bells - Terri Hendrix (

Jodie: Terri Hendrix is one of the nicest humans and most talented musicians you will ever meet.  She can always say through lyric and melody what I can’t.

2.    Budapest - George Ezra (

Sean: I heard this song on the drive back to Texas from Ohio. Every now and then a song jumps out at you as something special. This one did that for me. Ezra is a 22 year-old singer-songwriter from the UK.

3.    Break Your Heart - Calico The Band (

Jodie: I caught this song on Sun Radio and I love the style of it-swingy, storytelling and great harmonies.

4.    Medicine Man - Blue Water Highway Band (

Sean: I’ve been watching this band grow as a cohesive Americana band for the last few years. I really think this home grown Kyle band has a chance to make it to the next level. They definitely have the talent and songwriting chops.

5.    You Are Able – Cedars (

Marlee: I heard this song in 2015 at church camp at Mount Wesley. They were the musicians during camp. I liked every song they played (Cedars is the praise band at Gruene United Methodist Church) but this was my favorite.

6.    Reasons Why - Nickel Creek (

Jodie: This song is 13 years old but it still sounds fresh.  Chris Thile, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins have been playing together since the late 80’s…literally they were children when they started to play together. I love their work together but I’m really enjoying their work individually. 

7.    It's The Little Things - Matt The Electrician (

Sean: Matt The Electrician is one of my favorite Austin-based singer-songwriters and performers. He turns simple words into poetry and poetry into music.

8.    AM Radio - Drew Kennedy (

Sean: Drew Kennedy headlined the United Way Flood Benefit show Concerts For A Cause did at Central Texas Speedway in Kyle in July. There were only a handful of people there at that time…and we got treated to one of the most amazing, stripped down shows I’ve ever witnessed. AMAZING musician and beautiful person to boot.

9.    Mean To Me - Brett Eldredge (

Sean: Somewhere in Tennessee this song came on the radio while I was driving through. It made me think of Jodie…thanks to the Shazam App I was able to find out who this guy is. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this Illinois-based musician.

10. Rosa Lee - Northern Quarters (

Sean: This is from the Austin band’s Debut release Transient Times and if this is any indication, they are going to be around for a good time. Hope to see them at a future Old Settler’s.

11. Take Me Away – AirCargo (

Sean: I ran into Randy Collier (1994-2007 OSMF President) at Old Settler’s Music Festival this year and he handed my a copy of Air Cargo’s album Years which was recorded while member Ray Cargo was fighting pancreatic cancer. It was completed to both celebrate and memorialize his music. Cargo passed away in April 2014.

12. Winterlude - Joe Ely (

Jodie: Joe Ely was born in Amarillo, grew up in Lubbock, and has played with everyone from the Clash and Bruce Springsteen, including Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock as the Flatlanders.  Does that sound like a little bit of music history to you?  Well, it should because Joe Ely can play anything with anyone.

13. El Cuchipe - Los Lobos (

Sean: Those who have been getting our Christmas CD know I’m a HUGE Los Lobos fan… and I place at least one song performed in Spanish in every one of these. This is one of my favorites from the band from East LA.

14. Shame on Me - Ty Curtis (

Sean: This CD came across the INsite desk this month. I didn’t give it much thought when I popped it in, but I was pleasantly surprised. This guy has a little Ian Moore and Jonny Lang in him… and he’s a recent transplant from Oregon to Austin.

15. Pretty Penny - Stone Temple Pilots (

Sean: While getting ready to put this CD together we heard the news of Scott Weiland (best known as lead vocalist of STP) passing away. I wish he was able to beat his demons. I wish he’d be there for his children. I wish he’d walked away from performing and walked into sobriety. His talent will be missed.

16. T (Track 9) - '68 (

Sean: I photographed the Van’s Warped Tour last year and all of my photographer friends said I needed to check out ’68. They are a 2 piece (guitar & drums) metal/rock band. This song gives a glimpse into them. My favorite song on their debut album is the first one… but that was a bit too hard for this Christmas CD.

17. Red White And Blue - Brad Dunn Band (

Sean: Another artist that donated his time to Concerts For A Cause this year. I dig the tongue in cheek humor of this track… and the entire album is good rock’n Country.

18. Maybe If I Might - The Longbox (

Sean: “Your hair is longer now.”
Marlee: “I know right? It’s really growing!”
Sean: “It’s the main thing that reminds me I haven’t seen you in awhile.”
Marlee: “Huh?”
Cue first line of the song.
Marlee: “You’re a horrible person, dad.”
Sean: “hee hee hee”

19. Born Is The King (It's Christmas) – Hillsong United (

Jodie: Hillsong is a large Christian band that has a sound like no one else.  Maybe their sound is so distinct because of their rotating line-up. From this multi-layered Christmas song to “Oceans,” one of my favorite songs of the last few years, I always know when Hillsong is the on the radio.

20. When There's No One Around / Will The Circle Be Unbroken - Tim O'Brien w/ Darrell Scott (

Sean: Darrell Scott is my favorite singer-songwriter…hands down. This 2-song track is a live duet with his sometimes singing partner (and equally accomplished musician) Tim O’Brien. Gives me the chills that that much talent can come from one person.

You may download this album for a small window of time at