Christmas Carols Come Alive as Classic Rock Songs - New CD of Ingenious Arrangements of the Most Loved Carols in Styles such as the Ventures, Byrds, Who, Beatles, etc.

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Christmas Carols rearranged Rock-style

A master of rock 'n' roll, Frank Lee Sprague is quickly becoming a master of Christmas music as well. Hot on the heels of last year's Merry Merseybeat Christmas, comes two further Christmas albums, "Merry Christmas, Traditional Carols Arranged as Traditional Rock Songs!" and "Merry Merseybeat Christmas - instrumental".

Peek in the stocking or rummage under the tree for a spectacularly fab package of Christmas cheer. Joy to the world! The always hard working and dedicated Frank Lee Sprague returns in 2007 with his latest yuletide classic, "Merry Christmas, Traditional Carols Arranged as Traditional Rock Songs!" What do some of the most cherished Christmas carols of all time have in common with rock 'n' roll? Only a year after his highly regarded Merry Merseybeat Christmas, Frank Lee Sprague went back into the recording studio aiming to find out. What emerged was a song selection both spiritual and playful, a celebratory homage to some of Frank's favorite music and musical styles. Listen closely for snatches of familiar songs, from "Thank You Girl" by the Beatles, to "Mr. Tambourine Man" as done by the Byrds, from "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis, to "Love Reign O'er Me" by the Who.

The album opens with the lovely and timeless "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," by Johann Sebastian Bach, ingeniously rearranged as an instrumental in the style of the Ventures. There are several other instrumental standouts here, including an intense, pounding "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" in which Frank manages to quote from Dick Dale's "Miserlou," and the Chantays' "Pipeline," while ending with the brooding coda from Bobby Fuller's "The Chase."

Noted for his mastery of British Invasion styles, Frank pays tribute to the Liverpool beat of the Swinging Bluejeans on "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem," the intricate harmonies of the Hollies on "Away in a Manger," and even takes us for a romp with the Beatles via the "Hard Day's Night" style "O Christmas Tree."

"Jingle Bells" will never quite sound the same once you hear Frank's frantically rocking reinvention of "Jingle Bells" as a piano pumping Jerry Lee Lewis stomper straight out of Sun Records. "O Come All Ye Faithful" captures some ringing Byrdsian 12 string electric guitar magic along with a chorus straight out of "Turn Turn Turn." Special guest Randy Fuller of the Bobby Fuller Four joins Frank for a rollicking "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," arranged to sound like Bobby Fuller's 1966 hit version of Buddy Holly's "Love's Made a Fool of You."

"Merry Christmas, Traditional Carols Arranged as Traditional Rock Songs!" closes with a surf instrumental interpretation of Handel's "The Messiah." This remarkable version is a stunning example of Frank's ability to pay respectful tribute to a familiar melody, while creating a fresh and original arrangement. "The Messiah" quotes from "Mr. Moto" by the Belairs, and demonstrates once again Frank's fluid, brilliant lead guitar playing. Throughout, Chris Sprague's incredible drumming adds to the musical brilliance of this milestone L.P.

In 2006, Frank released his fan-favorite "Merry Merseybeat Christmas". Beginning in 1963, the Beatles recorded an annual Christmas record for their fans, but they never released an entire album of Christmas songs, nor did any other Liverpool or British Invasion group. With Merry Merseybeat Christmas, Frank Lee Sprague made up for lost time via a cornucopia of self-penned, harmony-filled gems. From start to finish, the album brims with shimmering melodies and richly textured singing, a heartfelt tribute to both Christmas and the well-loved Merseybeat sound, a style Frank mastered on his popular, widely acclaimed albums, Merseybeat and Cavern.

Creative inspiration comes in many forms, sometimes striking with the lightning speed of a southbound express train. That's what happened to Frank Lee Sprague when song after song came to him until, incredibly, within only one day he had composed a stocking-full of Christmas songs.

As a treat for his fans, this year Frank decided to revisit Merry Merseybeat Christmas and produce an instrumental version. While utilizing the original backing tracks, Frank recorded new lead parts which replace the vocals. A master of many instruments, Frank played guitar, keyboards and horns as lead instruments. To create a festive Christmas feel, Frank added sleigh bells and glockenspiel among other instruments. Far from background music, these haunting melodies stand out as wondrous and unforgettable examples of Frank's compositional skills.

Frank Lee Sprague loves Christmas. Frank Lee Sprague loves rock 'n' roll. These three wonderful albums are a delicious and delectable taste of both - untie the ribbon, rip open the paper and please open this package first. Like candy, you can't just have one - play them all!

Known for his unparalleled ability to synthesize authentic rock 'n' roll styles into his own West Texas imprint, Frank Lee Sprague's work has wowed reviewers in Rolling Stone, Playboy, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and many other magazines and newspapers. He has appeared on CBS nationwide television and National Public Radio, and performed live around the world, including several successful tours of Japan. Over the last few years, this charismatic songwriter and musician has recorded and released the critically acclaimed albums, "Merseybeat", "Cavern", "Merry Merseybeat Christmas" and "Fulton Avenue", while also revered by fans for his long-time work as leader of the fabulous rock 'n' roll duo, the Sprague Brothers.

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LEE HOLLEY

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