A couple weeks ago, we wrote about a local label Rose and Arrow Records, who was set to put out its first release, a holiday compilation called "Christmas Is Still Christmas" in Dec. 1. And with the first day of December a happening to fall on a Wednesday, we thought this would be a great time to devote our weekly Feature Listens segment to getting folks in the holiday spirit with a couple of tracks off of the album.
Check out the offerings from these great local acts below and go buy the full album at Bandcamp featuring other great acts from across S.C. including The Restoration, American Gun, Wrath of Athens and more.
Also, we're looking for more local holiday tunes to feature throughout the month of December so if you know of any local folks with Christmas music to share contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply upload your song to us here.
Benajmin Coy "In the Bleak Midwinter"
Coy, a local singer-songwriter, plays an acoustic blend of folk and americana music with a decidedly Christian feel that is a perfect fit for the spirit of the season.
His version of this turn-of-the-century carol is a soft acoustic tune with with some great vocal harmonies which highlight the minimalistic approach.
For more music from Coy, check out his new album called "Run Through My Heart" which released in November and can be downloaded for free via his website www.benjamincoy.com.
Though the band is one indefinite hiatus and some of its members have gone on to form American Parts — who was featured in last week's column and also appears on the compilation — their music still appears alive and well here.
"Bethlehem" is a great rock instrumental which features significantly heavier guitars and parts than your average Christmas tune while still keeping a holiday vibe with a wintry sound and tolling bells.
Click here for a free download of American Parts new EP "The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend"
Rocky Fretz "Christmas Song"
Though this track isn't part of the compilation mentioned above, we thought we couldn't kick off Christmas in Myrtle Beach without Rocky Fretz, a local music icon who has wowed many with his piano stylings as part of the Carolina Opry for many years. Though he left in 2003 to pursue a solo career outside of the show scene, he has stayed close and still performed with the Opry during the holiday season for the past few seasons.
"Christmas Song" is a recent release from Fretz who is giving the track out for free to thank his fans for their support over the years. Here's a snippet from his blog:
To show my appreciation for joining my fanlist and street team and the prayer, thoughts, cd purchases, and for coming to the shows and following and sharing me and my music on Facebook ....everythng ya'll do...here is a free download just for the list. You have to be a fan to download this but still feel free to share the link so maybe others will join as well.