Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Colin Gawel gives us all a reason to still love Christmas

A few weeks ago when Terry Anderson of the Yayhoos came to town for a show at the Beachland Ballroom, I finally had the opportunity to see Colin Gawel (front man for the longtime Columbus rockers Watershed) perform. Prior to his acoustic opening set, I was talking to ATV friend Bill Stone (also on that night's bill with his project Sky Dragster) when Gawel came walking over. Bill asked me, "Matt, do you know Colin?" "Hi, I'm Colin," Gawel replied as he pressed a copy of his new holiday EP Still Love Christmas into my hand.

After the show, I began my drive home with Still Love Christmas in the CD player and listened to all four songs. And then I listened to them again, knowing very well that there were many listens still ahead in the days to come. Right off the bat, Gawel delivered a curve ball with the opening title track.  It's one of those songs that seems obvious based on the title, but when you hear the lyrics, the story that is told is something completely different.

At the Beachland show, I think Gawel described his approach to Christmas music as being less traditional and more "beer on the back porch kind of stuff," and that was welcome news to these ears.  Within "Still Love Christmas," the song, you hear the story of a guy and a girl. The girl books out-of-town leaving the guy all alone to pick up the pieces of his broken heart and as far as how the rest of it works out, well, like the encyclopedia guy used to say, "read the book," or in this case, listen to the song!

In the short duration of the EP, you'll find similar emotional struggles, all bound together with faint threads of hope and during "Cold Weather," there's even a nice shot not-so-subtly directed at Mr. Lebron James (and I love the Weezery keyboards!). Gawel creates pop-infused rock tunes that anyone will love, carried gently by his Westerberg-esque vocals and folks here in the Buckeye State will especially appreciate the Ohio-centric references scattered throughout the lyrics.  If it's good to leave 'em wanting more, Still Love Christmas is one such volume that demands a sequel. For now, if you've been looking for something fresh to add to your collection of holiday music, I think you'll find that Still Loves Christmas is 5 bucks well spent.

Now, Mr. Gawel, how about a full album of tunes?

You can listen to the entire release using the player below.

Also, check out the brand spankin' new video for "Still Love Christmas," filmed earlier this month in Columbus at the Rumba Room.

  • judd6149

    Each xmas season I am looking for something fresh christmas music wise. “Beer ont he back porch” and “weezery-keyboards” sounds ripe and ready for me to dig into. Aside from the vocals, this has a touch of the Bottle Rockets in it. This may not be a caroling favorite by the local choirs, but its getting spins in my place this weekend. Thanks.

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  • Matt

    Yeah, Bottle Rockets…good call (and I love them too, by the way!). I like that this is a holiday EP, but you can definitely listen to most of it year round without getting strange looks. Perhaps it would be better termed as a “cold weather” EP.

  • Anonymous

    On my second full listen now. Thanks, Matt!

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