Holiday CD features Lamont musicians getting in the spirit
December 5, 2011
By: Greg Glasgow
When the members of Denver-based rock band Opie Gone Bad started making a list of local musicians they wanted to join them on their new Opie Gone Christmas CD, they immediately thought of two Lamont School of Music faculty members: classical guitar instructor Masa Ito and jazz piano instructor Eric Gunnison.
“When we started thinking about doing this album last summer, we wanted to include all the Denver people that are active in the music scene, and Masa’s name came up right away,” says Opie Gone Bad guitarist Randy Chavez, who attended the Lamont School from 1977–78. “And I’ve known Eric probably for 25 years. He’s a world-caliber musician, and I play in a fusion band with him called Wake-Up Call.”
All proceeds from the all-star album — which also includes appearances by Lannie Garrett, Chris Daniels, Hazel Miller and Dotsero, among others — go to 9Cares Colorado Shares, a 9News-based charity that helps stock local food banks.
Gunnison plays on two tracks: a version of “Hang Up Your Stocking,” featuring vocals from Danielle Anderson of Danielle Ate the Sandwich; and a take on Frank Loesser’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” featuring jazz singer Miller duetting with Opie frontman Jake Schroeder. Ito plays on two tracks as well: “Edelweiss,” featuring vocals by Denver first lady Mary Louise Lee, and “Silent Night.”
“We ended up doing two songs together because we had such a ball on one we decided to do a second one,” says Chavez, who recorded most of the album in his home studio.
Also contributing to Opie Gone Christmas is Denver a cappella group Urban Method, which recently finished third on NBC’s competition show “The Sing-Off.” Urban Method — whose lineup includes DU sophomore voice major Katie Turley — sang on the album’s final track, Jackie DeShannon’s “Put A Little Love in Your Heart.” And local rocker John Common, who performed at TEDxDU in May 2011, sings on Opie Gone Bad’s version of “Blue Christmas.”
Opie Gone Christmas is available at Denver-area King Soopers stores. It also is available online at iTunes.