Thursday, March 29, 2007

JohnsCDs 2006-0162-015 - Santa's On The Download (2-CD)

To use a familiar quote: "Opportunity knocks, but doesn't always answer to its name." In this case, thy name is Martin Johns.

For some time, I've been trying to find a comp that would not only showcase its music but also its dynamic artwork / liner notes that Martin puts just as much energy into creating.

I wasn't sure if I'd find the right comp until this this 2-CD set came along. It's the second double disc set that Martin had sent to me; the first being the "Holiday Festival Of Music".

This set also came without a track listing - Martin had printed extensive liner notes with the year of release and web links of each song - what I've been doing all along in my track reviews!

Therefore, there's not much to type any more (cue the wild cheering and enthusiastic applause). Here is Martin's special insight about this comp... better known as...


Free Internet Downloads! It started innocently enough. Mistletunes posted a link to the J. Geils download. Dr. Jim pointed me to Poco. I found Roger McGuinn. Then I thought, "let's see what else is out there." What I found was the cutting edge of the modern Indie scene, podcasts, mp3 blogs, and free Internet downloads.

Like the Sharity community, every place you land leads you to ten more sites. By the end of February 2006, I'd downloaded over 30 CDs of Christmas songs, almost all of which were licensed by Creative Commons (legal to download, copy and share). Some of it was godawful, of course, but the vast majority was wonderful.

I wanted to comp this segment of the Indie scene and soon had a 2 CD demo prepared. At a loss for graphics, I reached out to one of my "subscribers" (Kathy Adamchak) who I know to be very talented, gave her the general idea, and she readily agreed to help out. It's the only time I've done that, but I'd certainly like to use more original artwork in the future (anybody out there feeling creative?).

Few changes were made from the original demo, though I stumbled upon "Christmas Rhapsody" just as I was getting ready to run the CD off, and I had to make some adjustments.


(Click on any image to enlarge)


(Click on any image to enlarge)

I am CaptainOT and I approve of this 2-CD set! I can't add anything else to it - Martin's done it all on this one!

My keyboard thanks you profusely Martin!

UP NEXT: JohnsCDs 2006-0263-011 - So Much Vinyl, So Little Time 'Til Christmas



Ernie said...

Isn't it cheating when you don't actually post a review???

stubbysfears said...

Hey, give the guy a break!

The only analogy I can think of is running a 26 mile marathon where the last 5 miles are uphill. 2 months, 2 weeks, 2 a day...

Anonymous said...

Dear "Capt"

I buzzing around the internet tonight, doing a little searching for my long lost joys - while searching for "Peter Cotton Claus" I came across your blog on the song and Alex Houston.

First your comment "their carrer spanned 50 years" is inaccurate Mr. Capt - for your information Alex and Elmer are still performing to this day!

As for your comment ' they really, REALLY tried to push the title track of this album down your throat" - apparently it wasn't pushed hard enough! I am the one and only "wait peter cotton claus wait for me". And, oddly enough, pretty proud!

I find it amazing reading blogs and other instruments that people write on the internet, especially when I have direct knowledge of their stupidity. Your "i think it would have sounded better (if such thing is possible) if he recorded them separately" ... "ventriloquist's tight-lippedness". Your joking right? First, is tight-lippedness a word? I don't claim to be the brightest crayon in the box but I don't think it is?

The song is wonderful and meant to be nothing more than it is. A wonderful childrens song. That's all.

While it was the only time I've ever had the "lead" in anything it was a wonderful time for Alex, Elmer and all of my childhood friends that sang along!

May you find more joy and laughter Capt! Renee Durham

stubbysfears said...


For any researchers, completists, musical historians or musicologists who stumble upon this Yuleblog entry in the future...

While going through the stack of Holiday CDs I acquired in 2007 that I'd yet to listen to, I discovered that, contrary to my liner notes, Sea Navy's "The Truth About Christmas" (Disc One, Track 13) is actually from 2002. It was on an Indie comp out of Massachusettes on Eskimo Laboratories called "This Is Christmas". This was a purchase through one of the artists' websites (he's now in Harry and the Potters, I think). That should be enough info to google the thing up.

Not that anybody really needed to know that. But I do like to be accurate...for the researchers, completists, etc, etc.

CaptainOT said...

Renee Durham - I just found your comment today (01/17/08) and want to thank you for adding your two cents regarding my honest opinion about this album.

I'm sorry I don't know as much about this album as you. In fact, I'm sure you are probably THE expert since this album is so obscure.

If you indeed were the voice on "Here Comes Peter CottonClaus", then congrats on peaking at such a young age.

I would have loved to have discovered more about the album (recording dates, any funny stories, etc), Alex Houston, Elmer, and the like.

But with comments like "especially when I have direct knowledge of their stupidity" aimed at me, I'm not sure I want to know.

Did Alex Houston record these songs in one take? Did he have Elmer on his lap the entire time? Did Elmer have his own microphone?

How hard would it have been to record both parts separately? We're listening to a ventriloquist on a record - no one's gonna see his lips move!

Miss Durham, you ended your comment wishing me "more joy and laughter". Trust me, replying to your original comments have given me just that.

I hope at some point you can take a step back and see the humor about all of this.