Westchester All Stars and Friends – Christmas for Wounded Veterans Volume 2
Produced by Bill Edwards
CD: 15 songs; 55:23 Minutes
Styles: Blues Rock, Christmas Pop, Rap
During our holiday festivities, let’s definitely remember those who serve our country in the Armed Forces, especially if they’ve been wounded doing so. Such is executive producer Bill Edwards’ aim in “Christmas for Wounded Veterans Volume 2.” It features fifteen snow-fresh tracks and seventeen artists, as seen in the liner notes. The most famous of these are probably New York Yankee great Bernie Williams, Eden Riegal of “All My Children,” and guitarist Earl Slick, who played with David Bowie and John Lennon. All proceeds from this album, as well as those from the live concert on December 6th in New York, will go to wounded veterans’ organizations. The Westchester All Stars and their friends have gone all out to celebrate this month’s best holiday, and to that end, they’ve provided highly-energetic selections!
The catchiest of these are “Santa Gonna Fly,” a rock-and-roll powerhouse ballad from Bill Edwards, Vaneese Thomas’ poignant “Make Every Day like Christmas,” and the tongue-in-cheek “Twelve Santa Babies” by Dave Keyes and Duchess Di. Rap fans will get a surefire kick out of track number eight, “Love and Family,” although blues fans might not. Nevertheless, its viral chorus will give you an earworm as a present. Featured ensemble bands are Stolen Moments, the Barnstormers, and the Renovators. Everyone, whether a solo musician or a member of a band, is in the sincere spirit of the season.
“On behalf of all the great artists that took part this year, I ask you to support our troops, pray for the wounded, and bless the ones that have fallen and their families,” asks Bill Edwards in the album’s liner notes. Its cover provides an even more direct request: “Hate war, but love the American warrior.” Truer words were never spoken, and this reviewer hopes that the holidays will find our soldiers safe and sound. If not, may their memory comfort those who mourn them, and may their spirits find peace.
Season’s greetings and all the best in the New Year from Rainey Wetnight!