Strasburg Concert

Big Boy Brass performs in Strasburg Community Park Saturday, July 25, 2020.

Just in time for the holidays, one of Lancaster County's busiest bands is dropping covers of two excellent Christmas classics.

Between outdoor performances and teaching virtual music lessons, Big Boy Brass released "Holiday Sessions Volume 1" featuring a version of Donny Hathaway's eternal "This Christmas," along with "Big Bulbs" by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings.

The EP can be listened to on Spotify, Apple Music and the band's Bandcamp page.

"We always wanted to record a Christmas album, especially one that was recorded live on stage in front of an audience," says Big Boy percussionist Matthew Woodson. "But due to venues being shut down, we came up with the idea of releasing a yearly short EP."

As a band known for virtuoso instrumental solos, the members asked guest vocalists to sit in. "Big Bulbs" features singers Mary Kate Hughes and Kelly Milligan, while "This Christmas" finds Ian Sanchez, who also records music under the name PINK i, harmonizing with himself to a beautiful result.

In the unfortunate spirit of this particular season, Sanchez wasn't able to record his part with the band, so he simply arranged and recorded his parts at home and sent it to the band afterwards.

"I decided it was better to try and setup something at home - in my closet," Sanchez says. "Connor let me use his USB mic, as I have no proper tools for music producing at home. I spent 48 hours working on this and it has been some of my favorite hours of the year."

Rounding out the players on the release are Zach Prowse and Vincent Shickora on trumpet, Dominic Mascaro and Michael Kaplan on trombone, Nick Franks and Paul Berry on saxophone, Sam Yoder on guitar, Connor Devlin on the sousaphone and Matthew Woodson on percussion.

What to Read Next