As a full-time musician, Richard Knechtel has played many Christmas events and as Dickie Bird (his nickname for kids’ performances), he has entertained thousands of children at Christmas parties.
He has long thought about recording a Christmas album. Not only had he developed a large repertoire of seasonal favourites, but he’d written a substantial collection of Yuletide songs. It was only a matter of time before he added a Christmas release to his portfolio. Little did he realize that two albums were in the making.
“My plan going in was to have a Christmas record that the whole family could listen to” he explains. “Include some standards along with my own songs. I’ve got lots of fun tunes for kids and I love the grace of the vintage Christmas material. I thought they could all go together but as we got into recording the songs, it became abundantly clear that we had two albums to make – a smooth sounding one for adults to enjoy and a lively, engaging one for kids. We went from 12 or 13 songs to 26!”
So two albums were born! It’s Christmas Time with Dickie Bird is a rollicking musical adventure that will have children in stitches while Anticipating Christmas is warm and cozy – the perfect musical compliment for the Holiday Season.
Children will love singing along with It’s Christmas Time. Lively and engagingly funny, the happy themes will entertain them for hours. There’s lots to do - helping to count all the reindeer and ho, ho, ho’ing just like Santa. A kitten is up the tree, snow is blowing and Santa is cleaning out the chimney. Every one of the twelve songs on this CD is a winner!
For Anticipating Christmas, Richard wrote three songs clearly showcasing his strong songwriting abilities. He also penned the emotive instrumental piece entitled Winter Walk. There is an arrangement of I Saw Three Ships plus well-loved standards I’ll be Home for Christmas, Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland and The Christmas Song (Chestnuts). One the stand out tracks is Richard’s take on Blue Christmas, a song written in the late 1940’s but popularized by Elvis Presley. Knechtel’s version puts a whole new spin on a Christmas classic.
Both albums have a genuine quality to them. With his warm distinctive voice and solid rhythm guitar, Knechtel captures the spirit of Christmas. Jubilant and evocative, these two Christmas recordings will be treasured by listeners of all ages.