Friday, December 16, 2011

Have a Warm and Fuzzy Cartoon Christmas

Rob Swanson, Jackie Browne and Jeff Knoettner
'Tis the season for Christmas shows, all striving to capture that magic feeling that comes once a year. Few shows pull it off with as little packaging as The Cartoon Christmas Trio. For their 30 minute set, part of the Market Street Music Noontime Concert Series at First & Central Presbyterian Church, it was just three guys and their instruments -- no costumes, no glitz, no decorations. None of that is needed -- within the first strains of Vince Guaraldi's  "Skating," it's Christmas.

If you haven't heard Guaraldi's famous Christmas pieces, commissioned for the classic 1965 "A Charlie Brown Christmas" TV special, live and in person, it's worth experiencing. The Trio plays the songs just as they were written, giving audiences a dose of nostalgia and a certain appreciation for the music that may have gotten lost when watching the special as a child. When the Trio play it, it's anything buck background music: It's everything.

In addition to the Guaraldi songs, The Cartoon Christmas Trio does other songs from classic Christmas TV specials. At First & Central, they did a song from "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" with a jazz edge. The full concert includes songs from "Frosty The Snowman," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and others.

If you missed The Cartoon Christmas Trio at First and Central or their first Iron Hill Brewery shows, there's still a chance to catch them before this holiday season is a memory: They'll be playing the Iron Hill in Newark on Monday, December 19, and The Iron Hill in Wilmington on Wednesday, December 21. For a complete calendar of their remaining shows in the area, click here.

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