WINNER - Best International Folk Song, "Evergreens," 2008 Toronto Exclusive Magazine Awards
Brothers Skip and Randy Friel have released a 16-track album of fresh holiday music called “Evergreen Christmas.” The Virginia Beach based musicians mix a variety of fun seasonal classics such as “Mary Had a Baby” with six originals. “What Child is This?” is redone as a cool, retro, jazzy ditty, and “We Wish You” twangs with acoustic elements of Americana. A Mississippi blues treatment is given to “Deck the Halls,” and “Run Rudolf Run” scrambles and jumps rockabilly style. Skip’s “Evergreens” is a treat.
--- Jeff Maisey, Virginian-Pilot, Dec. 5th, 2008
"Virginia Beach songwriter Skip Friel teamed with his brother Randy Friel on "Evergreen Christmas" a 16-track collection of Yuletide favorites and new holiday tunes. Skip's own "True Santa," arrives alongside fresh takes on classics such as "What Child is This?" and "Deck the Halls." A highlight is Randy's tune "The Little Ones" which describes a kid's wide-eyed wonder as the band pumps out good-time, '60s-style rock 'n' roll."
--- Sam McDonald, The Daily Press, Dec. 4th, 2008
Press Release: Nov. 1, 2008
VIRGINIA BEACH based musicians Skip and Randy Friel are pleased to announce the release of Evergreen Christmas, a dynamically resonant collection of original and traditional songs they hope will become enduring holiday classics. The album will be available for purchase after its Dec. 1 release date.
Evergreen Christmas is a delightful blend of traditional holiday songs, contemporary folk, classic blues/rock, with a sprinkling of gospel and jazz. “Skip comes from an acoustic folk/rock point of view. I do my mash up of blues and jazz and together we meet in the middle,” said Randy. The vocal harmonies of the brothers are the musical centerpiece, as well as the common thread of each song performed in the holiday spirit. “There’s something unique about the sound of brothers singing together,” notes Randy. “The Everly Brothers and the Beach Boys each had a unique sound. I hear that same quality when listening to Skip and I; it’s that cool brotherly sound when we sing harmony.”
Meticulously woven over the course of a year, the album was recorded in Randy’s New Jersey studio and in Virginia Beach. The 16-track collection features six originals penned by the brothers and some new twists to a few Christmas classics. It offers an organic palette of acoustic and electric instruments fused with richly textured voices. “Each genre flows seamlessly from one offering to the next,” said Skip. “Our latest collaboration truly reflects the diversity and versatility of both our musical backgrounds,” he continued.
Evergreen Christmas is the follow-up to Virginia Beach musician Skip’s award-winning album, Twilight Red Sky, also produced by Randy. The release of the holiday album coincides with Randy’s return to Virginia Beach after nearly 30 years away working as a musician, producer and recording engineer. Randy is the founder of New Moon Music, an independent record label specializing in blues and roots music by southern artists. Initially launched in Chapel Hill, NC, New Moon Music also developed a client base in New Jersey and opened a studio there. The move to Virginia Beach will enable Randy to continue performing and working with musicians from a more central East Coast location.
The new holiday album will be available for purchase at www.cdbaby.com Dec. 1. Visit www.myspace.com/frielbros for song previews, lyrics, photos, a listing of the talented musical supporting cast, and more.