About A Merry Little Christmas by Barry Coates
Rich Eames is one of my oldest friends and we’ve been playing music together for almost three decades now. He is such a great piano player, buddy and just an incredible musician. We were both working with The Pointer Sisters when I first had the idea to make a christmas record. I guess it was the mid 80’s when we started recording some of these songs but we never finished so each year or so, we added a few more. The record was never released but instead became part of our own family christmas collection and friends that heard it always wanted more copies. So finally after all these years it’s here on CDBaby for you and your family to enjoy . Thanks for listening and God Bless.
All these songs have a special place in my heart. “The First Noel” was a song I won a talent contest with playing guitar in grammar school. Our version of “Silent Night” was played over the phone to Chet Atkins by a friend who loved the song and wanted Chet to hear it. Chet’s remark was “that sounds like me”. “Let it Snow” was a close friend’s favorite christmas song out of 100’s he had put together in a personal christmas collection. “Good King Wenceslas” still can get me misty eyed because it was my fathers favorite and most likely mine too. One not so favorite arrangement that Rich did of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” has become a favorite though when I first heard it, I thought it was pretty whacky.
I had a dream not to long ago that I was in a house on a mountain looking out the window at night. There were no lights on but the view was tremendous with millions of stars in the night sky. It was the most beautiful sight and as I was alone looking out over this incredible view and feeling so at peace I started hearing Silent Night in the background. It was a wonderful feeling and I thank God it hasn’t left me yet......
With his melodic, but expressive, approach, guitarist and synthesizer player Barry Coates has evolved into a highly sought after session player. His resume includes tours with the Pointer Sisters, Angela Bofill, Willie Bobo, John Klemmer, and Engelbert Humperdink. As a member of Japanese keyboardist/composer, Kitaro’s band, he toured the world twice and was featured on the live album, Live in America, released in 1991.
Coates has fared equally well on his own. His music was heard in such films as Dead Bang, Partners in Crime, and Fatal Attraction, and on television shows including Two on the Town, Eye on Hollywood, Partners in Crime, the Weather Channel and Playboy After Dark.
Together with his band Barry Coates & the Hats, Coates recorded two impressive albums- Because I Love You and Move Like A Dancer. He collaberated, on his third album, The Spirit Within, with bass player Jimmy Haslip of the Yellowjackets. Their compositions can be heard on The Spirit Within CD as well as Luis Conte’s/ Black Forest (a must have percussionist CD) and the Yellowjackets/ The Spin. In 2003 Warner Bros published Jimmy and Barry’s guitar and bass instruction books titled Ultimate Play Along/Just Classic Jazz.