My Memories of Christmas

Rick Diaz and His Band of Thieves po-40-MemoriesChristmas Christmas Medley:

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Rick Diaz  - Vocals, Acoustic, Nylon, Electric Guitars, percussion Jon Hasz -Acoustic, Electric, Nylon guitars, Bass, Mandolin/String Programming Don Wiseman - Drums, Percussion Rex Havoc – Drums Percussion Tripp SpragueSax/ Harmonica Sharon Whyte-Piano, keyboards, Organ, Accordion Ethan Brown- Piano Steve Baker- Piano/String Programming Background Vocals- Ashley Foster, Samantha Moroney/ Danielle Tucker, Sharon Whyte Violins – Jenny Flynn - Chris Vitas Cello – Stephen Flynn Samantha Moroney - Duet on Merry Christmas From Tahoe, Christmas in Starlight Danielle Tucker-Duet on: FelizNavidad JR Guernsey - String Arrangement on Merry Christmas From Tahoe Produced by Rick Diaz and Jon Hasz For Tahoe City Productions Engineered by Jon Hasz Recorded at After Hours Studio in Ramona, CA Mastered by Paul Abbott/ Zen Mastering Everyone has a favorite song for different reasons. What’s important is that it touches your heart. Away in A Manger, Blue Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Silent Night, Winter Wonderland, have always held a special place in my heart over the years. It was hard to narrow it down to these five. I hope you enjoy our take on them! 21930896_1474411029318355_1790015472_o Talk about a labor of love! I would like to thank each, and everyone,of my musicians and singers for giving me their all. Danielle, we could give Michael Buble and Thalia a run for their money. Thanks Maricela, for helping her with the phrasing. Sam, Tahoe now has its very own Christmas song! We will get free goodies, at the Starbucks in Tahoe City! Lol! JR thanks for the beautiful string arrangement, you made it dance! Thanks to James Burton for the idea of The Elvis Elf! To you the listener, it is my sincerest wish that you find as much joy and entertainment as we did recording these songs. I hope you enjoy our take on some of your old favorites. The new ones well, I hope that someday they will become some of your favorites. I am so blessed to be able to do the things I dreamed about as a young boy growing up in Paradise Hills, California. There are more songs to write, and shows to do. Thanks to Little Jon, and Paul Abbott for making us sound so good. Taylor Guitars, Ovation Guitars, Fender Guitars.( Ramona Music Center, Guitar Center, Alans Music, Moze Guitars of La Mesa, CA) JustStrings.com, for taking care of our needs. Bill Kingman of Lake Tahoe for always plugging my music. KRLT/ KOWL in Lake Tahoe for years of support. It all began in Tahoe for me, my heart is never far away! Finally, I would like to dedicate this album to the memory of Glen Campbell. My big brother, friend, and inspiration! You were there when my journey began, and will be inmy heart where ever I go! Thanks Glen for all the beautiful memories! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! God bless each, and everyone, of you! Love, Rick December, 2017 21952309_1474414892651302_733527655_o 21908914_1474413829318075_98228599_oimg_0200 My Memories of Christmas Wow! It’s still summer and I’m writing liner notes for a Christmas CD. Lol! Anyone, that knows me would tell you that this is my favorite time of the year! Coming from a multicultural background, Christmas would mean plenty of homemade tamales, lasagna, cherry cobbler, mountain berry pies, and of late the roasted pine nuts that was a staple of the Washoe tribe in Lake Tahoe. Either way you look it, it’s a time of celebration! Christmas to me is so much more than receiving gifts. It’s more of putting a smile on a loved one’s face, let’s go beyond that a complete stranger! We are all related in the eyes of God our creator. I can remember going to midnight mass at St. Michaels Catholic church in Paradise Hills in San Diego. As the years would pass I have celebrated Christmas in California, Maryland, Tucson, Arizona, Julian, California, and finally my favorite place to be for Christmas beautiful Lake Tahoe. Once I got involved in music, I would sing in folk groups at various parishes. Advent was always a very special time for the music group. This would occasionally lead to Christmas caroling in the neighborhood. On one particular trip, Iwas coming back from Tahoe after a few concerts. I stopped by to visit my Aunt Millie and Uncle Sonny Chase, on their farm in Bakersfield, CA. Thanks to my Aunt Mille’s urging, I wrote my first Christmas song “I’m GonnaDecorations Right Off YourChristmas Tree”!“Lord have mercy! What was he thinking when he wrote that?” you must be saying to yourself. Actually, the inspiration came from the Country Bears Christmas show at Disneyland. It’s no longer there, but you can watch it on you tube. I was on my wayor so I thought! I wrote another holiday tune “My Christmas Wish For You”. It’s the first time I have ever heard one of my recordings being played on the radio,it was KRLT 93.9 FM. I was in the Safeway parking lot in Tahoe City. I thought I was going to dance in the snow I was so happy. I remember sharing this with Thurley Burnett who at the time was Glen Campbell’s personal secretary. She told me” This is why you record Rick, never forget this memory!” She was kind enough one Christmas to set it up for me to watch Glen’s Christmas show at Harrah’s Reno. Glen put on one beautiful show and we had the most wonderful visit afterwards. There are no words to describe the joy I felt after his words of encouragement he gave me” You go out there and make me proud son!” My version of Blue Christmas is my homage to Glen and Elvis. The string arrangements are right out of the Al De Lory/ Campbell classic Christmas recordings. The electric guitar solo, well that’s James Burton all the way.   I would eventually write more Christmas songs and knew that my first ever Christmas album was inevitable. Having received favorable air play with the first songs, I felt that there was a chance something would click here. I had seven originals and narrowed it down to my five favorite standards to round out the CD. I have had the opportunity to perform a Christmas show here and there, and was encouraged by the response the group and I received. It has been a real labor of love, working on a limited budget. I knew I could not afford the type of arrangements, I was hearing in my head. Thanks to my dear friend, co- producer, guitarist, multi -instrumentalist, and little brother Jon Hasz, we put our creative hats onand came up with a sound, that we felt did the songs justice. This has been done over the course of several years and remixes, etc. Originally Merry Christmas From Tahoe was recorded as a solo number. After working with Samantha Moroney in the studio, and at Mary Star of The Sea parish in La Jolla. I knew our voices sounded good together. I played her the song she liked the idea, and a duet was born. She also helped me out with Christmas In Starlight, she can beheard doing the high harmony on ShakeThe Decorations. The rest of the cast is stellar what can I say. Tripp Sprague, Jon Hasz, Ethan Brown, Sharon Whyte, Ashley Foster, Danielle Tucker, Don Wiseman, Steve Baker, Rex Havoc, Jenny and Steven Flynn, Samantha Moroney, Chris Vitas, JR Guernsey. This is some serious talent here!My Christmas experiences in Tahoe, have certainly influenced many of the songs on this recording. Someday soon I would love to do a Christmas special from Lake Tahoe. I fondly remember those John Denver specials in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I could go on writing forever, but I think I will let you listen to the album and let it tell the story for you. Glen, Thurley, my Mom and Aunt Mille, Bob Matchinske, and others are no longer with us. I know that they are listening up in heaven. These are memories I will always treasure as I go on with my journey. Of all these memories the most important being, this is the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I want to wish you all good health, peace, happiness, and prosperity. On behalf of the gang and myself we wish you a   Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, a safe and a Happy New Year!   God bless you all! Love, Rick   December, 2017 img_0191