Re-imagining Christmas | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

Re-imagining Christmas 

Naomi Hooley and Rob Stroup's folksy take on holiday music

One is a smoky-voiced, piano-playing, 70's-inspired vixen; the other a dusty blues guitarist and singer. Both longtime members of the Portland music scene, Naomi Hooley (of Moody Little Sister) and Rob Stroup (Baseboard Heaters, The Imprints) have teamed up to release the definitive Pacific Northwest Christmas album, Naomi Hooley and Rob Stroup's Winter Wonderland.

The duo has also paired for a tour in support of that album and will help kick off Bend's holiday concert season at Old St. Francis School Dec. 18.

The most striking arrangement during that show will likely be a performance of their album's title track, a cover of "Winter Wonderland." Rather than just sprinkling a touch of frill on the traditional song to make it their own, Hooley and Stroup instead completely flipped it from a cheery sing-a-long, to a somber duet with billowing coziness; stripping it down to nearly just the piano and harmonized vocals.

And the rest of the album hits close to that mark.

Songs are as sparse as possible, sounding more at home in a lonely mountain cabin surrounded by eight feet of snow, than in a festive living room full of family knocking back eggnog. It's a refreshing reprieve from the requisite sugary music of the season, allowing listeners time to pause and reflect on the past year.

Adding to the album's implicit claim that Christmas music doesn't need to be all jingle bells and sugar plums, is a very do-it-yourself visual take on "Winter Wonderland." In the duo's music video for that song—which appears to have been filmed using an iPhone—the two singers explore snowy, wooded thickets with curiosity, thoroughly depicting the quiet of the forest.

But the record isn't all hushed lucid tracks. The pair's original recording of "Please Please Please" finds Stroup whistling and singing out his Christmas wish list—which includes a ghetto blaster and a BB gun—to a bouncy alt-country tune.

Still, the lone cheery inclusion doesn't change the fact that this album is made with all the rustic places in Oregon in mind, rather than its metro centers like Portland and Eugene.

Sounds perfect for the pine-paneled walls of McMenamins' Father Luke's Room in Bend.

Naomi Hooley and Rob Stroup

7 pm. Wednesdy, Dec. 18

McMenamins, Old St. Francis School

700 NW Bond St. | FREE

About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...
Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Artist Fact Sheet: Keith Harkin

    Artist Fact Sheet: Keith Harkin

    The Irishman brings his well-rounded abilities to Bend
    • Sep 11, 2019
  • Triple Whammy

    Triple Whammy

    Eric Leadbetter helps bring joy to the music scene, food industry and hospital workers with the St. Charles Meal Mission
    • Jun 1, 2020
Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
INTO the WOODS Holiday Market

INTO the WOODS Holiday Market - White Aspen Creative

Fri., Nov. 27, 9 a.m. and Sat., Nov. 28, 4 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social


Latest in Sound Stories & Interviews

  • Pete Kartsounes Steps into New Age

    • Nov 18, 2020
    The Bend artist's second album of the year will help relax mind, body and soul More »
  • Modern-Day Payola?

    • Nov 11, 2020
    Local artists say Spotify's recent announcement to give artist and labels paid promotion isn't a cool feature; it's harmful to the industry and those listening More »
  • New on the Bend-Block

    • Nov 4, 2020
    Faded Rituals makes its electronic-music debut with "Summertime Forever" More »
  • More »

More by Ethan Maffey

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation