In what is quickly becoming an Atlanta Christmas tradition, Jeffrey Bützer and friends return to perform the music of Vince Guaraldi's "A Charlie Brown Christmas." For the show on Sat., Dec. 19 Bützer plays drums in a trio that features pianist T.T. Mahony (piano) and Adrian Ash (bass). Before the Charlie Brown set Bützer will play a solo show of cinematic numbers in which he single-handedly mans an accordion, piano, bass and high hat. Locals El Capitan and Mr. Grinder Nova warm things up with a set holiday surf music. $7. 9 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Rd. 404-522-3950.
How many years have you been performing Vince Guaraldi's "A Charlie Brown Christmas?"
This is the second year, although, I use to play Christmas Time Is Here and Linus and Lucy in my mothers church band. She played organ and piano but mostly just arranged when she got older.
Have you considered recording the show for a CD, LP or digital release or does that involve too much paperwork?
It probably would require a little paperwork. Weve talked about it a little but I kind of like the idea of it being just live.
Tell me about the lineup for the show this year.
It is T.T. Mahony (Standard 8 and Guyliner) on piano, Adrian ash (the Adrian Ash Group) on upright bass, myself on drums and Anna Macbath (who has played in Midwives) on vocals.
You're a pretty accomplished piano player. Why are you playing drums?
The same reason you dont ask a brick layer to tailor your pants. I know my limitations. Jazz piano is not a strong suit [for me]. I can write songs and do my own take on other peoples music but I learned quickly that T.T. can play pretty much anything. You can ask him to play 'Silent Night' in a Tom Waits style and he replies like this? and plays just that It's amazing.
You recently told me that you are a sucker for Christmas music. What is it about the music that you find so appealing?
I think it reminds me of being a kid and believing in Christmas magic, as corny as that sounds. You really only get 6 or 7 of those Christmases growing up (if youre lucky). That combined with the fun of TV holiday specials was part of the idea behind this show. Im hoping people can be 6 years old again and eat cookies and hear Peanuts music for a few hours. However, it is the Earl so there might be a few drunken 6 year olds But you get the point.
(Photo by Ken Lackner)
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