As we finally close the door on 2020, we all know it was a tough year that impacted everyone on the planet in one way or another. As in the past, music helped us deal with whatever changes we had. Here in Orange County, our local artists stepped it up and supported each other, the industry, venues and yes, you and me.
Local icon Jim Kaa gathered a group of musical friends to reprise the Christmas classic, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and reviews have been very positive. We spoke with Kaa to see what compelled him to make this video happen. He said… “I’m not going to wait to put out music,” he said. Kaa, the legendary OC guitarist for The Crowd, 16 Again, and The Stitches explained, “I just want to keep making music and doing something that puts smiles on people’s faces.”
At first, Kaa thought of doing the song with 16 Again, the fun-loving, OC old-school music cover band, but when time was of the essence, it came down to who’s available?
Kaa got Shane Strange, the bassist for The Vulturas and 16 Again, on board and Jimmy Decker, front-man from The Crowd, was next to get involved. “Jimmy and I have been playing together for 42 years and are still able to get together and laugh,” says Kaa. Decker followed up with Who doesn’t love a good Christmas song?” He was also thrilled to find the group “blended together perfectly.”
While we all love the classic version, you’ll hear a few changes in the song to fit the state of 2020.
Recorded at David Irish’s Pot O’Gold Studios with PR O’ Toole on drums, the guys decided to bring in the younger generation with Swinging Johnny from Los Nauticals and The Zero Class. Born in 1991, Johnny wasn’t even alive when the original was released in 1984. He described his studio time with the OC legends as “quite the influential experience” saying he does everything for the love of music.
Bringing in a female singer to round it out was key, David Irish explained. Kaa had just the person in mind with Melissa Moran. “Back in the day we had a punk band called The Stalkings,” said Moran. “We’d play around town at Linda’s Doll Hut and local places, and then I settled into being a mom and raising my daughter. Recently I got back into singing with Jim Kaa on acoustic guitar, so I was thrilled when I got the call to be a part of this. I mean harmonizing with Jimmy Decker was awesome!”
With a video edited by Richie Mendez, we have a great cover song befitting of 2020, and something to add smiles to everyone’s faces to close the year.
We also have something to look forward to in 2021. They already have a follow up planned for Christmas 2021, with an even bigger roster of local talent. Perhaps an OC-version of “We are The World?” We will have to wait and see what awaits us in the new year!