A Celebration of Holiday Music and Song | The ArtsCenter | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week

Clubs & Concerts

A Celebration of Holiday Music and Song

When: Sat., Dec. 19 2015



THE ARTSCENTER, CARRBORO—"We are bereft of saxophone," Tim Carless admits of the cadre of musicians he will soon lead through a set of Christmas standards and obscurities, some inspired by Christianity and others by commercialism. The group would need a reed for its take on "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," inspired by Bruce Springsteen's own E Street-abetted version. "But I'm sure someone will step up," Carless continues, "and take care of that solo."

That spirit is an animating principle for the ad hoc groups of musicians that Carless leads for special projects like this, a full-length re-creation of Dylan's Slow Train Coming or the live score he and a band offered for It's a Wonderful Life a year ago. This holiday show actually started with Brad Porter, The ArtsCenter's managing director and the drummer for a stellar house band that also includes Mount Moriah's Casey Toll and veteran sideman James Wallace. Carless will direct them all but turn over the microphone to a set of singers that includes Skylar Gudasz, Jeff Crawford, Christa Wells and Mark Williams, who will offer up his Boss-like "Santa Claus." For Carless, who is neither religious nor was raised in a household where much emphasis was placed on the holiday, it's an inspiring chance to see his fellow musicians interact with their beliefs—or their sheer enjoyment of the season.

"It's more coincidental that, two years in a row, you find me doing a Christmas show, I think," he says. "But I do enjoy that everyone seems to be in a good mood this time of year." 8 p.m., $12–$15, 300-G E. Main St., Carrboro,919-929-2787, www.artscenterlive.org. —Grayson Haver Currin

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