Duluth band puts twist on Merv Griffin’s “Christmas City” song to raise money for Bluebird Foundation

This year is the 60th Christmas City of the North Parade, and a staple of the parade is Merv Griffin’s “Christmas City” song.

A Duluth band, Laura Velvet and the Bookhouse Boys, took their own spin on the “Christmas City” song after their 2017 Christmas Concert Tour was a success, and because the band feels a strong connection to the song.

“I’m a Duluth native, and the parade has always been a huge part of my life. As a kid, we all look forward to it. That song brings back fond memories. So naturally, since we are a Duluth band, we figured we would put our own spin on that song, and play it at our Christmas shows. It became kind of a hit with our audiences,” the band’s guitar player, Andrew Perfetti, said.

Perfetti says it was so well-received, that Tracy Lundeen of the ‘Christmas by the Lake’ CD, a yearly released CD featuring homespun holiday music, asked the band to record their version of the “Christmas City” song so it could be included in the 2018 ‘Christmas by the Lake’ CD.

“The song is very special for me to do a rendition because I grew up listening to that song. I grew up in a house where there was always Christmas music playing during the holidays, and I can re-create that feeling by playing the music myself. That feeling of a better time and a better place,” Perfetti said.

The 2018 ‘Christmas by the Lake’ CD will feature over 200 talented people, and will contain over 30 holiday songs (traditional, covers and originals) by local and regional performers.

This includes former area musicians who have gone on to fame in the music industry: Phil Solem (Rembrants-theme song from Friends), Jordan and Dane Schmidt (Nashville, Jordan is a songwriter with Florida George Line), Ray Wolffe (Loose Change, Little Faith), Michael Baker (music director for Whitney Houston for over 16 years, world-renowned drummer).

The sales from the CD go towards the Bluebird Foundation whose mission statement is to be an advocate for area youth in the performing arts and to create awareness of the power of the arts to enhance self-esteem, to increase understanding of others, and to improve academic performance.

To date, the Bluebird Foundation has awarded nearly $30,000 in grants and scholarships. The CD release party/fundraiser, featuring live music and a silent auction, will run from 5-9 p..m. on Thursday, Nov. 15th at the Greysolon Ballroom. That’s where you can purchase a CD if you would like.

We have included within this story the full Laura Velvet and the Bookhouse Boys version of Merv Griffin’s classic “Christmas City” song.

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