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press release


Holiday Cheer with a Twist
Wonderlux Presents ‘CHRISTMAS EVE’

Original Instrumental Compositions Inspired by Traditional Favorites

Los Angeles – Some of the holiday season’s most beloved traditional carols will have music fans stirring with delight as “A Nightmare On Elf Street (Inspired by O Holy Night)” and “It Came From The North Pole (Inspired by We Wish You A Merry Christmas)” are among new interpretations of seasonal songs on Christmas Eve.

Guitar-driven instrumentals featuring horns, percussion, “curious keyboards” and “opera-exotica,” these originals include elements of surf, psychedelic, lounge, rock, spaghetti western, exotica, a-go-go, film noir, mysterioso and blues that bring dramatic flair and an edgy mood to the sounds of Christmas.

The project has been two years in the making as Mark Fontana (The Blue Hawaiians founder / bassist / vocalist) reunited with Brad Benedict (Grammy®-nominated producer for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and The Ultra-Lounge series, who also produced The Blue Hawaiians critically acclaimed album Savage Night). The duo envisioned a cool twist on holiday favorites and, together, composed and arranged each track on the release.

Wonderlux, named after Benedict’s newly formed production company, Wonderlux Music, is the project’s “house band” of uniquely talented musicians: Fontana (bass and rhythm guitars), Michael Lindsay (drums and percussion), Phil Gough and Marcus Watkins (alternating on lead and rhythm guitars), Fred Kron (piano, B-3 organ and curious keyboards), Savi Labensart (vocals, harmonies and opera-exotica), Tom Peterson (tenor and baritone sax), and Johnny Reno (saxophone solo on “Snowballs & Highballs" Inspired by Greensleeves).



Brad Benedict (Producer / Arranger / Composer)
• Creator/Producer of the Grammy®-Award winning Ultra-Lounge series
• Produced Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's multi-platinum, major label debut Americana Deluxe
• Producer of The Blue Hawaiians' critically acclaimed, major label debut Savage Night

Mark Fontana (Composer / Arranger / bass and rhythm guitars)
• Founder of the legendary L.A., exotica-noir band The Blue Hawaiians.
• As a solo artist, recorded Once I Loved, an album of jazz vocals
• Composer for film and television, including music for The History
Channel, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel and A&E.

Also appearing on Christmas Eve are accomplished professional musicians who have recorded and/or performed with a wide range of icons and upstarts:

Michael Lindsay (drums and percussion)
• Steve Miller, Pat Metheny, Andy Grammer

Phil Gough (lead and rhythm guitars)
• Bow Wow Wow, Boy George, The English Beat

Marcus Watkins (lead and rhythm guitars)
• Nina Hagen, Lucinda Williams, Josie Cotton, 311

Fred Kron (piano, B-3 organ and curious keyboards)
• Jimmy Kimmel Live (house band), Joe Bonamassa

Savi Labensart (vocals, harmonies and opera-exotica)
• Tiger Army

Tom Peterson (tenor and baritone sax, bass clarinet)
• Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, Leon Russell, Linda Ronstadt... and Doc Severinson’s band on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson for 18 years

Johnny Reno (saxophone solo on "Snowballs & Highballs")
• Chris Isaak, Miranda Lambert, Stevie Ray Vaughan

In addition, Grammy®-Award winning art director Andy Engel, who designed the Christmas Eve package, also designed the iconic Bruce Springsteen Born To Run album package and the Al Pacino/Scarface film poster. Producer Brad Benedict, wearing his artist’s hat, painted the original cover portrait of Christmas Eve.


• Snowballs and Highballs are festive holiday cocktails.

• Greensleeves is a traditional English folk song rumored to be composed by King Henry VIII.

• Tchaikovsky wrote Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy for the famed Nutcracker holiday ballet.

• O Holy Night was the first song ever played live on a radio broadcast (1906).




Snowballs & Highballs - 5:04
Inspired by Greensleeves

Tinseltown Nocturne - 6:05
Inspired by Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

It Came From The North Pole - 3:36
Inspired by We Wish You A Merry Christmas

A Nightmare On Elf Street - 6:23
Inspired by O Holy Night

Swell Noel - 4:45
Inspired by Good King Wenceslas

Yuletide Moon - 6:31
Inspired by It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,
O Little Town of Bethlehem

Mistletoe A Go-Go - 6:25
Inspired by Silent Night