Brady Rymer knows just how to get into the holiday spirit. While performing last summer across Long Island, the Southold-based musician decided to try out one of his latest songs on the crowd . . . only, the song was about Christmas. “It was a hot day and I was just trying to cool people off,” he chuckles.
“Revvin’ Up the Reindeer” marks his ninth family album with his band, The Little Band That Could, and features a collaboration with The Fa-La-Las, a choir featuring five Long Island elementary school students.
Rymer, a three-time Grammy Award nominee, has been honing his musical style for the past 17 years, having harnessed his talents into a unique sound that has been entertaining young audiences since the release of “Good Morning, Gus” in 2000. His music is an eclectic hodgepodge of Motown, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll — or, as Rymer characterizes it, “anything that feels good.”
In “Revvin’ Up the Reindeer,” Rymer’s infectious sound comes through loud and clear, with highlights such as “Holiday Jam” for its ska-like tune that celebrates the ways people manage the busy season, and “Hanukkah Rocks,” which marks the first time he penned a song about the Jewish holiday. When pressed to name his favorite track on the album, Rymer is quick to respond: “It’s like asking me to name my favorite kid — all the songs are my babies, and they each have their own sweetness.”
Rymer and his band have been releasing a new video every Friday that showcases songs from the CD — including one shot with The Fa-La-Las at Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm in Cutchogue. The videos are or will be posted online at bradyrymer.com, his YouTube channel (YouTube.com/user/bradyrymer) and Facebook page (facebook.com/bradyrymer).
So far, the band has released nine music videos of tracks from “Revvin’ Up the Reindeer,” complete with lyrics for family singalongs. Additional videos will roll out over the next few weeks, including “Peace Be to All” on Friday, Dec. 22, “Christmas Peace” on Christmas Eve and “Baby New Year” on Dec. 29. The “Christmas Wishes” video, which debuts Wednesday, Dec. 20, on newsday.com, features animations Rymer designed himself.
Jocelyn Kaelin, 11, a sixth-grader from Southold and one of the members of The Fa-La-Las — a musical group of Southold elementary schoolers that formed last summer — says she was thrilled when she was asked to perform with Rymer. “I’ve been listening to Brady’s music since I was little, so I couldn’t believe it when I was asked to sing on his album,” she says of the group’s vocal contributions to “Christmas Wishes,” “It’s Christmastime” and “Hanukkah Rocks.” Jocelyn and The Fa-La-Las — which also included Mae Dominy, Quinn Bruer, Naomi Mraz and Skylar Valderamma — will also join Rymer in concert Thursday, Dec. 21, to benefit the Southold Library. “I’m excited to sing with my friends and the band and to spread the Christmas spirit,” she says.
Also lending a voice to Rymer’s music is his daughter, 18-year-old Daisy Rymer, a freshman at Tulane University, who can be heard in the chorus of “It’s Christmastime.”
Speaking of family, Rymer says he plans to keep their holiday celebrations simple. “We’ll take a walk out on the trails that head right down to the Sound,” he says. “We’ll also head down to the local tree farm and choose a tree together as a family,” he said.
In the spirit of the season, Rymer says he relishes the opportunity to share his music and spread his message of joy with others. “It’s a time that I love personally: all the peacefulness, craziness and love,” he says.
WHAT “Celebrate and Renovate,” a benefit concert for the Southold Free Library featuring a performance by Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could and The Fa-La-La’s
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, at Southold Junior Senior High School, 420 Oaklawn Ave., Southold
INFO $20 per person or $75 for a family of four.
ALSO Rymer and his band will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22, at the East Meadow Public Library, 1886 Front St., East Meadow, 516-794-2570, eastmeadow.info