Grammy and Dove Award winning vocalist John Schlitt, one of the most distinctive voices in Christian music, has never recorded a Christmas song–until now. Schlitt’s The Christmas Project released digitally and through online retailers November 19, with a brick and mortar retail store release to follow in 2014.
The full-length CD is comprised primarily of beloved traditional Christmas carols, but that doesn’t mean The Christmas Project is all egg nog and holly.
This album rocks with the unmistakable John Schlitt style that legions of fans have come to know and love. The icing on the Christmas confection is an original tune, “What Christmas Needs to Be,” which is destined to become a seasonal classic.
Schlitt launches The Christmas Project with what is arguably the greatest Christian song of all time, The Hallelujah Chorus. While Handel’s masterpiece has been interpreted by a multitude of musicians over the past 250 years, no one sings “hallelujah” like Schlitt.
The Hallelujah Chorus transitions seamlessly into a guitar-driven, barn-burning version of Do You Hear What I Hear. Little Drummer Boy gives Schlitt the freedom to explore his full range of vocal prowess, starting at a muted whisper before embracing his full-throttle, wailing rock roots while holding fast to the traditional melodies of the beloved carol.
Fans can look forward to a music video of “Little Drummer Boy” by the award-winning Saylors Brothers (Israel & New Breed: Live From Another Level Concert DVD) in time for the holiday season.
Schlitt reins in his potent vocals for a gentle, reverent interpretation of Oh Holy Night, then ratchets up the intensity on God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, a rock-inflected fist-pumper that is guaranteed to get the listeners’ blood flowing.
The versatile vocalist shifts moods to one of pure fun with the funky Irish reel Good Christian Men Rejoice, then slides comfortably into the mellow, bluesy That Spirit of Christmas. Melancholy keys and strings embellish Schlitt’s emotion-laden vocals on the traditionally arranged We Three Kings.
The gently rocking What Christmas Needs to Be leads into the project’s closing tune, the reflective What Child Is This. What Child Is This provides the perfect foil for Schlitt’s signature vocal stylings, allowing him to channel his passionate delivery through a filter of awe at the enormity of this central event in history. Schlitt utilized the popular crowd funding platform Kickstarter to raise financial support for thenew album.
About John Schlitt: For more than three decades, John Schlitt has enjoyed a stellar musical career as a solo artist, as the lead singer for Grammy Award-winning Christian band Petra, one of the most successful Christian rock bands of all time, and as the former lead singer for popular ’70s mainstream rock band Head East.
He has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame as the lead singer of Petra during the years when the band won 10 Dove Awards and four Grammy Awards. Schlitt was named the best rock singer in Christian music history by Gospel Music Channel
According to the website, Schlitt “remains one of the most distinctive and impactful men to ever stand behind a microphone.” Schlitt was also named Male Vocalist of the Year in About.com’s 2011 Readers’ Poll in a category that included Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp, Brandon Heath and Bebo Norman.
Since Schlitt released his fourth solo CD, The Greater Cause, in May 2012, the legendary vocalist’s busy schedule has included appearances on The Mike Huckabee Show, 700 Club Interactive and the Faith & Freedom Celebration–the faith-based kick-off to the Republican National Convention, as well as extensive international touring.
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