Steve Perry who is easily one of the greatest rock and roll singers of all time delivered a gift to all his longtime fans this week. On Friday Nov 5, 2021 Steve Perry released his first Christmas Album entitled The Season. While the album is carefully titled to appeal to all people without specifically stating a Christmas album, the majority of the songs on the album are all about Christmas. In fact, all the songs recorded for the album are Christmas standards as well as a few ones that we could just call New Years Eve standards like “Auld Lang Syne” and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve.” Unlike many other classic rock artists who have released Holiday’s albums over the past fifty years, there are no new original Christmas or Holiday songs on the Steve Perry album The Season. For fans of Steve Perry who are constantly hungering for new music from the ex-Journey singer that’s a little disappointing. Yet, most of us are still grateful to receive a new recording from one of our favorite singers of all time.
Steve Perry recorded the album with Vinnie Colaiuta and Dallas Kruse. Most classic rock fans will recognize the name Vinnie Colaiuta. The man is easily one of the most legendary drummers in classic rock history. Most of us first came to know him from his work with Frank Zappa. He even got his name mentioned in the song “Catholic Girls.” His skill set as a musician has driven countless performers to hire hire him to play on recordings from artists such as Sting to Barry Manilow. Dallas Kruse is the owner of ZionStudios who has worked with many artists including Grammy Award winner Diana Krall. As a multi instrumentalist and producer the man played a heavy role in the making of the album.
The Season is not a big band huge sounding album. Dallas Kruse knew he had one of the greatest voices of all time in his studio so why cover it up with overproduction. If You have a voice like Steve Perry in the studio the right thing to do is let it shine all the way up front making it the centerpiece of the recording. That’s what the fans want to here the most. The resonance, the spirit, the soul. On Steve Perry’s website the legendary singer speaks right to that point stating that he had “never sung with such simplicity before.” It’s like the old blues saying, “less is more.”
The Steve Perry album The Season opens with the much loved standard “The Christmas Song.” The arrangement on this one is just perfect. It’s just piano and the warm beautiful sound of Steve Perry’s voice. It reminds me of the classic Bill Evans Tony Bennett album in which the two legends released one of the most organic recordings of all time, just piano and voice. Steve Perry does the same on this incredible opening track. There is some slight strings in the background in the second half of the song but they never get in the way.
The album’s second track “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” opens with some great Steve Perry harmony and then shifts to a simple piano and simple arrangements of the classic Christmas standard. Steve Perry’s backing vocals add a nice original flair to this one. It’s just a stunning version.
One of our favorite tracks on the album belongs to the great groove that Vinnie and Dallas set on the song “Winter Wonderland.” They three musicians set a wonderful feel for this classic tune. They continue to treat the rest of the classic songs picked for the album with a true organic feel that lets the songs shine beautifully as Steve Perry’s magical voice seems to be almost reborn in this album. One can hear that this music means a lot to Steve Perry as it seems to be connecting him to his past in a most sentimental way. This is not a recording that was made just to sell records, this was an album that is personal and it’s so beautiful because of that purpose.
Steve Perry is is really good voice on this album. He may have discovered something new on this record. There is a magic and soulfulness in his voice that we haven’t heard since his first solo record. If your a big time fan of Steve Perry’s solo work, you will know exactly what we are talking about. We are hoping that Steve Perry continues to explore the simplicity he discovered on this record in future projects. It really works well on this holiday release.