L.A.-based singer/songwriter Sean Patrick releases Christmas single with Stanley Clarke veteran Dennis MacKay and former Motown staffer Dana Parker
(Published: December 23, 2011)
Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Sean Patrick is ending the year with a loud bang. Before the booming firecrackers of New Year's Eve are lit, Patrick is dropping a whopper of a holiday single, the transcendent "A Gift of Christmas."
Patrick discusses the origins of this Yuletide-loving track.
Q: Who wrote "A Gift of Christmas"? How did it end up becoming your single?
A: I had written "Gift" a few years back. My songs are usually pretty somewhat sad, and I speak from the heart about love and heartbreak, like a lot of the best songwriters do. My good friend Ludwell Joseph had always wanted to record a Christmas song, and it was because of him that I took that one out of the files and dusted it off. Then when we got into the studio, both Dennis MacKay and Dana Parker came on board, and we're splitting the credit three ways, because of the structure and the chord progressions they brought to it. We really knew we had something almost from that first day working on it. It was the brilliance of Ludwell, also, who knew that of all songs we might make a hit from, a Christmas hit would come back year after year. I give him so much credit for picking that song to record first with our dream team of Dennis and Dana.
Q: How did you get together with the stellar production outfit behind the track?
A: I met Dana Parker many years ago because we lived in the same apartment complex. He was a kid fresh off the truck from South Dakota, and of course I was from Montana. We felt like we'd grown up in the same town, and we had the same values. We loved music first, and were way less worried about money, or climbing the social ladder in Hollywood to get anywhere. He was and is one of the best piano players out there. He moved away for a few years, and one day he came back into the Hollywood Hamburger Hamlet where I still worked, and we reconnected. He's spent the years I hadn't seen him working with Berry Gordy's sister, who taught him Motown, and recording until she passed away. Berry Gordy took him into his home office and gave him a job, and Dana spent the rest of his time learning how to get that warm, analog, Motown sound out of the digital age. He now has a master of Musicology, and is a Professor of Digital Music at Fullerton College. Without bragging, no one in the world has more a grasp of current technology, and Dana has built a world-class studio from scratch. He's a very sought after producer and arranger, and the sounds he gets are incredible.
Q: How did you meet Grammy-winning producer Dennis MacKay?
A: I met Dennis MacKay at a friend's wedding in the Hollywood Hills. He was just this great, funny guy and I knew him for almost a year before I found out that he'd produced "Stained Glass" by Judas Priest and "Pin-Ups" by David Bowie.
I was blown away at his humble nature, and over a hundred platinum selling albums he'd done over the years. I was just getting going with my current project called Rolling Stop when he offered to produce it for me. We've just finished a five-song EP, and we'll be releasing it soon.
I had wanted to get the 'double D' (Dennis and Dana) together for something, and it was the vision of Ludwell Joseph to do "A Gift Of Christmas" that brought us all together. Think of it: here's one of the best analog producers there is, working with the brightest and one of the best producers of the new digital age, combining all that tallent to bring one of my songs to market! We're all honest, hard-working people with a passion for music, and I have to say that this foursome is more than anyone could have hoped for. I feel truly blessed to count them among my close friends, as well as some of the most talented, undiscovered, or un-rediscovered musician/producer/engineers there are in the business.
More Information: http://www.seanpatrick.us