Eric Clapton is set to release a collection of festive songs with a blues edge, Happy Xmas, on October 14 via Brushbranch Records/Surfdog Records. Although the artist previously appeared on five tracks of the 1999 live album A Very Special Christmas, which documented a 1998 holiday-themed concert held by President Bill Clinton to herald the 30th anniversary of the Special Olympics, Happy Xmas will be Clapton's first ever full-length holiday album.
"I had in my head these holiday songs could be done with a slight blues tinge, and I started to figure out how to play the blues lines in between the vocals," Clapton told Billboard. "I got it down and one of the most identifiable songs on the album, the one that became the foundational style, is 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.'"
Happy Xmas will include 14 tracks over all. The track-list is a mix of such well-known and beloved standards as "White Christmas" and "Silent Night," lesser known holiday tunes, and an original new composition, titled "For Love of Christmas."
The album was co-produced by Clapton and longtime music producer Simon Climie, and features a cover illustration of Santa Claus by the British blues legend. This will also be his 24th studio album overall, as well as his first studio album since 2016's I Still Do.
Featured photo: Dave Kaplan.
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