Fowler Volkswagen of Norman and Blackwatch Studios continue their annual Christmas tradition on Nov. 22 with the launch of their ninth-annual holiday album, “A Blackwatch Christmas Vol. 9: Christmas In Color,” featuring original recordings by Oklahoma musicians.
Recorded at Blackwatch Studios in Norman, “Christmas In Color” features 10 songs by 10 Oklahoma music acts, including LCG & the X, Twiggs, Colourmusic, Husbands and Samantha Crain. Eight original songs are accompanied by two classics, “Last Christmas” and “Christmas for Cowboys.”
“Jarod Evans and Chad Copelin (at Blackwatch) have done an incredible job once again of working with our music community to create something special this year,” said project co-founder and producer Jonathan Fowler of Fowler VW. “Being able to support friends and musicians over the years and help make a space for them to create has been a special thing to be a part of. We’re grateful for the partnership and for the artists that make it happen.”
The album debuts Nov. 22 on Bandcamp for free digital download, and on Spotify and other major music services for streaming. A limited-release of free vinyl albums will be available the following week at Guestroom Records in Oklahoma City and Norman, Fowler VW in Norman and at other metro-area retailers.
“Blackwatch Studios is a playground for musicians, and Jared Evans and Chad Copelin at Blackwatch are incredibly fun to create with,” said Joe White of Twiggs, who recorded “Meltin’ With You” for this year’s release. He also contributed to a Chair Models song on Vol. 8, “The Sounds of the Season.”
“After this Christmas collaboration, we believe in magic again!” White said.
This year’s launch also marks a new digital revitalization of the project, as this release and the previous eight are being added to major streaming platforms. The albums will be available individually and in a compilation Spotify playlist that combines all nine and includes more than 70 Oklahoma artists.
Stillwater-based rock act colourmusic, which contributed a track to the debut A Blackwatch Christmas project in 2010, also returns with the all-new tune “Christmas Dreams.”
“I immediately said yes,” said Colourmusic co-founder Nicholas Ley. “It’s exciting because it gives an opportunity to work collaboratively with Jarod Evans at Blackwatch and create something that’s lighthearted in the spirit of the season.”
Ley developed the bouncy, island-evoking melody and bandmate Ryan Hendrix, with the help of his wife, contributed the lyrics. Evans recruited Ley’s kids to sing backup on the tune.
Beau Jennings, a longtime Oklahoma musician and repeat contributor to A Blackwatch Christmas volumes, agreed. The albums convey community, collaboration and holiday spirit in ways that are both fun and unique.
“It is always an exciting yet strange experience. You go in under the guise of making new Christmas songs and then things get run through some warped filter of past warm holiday memories mixed with a hazy future,” said Beau Jennings, who featured on last year’s album ‘The Sounds of the Season.’ No one is really ever playing with a full deck but somehow everyone comes out a winner.”
The experience has proven to be fun for listeners, too, as the project celebrates its ninth year.
In a partnership with Fowler and Blackwatch Studios, students in the Record Label Operations and PR for Artists classes at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) helped develop the streaming campaign for this year’s A Blackwatch Christmas compilation. A complete playlist and all nine volumes are also available on Spotify and all other major streaming services.
Make the tradition of A Blackwatch Christmas part of your holiday traditions, too. Listeners can download and stream Vol. 9, as well as Vols. 1-8, featuring over 70 Oklahoma artists celebrating the Blackwatch Christmas tradition on Spotify and Bandcamp.
Fowler VW Presents: A Blackwatch Christmas Vol. 9: Christmas In Color
• LCG & the X — “Last Christmas”
• Colourmusic — “Christmas Dreams”
• Twiggs — “Meltin’ With You”
• RVRB — “Fireside”
• Mini Trees — “Signs & Wonders (Holiday Cocktail Edition)”
• Goldenface — “The Santa Hop”
• Husbands — “Santa Is a Lie”
• Samantha Crain — “Christmas for Cowboys”
• The Wurlybirds — “Look at These Christmas Trees”
• Jake Tittle — “Captain Morgan”
Digital streaming available now.
Check social media for updates on vinyl release
Free collector vinyl:
Guestroom Records (Norman and OKC)
Fowler VW in Norman