All I Want is You at Christmastime
By Mick on Thursday, December 3rd, 2015.
People: Brent Howard Knudsen, Mick Dalla-Vee
‘All I Want is You at Christmastime’ was written in September 1994 on a very warm fall day for my then upcoming Christmas album.
I’ve always liked this song because it took no effort. It was my ‘Yesterday’ in that, (like the infamous Paul McCartney song), it literally wrote itself. I don’t think it took longer than 1/2 an hour to write it start to finish.
When I recorded the album, Doug Johnson, (the ultra talented keyboardist from Loverboy), came to the studio and played the soprano sax parts. What isn’t apparent on the track is that despite being sick that day with 102 temperature, Doug knew I had a very quick deadline to make, and made the long drive to the studio and turned in a stellar performance!
I played all the other instruments except for the ‘Ed Grimley’ triangle which was played by Craig Zurba, the engineer of the album and owner of MR&D Studio where it was recorded.
I have always thought of this as the ‘song for my son Carman’ on the album. I guess the reason why is that after I had written it, I made a quick cassette demo of it and brought it out to the living room to hear on our home stereo. Carman sat and listened to it and loved it… so with his enthusiasm, I was held aloft while I recorded it for real.
This year (2015) I put together a little video that stars mostly my granddaughters Emma and Ellie, with cameos from Carman, my late daughter Carolyn and my late wife Joanne.
Download the whole album free: http://mickdallavee.com/A_Whistler_Christmas.zip
I released my Christmas album ‘A Whistler Christmas’ independently in November 1994.
In 1996, Brent Howard won a recording deal and released his country debut album. It was very widely received and produced quite a few singles across Canada.
Because of his chart success, Brent was asked to participate in an album with a few other current Canadian country artists of the day and they were all asked to each contribute a track of their favourite Christmas song.
Most of the artists picked ‘classic’ Christmas songs to redo.
Brent phoned me one day to tell me about what he had been asked to do and then asked if he could record ‘All I Want is You at Christmastime’.
I was very touched that he asked to do one of my songs as Brent has long been a very proficient song writer. His asking me to do one of my songs was a very big compliment for me.
When I replied that ‘yes I would be elated if he did my song’ he then asked if I would accompany him on it as well… so I played acoustic guitar and sang the harmony parts on this version.
The Vancouver artists who were asked to do this project were produced by Al Rodger at his North Vancouver studio. Al is a very talented individual and took the song to a new place. I found the whole process quite cool and Al is as funny a guy as they come.
The ultimate joy came later on when this album was named ‘Album of the Year’ at the Saskatchewan Recording Industry awards.
Rod Macbeth from 98.7 CKPM FM www.ckpmfm.com asked me this year for a copy of Brent’s version of this song as his station didn’t have one. After I sent him the track, he put a quick video together and sent it back to me, with a note stating, “I did a quick video of this. Thought it’s too good not to be on your FB page or You Tube”
I then took what he gave me and added some visuals to it. Thanks for the inspiration and kindness Rod!!!
I hope you all enjoy
Download Brent’s version for free: http://mickdallavee.com/All_I_Want_is_You_at_Christmastime.mp3.zip
Brent’s Website: http://www.atlanticcrossingshow.com/southerncherry/