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Paul Gilbert is releasing the Christmas album you didn't know you needed

Paul Gilbert feels the Christmas spirit
(Image credit: Courtesy of The Players Club/Mascot Label Group)

Fresh off his latest studio offering, Werewolves of Portland, Paul Gilbert has announced another, decidedly more festive, studio album.

Set for a November 26 release via The Players Club/Mascot Label Group, 'TWAS is a collection of 10 Gilbert-ified Christmas classics, with two Christmas-themed Gilbert originals thrown in for good measure.

You can check out the music video for the album's first single, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, below.

Leading a band comprised of Portland, Oregon session aces Dan Balmer (guitar), Clay Giberson (keyboards), Timmer Blakely (bass) and Jimi Bott (drums), Gilbert takes listeners on a slide-heavy journey for the song's main melody before spicing things up with a very Gilbert-like, genre-blending, fleet-fingered jam section, after which he ditches the slide for a final go at the melody, full of blues-rock fire. This ain't your grandparents' Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, that's for sure.

“Many will agree that in recent times, challenging events have been pouring down upon our heads like an exploding waterfall of molasses," Gilbert said in a statement.

"At least it sometimes feels like that to me. But while I was jamming Christmas songs with my friends, playing an assortment of red, green and white Ibanez electric guitars, I felt like life was the best. I hope that this music can put a smile on your face as well. Merry Christmas to all. And to all, a good night.”

Of the songs he selected for the album, Gilbert said, "10 of the songs are classics. I was inspired by the Christmas recordings of Nat King Cole, Loretta Lynn, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald and The Ventures. And of course, inspiration came from my guitar heroes, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Lifeson, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, Frank Marino, Pat Travers, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, to name a few. 

"I also wrote some of my own new Christmas songs. As I have been doing recently, I begin with lyrics and a melody. Then I let my guitar take over, as it sings better than I do.”

You can check out 'TWAS's cover art and track list below, and pre-order the album via Gilbert's website.

The cover of Paul Gilbert's upcoming Christmas album, TWAS

(Image credit: The Players Club/Mascot Label Group)

Paul Gilbert – 'TWAS:

1. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
2. Frosty the Snowman
3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 
4. The Christmas Song
5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
6. I Saw Three Ships 
7. Every Christmas Has Love 
8. Three Strings for Christmas 
9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
10. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
11. Silver Bells
12. Winter Wonderland

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at guitarworld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.