Even though she laid down tracks for her Christmas disc this past June, singer/songwriter Jess Moskaluke didn’t have any trouble stirring up plenty of Christmas spirit.
A Small Town Christmas was released this past October, and Moskaluke, who performs in Red Deer on Jan. 29th along with Paul Brandt, High Valley and the Hunter Brothers, couldn’t be happier with the final results.
From the compelling disc opener The Little Drummer Boy to the beautifully performed Mary, Did You Know and O Holy Night to more conventional holiday fair like Winter Wonderland and Sleigh Ride, Moskaluke has struck a perfect balance between featuring both the sacred and the glittery pop sides of the holiday season.
“Seeing that it’s called A Small Town Christmas, I wanted listeners to experience what my small town Christmases were like growing up,” she said with a laugh during a recent chat.
“So there’s a Kenny and Dolly song on there, which was the record my mom had on repeat when I was growing up, so I knew we had to put a Kenny and Dolly song on there. Grown up Christmas List, for another example, was the first song I ever sang ‘live’ as a solo artist, so every song that was hand-picked on there has a reason for being there, and a fun, little back story for the most part, too.”
As mentioned, the project was recorded this past June but Moskaluke didn’t have trouble delving into the holiday spirit.
“I think it’s because I love Christmas so much and I was really excited to put out a Christmas record, so it wasn’t as hard as you might think to record a Christmas record outside of Christmas.”
They did decorate the studio, and because of course there aren’t any windows to peer through during those recording sessions, one can ‘imagine’ a sense of the holidays.
“You can’t see that it’s sunny and nice outside, so maybe that helped. It was just a really great experience, so I think that’s what translates as Christmas spirit – and I’m so happy that is does – it was probably just us genuinely having a good time in the studio and enjoying the product we were making.
“We just did a bit of a different sound, too, because we wanted it to be a little classic and timeless.”
It’s clear that Moskaluke is passionate about the project as she is with everything she has released since day one.
Acclaimed in 2017 as the first Canadian female country artist to have a song in the Top five since 2008 (Drive Me Away), and the first female Canadian country artist since (her childhood idol) Shania Twain to achieve platinum single status with Cheap Wine and Cigarettes, she has achieved not one, but three Top 10 hits with her respective singles Kiss Me Quiet, Take Me Home and Drive Me Away and recently received a gold award for Kiss Me Quiet.
Her last project prior to A Small Town Christmas was 2017’s Past the Past.
A small town girl and proud resident of Rockville, Saskatchewan, when she first posted her music online, no one could have anticipated the bright future that lay ahead for the gifted songstress.
As to the season when she really broke through, in April 2014, Moskaluke released her 10-track album Light Up The Night, which featured the hit Cheap Wine and Cigarettes.
As to the upcoming tour, Moskaluke noted it’s her second major outing with Brandt, having hit the road with him and Dean Brody back in 2015.
Meanwhile, 2018 held many special moments and milestones for the popular singer. First off, she got married.
“I was also super excited to have won the Ford Album of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Association awards this year,” she said. “It was also the first time in a while that a female was able to win that category, so that was pretty cool! And other than that, I’ve just been gearing up to go on tour, and I’m very excited to be doing that in January.
“This time, we are bringing along High Valley and the Hunter Brothers, so I’m super excited – it’s going to be a fun couple of weeks and I’m sure there will be a lot of surprises,” she laughed.
Ultimately, there isn’t a moment that Moskaluke would take for granted.
“Music is what I’m passionate about. Everyone has a passion, and this is mine. This is what I love to do – there are hundreds of things I love about it and a handful of things I don’t. But this is what I’ve chosen to do, and what I wake up excited to do every morning.”
For ticket information, check out www.ticketoffices.com.