8 years ago, Spiro Ballas asked me to write and record a new Otis Ball song for a holiday album benefiting the Saint Barnabas Hospice and Palliative Care Center. I hadn't been in a studio or created new music since the unreleased Favorite Love Songs album in '91. But I'm always a sucker for a good cause. And honored to be asked for a song 15 years after my one and only album. Luckily, I was a year into the Super Karaoke Fun Time Band project and our bass player at the time, Arthur Rodriguez, had ProTools. And so, Last Present Under The Tree was written and recorded. Arthur on bass, Sam Park on guitar, Kevin Hyland on drums and everyone on vocals. I could not have been happier with the results.
A few years later, I made a video for the song using the amazing pictures of Conni Freestone to benefit the local animal shelter. So here is that.
By the time the album was released, Arthur had left the band, replaced by Kevin's brother, Dan Hyland, on bass. And Sammy split for warmer climes. Thankfully, Keith Hartel showed up to fill the enormous hole left by Mr. Park. So for the record release party, Kevin and I were the only band members that played on the actual recording.
But SKFTB was nothing, if not versatile. We put together a one time only Christmas medley of songs from The Beatles, The Monkees and SNL, as well as a rare live Last Present. And, being that we were in Boss Country, we tossed in one of our show stoppers with Dan taking the lead. Here is the entire performance from that show.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, if the faith allows. And a very happy new year from your pal, Otis Ball.