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(29:59; Melodic Revolution Records)
Nick Katona, head honcho of one of the finest music labels around, is back with this year’s charity offering. Seven songs by different artists who have all contributed the music so you have the opportunity to hear something very special indeed while also giving back. You see, you cannot buy this EP or download it without contacting the label, who will then send it to you free of charge (this is a digital-only release). All you have to do to get this is to provide proof of helping others. As Nick says, “To receive your copy as a gift from MRR and with the kind permission of all of our contributing artists we ask you to commit a great act of kindness. Send us proof of you donating to your local charity of choice, it can be your time, or tangible goods such as blankets, food or clothing even pet food. Think outside of the box; donate your time at the local food bank, soup kitchen or shelter. Certainly, the hospitals would be grateful for volunteers or donate blood today and save a life.” I know that most people who think of others do so with no thought of reward or recognition, it is just because it is the right thing to do. Others aren’t aware of how much pressure this time of year can bring to those who are less fortunate, yet whatever society or country you live in there will always be some who are struggling. Not everyone has access to a computer to read this review, not everyone has access to clean water, food, clothing or a place to stay. Each year at this time Melodic Revolution makes available a release like this, hoping it is a spur for those who are caught up in their own festivities to remind them of those less fortunate. If this release makes you think of that person who has no-one at Christmas, or spurs you into buying a few extra bits and pieces at the supermarket to donate, or for you to find where you can volunteer for a few hours, then it has more than accomplished its goal. It is almost an aside to say this seven-track release featuring Potter’s Daughter, Andrew Colyer, Harlequin Reborn, Don Schiff, Babal and Murky Red and Franck Carducci is an absolute delight. It is a winter album, not a Christmas album, and is a great way to discover “new” bands: a few here are new to me, while others are old friends. Potter’s Daughter even wrote the sublime “This Winter Child” just for this. Christmas is not about eating too much food or drinking too much wine, it is actually about people. Nick said to me “It’s more than just holiday music; it’s about love and hope”. Get out there, make a difference, and then contact the label with proof and in the subject matter put ‘Pay it Forward’, sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be making a real difference to people’s lives, and while that will always be reward enough, now you can also get to hear wonderful music by amazing people as well.
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