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BWW CD Review: BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW Just Made The Holiday Season

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The Big Red fans can start the celebrating.

BWW CD Review: BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW Just Made The Holiday Season

As if 2020 wasn't already the worst year in a lot of our lives, this Christmas was destined to be a letdown for a lot of people: thanks to the global health crisis Big Red & The Boys will not be doing their yearly tour with their Christmas show. This is not hyperbole - for many people, not seeing that show this year is going to suck BIG TIME. There are many for whom the holidays are just not that important, people who don't really care about Santa or Jesus, who just want to get from Thanksgiving to January 1st without going to the poorhouse from Christmas shopping or Weight Watchers in despair from the holiday twenty. Some of those people can be found at Meghan Murphy's Christmas show every December, where they can commune with like-minded people who love a holiday show filled with profanity, innuendo, a brassy buxom beauty bedecked in beading, and hot guys who slow dance together during the play... not to mention some of the greatest musical entertainment to be found on any stage anywhere. It's the season's best grown-up holiday party, and for ten years Murphy and her boyz have been the perfect present for audience members who are at their nicest when they're being a little naughty.

And without that gift in 2020, Big Red fans might very well stop believing in Santa Claus.

Never fear, Big Red devotees, because your holiday just got saved! You will get to be with Big Red And The Boys this year after all! You'll have to use your imagination and the photos included in this article for the visuals, but the audio comes by way of a brand-new CD release, a live recording of the show when it played Feinstein's/54 Below in 2018. The album, appropriately titled BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW captures all the charm and warmth, all the festivity and fierceness that the actual concert provides; any listener who has been lucky enough to be in the audience will have a strong sensory recall, while patrons of the recording who have yet to attend a performance will be filled with the joy, sass, and feelings of community that have kept audiences coming back, year after year. Like the live albums of times gone by (before the days of YouTube), this one delivers a listening experience that gives all the moods, emotions, laughter, and ambiance of the actual performance.

Murphy and her men (John Francisco, Nick Davio, Patrick Andrews & TJ Chernick) are a team of musical marvels, proficient in their craft, working with superb harmonies, and marvelous instrumental work (for those who do not know, the boys are the band) but when they aren't actively engaged in the art of singing, the opportunity to hear Ms. Murphy visit with the audience, tell stories (and dirty jokes) and impart her philosophies on love, life, family and acceptance is like listening to a TED Talk with a pitcher of martinis in front of you. Murphy and co. are all the type of people we want in our lives and at our holiday parties - a fact that comes through with each moment of the recording. Using pop music, show tunes, classic Christmas songs, and even one bona fide Christmas Carol, Big Red & The Boys keep it mostly light and fun, though there are a couple of moments of pure pathos and heartwarming humanity, with the back to back "It's Just Not Christmas" and "This Sunday" - a sweet and tender respite from the raucous carryings-on of the party. The energy ebb and flow brought about by the musical moments of introspection keep it real, and keeping it real is always an important part of life, even on a holiday album.

The Mischievous Five are not the only members of the Big Red family who perform on the album that is destined to become your most listened to this holiday season. One of the highlights on the cd of seventeen tracks occurs when Big Red welcomes to the stage her sister in fabulosity, singer-songwriter Grace Garland so that the gang can bring down the house with Garland's modern-day Christmas classic "Single Mingle Jingle" and listening to the big-voiced broads have a diva-off will have the whole household dancing around the living room as everyone gets their holiday on. It's just one of the exquisitely uplifting moments on an album that will make you so happy that you want to make a gift of it to all of your favorite people - sure, they won't have the benefit of seeing Big Red in her Christmas tree dress or enjoying the genuine affection shared between each of the super-cute boyz, but it will have to do until the clubs are open again and your family can celebrate with this family in person. And it's more than enough, take this writer's word for it.

Speaking personally, 2019 was my first year at a Big Red show. I could never get a ticket before but my newly acquired press badge gave me a leg up last year, and it was genuinely my family's favorite night of the 2019 holiday season. So when I put the CD on my device to listen to yesterday while out in midtown between seven and eight am, I was overcome by a flood of happy memories, so much so that while listening to Big Red's Monologue about chosen family, inclusivity, having a safe space, and coming as you are & being loved, I looked up into the morning sky of Manhattan and the lights along Ninth Avenue and, for the first time in 2020, I felt the goodwill of the season fill my being, from tip to tail. This from one little digital live recording.

That's gift enough for this moment. Isn't it?

BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW is a 2020 release that is currently only available HERE.

Please enjoy these photos of Big Red & The Boys from their 2019 concert at Feinstein's/54 Below, a performance that has been nominated for the Broadway World Award in the category of BEST SPECIAL EVENT, MULTIPLE. Vote for them HERE.

BWW CD Review: BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW Just Made The Holiday Season

BWW CD Review: BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW Just Made The Holiday Season

BWW CD Review: BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW Just Made The Holiday Season

BWW CD Review: BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW Just Made The Holiday Season

BWW CD Review: BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW Just Made The Holiday Season

BWW CD Review: BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW Just Made The Holiday Season

BWW CD Review: BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW Just Made The Holiday Season

BWW CD Review: BIG RED & THE BOYS LIVE AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW Just Made The Holiday Season

Photos by Stephen Mosher


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