“Michael Tinholme’s story is the stuff that dreams are made of. It’s the stuff that happens in movies.” – Tom Berg (USA Today)
A highly gifted singer-songwriter and producer, Michael Tinholme has had to overcome several adversities to get where he is today. Adopted into a military family when he was just seven years old, Michael has been open about how he suffered from years of abuse from a mentally ill mother. He was constantly on the move, but his love for music became a stalwart. In some ways, it became his only release. This time, here’s here to forgive and forget the demons of his past in order to bring some warmth into the most inviting season of the year: Christmas. More specifically, Michael is going to soothe our hearts like hot chestnuts on an open fire with his new EP release – ‘It’s Christmas Time In The City’ – a classic collection of festive favourites in a smooth, seasonal Jazz bow.
The special extended play record includes two original tracks, and a very generous helping of ten tracks of beautifully re-interpreted Christmas hits, including ‘Moonlight In Vermont’ and ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ among others. Through it all, Michael and his backing band maintain an incredible performance. These are lush, wonderfully produced songs with a top class Jazz band including Bruce Fowler (Frank Zappa) on trombone. There’s also guitarist Mike Miller (Quincy Jones, Bette Midler), well-versed pianist Bill Cunliffe (Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich) and celebrated drummer Gary Novak (Natalie Cole, Chick Corea) making for an all-star lineup by Indie standards. It is merit to Tinholme’s standing within the music community that so many amazing talents are backing him up here, and the results are spellbinding. ‘It’s Christmas Time In The City’ is a fantastic alternative to the same overplayed yawners that you’re bored of hearing in December every year.
One of the standout tracks from the new album is Tinholme’s relaxing own version of ‘Silver Bells’, which was originally recorded by William Frawley in 1950. Since then, big names like Michael Buble, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Carol Richards have covered the track. Tinholme is the latest to stamp his distinctive blueprint on the track with a smokier, swing aesthetic. His vocals are lush and of the highest calibre. Meanwhile, his backing band add a Vegas-like backdrop of large orchestral arrangements and minimalist Piano riffs that really allow Michael’s voice to move through the lyrics with pathos and emotion. Sophisticated and stylish, it is everything that you may want from a Christmas anthem and more.
Despite his difficult upbringing, Michael Tinholme played his first gig at the age of only twelve years old and he learned to love expressing his creativity. With his adopted father stationed countries away in Vietnam, Tinholme had to experience foster care for months at a time before deciding to leave the family home and he spent six years living on the streets in California. Ever the optimist, it was testament to Michael’s driven work ethic that he turned these fortunes around, eventually being scouted by the legendary frequent collaborator of David Bowie’s – Mike Garson. Garson recognised his talents, and I am sure to agree with his tastes. I am certain that you will too.
Words by Jacob Braybrooke
Be sure to check out It’s Christmas Time in the City this holiday season and don’t forget to follow Michael Tinholme on Facebook!