Have a Metal Christmas / Paul Gilbert’s ‘TWAS includes three new seasonal compositions

Paul Gilbert will release his 17th solo album ‘TWAS, on 26 November 2021, via The Players Club/Mascot Label Group. Among the seasonal classics and three new compositions, although the song Down The Chimney Blues is only available on the Japanese version. The vinyl version will be released on 10 December 2021.

“Many will agree that in recent times, challenging events have been pouring down upon our heads like an Exploding Waterfall of Molasses,” Paul told MetalTalk. “At least it sometimes feels like that to me. But while I was jamming Christmas songs with my friends, playing an assortment of red, green, and white Ibanez electric guitars, I felt like life was the best.”

Joining Paul for the sessions were some of Portlands finest jazz and blues musicians. “All brought supreme musical goodness to these arrangements and performances,” Paul said of the contributions of Dan Balmer (guitar), Clay Giberson (keyboards), Timmer Blakely (bass), and Jimi Bott (drums).

“They certainly steered me to make wiser musical choices than I would have made on my own. And as you will hear, my Metal guitar instincts still breathe fire when they get the chance.”

Of the thirteen tracks on the album, ten are seasonal classics. “I was inspired by the Christmas recordings of Nat King Cole, Loretta Lynn, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald, and The Ventures,” Paul said. “And of course, inspiration came from my guitar heroes, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Lifeson, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, Frank Marino, Pat Travers, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page, to name a few.”

Cover of TWAS, by Paul GilbertThe album also features three original songs, Every Christmas Has Love, Down The Chimney Blues and Three Strings For Christmas.

“I also wrote some of my own new Christmas songs,” Paul says. “As I have been doing recently, I begin with lyrics and a melody. Then I let my guitar take over, as it sings better than I do.

“Three Strings for Christmas refers to the 3-string guitar that I used on my double-neck. I tune the strings in octaves, which allows me to play ridiculously fast arpeggios, and very little else, which is why I have a normally strung guitar for the other neck.

“Every Christmas Has Love was written quickly, inspired by my panic-driven mental state of album making. When I know that the recording sessions are coming, my brain shifts into survival mode and melodies start popping out.

“Then I take all the chords I learned by listening to ’70s AM radio and build a song. The lyrics are nice too. I’ll be printing those in the liner notes of the album.”

The five musicians recorded at Jimi Bott’s studio, with a plan to record two songs every day, for six days. Bott also engineered and mixed the recordings.

“All songs were recorded live,” Paul says, “although I think Jimi snuck some cowbell overdubs in. If anything should be added to a live track, I believe cowbell is the right choice.”

To join in the Christmas spirit, you can pre-order the album from

“I hope that this music can put a smile on your face as well,” Paul says. “Merry Christmas to all. And to all, a good night.”

Photo of Paul Gilbert
Paul Gilbert. Photo: Jason Quigley

‘TWAS – Tracklist

1. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
2. Frosty the Snowman
3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
4. The Christmas Song
5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
6. I Saw Three Ships
7. Every Christmas Has Love
8. Three Strings for Christmas
9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
10. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
11. Silver Bells
12. Winter Wonderland

Bonus Track for Japan
13. Down the Chimney Blues

Sleeve Notes

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