Los Angeles-based Wicked Cool recording artists Prima Donna gear us up for the holiday season with a lonesome and soulful single titled "Mistletoe Blues."
Prima Donna consists of Kevin Preston, David S. Field, Aaron Minton, and Lights Out Levine. Through the release of their single "Mistletoe Blues," Prima Donna also released another holiday single titled "Gimme Christmas," which can be heard on the A and B side of the forthcoming 45 physical single dropping November 27th.
Paying tribute to the classics of Sun Records with their latest single, "Mistletoe Blues," Prima Donna gives listeners a stimulating performance. We can't help but hear a similarly broad and soulful sound to the stylings of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band through Prima Donna's bluesy instrumentals the send us on a holiday groove and Kevin Preston's striking vocal performance that powers through with passion and heart.
"Mistletoe Blues" opens with bright jingle bells and Kevin Preston's sweet vocals accompanied by his warm acoustic guitar. While he begins singing of meeting someone under the mistletoe, Prima Donna's entire instrumentation sets in with a bluesy and soulful tone through David S. Field's rhythmic percussion, Lights Out Levine's deftly groovy bassline, and Kevin Preston's soulful and gritty vocals.
Touching on our note of the resemblance between Prima Donna and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, we can also hear the rocking stylings of Elvis Presley through Kevin Preston's swinging and passionate vocals. Just when we thought the song is as soulful as it can get, Aaron Minton pushes through with uplifting keys while also offering a gripping experience through his spirited saxophone solo that ends the song with soul.
We're ready to keep Prima Donna's banger "Mistletoe Blues" bumping throughout the rest of the holiday season, as they sprinkle their sweet and soulful stylings for listeners to groove away while coming together.
What inspired your group to take on the release of two holiday singles with "Mistletoe Blues" and "Gimme Christmas"?
There comes a time when a band needs to do a Christmas tune or two, and we have been looking forward to this for a while. At first, it was like, “What Christmas song should we cover?” but we went bold and made originals! These two tracks are very different too. With Gimme Christmas, we wrote it together and I feel like there were bits of Slade and the Sweet inspiring us. We threw a towel over David’s drum heads to get this certain tone. It’s a fun loud song produced by Bruce Duff and Paul Roessler at Kitten Robot.
Mistletoe Blues, on the other hand, is a smooth bluesy song Kevin wrote that I got to lay my tenor sax on. That’s produced by Bruce Witkin at Unison Music Studio.
Speaking on your single "Mistletoe Blues," what pushed your band to pay tribute to Sun Records with the song's bluesy and soulful instrumentation? Did you have any artists in mind when creating the piece?
I would say it’s our love of Chuck Berry, Little Richard. I feel like Mistletoe Blues has pieces of Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift For You, Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas. I am always inspired by Bobby Keys when I play sax and The Killer when I play the piano.
Through your tightly-wound Blues/Soul instrumentals within "Mistletoe Blues," what did your band's creative process look like when crafting the sonics to offer a nostalgic and bluesy tone?
It was a new experience putting this together because of the pandemic. For the Mistletoe Blues demo, Kevin recorded himself with just vocals and guitar, emailed it to me, and I added a sax solo. Later at the studio, David and Lights Out went together and tracked drums and bass. Then I went in, and Kevin later. All on different days, so the song came together like that, without us actually playing together. And it went smooth. Bruce Witkin has to get kudos for recording Mistletoe Blues so beautifully.
Why did your band want to get rather nostalgic and release a 45 single with "Gimme Christmas" on side A and "Mistletoe Blues" on side B? Why did you want to undergo this reminiscent process?
Ever since we’ve been a band we’ve wanted to put out cool 7 inches. We try to have all of our music on vinyl if possible. Part of it is our love of 50’s/60’s music. Our label Wicked Cool Records is all about it. And vinyl sounds better.
What can we expect to see next from you?
We’re actually gonna release two more songs in the near future, also on a 45 vinyl single and digital. And again on Wicked Cool Records, so please stay tuned for that. I’ll say that one is an original and one is a cover. We also recorded them this summer with Bruce Witkin at Unison Music Studio. With COVID-19, unfortunately no touring. We last went to Europe fall of 2018 and we really miss being on the road. We hope people enjoy these new tunes.
Interview answered by: Aaron Minton