Michael Cavacini

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Archive for the tag “Christmas”

A Very Barry Christmas

Photo by Dana Holland.

For the first time ever, Barry Manilow took his Christmas show on the road. This special concert typically only takes place in Palm Springs, where Manilow resides. But this year he decided to bring it to a handful of locations, including New York. I made it a point to attend Manilow’s New York performance, and it exceeded my expectations.

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A Christmas Tradition Comes To An End

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/570/38229448/files/2014/12/img_1994-0.jpgFor as long as I can remember I’ve had my photo taken with Santa. Not for myself, but for my Father. It makes him happy and reminds him of when I was a child and believed in the magic of Christmas. Now that I’m approaching my 30th birthday (next March), I figured I’d get my photo taken with Santa one last time.
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Rod Stewart – Live in Philadelphia

Rod Stewart LiveRod Stewart was the first concert I ever attended, and on December 11 I saw him live for the fourth time. As always, he put on a terrific show. While not quite as powerful as it was back in the 1990s, Rod’s voice still sounds great and he knows how to wrap himself around a song and convey emotion like very few singers do. He also jumped, danced and kicked soccer balls around the stage – dressed in dapper attire, of course – with such energy and enthusiasm that it’s hard to believe Rod’s almost 69.

Steve Winwood opened the show with an unremarkable set list that included only two hit songs: “Gimme Some Lovin'” and “Higher Love.” He didn’t perform “Valerie,” “Back in the High Life Again,” “While You See a Chance,” “Roll With It,” or “The Finer Things.” When you’re an opening act, you have to knock people’s socks off and give them what they want. Winwood did neither. Yes, he’s a great musician and performed well, but there was much left to be desired.

Thankfully, Rod knows how to work a crowd and please his fans. He kicked off the show with two upbeat hits and rolled into classic material, including deep cuts like “Sweet Little Rock & Roller” and “I’d Rather Go Blind.” Rod also highlighted his new album, Time, with two great tracks: “Can’t Stop Me Now” and “Brighton Beach.” He also brought out his daughter, Ruby, to sing a song on her own, “Just One More Day,” and one with him, “Forever Young.” However, the highlight of the show was Rod singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” while backed by an orchestral ensemble, with snow falling down from the ceiling.

If you have a chance to see Rod Stewart live, go. He’s an iconic singer that still puts on an excellent show that won’t leave you disappointed. He had the crowd on its feet and kept everyone dancing and singing along from start to finish. He wasn’t inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice (once as a solo artist and the second time as lead singer of the Faces) by accident; Rod was honored two times because of his spectacular body of work and legendary live performances. Do yourself a favor and buy a ticket next time he’s in town. You’ll have a blast.

Below is the set list from the show and four videos I shot. Enjoy!

Set List

  1. “This Old Heart Of Mine”
  2. “Having a Party”
  3. “You Wear It Well”
  4. “Stay With Me”
  5. “Tonight’s The Night”
  6. “Some Guys Have All the Luck”
  7. “Rhythm of My Heart”
  8. “Just One More Day” (sung by Ruby Stewart)
  9. “Forever Young” (sung with Ruby Stewart)
  10. “The First Cut Is the Deepest”
  11. “Brighton Beach”
  12. “Have I Told You Lately”
  13. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
  14. “Can’t Stop Me Now”
  15. “Sweet Little Rock & Roller”
  16. “I’d Rather Go Blind”
  17. “Proud Mary” (sung by Rod Stewart’s backup singers)
  18. “You’re In My Heart”
  19. “Hot Legs”
  20. “Maggie May”
  21. “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

Franklin Flea


If you’re looking for a fun holiday shopping destination in Philadelphia, make sure to stop by Franklin Flea. Located on the first floor of the historic Strawbridge’s Building at 801 Market Street, you’ll find a uniquely curated collection of local vendors, as well as live music and food. The days and hours of operation are on Saturdays from November 16 to December 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, a special weekday market is taking place on Friday, December 20 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, check out FranklinFlea.com.


Spending time with one of the most iconic parts of the old Strawbridge’s building, Il Porcellino, a replica of the famous bronze boar fountain in Florence, Italy.

Christmas Day


The barren streets are filled with snow.

The aroma of pines, wines and homemade treats hang in the air.

Through frosted panes of glass, lights are gleaming and hearts are beaming.

One and all come together to spread love and good cheer.

Gifts are given, tales are told, while memories are created between young and old.

Patti LaBelle – ‘Twas Love

Patti LabelleWith Christmas almost one week away, many of us are being assaulted with holiday standards everywhere we turn. While I enjoy timeless Christmas standards, I’m a big fan of original songs. One of my favorites is Patti LaBelle’s “‘Twas Love.” It’s a perfectly crafted pop song with an infectious melody. Below you’ll find a link to it on Spotify as well as a video of Ms. Patti singing it live. Enjoy!


My Christmas Tradition


Christmas is my Dad’s favorite time of the year, and it’s mine too. Like many parents, he loves to reminisce about the days when I was a little, chubby child sitting on Santa’s lap. Clearly, I’ve changed quite a bit since then; I’m taller, thinner and, of course, older. However, to keep the spirit alive, I still get my photo taken with Santa every year and give it to my Dad. It still brings a smile to his face and a tear to his eye. I may be older, but in his eyes, I’m still his “baby.”

Santa Photo

Kenny Loggins: The Bells Of Christmas

Kenny Loggins - December

One of my favorite Christmas standards is the beautiful song “The Bells of Christmas” by Kenny Loggins. It’s from his terrific Christmas album, December.

For your listening and reading pleasure, below you’ll find a Spotify Play Button for the song as well as the lyrics. Enjoy!


“The Bells of Christmas”

Imagine a boy
Kneeling by the window
Lookin out across the driveway at the rain
Will it always rain

I remember the bells
Comin’ from the churchyard
And I thought they played their music just for me
And day by day
The rain turned to snow
I don’t hear them anymore

The bells of Christmas
Will ring for us again
When we truly do believe
What Christmas really means
So light a candle
That every man may see
The world of hope and promise
Like the one we knew back when and
We’ll ring the bells of Christmas
Once again

There was a girl
Lived around the corner
With eyes as black as Mary’s must have been
I wonder
Does she miss her friend
I remember the day
All the bells were ringing
As I watched her cross the churchyard in the snow
And all my searching
For all I lack
Is just trying to get that feeling back

The bells of Christmas
Will ring for us again
When we truly do believe
What Christmas really means
So light a candle
That every man may see
A world of hope and promise
Like the one we knew back when and
We’ll ring the bells of Christmas once again

The future of the world, they say
Is in the children’s hands
Perhaps if we could let them lead
We’d come to understand

The bells of Christmas
Will ring for us again
When we truly do believe
What Christmas really means
So light a candle that every man may see
The world of hope and promise
Like the one we knew back when and
We’ll ring the bells of Christmas once again
We’ll ring the bells of Christmas once again


Michael Des Barres: Rock N’ Roll Santa

Michael Des Barres, the raspy rocker known for the amazing Carnaby Street, just released a fun, infectious Christmas song: “Rock N’ Roll Santa.” Unlike the countless covers of traditional Christmas songs that will, no doubt, put you to sleep, this is an original tune about Santa losing weight. Yes, you read that right; Santa’s sporting a svelte figure in this song. If you’re looking for a short, sweet, catchy rock song to kick off the holiday season, I suggest you check out “Rock N’ Roll Santa.” And since this is the season of giving, a portion of the proceeds from this song go to support Little Kids Rock, a wonderful foundation dedicated to restoring and revitalizing music education programs in U.S. public schools.

If you’re not sold on downloading the song, check it out for yourself below.

Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas, Baby & Beautiful Morning


I’ve been waiting for Rod Stewart to record a Christmas album for years. With a voice that’s as warm as a cup of hot chocolate, I knew it would be terrific. Now that it’s here, is it? For the most part, yes. Rod’s in good voice, the arrangements are beautiful and there are a handful of special guests to keep things interesting.

David Foster produced this album, and it sounds great. That said, many of the arrangements – which are beautiful – are extremely mellow. Where the album really shines is the more upbeat tracks, such as “Merry Christmas, Baby” with Cee-Lo Green and “Red-Suited Super Man.” These two songs allow Rod to let loose and show off his soulful side. I also liked how “Auld Lang Syne” featured bagpipes and “Silent Night” included a children’s choir to liven things up.

Target is the only retailer selling the “deluxe version” of the album, which features three bonus tracks: “What Child Is This?,” “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” and “Silver Bells.” All three songs are wonderfully done and worth the extra money.

Overall, this is an enjoyable Christmas album that features an interesting mix of songs and special guests. If you’re a Rod Stewart fan looking for a great way to kick off the holiday season, you’ll be pleased with Merry Christmas, Baby.

If you buy the CD version of the album – instead of downloading it – you’ll discover an insert when you open the album with information on how to download Rod’s first single from his forthcoming rock album. Set to be released in spring 2013, this album will be the first to feature songs written by the raspy rocker since 1998’s When We Were the New Boys. The single is “Beautiful Morning,” and it’s easily the most infectious pop/rock song I’ve heard all year.

Below is a live performance of “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

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