A Pony for Christmas Digital Album
Todd Almond

A Pony for Christmas Digital Album

SKU: #791558460650
5 out of 5 Customer Rating

Todd Almond’s debut holiday album A Pony for Christmas is an inspired folk-pop take on the classic holiday album, weaving personal, original compositions with new versions of traditional carols and unexpected reworkings of pop songs. A Pony for Christmas – which masterfully combines folk, rock, pop and theater influences – started as an idea from Todd’s mother. “Every year for, oh, twenty-something years, she has asked me to make a Christmas album for her,” he remembers. “And every year I haven’t done it. Her 70th birthday landed in the middle of the pandemic and I struggled with what to get her that showed just how much I love her. Then one day it hit me. A Christmas album, of course. And there was the inspiration I needed.”

Almond strove to include selections that aren’t “Christmas” songs per se, but say things like “thank you” (“Kind and Generous”), or “I miss my home” (“Welcome Home”) or “my childhood made me who I am” (a haunting mash-up of three Kate Bush compositions, “Hounds, Running, Clouds”). “The album took shape as a celebration of life, of gratitude, of recognition of who I am because of the people who have loved me,” he reflects. “This is a thank you to my mom and to everyone I love. For me, that is what the best kind of Christmas gift is: something only you can give, and something you give in gratitude.”

“Christmas is the best time of year, and some music just feels like Christmas,” says Almond. “‘Ponies’ – an original song from my musical Iowa – is not about Christmas. But there’s something in the song that makes me laugh, so it’s included here as an extra bit of joy. And we put sleigh bells on the track, so if you don’t pay attention to lyrics, you’ll never know it has nothing to do with Christmas!”

The originals on the album include “Moon Over Nebraska,” perhaps Almond’s most requested song. “I wrote it for my husband Mark, but I wrote it before I met him. It’s hard to explain, but if you believe in fate, you’ll get it. I grew up in Nebraska, and the first lines sound like a dis to Nebraska, but it’s just more of that endless longing that I think is a hallmark of my writing. I long. Even when I have. Merry Christmas.”

The joyous “Welcome Home” originated from Almond’s musical The Odyssey, the third show he wrote and performed in for The Public Theater’s Public Works program, which he started with Lear deBessonet. “No recording of any of this music from any one of those shows exists,” comments Todd, “and so I’m thrilled to debut a song here. Those shows, too, felt born of gratitude and love for the great city of New York. Lear and I wanted to tell big stories that included all of what makes New York the greatest city in the world, and this is big finale of one of those shows. Over two hundred people on stage singing to Odysseus and to anyone who needs to hear it: ‘Welcome Home! Everyone wants you here!’ That felt like a Christmas mood to me, so we’ve included it.”

The collection’s finale is a charming acoustic take on the timeless standard “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” This song perfectly sums up the sentiment of the album,” he concludes. “Even if I’m not home, I’m thinking of you and I love you.”

TODD ALMOND is known for his singular songwriting in addition to his work as an accomplished performer. He recently toured the U.S. in his original musical Kansas City Choir Boy starring alongside rock icon Courtney Love, and starred in three of his original musicals at the famed Delacorte Theater in Central Park (The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, and The Odyssey). His musical Girlfriend – based on the Matthew Sweet album of the same title – is a perennial favorite for theater companies around the country, and he is currently collaborating with producer David Foster on a new, original musical. He has previously collaborated with Sarah Ruhl (Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical), Jenny Schwartz (Iowa), Laura Benanti (In Constant Search for the Right Kind of Attention), Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz (“Twohander”), Kelli O’Hara (“Live at Carnegie Hall”), and Andrew Rannells (“Live from Lincoln Center”).

Produced by Todd Almond, Peter Sachon
Recorded at SPIN Studios
*Engineered by *Nik Chinboukas
*Mixed by *John Kilgore and Nik Chinboukas
Mastered by Alan Silverman

Todd Almond - Vocals/Piano/Xylophone
Matt Beck - Guitar/Mandolin/Uke
Eric Halvorson - Drums/Percussion
Malcolm Gold - Acoustic/Electric Bass
Tony Kadleck - Trumpet
Steve Lyon - Flute/Oboe/Clarinet
Peter Sachon - Cello/Co-Producer
Antoine Silverman - Violin
Katie Kresek - Violin
Chris Cardona – Viola
Bryan Hernandez-Luch - Violin Hiroko Taguchi – Violin
Jocelin Pan – Viola
Michael Aarons – Guitar
Mary Anne McSweeny - Acoustic Bass Chuck Palmer - Percussion
Adda Kridler - Violin
Kiwon Nahm - Violin

Artwork Credits:
Photography: Pamela Bob, WDY Photography
Watercolors: Jay Owen Eisenberg

1. Maybe This Christmas
2. Ponies
3. O Holy Night
4. Welcome Home
5. A Pony for Christmas
6. Hounds, Running, Clouds
7. Little Drummer Boy
8. Kind and Generous
9. Moon Over Nebraska
10. The First Noel, Angels We Have Heard on High
11. River
12. Christmas Eve
13. I’ll Be Home for Christmas