“Get Me Home By Christmas Eve” is a new song, arriving just in time for the 2012 Christmas season. Yet, it was written 20 years ago. What happened in between involves an intriguing back-story.
The song was written and recorded by the band Cold Beer & Broads, a country-tinged rock band with a great Americana, rock ‘n roll name. The mastermind behind the project is Larry Studnicky, a man with enormous musical talent that began his career pursuing other ambitions.
“In the Fall of 1991 I was a young and arrogant corporate lawyer at one of NYC’s huge international law firms,” Studnicky explains. He had made a fairly large amount of money working for the firm, but his passion for music remained in the back of his mind. Although he was working as a lawyer, “the songs kept piling up in [his] head.”
Studnicky first attempted to leave the law world to break through in the music industry in the early 90s. His connections and musical prowess ultimately landed him with some heavyweight guest performers— Mick Taylor and Cher, namely— yet the project never truly took off.
“After losing tons of money on an album that no record label would pick up, I was feeling pretty burned and went back to practicing law,” Studnicky explains, “But this time I joined one of NYC’s better-known music law firms.”
His experience working for a music firm ultimately led him to make more connections with talented artists, and a group of such musicians now comprises Cold Beer & Broads. Gordon Titcomb plays acoustic guitar, pedal steel and mandolin. Charles Czarnecki plays keyboards and John Macom plays rhythm guitar and sings. Brothers Kevin and Ken Dow play drums and bass, respectively. The latter Dow brother’s wife, Melissa Harley Dow, plays fiddle.
The band recorded their first track, “Get Me Home By Christmas Eve,” (Check out the video on YouTube) last October in NYC. The song is one that Studnicky wrote in 1991 (a Christmas-themed song didn’t fit in on his album so he never released it), so its lyrics are a reflection of the world events that took place during that time.
“That Fall Pres. George H.W. Bush had our troops invade Iraq. I was thinking about our soldiers who’d be stuck overseas fighting through the coming Xmas holiday,” says Studnicky, “and that generated the lyrics and melody for the first verse and pre-chorus of ‘Get Me Home By Christmas Eve.’”
Despite the significant gap between the song’s creation and its recording, the lyrics are still relevant. There’s another American-led war raging on, and another crop of soldiers that are going to miss out on being with their stateside families and friends during the holiday season.
Although the song was written with American soldiers in mind, it’s by no means exclusive to that part of the population. Rather, it speaks to the too-large number of American citizens that are unable to spend the holidays with their families, significant others or friends. As Studnicky says, “I also hoped that the lyrics would speak more broadly to anybody who has been stuck overseas, away from his or her loved ones, as Christmas Eve is approaching.” The song does have a broad appeal, and its catchy yet somewhat solemn chorus makes it even more appealing.
The percussion consists of a persistent, swung shuffle, and the hopeful lyrics of the chorus are sung with smooth harmonies. The steel guitar and fiddle parts give the song an Americana vibe, while the jingle bells make the song appropriately Christmas-y. The track is proof that sometimes good songs need a long while to come fully into fruition.
The song was released late last year, but 2012 is the first holiday season in which it can be heard with a proper amount of time prior to Christmas Eve. To celebrate the song’s timeliness, the band has made the track available for free via its website.
Although “Get Me Home By Christmas Eve” is currently the only song available by Cold Beer & Broads, Studnicky has no plans to slow down. “I am in my 50’s now and have no intention of dying with all these tunes rattling around in my head,” the musician said. The world’s gonna be better off if he gets them out.