Brady Rymer is a three-time Grammy Nominated singer, musician, and songwriter who has just released a brand-new Christmas-themed album titled “Revvin' Up the Reindeer” which is on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes. The album contains original new songs with catchy beats and they will be performed in forthcoming concerts in New York and New Jersey in December.

As he was driving home from a gig recently, Brady Rymer granted an exclusive interview where he discussed this album and the holiday traditions upheld in his family.

Music, songs, and a holiday album

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially find out about your passion for music?

Brady Rymer (BR): Back when I was in junior high school, I loved listening to rock and roll records. I found them very inspiring. One day my friend said, “You can’t play Kiss on a trumpet, so let’s start a rock band.” My brother and my friend and I got together and started playing in the garage -- with our parents’ support -- and we just started to make a racket. That started the passion. It was a simple thing, getting together with friends and making music. I loved it. It still always comes back to that for me – getting onstage and making music with my friends with a receptive audience, whether it be with my rock band From Good Homes or The Little Band that Could.

MM: What drew you towards making a holiday album?

BR: I’ve always loved this time of year. I’m always writing songs for kids. Around this time of year, I would just write a song or two. So, over a couple years I built a little collection of songs. This year seemed like a good time to pull everything together into one album, “Revvin’ up the Reindeer.”

MM: Are all the songs original and, if so, who wrote them?

BR: Yes, “Revvin’ Up the Reindeer” is all new and original songs. Of course, I love all of the holiday classics, too. I admire the songwriting, arranging and recording of these songs. I wanted to do my own take on that and not just copy what’s already been written – to add to the cool collection of holiday songs you hear year after year.

I’ve been happy to see that radio shows around the country are spinning these new songs, including the SiriusXM Satellite Radio holiday channels. And my fans are telling me which songs they like best.

MM: Do you have a favorite song on this new holiday album?

BR: Well, yeah, I like “Holiday Jam” a lot. I had a lot fun writing it, and it was kind of funny to me. It’s an energetic ska-beat song about the fun craziness of the holidays. With lyrics about ugly sweaters, reindeer antlers on the car, volunteering at the soup kitchen, holiday caroling, cooking up a Kwanzaa feast, and stress relief measures like…”mama’s rolling out her yoga may/breathin’ out a holiday ohm.” It’s about all of the ways we celebrate (and endure) the holidays.

“We’re doing the best that we can/Somehow we get through it / By rockin’ our holiday jam!”

MM: How long did it take to complete this latest album overall?

BR: Every holiday season over the last few years, a song or two would come to me and I’d thank Santa! I would be inspired by getting out Christmas lights having to untangle them, or trimming the tree, or just generally enjoying the holidays with my family. The writing took a couple of years. When I decided I had a nice collection, the recording process took about seven months. The Little Band that Could (Claudia Musser, Liz Queler, Jeremy Chatzky, Seth Farber, Larry Eagle and Dan Myers) and I started rehearsing in the winter, and then we recorded in the spring and summer of 2017.

The album was released in October. I was traveling around with sleigh bells in my car during last June and July. My car would be jingling down the highway, and I didn’t really know what month it was for a while. The album was released, and it’s all about the snow, the holidays, cold weather, decorations, and everything, and it was warm outside! The album never really added up for me until recently. It’s starting to make some sense to me now that the season is upon us!

Fans, performances, Christmas, and the future

MM: What sorts of reactions have you gotten from your fans?

BR: Yesterday, a mom told me she really appreciated the lyric about taking time for yoga during the holidays -- hashtag #HolidayOhm.

Critics are saying some nice things about the album. We’ve also already won a couple of awards – NAPPA (National Parenting Publications) and Family Choice. We’ve started to perform these songs in front of live audiences, and we’re getting some really nice responses, particularly about the two Hanukkah songs (“Hanukkah Rocks” and “Rainbow Candles”). I’m open to whatever people want to celebrate. In these songs, I hope to convey just the general philosophy of the season of giving, and spreading peace and love.

MM: Growing up, what were some of your holiday traditions?

BR: I grew up in northern NJ, and I always loved getting our Christmas tree and trimming it with my brother, mom, dad and dog! It’s one tradition that I love with our family now -- it even inspired a few tunes.

When I was a kid, everything was based around Santa Claus coming – making cookies, making hot chocolate, making lists, etc. There was even a phone number you could dial to find out where Santa was on Christmas Eve – the “Santa Hotline!” It was all pretty much around Santa and food. Pretty simple. At a certain point, I was put in charge of wrapping presents. I became the designated wrapper. I guess I was good at that – well, better than my dad! It was a nice time to turn on the radio and listen to all of the holiday songs. I really looked forward to that. I loved the classics and also hearing the new tunes each year.

MM: Be honest, is Christmas your favorite holiday?

BR: I have to say yes, it is!

Despite all the business and worrying about getting everything done. When family is all together and when it gets to be Christmas Eve and you know that everything’s crossed off your list, it’s a really sweet time. Especially when you have kids, it’s always good to have a holiday where you incorporate magic. It’s a beautiful thing. Over the years, my wife, Bridget, and I do things on Christmas Eve so the kids are surprised on Christmas morning. The kids always wanted to have Christmas outside on our enclosed deck. Last year, the weather was nice enough, so my brother-in-law and I moved everything –the tree, the stockings, the presents, etc. – to that indoor-outdoor space. When the kids came downstairs, everything was gone from living room – it was fun to see their reactions.

This is the time of year that lets you be goofy and turn into a kid. It lets you believe in a little magic. This is also a hopeful time. You go around your town saying hi to everybody, reconnecting with people, I always love to see old friends and band mates – people from different parts of my life. It always feels really good – a kind of renewal and reconnection I think the song “It’s Christmastime” conveys the idea of the meaning of this season to me.

MM: Do you have any other albums in the works right now?

BR: Nothing is officially in the works, and we’re really busy performing through the holiday season I would love to think about doing another album like “Love Me for Who I Am” (for kids with autism), and so that’s on the wish list.

In a couple of years, it’s possible I’ll do another a holiday album, since I already have more holiday song ideas. I may also release a “Best Of” album next year. Also, every Friday through Christmas, we are releasing one new sing-along music video on my YouTube channel. So, please check it out! We also have bunch of holiday shows coming up this season. We’re getting into the spirit and really loving to perform these new songs live. Check out our website and Facebook page for links and details about current and future events.