Album Name: Brighten Up The Night
Band: JP Hoe
Release Date: November 14, 2020
Genre: Seasonal / Folk / Pop / Rock
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Outsiders can laugh and scoff at Winnipeg and how it’s an uninhabitable wasteland of snow and mosquitos and meth. And sure, us folks from Winnipeg can always laugh about those things but it prickles when someone else says it. Because the truth is, they have no idea that this icy beast of a city has a warm fuzzy underbelly. And maybe it satisfies us to know that they will never find that warmth without taking the time to find it. But once you do, it sustains you.
I’m talking about our culture that persists through the darkest months. And one of the greatest examples of this is JP Hoe’s ‘Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show.’ It happens annually at the Burton Cummings Theatre. But since the event can’t happen this year, for the first time JP Hoe has released a studio album featuring his original winter-themed songs from the Holiday Show. For a little warmth this week, check out “Brighten Up The Night” by JP Hoe.
For those of you that don’t know about the Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show, it’s a variety show featuring some of the cities most cherished musical guests and the wildest surprises. From a Die Hard Children Choir, to two shadow Aaron Nevilles singing to each other, to an entire family encased in a giant snow globe onstage (strangely relevant now, no?)
There’s a reason Winnipeggers pay the big bucks each year to see what Hoe holds in store for them. It’s because JP Hoe has remained dedicated to surprising his audience with the most elaborate and creative moments he can rally from his Holiday Show team. And with a lot of hard work — and I’m talking really, really hard work (JP even practiced “What’s This?” every day for months one year…) — audiences are sent home topped to the brim with warm fuzzy feelings.
Let’s talk a bit about the record. As a songwriter, JP Hoe’s strength lies in his effortless delivery of memorable melodies. Every song has a moment that will make you want to go back and listen to that one line again and again. In this way “Brighten Up the Night” definitely delivers.
The singer-songwriter has always kept an incredible entourage of backing singers and orchestra instrumentalists. This new album completely embraces this, and it makes for a fantastical, sentimental journey through a winter story land. Listen to the angelic singers on “Dead of the Dark,” or the cinematic yet folksy strings on “To The Bone.”
This week, bottle up the warm fuzzies and bring them home, with “Brighten Up The Night.”