A Family Christmas
Fireside Songs Vol. II
The sky was blue and crystal clear, the sun was shining, and the thermometer read a pleasant 70 degrees– all the makings of a typical Georgia day had it been spring or fall, but oddly enough it was December and we were about to be hosting a Christmas party. We helped string up Christmas lights around bushes and walkways, and as bands gradually showed up we carried drum sets and guitar amps into the beautiful century-old mansion in Buckhead, an uptown district of Atlanta, GA where we would later be surrounded by about 100 of our friends and family to celebrate music, friends, and a year full of good times.
For many of us, and especially for those of us here at Amplify, 2015 was a year to remember. We launched our website in January at the beginning of this year, and since then we've had the opportunity to bring you music from some of the most talented people we've ever met. One of those people happens to be Chris Chaput, the host of Fireside Songs who invited us to bring our cameras and microphones along with us on our drive south from Nashville.
In addition to being an extremely talented musician, Chris Chaput (who you might notice in a couple of these videos) is one of our best friends and a champion for culture, music, and bringing people together in powerful ways. Chris, a Georgia native, takes his mission of building community very seriously and made it a point to welcome every person who walked through the front doors of his family's home and make them feel valued, encouraging everyone helping out with the event to follow suit. This was Chris' second year to host A Family Christmas in Atlanta, and we are so thankful to have been given the opportunity to document the evening.
House shows are quite a common occurrence in Nashville, but cities such as Atlanta haven't been as quick to take bands out of the clubs and into living rooms. It can be easy to take these special shows for granted when we're so used to them being normal, so experiencing people's reactions to this show in Atlanta was a much-needed reminder that music can, in fact, draw people closer together and strengthen communal bonds. This message was on clear display for anyone at the party that evening, demonstrating that even a city as large, spread out, and diverse as Atlanta could benefit from having a house show every once in a while.
The power of house shows goes hand-in-hand with the recent explosive growth in Nashville, especially among members of the creative class, but it's also evidence of growth that's happening on a larger scale throughout the South in general. It seems that many cities in the South are having new life breathed into them, Nashville being one of the most well-known. Culturally and historically rich cities such as Birmingham, Atlanta, Athens, Asheville, and others seem to be entering a new Southern Renaissance of sorts, a rejuvenation of the art, music, and culture that's been struggling to survive here for over a century. Creatives of every kind are flocking to the South for opportunity, and as a result the future here is brighter than it's ever been.
With this in mind, it's easy to understand why Chris wanted to spread holiday cheer in his hometown with a house show. Talented artists from everywhere between Georgia and Texas performed reimagined versions of classic Christmas songs and original songs alike, filling the whole house with music and warmth to last everyone through the new year. We can't wait to be a part of A Family Christmas next year and to celebrate all the good going on in the world right now despite how it may seem at times. As for 2016, the future looks merry and bright.