Hilary James and Bob James have “Christmas Eyes”.

Well, it’s been an interesting year. Just in case you hadn’t noticed. In the first three months of the year my writing went along in its normal way and then came the the first three lockdowns we’ve experienced in London because of the pandemic. I started that period floating the idea of online performances and interviews to some artists. Some worked out and some didn’t. I interviewed Nad Sylvan (who is also known as lead singer in Steve Hackett’s band) about his trilogy of solo albums. There was an interview with Bob James and Hilary James which was going to be a stand alone interview but has now become part of a series. Then, there was a long essay about Bob Dylan’s “Tell-Tale Signs” box set.

Each of these was well-received and attracted a very healthy readership. And then my eyesight began to fade. And so everything was delayed until surgery brought about improvement in what was a complicated situation.

So, now this week I was able to interview Bob and Hilary for the second time. Appropriately, this time we concentrated on their Christmas Eyes album – just the right time of the year. At the beginning of the interview, there was a short discussion about my situation, which I’ve left in as a personal marker in the sand.

Darren

My apologies about the dark glasses, I’ve been having some eye surgery, so it has been a pretty rough time for me. I’ve had two lots of eye surgery. I’ll be having two more in the new year. So it is, I have to do a lot to protect my eyes at the moment. So, there we go.

Hilary James

Are you able to see?

Darren

Oh, yeah. I couldn’t before the first surgery, for about three weeks, I had no eyesight at all. And six months before that I’d never worn glasses in my life. So, it was very strange.

Hilary James

But  you’re doing better now.

Darren

Oh, yeah. They’re getting to it.

Hilary James

Good.

Darren

OK, so Christmas Eyes. I was so glad that you did such a beautiful version of it last night.

Hilary James

So, you did get to see the show? We were not sure.

Darren

I did see the show. It was so wonderful. And I just can’t say enough about how good it was and just how much joy something like that brings into people’s lives, particularly, this year, because of everything that has been wrong in society and with the virus and everything else that has been happening. So, thank you so much for doing that. It was great. Really, really good.

Bob James

We’re very lucky to be able to do it. And thank you for saying that. It’s been difficult, of course, for all of us. We’ve been reduced to not being able to do any live performing, as you know. And the virtual world is so rough, it’s completely different technology, completely different demands. We were very, very lucky through these friends of Hilary’s in Canton, Ohio, where she lives. There’s a young couple that we met last summer. And he’s an engineer. She’s a videographer.

Bob James

And the two of them work together as a team. And, gradually, over the course of the rest of the year, they’ve been doing some stuff for me and I’ve been able to learn how great they are. What they accomplished last night on that show was just like a miracle. I couldn’t have imagined that anything like that could sound that good and look that good from a home. I felt like I was in some New York network TV studio or something. They were phenomenal with what we asked them to do.

Every number was kind of different, and we had Hillary’s husband, Kevin, playing the piano with me, so he had to do two piano stuff and they were having to do live cuts. They had four cameras going. It was very, very, we were very lucky to have them do that production.

Darren

It was quite a contrast from when you tried to do your first online session way back in the spring when the camera was the wrong way around and everything was a problem.

Bob James

Exactly, Darren, exactly. I felt that so much yesterday. Oh, how far I had come from just one iPhone, with a built-In microphone on the iPhone and Mono audio and all of this stuff, to have the luxury of David and Lianne, these two people working for us. Very, very happy to have stayed with it and reached the point where we can really make some music.

Darren

That’s great.

Hilary James

It makes us realise everything that’s involved that the artists don’t usually have to worry about. Sometimes it’s so hard to get to the making art part because you’re spending so much time trying to do the technology. And artists are expected now to know how to use even just this, trying to do the Zoom call. We’re supposed to have to do the engineering job. And it’s such a luxury to be able to just do the art and sing and play piano and make the music and have other people worrying about the stuff that they do well, so that we’re free to really just get into what we like to do.

Darren

Cool. So, get into talking about the album, the first thing that I knew there was a Christmas project in the works was that I think in Christmas of 2007, there was a couple of tracks appeared on iTunes, which was the year before the whole album came out. According to my notes here, it was called A Family Christmas at that point, and it had just A Winter Wonderland and Silent Night. It’s interesting to think about how the gestation of Christmas albums / Recordings must be different than a regular project. I was listening to an interview the other day with Bruce Springsteen and he was saying that people were asking him why he’s never recorded a full Christmas album, given that he was being very well known for doing live versions of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, and that kind of thing.

And he said that the reason he never did was because he would want to record it at Christmastime. And then at Christmastime, you want to be with your family. So, that is kinda the problem that musicians face –  and I read in the liner notes of your album that some of the recordings were done in March. Recording Christmas songs in March, how peculiar is that?

Bob James

Very, very peculiar. I remember that too, and not just with the “Christmas Eyes” album, but every time we started to think about Christmas music, it was usually November or when you begin to hear it out in the retail stores. And we started thinking, oh, we should do our own version of some of these songs. Well, by that time, it’s much too late. And it’s too early to start thinking about the following year. I’ve never been any good at thinking more than a year in advance.

And we went through several years of always sharing that feeling that Bruce Springsteen was talking about because it’s always the wrong time. If it is May and the weather is warm and all of that, then you struggle to get inspired by the Christmas music in the same way.

Hilary James

I think it was not until we officially decided that we actually had a record and set to working on and not just little fun individual projects, was because we could commit to spending some time working on it over the holidays and the majority of it got started, (including the Family Christmas, two songs), at Christmas time. We would get together because my dad would come to Ohio and visit for Christmas, my mom and dad at that time, and we would do a session, something just creative in the studio, maybe one or two tunes at a time.

And then we started to accumulate them over the course of a couple of years to the point where we said, “OK, we’ve actually got enough to actually talk about finishing this and turning it into a project and having a goal”. And at that point, we started going more outside of the Christmas season to finish it up. But yeah, that’s always a conundrum because you don’t want to do it during Christmas, and you don’t want to do it when it’s not Christmas. So, it’s just a riddle that needs to be solved.

Darren

Nice. Another interview I read the other day was with one of the guys from Los Lobos and he was saying he got a phone call from Bob Dylan in July to play accordion on his record. And when he got to the studio, this is a few years ago, he found out that they were recording Silver Bells. And he said, “Bob, is this a Christmas record?” And he said, “Yeah, I think so”. And so even at that stage, July, probably height of the summer, people recording Christmas records, which is kind of crazy.

Darren

If I could ask you some questions about the content of the record.

One of the things that intrigues me about the record is that are some Christmas albums that tend towards a kind of a family and fun feel and some other records reflect more on the religious and faith side of Christmas celebrations. Now this record is great because it kind of sits fairly and squarely in the middle somewhere. How did you come up with the song selections?

Hilary James

(to Bob) Do you want to tell these stories?

Bob James

Well, there’s the one thing that motivated us a lot was that there was a very close friend of mine and my wife’s who we went to college with, whose name was Tom Jennings. He was a singer and musician, moved to New York at the same time that we did. And he started a little bit of a tradition of sending us a Christmas present every year of a cassette compilation of his favourite Christmas music. And one in particular, maybe even been the first one he sent us, really touched, and moved us.

He sent them to us for quite a few years. But the first one was the magical one that we just loved. And we loved it so much we played it on repeat in our living room where our Christmas tree was. And it was very, very traditional music.

There might have been a Silent Night version on there, but for the most part, it was these Baroque era or Renaissance music era choral pieces, a completely different atmosphere, but perfect for us at Christmas time to take us into a different world. We just felt transported every time by this tape that he had sent us. It was not his music. It was his idea of his favourite recordings. He was very much into choral music and we loved it.

So,  you will notice on our album that several of the songs selections came about as a result of this friendship with him. And we wanted to do our version of creating that kind of vibe. We did not want it to seem like a sort of commercial pop record, you know kind of “Make sure you do all of the hits”. We didn’t want it to be that kind of record. We wanted to, if we could, to introduce people to Christmas music that they’d never heard before.

And then when Hilary and her husband, Kevin came up with this original song, Christmas Eyes, which became our title, then we really knew that it was personal, it was us, and tried to send our own message through music about how we felt. And I agree with your description of it as being somewhere in the middle between purely religious spiritual Christmas music and pop.

Hilary James

And that that’s very organic, really, to the way we have always celebrated Christmas in our family and beyond in everything else. Our Christmas album was going to be us basically saying this is how we do Christmas in our family. And as a musical family, music is a huge part of the holidays for us. And between me singing in choirs and my husband being a vocalist who sings and sang in many carol groups and everything. And then my dad’s interest in classical music and using classical music, being influenced with a jazz feel to it.

And then also some more traditional songs from the pop era, like Winter Wonderland.

And we tried to pick the ones we like the best that we didn’t think were just corny or annoying, for lack of a better word, Christmas songs, so that we had some things that people could sing along to too, because that’s really the way our Christmas is. I mean, we have some traditional stuff, but a lot of it is very esoteric music based on the tapes that my dad is talking about. And we kind of like the challenge of can we pull some of these songs off and make them a little more approachable maybe.

And it was a fun vocal challenge. And then the other thing I was thinking that I think also influenced it was that another friend of our family, a man named Keith Textor. He and his wife had a vocal group way back, was it the Honeydrippers, I think.  Was that the name?

Bob James

Honey Dreamers.

Hilary James

Honey Dreamers. And they we were good family, friends, and we used to always spend part of the Christmas holiday together. And it became a tradition to kind of exchange musical gifts in a similar way to the tape. Because his family were all singers and we were musicians and singers, it became the family way that every Christmas he would write an arrangement for us to learn and sing and a lot of times we would reciprocate and do an arrangement for their family to sing.

And so, music is just, that kind of music has always been a big part of our holiday experience. And we were trying to bring all those memories to this project.

Darren

One song that you have here, which is Bells of Paradise, I had never heard it anywhere else before and I’ve never heard it since, is that one of the songs that came from Tom Jennings?

Bob James

Yes. I’m looking at the liner notes now. Bells of Paradise definitely. And Ye Shepherds and also A Star Was His Nightlight. I guess those are the ones.

Hilary James

Also, Ballulalow?

Bob James

Well, let me think. Ballulalow, was that on his tape?

Hilary James

Maybe not. That’s a very traditional type of song, but yeah, that one might not have been from that tape.

Bob James

Because Kevin I think maybe came up with that, because he arranged it.

Darren

Now, this is me breaking all kinds of copyright rules, so I hope you didn’t mind this. I’m telling you way too late now to stop me. But about four years ago in the church where I work, we used A Star Was His Nightlight as part of our candlelit carol service. Just your recording with some visuals and stills and so on.

And, you know, that was everybody’s reaction. Well, you know, we’ve never heard that. Where did that come from? And so, I pointed everybody in the direction of your CD. And so hopefully that boosted the sales as well. But there are so many beautiful songs here, so.

Bob James

Well, that’s how we felt about Tom Jennings’s tape, too. We’d never heard them before. He discovered them from his collection and there are times when those pieces definitely feel like Christmas. And in some cases, they did have specific Christmas lyrics, but it was the mood of them, the mood of the music. And they didn’t have to be familiar in the sense of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” or anything like that. It was more that they just conjured up a very special time of year.

Darren

One of the things that surprised me about this album when I first heard it is that you buy the disc and you put it in the player, and you read the cover and it’s Hilary James and Bob James. And so, I expected a little bit like Flesh and Blood, that all of the albums would be vocal tracks, but spread all the way through are both vocal tracks and instrumental pieces as well, which is a really nice twist. Was that your idea, Bob, or a mutual decision or what did that idea come from?

Bob James

I can’t remember.

Hilary James

I can’t remember either. But I know when we made that decision. My feeling was that we did Christmas Eyes and I know you wanted to do an instrumental version of that. And then didn’t the session, the same sessions that the other instrumentals come from that same group of musicians in those same sessions, or were they different?

Bob James

No, I think the same musicians.

Bob James

So, as I recall, more or less the same. And I had participated in a Warner Brothers Christmas album where I did this arrangement of….

Darren

“On This Day”.

Bob James

“On this day”. Thank you, Darren. That’s the one that I wanted to have on our album as well, because I had so much fun with Billy Kilson’s fantastic drum part. And that may have been the reason why we decided that we wanted to include it on our album too. And then while we were at it, just have them play more than one song and so forth.

Hilary James

I think that’s the kind of things that happens once you’re in the studio with the calibre of musicians like James (Genus) and Billy and Chuck Loeb, you kind of just “well, how about we try a version of this” and there’s a lot of that with great musicians, with Christmas music. And I think everybody wants to sort of put their stamp on it. And what would it sound like if we did our own version of it. So, it just kind of worked out that way. And I agree with you, I love the fact that it goes back and forth between vocal and instrumental.

I think those are some of my favourite kind of records in general. I just think it’s nice to have a break from the vocal and then have it come back. It just takes you on a journey.

Darren

So, I take it then that the two versions of Christmas Eyes, as you’ve kind of indicated, were recorded at separate sessions, which is probably why then you’ve got two different guitarists. You’ve got Al Gorgoni whose name  I don’t know recognise, on the vocal version and Chuck on the instrumental version.

Hilary James

Well, Al Gorgoni, if you have chance to do a little research on him, you will find he played on so many great sessions. I wish Kevin (DiSimone, Hilary’s husband) was sitting here because he could name all of them, but, for instance, he’s the guitar player on Brown Eyed Girl. I mean, he’s on a million hits. He was one of the top call guitar pop studio guys back in the 70s and 80s. And dear, dear friend of Kevin’s and has become a friend of mine.

And Christmas Eyes. The vocal we did mostly in our home studio. And I believe Kevin sent the tracks to Al and had him record his guitar part and sent the wave file back to us. And then when you guys did the actual sessions for the instrumental cuts, then we used Billy and James because you had been working with Billy and James on the Trio recording,

Bob James

Yeah, and I think our feeling was that even though Christmas Eyes was a brand-new song, and nobody had heard it before, we wanted it to feel like a standard. And by virtue of the jazz instrumentalists recording a version of it, it brought some new perspective to that song. And we wanted it to help make it feel more universal.

Darren

My three favourite Christmas records are probably Bob Dylan’s “Christmas in the Heart”, yours, and Alexander Zonjic’s, which is entitled “Piper’s Holiday”. I believe you played on that record too, Bob?

Bob James

I do, yes. I can’t remember which songs, but I remember playing on it.

Darren

One of the things I love about those records is how eclectic and esoteric they are. Alexander’s is a very, very different Christmas kind of record. It is one of these things that when my music system is flicking through the different CDs and then this record and Alex’s record are such standout things because they are so unpredictable. I think the contrast is so marked because as you say much Christmas music has become quite predictable in many ways. Was your record project something where you had entire control over the song selection and direction or were there commercial considerations that would bend you in a particular direction from the record company?

Bob James

We probably would have wished that there would have been somebody to give us some commercial direction because we were just left to our own artistic taste just to do whatever we felt like doing. And if we’d had some pressure, perhaps some high-level executive saying, “you better put some more pop version of Feliz Navidad on there or something like that”, then we might have made some more money. Who knows? But we take full blame and a little bit of credit for the fact that we chose all the material based upon our own desire to make the best possible Christmas music that we could make.

Darren

Isn’t that in some ways quite a blessing, really? I know you had a very, very long time at CBS and then you had your period at Warner Brothers, which came to a very sudden end. But isn’t one of the blessings of having more independence that you can take your own artistic direction?

Bob James

Totally, yes, and that’s been extremely important to me my whole career. Yes, I have had some contracts with big labels with Columbia, with Warner Brothers, and before that with CTI. And all of them had their own personality or the desire to make records that fit into their idea. But I can pretty much say that I’ve been very, very lucky. That I made it clear enough that I wanted to be the one making the choices about my music and I would listen to people, but I wanted artistic control and I think for the most part, I’ve done it.

Hilary James

It’s funny because also I’ve never had the opposite experience. Although I suppose to a certain degree, I guess with the Behind the Mask album or Storm Warning album, whatever we want to call it now that Phil Ramone was involved in, there was a little bit more of a feeling because it was a pop, more of a pop feel record that we were hoping to have a hit or whatever. And you always want to have a hit.

But for the most part, every project that I officially put out a CD about has been that kind of we’re on our journey and we’re just doing what’s creatively feeling right to us, with very little exception. And I always think it’s interesting when people want to pigeonhole (my Dad) in terms of, “well, Bob James, you know. Yeah, jazz. But he’s really very pop” and, you know, that kind of the comments he hates the most about being a smooth jazz artist or whatever, because I never see him that way.

I’ve always seen you as somebody who pretty much most of the time is working to get your way off the charts and picking the most obscure material and going off on a journey with a particular musician that you want to work with or a particular style of music or whatever. And rarely have I ever seen you say, “well, I’m going to do this because the record label wants me to put out this kind of record because it’s commercial”. It’s just the opposite really, for the most part that we’ve ever done.

Darren

Well, I think that’s true as well as a listener to your music, because I have a very, very broad, eclectic taste in music, but a lot of the jazz piano I listen to is kind of Thelonious Monk or Dave Brubeck or something like this. When I say to people, “oh, and Bob James”, then the standard answer will be, “well, how does that work?” Because you shouldn’t have him in the same bracket as the Thelonious Monk. That’s not allowed.

But it seems to me that every record you make, I expect it to break down boundaries of people’s expectations. One of the delightful things amongst all of the horrible things that have happened this year has been the fact that within the space of a few months we had the 1965 album that was released from the archives and also the On Vacation album, which are so different from each other, but again are such credible expressions of your artistry.

And so, I find this music, the Christmas music, another part of what is just delightful about where you come from with your music. One question I did want to ask is about backing vocals. I know that Hilary and Kevin are credited on this album as backing vocalists, but I couldn’t find that there was another male backing vocalist on the credits. But there’s a voice on there that didn’t sound like Kevin to me, and I just didn’t know whether he’s just so multifaceted that I just didn’t recognize it. Was there anybody else on there that you remember?

Bob James

Well, it’s possible that I might have sung some background part, and just didn’t credit myself because I didn’t want to destroy my career or something. I don’t know.

Hilary James

Possibly, I honestly think it’s all just Kevin and me. Kevin has a huge range. And he did all those vocal arrangements. He wrote them all. And so, we just sat in our home studio and did layers and layers and layers and layers of stuff. And maybe when you were there, when we were working, if there was a part or whatever that you kind of sang along with. But that was so long ago, I don’t remember.

Bob James

I have some memory of the things that I did, the vocal arrangements on, like Little Drummer Boy, maybe, that I may have started out with, like a guide vocal for them, but ultimately,  they would be eventually singing it. And we may have kept some of my parts on. I’d have to go back and listen to try to remember because they blend together in my mind, those kinds of parts. And Kevin was such a master at making his voice sound like whatever it needs to be on that song, even though it might be completely different. That’s an interesting question.

Hilary James

There certainly weren’t any other professional singers that I remember on this project. Not like we did on Behind the Mask. On there we had some background vocalists on a couple of cuts, and we had them certainly on Flesh and Blood. But all the vocals were done in our home studio that I remember. I don’t even think we recorded any vocals in New York. It was all done at home in Ohio. And it was just us two that I can think of.

Darren

I also wonder whether, speaking of vocal contributions, whether you have listened to this record at home during your Christmas celebrations and whether you make Ava cringe when her voice comes on at the end of Winter Wonderland where she says “Merry Christmas everybody” sounding like she’s about six at that stage. Has she heard that recently?

Hilary James

Yeah, I think probably at least once every season she hears it at least once and she’s old enough now that she doesn’t cringe as much, I think she would cringe a little bit more when she was like 12 or 13. Now  she’s gotten to the point where she can look back on her younger self with a little bit more sense of humour and love.

Bob James

That’s maybe one of my very favourite moments on the whole album, actually, and the spirit that she had at that age. And we try to keep her in that same spirit, even during the times when it’s much tougher, maybe even impossible, to have that kind of innocence. But Ava was such a free spirit. And I can hear that sound in her voice and remember how much of that spirit permeated our life during that time.

Darren

Speaking of Ava, I wanted to commend her for the two songs she sang in your online performance. I didn’t recognise the first one, whose composition is that?

Hilary James

It’s a Joni Mitchell song.

Online advertising poster for the performance that Bob, Hilary, Kevin and Ava did on the 17th December.

Darren

I don’t think I’m familiar with the lyric. Ava did a great job

It’s interesting listening to the broadcast and your rendition of “Christmas Eyes” (the song) on that. The vocal, this is where I get to flatter Hilary, the vocal last night, it could have been lifted straight off the studio record, which is amazing when you think that this is not something that, if you were going out to do a concert, unless it was in December, it’s not something that you perform regularly. But your voice on that was just so right and so tender.

Just how do you keep that sound available?

Hilary James

Well, thank you. I guess I would have to say that I am definitely a product of my schooling and I’m a perfectionist. I was on Broadway, with my years and years of doing Broadway style material, in a perfectionist technique. I had good voice teachers. I take care of my voice so that where I am weaker, perhaps, sometimes in the ad-libbing, and improvisation for a jazz singer, I get very self-conscious about the improvisation and scatting and that kind of thing.

And even riffing is not my best. But I pride myself in my technique and my pitch and that’s kind of my strongest suit. So, I guess, I rely on that. And we sing that song every year but  no, I don’t get to sing it much during the rest of the year.

But it is it’s always on our agenda. People in our hometown, it’s like a hit there. We wish it was a hit everywhere. But everybody always wants to hear it several times during the Christmas season at home.

Darren

It struck me last night as being so brave because if you’d done two or three vocal pieces before that and your voice was ready to go and all the rest of it, but all that preceded it in the online concert, was Bob’s rendition of the Scarlatti piece. And then all of a sudden, you’re central to everything that’s happening, and it knocked me over, really, you were astoundingly good.

Hilary James

Thank you, Darren, that’s so sweet.

Bob James

Thank you for saying that. And I felt what I feel about Hilary. I know about this craft and skill that she has. And what I felt yesterday was hunger. She was so hungry to be in a performance situation because we haven’t had that many opportunities this year. None of us have. So, all of a sudden, we have a gig. And even though it was not the conventional thing of being on a concert stage or in a club or whatever, we were at our home. We knew people were watching conceivably in England and Dubai or whatever.

So, there’s an anticipation that makes some people nervous in the wrong way, but I love Hilary’s family instinct because her mother was that way. Her mother was brave and all she needed was an audience. Even two or three people would be enough.

And she suddenly goes into a mode that’s a heightened kind of feeling. And I could feel it yesterday as soon as seven o’clock started to come around and her mind was on that number, the strength coming in. And I almost deliberately placed it in the setlist, put it up there early on to just establish the turf, establish what was happening in our family and had hundred percent confidence that she would nail it. And she did, and you heard it.

Hilary James

And I feel, I have to say, I feel a very strong responsibility with that song because I believe in it so much. I just still somewhere in the back of my heart, pray someday that some famous person will hear it and want to record it and it’ll get to see the light of day beyond just my performance of it and my dad’s instrumental performance of it. And so, it’s always kind of a double whammy to me, not only my own performance of the song, which I want people to like, but I also feel like I’m doing a songwriter’s demo.

And I want people to get it. I want them to get every word. I want them to get the lyrics. I want them to fall in love with that song beyond just me being the one singing it. It’s definitely a heightened sense of “I’ve got to deliver this. I’ve got to deliver the goods”.

Darren

Two last questions if I could. Bob, last night you performed a Scarlatti sonata which I loved. In the past you’ve made three classical albums. Could you see yourself doing something like that again?

Bob James

Probably not, simply because as I listen to classical music for enjoyment, which I now do more than jazz music, I hear 20 pianists who can do that on a level which I couldn’t achieve if I practised for a 1000 years.

Darren

The downside of that for myself and other jazz listeners who engage with your music and your back-catalogue, is that I would not have discovered the Baroque-era composers if it weren’t for your albums of compositions by Rameau, Scarlatti, and Bach.

Bob James

On those albums, I experimented with piano and synthesisers and Scarlatti particularly lends himself to a kind of musical dialogue between two keyboards like the one I played last night.

Darren

You included a classical piece as a bonus track on the Japanese version of your album with Keiko Matsui.

Bob James

Yes, I could see myself doing more of that kind of thing. A single track as part of a whole album but not a whole album of classical pieces.

Darren

And finally, I’ve noticed that in the last few weeks you’ve shaved your beard – it’s the first time I can remember seeing you look like that in many, many years. Also, last night and today, you’ve worn red jackets. Given your current seasonal predilection for red clothing, have you shaved your beard to avoid being confused with Santa

Bob James

Well, maybe it’s that (laughs). I’m kind of liking it this way, so we’ll what the future brings…

Darren

Well, Bob and Hilary, Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thanks for this hour of your time and I hope we all find God’s blessings in these strange times.

Bob James

Well, hopefully in the New Year, we can travel to you and play some concerts around the world,

Hilary James

Merry Christmas, Darren!

L to R: Bob, Hilary, Kevin and Ava

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