DownloadThe fifth and final A Holiday Benefit compilation dropped December 14th at a raucous, epic celebration featuring performances from Chris Abad, Misty Boyce, Bryan Dunn, Casey Shea and Benjamin Wagner plus Caleb Hawley, Mary Bragg, The Stone Lonesome, The Vanity Belles, Paula Valstein, and many more. The group raised nearly $2500 for 826NYC in one night!

Five CDs, seventy-four songs, and thousands of downloads since its inception in 2007, A Holiday Benefit has raised nearly $20,000 for 826NYC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting inner city students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Over the course of five years, A Holiday Benefit has featured repeat performers Benjamin Wagner, Chris Abad, Casey Shea, Bryan Dunn and Misty Boyce, plus burgeoning national talent Amber Rubarth, Bess Rogers, Ian Axel, Rachel Platten, Wakey! Wakey!, Rosi Golan, Chris Cubeta, Paula Valstein, Astoria Boulevard and dozens more.

The annual compilation record and rock show began in 2007 when singer/songwriter pals Benjamin Wagner and Chris Abad and bandmates Tony Maceli and Ryan Vaughn gathered a handpicked group of New York City musician friends to create, A Holiday Benefit.


"The blueprint was A Very Special Christmas," Wagner says. "That record's the soundtrack to my best holiday memories: Christmas Eve, late-Eighties, my brother's brown station wagon, egg nog, Springsteen, U2 and Run DMC. We wanted to make something as great. And well-intentioned."

But Wagner and Abad wanted to go one step further, creating a deeper sense of togetherness by creating something together: a group track. For year one, it would be the Band Aid classic, "Do They Know It's Christmas."

When this year's group -- including stalwarts Ryan Vaughn (drums) and Tony Maceli (bass) -- gathered at Brooklyn's Galuminum Foil Studio in November, they brought the project full circle, recording "Do They Know It's Christmas" one last time. A Holiday Benefit, Vol. V is a collection of breathtaking originals (Chrissi Poland's "Another Lonely Christmas In New York") and reverential covers (Abad's plaintive version of Ron Sexsmith's "Maybe This Christmas"). The compilation is largely original, decidedly different, and beautifully surprising -- as is evident from the track listing:

A Holiday Benefit Singers - Do They Know It's Christmas?
Chris Abad - Maybe This Christmas
Astoria Boulevard - The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)
Martin Rivas - Xmas At 78 RPM
Misty Boyce - Merry Christmas, My Love
Mary Bragg - Jingle Bells
Bryan Dunn - Christmas In Prison
Caleb Hawley - Santa's Just A Hippie With A Beard
Greg Mayo - Every Day Is A Holiday
Casey Shea - Worst Christmas Ever
The Stone Lonesome - Holiday Road
Chrissi Poland - Another Lonely Christmas In New York
Benjamin Wagner - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Download all five "Holiday Benefit" CDs below via iTunes.

© 2011 A Holiday Benefit