By Damien Monaco
This time of the year wouldn’t feel the same if it weren’t for cheesy holiday music ringing in your ears whenever you step into a mall. The played out music is enough to drive anyone crazy, so why intentionally go to a show where you know you will hear more of it? The answer is simple: because it is being performed by The Origginators, a Long Island-based rock and soul band that adds their own flavor to these crappy tunes, transforming them into something you would actually want to listen to.
On December 12, 2015, The Origginators took the stage at Ziggy’s Corner Pub for a free holiday show, entertaining the crowd with a mix of original songs, holiday covers and other well-known favorites by artists such as Carole King, Chuck Berry, Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt and Elvis, among others.
Between the band’s two sets, intermission and encore, they performed more than 30 numbers, pleasing the bar patrons who kept demanding more. Intertwining holiday classics, originals and covers, each song flowed from one to the next effortlessly. The Origginators did an excellent job at reworking the covers so that they blended in flawlessly with their own songs. If you didn’t know the original track, you would have never guessed that they did not write it.
Some of the holiday songs The Origginators performed included “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Blue Christmas,” “Away in a Manger,” “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” and “Run Run Rudolph.” One of the more interesting covers done that night was of “Our World,” from Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, complete with back up vocals sung by guitarists Anthony Zammit and Nick Riggio. Angie Marie Zammit’s soulful voice infused warmth into every holiday tune, just in time for the cold winter. Not to be forgotten is bassist Joe Faure, whose rhythmic chords helped unify the band’s sound.
The Origginators also played “Thunder and Lightning,” one of the band’s old songs that has been remade for their new CD, due out in February 2016. Other original tracks that they performed included “Life Is Short,” “Joy,” “Paradise in Queens,” “Coulda Been You,” “Kickin’ Down the Door,” “No One Writes Letters Anymore” and many more.
Although the band didn’t have anyone playing drums, Angie Marie’s tambourine, egg shaker and foot tapping – proving that high heels are more than just for fashion – did an excellent job of filling the void. At this performance she also had sleigh bells, adding more depth to the songs and injecting them with that holiday feel.
All of the members of the band added their creative influences to the songs they performed, whether they were originals or covers, creating an amazing experience that anyone would have enjoyed. Keep an eye out for their upcoming shows and make sure to buy a copy of their new CD when it is released. For more information, visit TheOrigginators.com.