Steve Athanas, E.J. Wells contribute to Make-A-Wish CDWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Local musician Steven J. Athanas describes himself as “a Christmas fool.”
“The day after Thanksgiving I’m at the tree farm getting a tree,” Athanas said. “My eldest son usually competes to see who started playing Christmas music first. It’s my favorite holiday, so being a songwriter I felt the need to express it.”
The Toledo native contributed an original song, “Looks Like Christmas Is Here,” to “Holiday Wishes 2,” a Make-A-Wish benefit CD produced for the second year by Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller. The two-disc CD featuring 44 tracks by local artists is available for $15 at local Panera Bread stores and select shops at Levis Commons. All proceeds go directly to Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana to help grant wishes for Northwest Ohio children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“I saw the editorial Miller wrote earlier this year and was pissed off because I didn’t get involved [in the CD project] last year,” Athanas said. “I was determined to make sure I got in this year.”
Choosing the song to contribute was easy.
“Basically it’s the only Christmas song I’ve ever written,” said Athanas, who is also an artist and a DJ at 107.7 The Wolf.
Athanas recorded the song with his now-defunct band, The Ogres. The song features Athanas on vocals, Wes Linenkugel on mandolin and keys and E.J. Wells on “everything else,” Athanas said. Linenkugel also appears on the CD, playing hammered dulcimer on “Up On The Rooftop.” Wells contributed an original track, “Santa Got A Jump Jet!”
The lyrics of “Looks Like Christmas is Here” contain a compilation of childhood Christmas memories, Athanas said.
“I’m a visual artist and I think it’s safe to say that Christmas, more than any other holiday, is an assault on all of your senses — sight, sound, even touch — and that’s what attracts me,” Athanas said. “Being an artist, you’re always trying to stimulate your senses, so that’s where I’m coming from.”
Athanas said he’s glad the song is part of the CD and he hopes it leaves listeners with “a warm, fuzzy feeling” this holiday season.