‘Just Your Love’: Chris Shutters and Scott Fish contribute track to holiday CDWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing an original Christmas song for the Make-A-Wish benefit CD “Holiday Wishes 3” presented an unusual challenge for Toledo area singer-songwriter Chris Shutters. Not necessarily writing a holiday song —he’d always wanted to try that. No, the obstacle was the state of mind he’d need to be in to write it.
“As far as stylistically, it was a challenge. Because it had to be really happy, and I don’t have a problem with that. But it’s easier to write songs when, say, you’re not happy,” Shutters said in an interview with Toledo Free Press Star.
“I almost had to put myself in a cheery situation. The song’s about, you know — everybody writes Christmas songs about already-married couples and their love together. But nobody talks about, like, the first Christmas as a couple. The very first Christmas, and the nerves you feel, and ‘What do I get her?’ and ‘What do I do?’ And now you’re in a situation where her family’s coming. And there’s a lot of nerves in there, and nobody really talks about that at all.”
The resulting song, “Just Your Love,” sounds like a departure from the bluesy rock that Shutters has become best known for around the Glass City and beyond. Yet he and his writing partner Scott Fish tackled the song with the same creative vigor they approach all their joint projects with.
“I got a Facebook message, and [was] asked if I would be interested in doing it,” Shutters said. “And I’d never written a Christmas song before, so I figured, why not give it a shot? And I had my buddy Scott Fish — we’d written together before, as a group we’re called Shutterfish — and he said he’d help me out.”
The songwriting process was fairly truncated — Shutters estimates it took roughly a day to finish — but was still challenging. “It was definitely hard. I’ve never done anything like that before. Actually, I just listened to a lot of — I was inspired by Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmastime.’ So I listened to that, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to do something like this. Cheery, simple, have a good story. So that’s where I got the idea.”
The stripped-down, simple execution of the track extended to the recording process. Shutters said the song came together fairly quickly in the studio. “I laid the guitar down and the vocals down in one. Those are two separate takes, but I laid them both down in one take. And then Scott added, I believe piano, he added piano to it. And the whole process probably took, it was like three hours one day and like an hour or two the next day. It was fun.”
Shutters said he hopes listeners get the same level of fun from the track as he and Fish had recording it — especially for a cause as heartfelt as Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Tags: Christmas song, Glass City, Make-A-Wish benefit CD “Holiday Wishes 3”, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmastime’, Scott Fish, Shutterfish, Toledo area singer-songwriter Chris Shutters