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First Listen: Laurence Hobgood - River

With the holiday season upon us and with First Listen, we always try to bring you a new holiday song. Today we focus on an intriguing approach to one of the sweetest, saddest songs ever written with Christmas in mind, Joni Mitchell’s "River", this time by Kurt Elling and Laurence Hobgood.

It’s a yearning to get away from a romance gone wrong and a nod to her Canadian roots of wanting to disappear into the cold dry winter.

In Elling and Hobgood’s worlds, a 20 year working relationship is also one that has gone astray. After collaborating on such huge successes as this past Brill Building project and the Grammy winning Dedicated To You, they have decided to get inspiration from others. Hobgood says, "Kurt has decided that it's time for (a) break to happen, and I have to say, for what it's worth, I think he's probably right. It's a major event between two collaborators, and there are legitimate frustrations and issues on both sides."

This could be one of their last works together….  From Hobgood’s recent ”Christmas”, “River” is worth paying attention to…

Your First Listen is available on Hobgood’s website and right now with JAZZ.FM91.

Congrats to Mark F who won a pair of Sennheiser Momentum headphones courtesy of Bay Bloor Radio and JAZZ.FM91 on “First Listen”!

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