Story last updated at 2:48 p.m. Thursday, December 19, 2002

Local musician offers Christmas CD
by Carey James
Staff Writer

photo: entertainment

Matt Yaki's latest release of holiday tunes contains several of last year's favorites as well as new music featuring local vocalists and musicians. Yaki's CD cover, seen above, was created by Matt's wife, Nancy. The CD is on sale at Etude Music Studio and Solstice Music.  
Sure, sure. Just the mention of Christmas music may result in an adverse reaction from those who have been listening to 16-year-old superstars belt out "Joy to the world, I'm gonna make another million singing Christmas songs" for the past month.

But Homer musician Matt Yaki's second edition of "Open Up Your Presence" may be an exception to the rule.

Yaki debuted the CD last year, drawing the original six songs from Christmas productions at a local school. This year's edition contains four new songs, eight total, including two instrumentals that are sure to put listeners in a holiday frame of mind.

Among the new songs are "Poinsettia," an instrumental track with a lively fiddle track played by local violinist Michael Schallock.

Other guests on the album include vocalists Diana Grosz, Evy Olson and Cantrell Maryott Driver, and Colby Sander on the electric guitar.

Songs on the CD range from the traditional-sounding upbeat track "Santa's Comin," to the jazzy version of "Who Is This Kid," with Sander on electric guitar.

Yaki retained last year's personal touch at the end of the CD, an adorable recording of his young daughter singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Yaki's CD costs $12 and is on sale at Solstice Music and Etude Studio.

If "Open Up Your Presence," hits the spot, Yaki has another mini-release on the market right now, too.

"Stereolight," released earlier this fall, contains three new songs by Yaki, including the title track, a tribute to musician's block.

"Day turns off and it turns on/ the verses swim through me like a swan/ grace in the misty dawn/ but just like it was the night before/ I can't seem to find my feet on the floor/ and the verses die/ by the stereolight," Yaki sings.

All three songs follow a similar vein to Yaki's 2001 debut release "Black Licorice," combining a mellow melody with an ever-flowing stream of vocals, and strong guitar solos.

Carey James can be reached at