In most of our Christmas pasts there exists a gift so hideous that it’s never seen the light of day.
Hoping to have some fun with such a gift – in this instance, a tacky sweater – is the Listening Room, which booked Nashville singer-songwriter Mike Willis for its Holiday Hullabaloo show Dec. 13 at the Port Clinton music venue.
We talked to Willis about the special affair that includes a pre- and post-show bonfire with hot chocolate.
First of all, you’ve played Port Clinton a few times over the past year or so. And now you’re coming back again?
That’s right. It’s a solo, kind of tongue-in-cheek Christmas show. You’ll hear some fun Christmas classics mixed with some of my own stuff for just general good times. The theater will flow like wine.
Why did you decide to do a Christmas show at this point in your career?
I started thinking about my shows recently and decided I wanted my shows to feel like an event rather than a guy with a guitar. So we’re calling it a Holiday Hullabaloo. I’m also doing a show in Atlanta and then in Key West.
Tell us about the tacky sweater connection to this show.
There is going to be a tacky sweater karaoke contest, where we’ll call someone out to sing. Also, we’re going to put [Listening Room owner] Ron Miller on the spot. This show is going to feature some songs I play more often in my solo shows and also the themed element of it where we’re going to do some Christmas holiday songs.
Rumor has it you’ll be coming out with a new CD soon.
That’s right. I’m working on one now coming out in 2014 called “Singer/Songwriter.”
This next project I intend to be very much focused inwardly on the things I do. I think this is going to feel more like pop-R&B infused with elements of country. My last record “Confluence” was kind of like old school-sounding, almost retro R&B record. That was very much about collaboration with other artists.
Want to go?
WHO: Mike Willis with members of The Lake Erie Local
WHEN: 8 p.m., Dec. 13
WHERE: The Listening Room (located inside the OurGuest Inn & Suites), 220 East Perry St., Port Clinton
COST: $10 (two drink minimum)