NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Queen Extravaganza and former Downhere vocalist, Marc Martel, has released his first solo Christmas project, The Silent Night EP (buy). The record was produced by Martel, with help from Jordan Wiberg, and features seven holiday classics presented with the powerful vocals of Martel. The first single from the record, “What Child Is This?” is one of the most added Christmas songs of 2016, and debuted on Billboard’s AC Monitored chart at No. 27 this week. There are over 40 Christian radio stations playing the song that include KSBJ/Houston, Texas; KLTY/Dallas, Texas; KXOJ/Tulsa, Okla. and multiple FISH stations across the country. The song also features guitar and banjo virtuoso, Ron Block, who is a 14-time GRAMMY winner and band member with Alison Krauss and Union Station.
“Christian radio has been a huge part of my career as a musician, said Martel. “It feels so good to be back as an indie solo artist this 2016 Christmas season, and I’m so grateful to be so enthusiastically supported by my friends at Christian radio once again.”
It’s been seven years since Martel has had a Christmas single at Christian radio, as it was 2009 when Downhere released the yearly favorite, “How Many Kings.” Martel’s rendition of these beautiful holiday favorites includes “O Come Emmanuel” and “In The Bleak Midwinter,” which are emotional, piano driven ballads where Martel’s subtle but powerful vocals shine. The title track delivers a simple but moving a cappella intro before leading into one of the most familiar carols of all time, while the single has a more upbeat and Tennessee bluegrass flavored sound. And to the delight of Downhere fans, Martel gives a novel take on his own “How Many Kings.”
With Martel’s versatile vocals, he continues with an active touring schedule that includes solo concerts, Queen Extravaganza shows, and special events and appearances. One of his recent high-profile appearances was in his home country of Canada in September, where Martel was one of the performers selected by Celine Dion for her tribute event from Radio-Canada’s annual Television special, “En direct de l’Universe.” Martel sang Queen’s hit song, “Somebody To Love” and the performance brought tears to Dion’s eyes.
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