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Label News (more headlines) 02-09-2004

Holiday Songs Wanted For HOSPICE Awareness Project

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Website: http://www.hohohospice.com

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Volunteer Records have announced an open-call for submissions of (winter) holiday-themed songs for their second collection in their Ho Ho Ho Spice series. All sounds from a rock/folk base, and artists of all levels of popularity (or lack there of), are welcome to enter material.

Ho Ho Ho Spice is an on-going project that utilizes holiday music to enlighten people of the support available through Hospiceóa mode of medically directed care, that comforts patients, and their families, confronting the final stages of any life-ending illness, not just cancer.

As the collectionís eclectic sounds will promote holiday cheer the liner-notes educate about hospice. This odd pairing was conceived by Spiro Ballas, a Volunteer Coordinator for Saint Barnabas Hospice and Palliative Care Center. ìHo Ho Ho Spice allows me to bridge my past with my present,î said Ballas, who published a music tabloid for several years during the late 80ís and early 90ís. He added, ìPlus, I hope that the mix will make learning about hospice less heavy and frightening.î

Net proceeds will be donated to the two hospices in the Saint Barnabas Health Care System (New Jersey): Van Dyke Hospice (Toms River) and Saint Barnabas Hospice and Palliative Care Center (Millburn).

The first collection in this series, entitled Ho Ho Ho Spice, was a limited edition pressing of 5000 copies, and nationally distributed during the 2003 holiday season at retailers like Borders, Tower Records and Virgin Megastores thanks to Big Daddy Music Distribution.

49 songs were featured over two CDs, and included are many different genres and bands of differing popularity. Collectively, the focus was on highlighting the spectrum of emotions and feelings evoked by celebrating the holidayófrom anticipating a homecoming, to the excitement of finding Santaís loot, to wanting the holidays to be finished. Appearing on Ho Ho Ho Spice are artists: Graham Parker, Brave Combo, Chris Stamey and the dBís, Better Than Ezra, Bleach, 5 Chinese Brothers, NRBQ, Andrea Perry, Del Fuegos, Mike Daly and members of The Police, The October Project and The Smithereens.

The sequel is anticipated to be just as diverse and engaging as the first. Major-label artists are encouraged to participate, as are home-bound, basement musicians. ìWe want to feature original materialî said Ballas, adding ìthe collection will be made in the spirit of Free-Form radio, where any and all sounds are heard.î Volunteer Records envisions the collection of being a ìbest-ofî original tunes, and hopes labels and musicians will not only record new material, but that they also have fun, combing their catalogues to unearth forgotten gems, perhaps that were promotion-only, or limited-edition 7î singles.

Send submission material to: Volunteer Records, PO Box 381, Pennington, NJ 08534. The deadline is May 31, 2004.

To get details, visit the project on the web at: www.hohohospice.com.

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