Jeff Spevak interview: Watkins & the Rapiers and a Christmas tradition

Dec 20, 2018

With more than 80 original Christmas songs to choose from, Rochester’s Watkins & the Rapiers presents its “Big Little Christmas Show,” the band’s third annual multi-media Christmas show, Thursday at The Little Theater, 240 East Ave.

The band’s obsession with documenting the holiday hits on a wide range of styles, from romantic ballads such as “All the Stars at Christmas” to the upbeat celebration of “Santa Claus Parade” to the Soviet-era march of “Arise, Ye North Pole Workers,” a call for elves to revolt against the socialist practices of Santa’s workshop.

Stylistically, Watkins & the Rapiers can generally be categorized as Cynics of the Season. Sometimes dangerously so: One of the eight new songs the band introduced to its unsuspecting audiences this year during its Monday-night residency at The Little Café is “Tinsel the Tapeworm,” offered as an explanation for Santa Claus’ sudden weight loss. Songs such as “Why Won’t Christmas Leave Me Alone” have long displayed a grumpy attitude about the December-long holiday.

Watkins and the Rapiers are Scott Regan, the host of “Morning Tunings” on WRUR-FM (88.5), his brother Kerry Regan, Steve Piper, Rick McRae, Tom Whitmore, Marty York and Pete Hasler.  

The show starts at 8 p.m. at The Little.  (The Little is operated by WXXI)