Group's new single pays homage to a 'Martha Stewart Christmas'

PLATTSBURGH - It's not easy to put together a "Martha Stewart Christmas," but when it comes to writing a song about one, that's not so hard for Julie Canepa.

Canepa recently recorded "Martha Stewart Christmas" with her band "Oh! Betty" just in time for the holidays. The song encapsulates one woman's attempt at creating a "perfect Christmas" that would be the envy of domestic entrepreneur Martha Stewart, said Canepa. The song also highlights the stress that goes with such an undertaking, she added.

"Martha Stewart is a perfectionist, which made her good fodder," said Canepa. "I thought it would be great to have a woman try to make a Christmas like she would and show the hilarity of having it all fall apart."

And, fall apart it does. With lyrics in the song like "I don't know how much longer I can keep this up" and "I'm making sure that punch is spiked," it goes to show it doesn't always work when you try to create a Martha Stewart Christmas," said Canepa.

"I think maybe it was a little close to home, too," she said, laughing.

The song identifies more with Martha Stewart than Canepa, she said, when the character in her song sings about how she "did a little time upstate" where the "accommodations were first rate." Those parts are meant to stick out in the listener's mind and set the song apart from more traditional Christmas songs, she said.

"It's not exactly 'White Christmas,'" Canepa said, referring to the popular Bing Crosby song, "but it's probably got some kind of niche market that will really identify with what the lyrics are all about. It's really catchy. I think people will really like it."

Though the song was initially meant to just be played live during the holidays with Oh! Betty - which consists of Tim Hartnett on electric guitar and bass and harmony vocal, Mark Mastrean on drums, Rick Davies on trombone, Herm Matlock on trumpet and Canepa on lead vocals - it's gone beyond that. In addition to the CD single, the group performed the song for the Mountain Lake PBS Holiday Spectacular, which is currently airing regularly on the local PBS station. The group has even created a music video that will be aired on YouTube.

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