Following the runaway success of their debut LP, A Philly Special Christmas, Philadelphia Eagles Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, and Jordan Mailata have reunited with producer Charlie Hall and executive producer Connor Barwin to release their second holiday album, A Philly Special Christmas Special, this fall on Vera Y Records. Recorded during the NFL off season and comprised of ten holiday classics and an original tune by Kelce, ‘Santa’s Night,’ A Philly Special Christmas Special will donate proceeds from vinyl sales to local charities with the intention of surpassing the $1.25 million dollars raised in 2022. A limited-edition LP will be released on red vinyl, a double disc of A Philly Special Christmas Special and 2022’s A Philly Special Christmas will be released on limited edition gold vinyl in addition to the album being released digitally and available on all streaming services. Vinyl will be available to order on November 3rd via Phillyspecialchristmas.com.
Recorded and mixed once again by Nick Krill, the trio called upon local musicians including Patti Labelle, Amos Lee, The Hooters’ Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman, DMHotep (Sun Ra Arkestra), Kevin Hanson (The Fractals, Huffamoose), Luke Carlos O’Reilly, Waxahatchee, members of The War on Drugs, Dr. Dog, Mewithoutyou, and The Silver Ages Choir amongst others to truly make this Philly special.
"It's so much fun and an honor to be working with this incredible group of people; watching old friends and new friends all come together to make something really special,” says executive producer and Vera Y Records partner, Barwin. “We got started earlier this summer and can't wait to share the music and a couple of surprises in a few short months!"
“It never occurred to me that this gang would make another record and yet it never occurred to me that we WOULDN’T make another record,” says producer Charlie Hall (The War on Drugs). “By any measure, the experience of what materialized last year was such a profound success… it seemed like a no brainer that we would at least get together and make some more music for fun, if not to actually produce a whole new record. What ensued surpassed all expectations - musically and spiritually. We dug in and have put together a wide-ranging romp through some classics, some deep cuts, and even an original tune written by Kelce.”
“People often ask me, ‘what’s going on in the Philly music scene today,” Hall continues. “Well, there’s something very cool happening on the scene in Philly these days. Just as in the early aughts when I arrived here, there is a sense of community and collaboration and exploration going on. People are all playing in each other's bands and putting on shows together and propping each other up. It’s very inclusive, creative, supportive, and genre-defying. It’s cool. And I think in some small way, the cast of characters that we have assembled for this project reflects that openness and that spirit of cooperation. What makes this unique to Philadelphia? Surely this is happening in places all over the world, but I truly believe that only in Philadelphia do so many masters of their respective crafts - from professional football, to jazz, to R&B, to rock, to the avant garde - come together and make something so special.”
“It also continues to inspire to see the lineage of mentorship these guys all have - you can trace it down from Connor to Jason to Lane to Jordan to the brand-new guys,” Hall says. “These guys bring out the best in one another and help set each other up to succeed, and to have the confidence to make mistakes… and then ultimately succeed. Everyone needs a mentor in life - someone to help empower them and encourage their passions, skills, and interests. These guys are surrounded by it, and it shows.”
A Philly Special Christmas Special
The Christmas Song
Dominick the Donkey
Christmas Time Is Here
All I Want for Christmas Is You
The Dreidel Song
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Fairytale of Philadelphia
Auld Lang Syne
A Philly Special Christmas was released on December 23, 2022 digitally and its limited pressing on vinyl sold out immediately. The record reached four top ten spots on various Billboard Music Charts including #1 on the Compilation Albums Chart. A Philly Special Christmas donated over $1.25M to local charities including Children’s Crisis Treatment Center and fulfilled the wish lists of Philadelphia School District teachers via Donors Choose.