If the corporate powers that be haven’t already ushered in the official start of Christmastime, December 1st will certainly flip the switch. So might as well ignite the yule log early with some new, locally-sourced aural ornaments, starting today with Denise Murray.
Better known by her nickname Cinnamon, and by extension, her creative handle Cinnamontal, this Austinite’s a classically-trained, Berklee, Spain-educated bassoonist, producer-singer-songwriter who’s performed on Slovenia’s Eurovision, rubbed elbows in-studio with Grammy winners, achieved semifinalist status at Montreux Jazz Fest’s Jazz Voice Competition, and become host of The Music Executive podcast. So, it’s easy to see that Murray’s plate stays pretty full even outside of the Thanksgiving season.
That said, this past year Cinnamontal’s taken some real strides in establishing her solo act, having released her debut streaming single “Gold Star” in mid-June and following it up with late August’s “Be Like U”, both of which have introduced us to a powerful new voice in Austin R&B. And while there’s no point in trying to snatch Mariah’s crown when it comes to most beloved holiday R&B song, Cinnamontal and her bassoon James sure have put a saucy twist on the iconic “Little Drummer Boy” melody with a tune that wraps voluptuous vocals, hearth-warming woodwinds, head-bobbing beats, and gift-ready guitar into a neat little Christmas package. So put “P.R.P.P.P.” on your holiday playlist and try not to imagine St. Nick getting seduced by its slinky sonics, kissing mommy or not.