PORT TOWNSEND — The show is irreverent and reverent. It’s sweet. It’s tart.
And you have to hear the songs to believe and sing along with them: “Santa Don’t Do It (Don’t Shave on Christmas Eve),” “Plant a Santa,” “Workin’ on a Holiday,” “Santa Lost a Ho,” and that’s just a snippet of Holiday Hi-Jinx 2018.
Port Townsend pianist-accordionist Paul Rogers, longtime member of San Francisco’s Christmas Jug Band, brings his big sackful of songs to the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (QUUF) hall, 2333 San Juan Ave., at 7 p.m. Sunday. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 at the door or via brownpapertickets.com, with proceeds to benefit the Jefferson County Winter Shelter in Port Townsend.
“Paul combines rap and rock and blues in an outrageous package,” said Carla Main, the singer in her seventh year with Rogers and the Hi-Jinx band.
“He gives us brand-new original tunes that are super fun,” Main said, adding that her favorites are the rap song “I Ain’t Your Christmas Tree,” and “Boogie Boogie Santa,” which she loves for its lyrics and spirit.
“On another note, ‘Bring Me Your Candlelight’ is filled with hope,” Main noted.
Local luminaries fill the stage: drummer Tom Svornich, guitarist John Maxwell, bassist Dirk Anderson and saxman Kurt Festinger bring good cheer, and the QUUF Choir is expected to make an appearance.
Rogers delightedly announced recently that his daughter Laura, who graduated this month from the University of Illinois at Chicago, is coming west to add her voice.
She’s been singing backup for her dad since she was a kid; “when he is on stage, it’s clear he is in his element, truly thriving,” said the younger Rogers.
While her bachelor’s degree in is urban studies, Laura shares the elder Rogers’ zest for music-making.
“It’s the one thing I can safely say I’ve always had a passion for, and that’s all thanks to my dad.”
For his part, Rogers is fired up to raise money for Jefferson County’s shelter.
COAST, the Community Outreach Association Shelter Team, has done a stellar job converting the American Legion basement at Monroe and Water streets into a refuge, he said.
“The Winter Shelter provides a safe, warm place for homeless vets and others to get food and relief from the bitter cold nights.”
Those who can’t make it to Holiday Hi-Jinx can donate directly to the Jefferson County Shelter, 209-A Monroe St., Port Townsend, WA 98368. For more information about Sunday’s concert, call Rogers at 360-531-0276 or email [email protected]
“I’m looking forward to singing all the songs. ‘Santa lost a Ho’ is a classic,” said Laura Rogers.
“His songs are fun and goofy, but there’s a deeper meaning to all of them. You can feel it … listen closely.”
Diane Urbani de la Paz, a former features editor for the Peninsula Daily News, is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.