Southeastern professor produces original Christmas CD with family

Monday, December 4, 2017
by: Tonya Lowentritt

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University Communications Professor Joseph Burns and his wife Tammy lead a music talk show on Southeastern’s 90.9FM KSLU called “Rock School,” so it’s not entirely surprising they’ve lent their musical talents to the creation of a family Christmas album.
     The Burns family recently outfitted a complete voice and music studio in their home to accommodate their musical pursuits. One such venture is an original Christmas CD called “Get the Jingle Bell Out of Here.” The CD was a family affair, with Burns and his wife Tammy writing the songs.
     “I play all the instruments on the album, my wife and daughter, Ila, sing backup, and my son, Max, plays the trombone,” Burns said. “The music was recorded, mixed and mastered in our studio that I named ‘Loser Studio,’ much to his wife’s chagrin.”
     Two Christmases ago, Burns and his wife, who recently earned top honors in this year’s Communicator Awards, were filling out their Christmas cards and started throwing lyrics around, Burns recalled. They wrote a tune titled, “We Say Happy Holidays for a Reason,” recorded it in one day, and had a friend mix and master it.
     Burns said the next year they wrote two more songs and put out an EP titled “Christmas in the Greatest Place on Earth.” They had some success with radio airplay, so they decided to create an entire 10 song album this year. One song, “Run Down the Stairs,” is performed by the Burns’ daughter.
     He said their motivation to create “Get the Jingle Bell Out of Here” was to spread joy.
     “This year, Tammy and I wanted to do a full-length Christmas album. And, we wanted to involve everyone,” he said. “It is a good old-fashioned family Christmas. Hopefully, we can get some people to listen and make them smile.”
     Two of the tracks on the album are on a Radioinformer compilation disc that also features Sia, Jimmy Buffett, Train, Barry Manilow and Kelly Clarkson, Burns added.
     “Get the Jingle Bell Out of Here” is available for free at The album is also available on Spotify, iTunes, Groove and YouTube Music by searching the title.

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