By Luke Phillips
A former Holtville resident is helping spread holiday cheer with her new album ‘Believe Christmas’, a collection of traditional Christmas tunes with a modern twist.
Terry Maston grew up in Holtville and moved away when she was 24 to become a youth minister in the Los Angeles area. That’s where she met music producer Nelson Rios, who proposed the idea of a Christmas album to Maston.
“He asked me, and because it was something that came to my mind ahead of time, I went ahead and joined with him,” Maston said.
Maston says the title of the CD is a big part of what made her want to do the album.
“Three years ago I felt that God dropped that one word (Believe) into my heart and spirit and just said ‘hold on to this word’ and since I’ve been holding on to it, it’s been popping up everywhere. So I wear it on my neck, I wear it on shirts, I wear it everywhere,” Maston said. When Rios told her that he wanted to call the album ‘Believe Christmas’, Maston says she was floored. “It was kind of like a little God thing, you know? Which is why I actually went through with it, because the signs were all there.”
‘Believe Christmas’ was recorded over 9 months and released last October on an independent label run by Maston’s church.
Maston said that the caliber of producers and musicians working on the album made the experience incredible. She says the albums’ recording engineer has won both a Grammy and an Oscar, and two other musicians who play on the album are also Grammy winners.
Maston says the resulting album is easy-listening, but far from traditional.
“We wanted to create a CD that was not your typical, traditional Christmas CD,” Maston said, “So it has a smooth jazz, and maybe a little bit of a Latin flavor, but with a couple little surprises thrown in. It has more of a grown up sound, so it’s not your little bebop type of CD. The producers are Brizillian, so it does have that flavor laced through it.”
Besides singing at a women’s conference in Imperial earlier this month, Maston says she doesn’t plan on performing live in the Imperial Valley, but is open to the idea.
“We’re leaving it open to see what God wants to do with it,” she said.
Maston did, however, take some time to honor one of her hometown inspirations. Maston says she stopped to visit with former Holtville music teacher Jack Kelly and give him a copy of the CD.
“He was my choir director in Middle School and I just felt that I wanted to honor him in that way because of the influence he put in me as a kid,” she said.
The CD of ‘Believe Christmas’ is available at Revelations in El Centro for $9.99 and digital downloads of the album are available online at iTunes.com and Amazon. KGBA, El Centro’s Christian radio station, is also playing 4 tracks from the album for the Christmas season.
Maston says that she hopes her work is able to make the holidays a little more inspirational for people.
“I just want to inspire hope for people to believe in Christmas again, to believe in the meaning of Christmas, to believe in the dreams that God has put on their hearts and not to give up hoping,” she said.