Vermont’s Soule Monde, the duo project comprised of Trey Anastasio Band‘s Russ Lawton (drums) and Ray Pazckowski (keys) continue their annual holiday cover tradition today with a stunning instrumental rendering of John Lennon Christmas classic, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”.

Marking the fourth annual Soule Monde holiday release, the power funk duo’s version of the seasonal staple arrives along with a new music video. Recorded and produced at Sugarhouse Soundworks in Waitsfield, VT, the Laughing Eagle Productions-produced video tastefully layers in artful, in-studio footage with thematic winter visuals like a point-of-view shot of a car rolling through a snowy mountain pass. Of course, this being Soule Monde, the cover refuses to color inside the lines as Russ and Ray take the simple song through two separate tension-and-release jam sections.

Rehearsed in Paczkowski’s self-built home studio—wood-burning stove and all—Lawton notes, “Ray had an idea of expanding the triplet feel of the song after the second verse and the outro, so we could open it up and give it that Soule Monde style. Ray’s piano solo on those sections [is] so great and the underlying organ and clav really lift it up. This is our 4th Christmas song, and I look forward to it every year.”

Today, Live For Live Music is excited to premiere the latest installment in Soule Monde’s long-running holiday series. Watch the new video for the Soule Monde holiday cover of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” below:

Soule Monde – “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (John Lennon) – Official Video

Russ and Ray have managed to keep busy during this pandemic-altered year, most notably serving in the house band for Trey Anastasio‘s The Beacon Jams, the eight-week virtual residency at New York’s The Beacon Theatre which raised more than $1 million for a new addiction treatment center in Vermont via the Divided Sky Fund. Soule Monde is slated to hit the studio in early 2021, so stay tuned for more news from the esteemed sonic partnership of Lawton & Paczkowski. Visit the band’s website for more information.