Under The Streetlamp Celebrates The Season - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Under The Streetlamp Celebrates The Season

December 5th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Under The Streetlamp Celebrates The Season

Christina Fuoco-Karasinski


Under the Streetlamp singer Shonn Wiley is getting in the holiday spirit. His group released Hip to the Holidays in October, and he’s ready to return home to Arizona for a series of shows.

“I moved to Tucson in January 2015, almost four years this holiday season,” Wiley says enthusiastically. “I met my wife (Nichole) in Tucson in 2014 when I was playing there.

“I had been flying to Arizona to spend as much time with her as we could.”

Nichole is the Jewish Community Center’s director of marketing and the former News 4 morning anchor in Tucson. She and Wiley were engaged in 2015 and they married in 2016. Last year, they became the parents of a little girl.

“She’s getting to that age where she’s almost walking,” he says proudly. “She’s starting to find her way. There’s always music playing in the house.”

The Arizona shows are December 3 at the Fox Tucson Theatre and December 7 at Talking Stick Resort. During its shows, Under the Streetlamp offers audiences the opportunity to get to know four critically acclaimed stars of stage and screen, Eric Gutman, David Larsen, Brandon Wardell and Wiley. While each performer gets his moment in the spotlight, their synergy and charisma as a group has drawn a devoted nationwide following.

“What’s great about the holidays is our show is different,” Wiley says. “If you’ve seen our shows in the past at the Mesa Arts Center, you’ve just seen music from the ’50s and ’60s.”

The holiday show features songs from Hip to the Holidays, including “Happy Holiday/Let It Snow!,” “Here We Come A-Wassailing,” “Ave Maria,” “8 Days (Of Hanukkah),” “White Christmas,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and “Please Come Home For Christmas.”

“Half of the show is holiday favorites and then hits from the ’50s and ’60s,” Wiley says. “If you’re looking for an opportunity to get into the holiday spirit or to kick off the season, you must check out the Under the Streetlamp show.”

Under the Streetlamp recorded the album in the heat of the summer, not exactly an inspiring time for holiday tunes. But Wiley says otherwise.

“We had a great time,” he says. “The great thing about holiday music is there are so many versions of the songs. It gave us an opportunity to stretch the boundaries.

“‘Here We Come a Wassailing’ has a rockabilly flair. ‘Ave Maria’ is one of the most beautiful classical songs around. We do it with a doowop flair. It builds really beautifully. David Larsen, the singer on that song, turns in an epic performance. “We’re putting our own stamp on the songs.”

Wiley says it wasn’t a daunting effort.

“It’s not so nerve wracking,” he says. “I remember in the studio working on ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.’ We were going to do a version that felt like Brenda Lee’s version.

“As we got into it, it started to feel like country rock ‘n’ roll, almost like The Eagles. We took little moments from those and tried to make them our own.”

Wiley is enjoying his success with Under the Streetlamp and his time in Tucson. In their free time, Wiley and Nichole enjoy the city’s music scene.

“The local music scene is awesome,” he says. “We’re lucky. We saw Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite. The hiking is great. During the summer, we have to get out early. The food scene is really good. We love Prep and Pastry, a breakfast joint owned by our friends.

“It’s amazing what this experience has brought into my life,” he says. “It’s hard to imagine what it would be like right now if I hadn’t come up with the idea and got the band together. It’s exciting.”

Under the Streetlamp, Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress Street, Tucson, foxtucson.com, 7 p.m. Monday, December 3, $49-$89.

Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, 480.850.7777, talkingstickresort.com, 8 p.m. Friday, December 7, $45-$85.

Special to SanTan Sun News