Rachel Garlin’s “Winter Fuel” Holiday Song Captures A Fleeting Moment Of Connection

Singer/songwriter and contemporary Folk artist Rachel Garlin has released a video for her latest offering, “Winter Fuel (Good King Wenceslas Revisited)”. The track is an original adaptation of the holiday classic, “Good King Wenceslas.” 

Garlin asks:

Who doesn’t need a little more brotherly/sisterly/siblingly love in their city? ‘Winter Fuel’ is based on a fleeting moment of connection between humans in a city.

Produced by Garlin’s frequent collaborator, Johnny Flaugher (Larkin Poe, Rita Wilson, Joseph Arthur, Hailey Reinhart), “Winter Fuel” features performances by Garlin (guitar, vocals), Flaugher (bass), David Levita (guitar), Deron Johnson (keys), Beth Goodfellow (drums and vocals) and The San Francisco Boys Chorus (vocals). 

Garlin comments on some of the imagery in the video and her choice of the song:

On wintery holiday nights, my mom would bring out the caroling books — homemade stapled booklets of handwritten lyrics — and we’d step into the crisp night with a chorus of neighbors and sing up and down the street. ‘Good King Wenceslas’ was a favorite, not because we followed the story, but because we got to sing triumphantly about the mysterious Feast of Stephen and deliver lyrics like hence and dinted (with feeling)! It was a good time.

Recently, I was rummaging through the attic looking for twinkle lights, only to find the handwritten lyric booklets from my childhood. I picked out ‘Good King Wenceslas’ on guitar and my five-year-old immediately started acting out the song. Three generations of girls/women singing ‘Good King Wenceslas’ was framed by our San Francisco neighborhood passing by.
I slowed it way down and created a refrain so she could sing along. The verses became a modern re-telling of the carol, inspired by a fleeting interaction with an artist in our city. And so became ’Winter Fuel’, an original adaptation, derived from the 1853 song. I invite you to sing along with us too.

Rachel Garlin will release a new LP in 2023 and will perform select dates throughout the year.

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