It’s not every day Kacey Musgraves gets to dance barefoot in a tinsel hula skirt on the Grand Ole Opry stage. She did exactly that for her performance of “Mele Kalikimaka” with the Quebe Sister on the 2016 CMA Country Christmas special, airing Monday (Nov. 28) on ABC.
Musgraves recorded a version of the Bing Crosby and Andrews Sisters classic for her 12-song holiday album A Very Kacey Christmas after visiting the Aloha State at Christmastime last year.
“There’s something very classic about Hawaii to me,” she said backstage at the Opry. “The correlation between Hawaiian music, western swing, pedal steel and lapsteel that’s used, that’s always really inspired me. It’s just fun. I love the original version of ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ so I thought it was appropriate to bring a long some sisters from Texas that I’m a big fan of called the Quebe Sisters. They’re three siblings that play fiddle and sing this beautiful sibling harmony.”
On the same night as the CMA Country Christmas show she will bring her Very Kacey Christmas tour to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The holiday run starts Saturday (Nov. 26) in Windsor, Ontario.
“Any show at the Ryman is a magical night for sure,” she said. “This tour is going to be a lot different than my normal tour. It’s a lot bigger production, and it’s going to be accordion, bass, saxophone, clarinet, a string section, wonderful singers and my band. So it’s my band times 10, which is going to be really fun for me. And we already have light up suits. So, we’re ready.”
Musgraves’ 12-song holiday album A Very Kacey Christmas features her version of “Mele Kalikimaka,” the Leon Bridges collaboration “Present Without a Bow” and the Willie Nelson-inspired original “A Willie Nice Christmas,” the latter of which was co-written with hit-makers Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.
“We were actually working on another Christmas idea that day — ‘Make the Yuletide Gay,’” she said of writing “A Willie Nice Christmas.” “Then halfway through that song, I said, ‘Well I also have this other idea called, ‘Have a Willie Nice Christmas’ and they loved it. We wrote it really quickly.
“I sent it to Willie and he got a kick out of it,” she added. “He sang and played on the track. I also love reggae a lot. So, I’ve always kind of wanted to experiment with those kinds of sounds. I thought that it would be a fun stoner, reggae, Christmas jam to have Willie come and join me.”
A Very Kacey Christmas is now available in a limited edition green vinyl.