A 'quirky groove' for Christmas

Matt Molnar's latest CD, "Going on Holiday," is a collection of Christmas favorites with a twist and includes two original songs. Molnar, a 1991 Grant Union graduate, now resides in Portland. For a copy of the CD, contact Donna Hancock at 541-575-0757 - Grant County residents receive a discount.

PORTLAND - His Christmas CD has been out for one year, but if you haven't heard Matt Molnar's latest music yet you may want to give his grandma Donna Hancock of John Day a call.

Molnar was born in John Day and is a 1991 graduate of Grant Union High School.

Performing under the name "Ranlom," Molnar either wrote or arranged all of the songs on his 2008 album, "Going on Holiday," and he's joined by several other talented Portland musicians.

He wrote the song "Christmas at Grandma's House," one of seven peppy songs on the album, which rekindles memories from his youth of visiting his grandmother who still lives in John Day on Elm Street.

" ... Christmas at grandma's house is 101 degrees - she's got her Blaze King turned up so hot she's gonna melt her plastic Christmas tree ..."

As Molnar sings the song he compares his grandma to the "papparazzi."

"She would take hundreds of pictures and you really couldn't do anything until the pictures were taken," Molnar said. It could take up to an hour with several poses taken while the little ones eagerly eyed the gifts, he said.

"Grandpa would just sit there with his coffee and wait it out," he added.

Hancock has an admission:

"It's just a true story of what happened here when he was a child at Christmastime," she said.

Other songs on the album include creative renditions of traditional favorites, and the title track is an instrumental original from the artist performing on keyboards.

At the tender age of 6, Molnar was introduced to reading music with his elementary music instructor Al Olson who still resides in John Day.

"I appreciate that I learned at such a young age," he said. "His teaching motived me to take it to the next level."

He also took piano lessons from another Grant County resident, Peggy Neal, for three months at age 15.

It was at Belmont University that his musical abilities really took off.

"Are We There Yet?" was his first album, produced in 2004, and he's released five more CDs since then.

He calls his music "quirky groove and wit" and says he's proud to offer music that is family friendly.

Last year, USA Today touted "Going on Holiday" as one of its top Christmas album picks of the year. He also had the opportunity to talk about his music on the John Tesh Show.

The upcoming year will find him working on a new album, starting a publishing company and pitching his music to film and TV producers.

Hancock says her grandson has always loved music.

"He has an innate ability to play instruments," she said. "He can do just about anything he wants to do."

Molnar lives in Portland with his wife Nicole.

For a copy of the CD, contact Hancock at 541-575-0757 - Grant County residents receive a discount. The music is also available at cdbaby.com for $8.

To hear a medley of songs from "Going on Holiday" check out a link to Molnar's website at: www.MyEagleNews.com.

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