Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun bring not-so-standard holiday tunes to The Birchmere Friday

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By Jennifer Powell (Courtesy photo)

There is a reason Bill Kirchen is always invited well in advance to play at The Birchmere a few times each year. He’s just that good.

Kirchen, never one to copy himself, has been known to illustrate firsthand dozens of other famous guitarists’ techniques as a historical journey through, well, awesomeness.

With a recording career that began in the 1970s, Kirchen keeps his own Telecaster licks and his material fresh. Coming right off a tour to celebrate a new studio album — “Transatlanticana,” featuring a group of musician friends from both sides of the Atlantic — Kirchen brings his Too Much Fun band to headline at the local venue for his annual Honky-Tonk Holiday Tour.

A surefire good time, Too Much Fun will perform their cover of the raunchy “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’,” with a sleighful of rarely heard holiday numbers from the blues, rock ‘n’ roll and honky tonk. Helping to spread the Yuletide cheer are gems like “Silent Surfing Night,” “Truckin’ Trees for Christmas” and “Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy.”

Armed with a wicked sense of lyrical humor, Kirchen is widely credited for, as American Songwriter writes, “a rollicking, unpretentious and thoroughly enjoyable set of country, rock ‘n’ roll and soul.”

For his holiday show, Kirchen is most excited about surprise guest Commander Cody of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, the band that helped invent a whole new style of music in the 1970s. One of the original groups to fuse divergent strains of American roots music, the constant was Kirchen’s top-shelf guitar playing.

Today, Kirchen couldn’t be more excited to blend his holiday show with all styles of music, guest musicians and a wide array of songs that he can perform with total mastery. As always, his concerts come with the guarantee to lift your spirit. The Honky-Tonk Holiday Tour, Kirchen promises, will be a “doubleheader of fun.”

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