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Hanson For The Holidays: Tiny Desk Concert

Christina Ascani / NPR
Hanson performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 25, 2017.

We've been recording Tiny Desk concerts for nearly a decade, and in that time, a few artists have come back for encores — folks like Wilco, Chris Thile and the inspiration for the series, Laura Gibson. One band, The Oh Hellos, came back after a year to favor us with a holiday set. But we've never, until now, asked anyone to return later the same day.

Back in September, we brought in Hanson to play a set of old and new songs, in honor of a new career anthology called Middle of Everywhere. But, since Hanson has also just released a holiday album called Finally It's Christmas, Bob Boilen — our own right-jolly old elf — sprung on everyone the idea of taking an hour off between sets and bringing Ike, Taylor and Zac Hanson back for a wintery encore. Which means, as you'll see here, everything from frantic time-lapse set decoration to an intrusive snow machine.

As for the music itself, the Hanson brothers kicked off their second set of the day with a pair of rollicking originals before standing around a single mic for an a cappella mashup of "Joy To The World" and "Go Tell It On The Mountain." All three songs are from Finally It's Christmas, which Hanson released to roughly coincide with the 20th anniversary of its million-selling holiday favorite Snowed In. So sit back, pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa — or, if you prefer, boozy egg nog — and soak up a raucous and reverent Christmas party.

From everyone at the Tiny Desk, we hope you enjoy your holidays as much as our standing-room-only crowd enjoyed watching Zac and Taylor Hanson borrow a pair of the ugliest Christmas sweaters imaginable. (Yes, Virginia, that is a vomiting unicorn.)

Set List


  • "Finally It's Christmas"

  • "'Til New Years Night"

  • "Joy To The Mountain"



Isaac Hanson (vocals, guitar), Taylor Hanson (vocals, piano), Zac Hanson (vocals, percussion)



Producers: Stephen Thompson, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Kara Frame, Nicholas Garbaty, Alyse Young; Animation: CJ Riculan; Production Assistant: Salvatore Maicki; Photo: Christina Ascani/NPR.

For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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