Christmas might still be a few months away, but Chicago is already feeling very festive with the forthcoming Oct. 4 release of their third holiday-themed release, ‘Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three.’

The band are in their fourth decade of making music together (It must be getting hard to get all of those numbers on the album cover each time out!), and applied their legendary horn-based rock and roll sound to a fresh collection of holiday nuggets, produced by longtime Chicago associate Phil Ramone.

A flurry of special guests are on board to make things even merrier; Dolly Parton guests on a Chicago-fied version of Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmas Time,’ America help to tackle the traditional ‘I Saw Three Ships’ and guitarist and one-time Blues Brother Steve Cropper guests on a brand new holiday original written by Chicago trumpet player Lee Loughnane (one of four original members still with the group) called ‘Rockin’ And Rollin’ On Christmas Day.’

"I think this Christmas album will be enjoyed by young and old alike," Loughnane said. "It was an exciting project to put together. I hope that our fans and other people who just happen to hear the album will feel that energy," Robert Lamm added.

The band continues to feel vital as live performers.  "I think the band is playing better than we ever have before," Loughnane said. Regarding the famous horn section, Parazaider adds: "There is a magic. I liken it to a spiritual wire. Lee's here, Jimmy's here, I'm here, and that spiritual wire just passes through all three of us."

Chicago will debut songs from the new holiday release with a special New York performance on Nov. 28 at BB King’s Blues Club.  The show will benefit Musicians On Call, which brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities.

‘O Christmas Three’ will be available from the band’s website and digital download outlets with a video from the project set to debut soon. In a conversation with Ultimate Classic Rock, Loughnane said that the band has “become our own record company,” calling the current music industry climate “the brand new wild, wild west.”

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