CHRISTMAS is well and truly on its way, and musicians in the area have been busy making the most of it with festive releases.

Step forward, Matthew Blakemore. The Stevenage songwriter has partnered with music producer Danny Lee Andrews and Beyond the Barricade to produce music single Love Light the Way to raise money for Teens Unite Fighting Cancer.

“Having met the team at Teens Unite (based in Hertfordshire) and seen the amazing work they do helping teenagers with life limiting illnesses all over the UK, we all felt really motivated to do something to help build their profile and raise funds for them,” he said.

Another musician hoping to help out charity this Christmas with a festive song is Hitchin songwriter Sarah Ellen Hughes.

She has penned Let the Light Shine Down to raise money for Music as Therapy, drafting in a children’s choir for the vocals.

“This charity does such good work,” she said.

Last – but by no means least, of course – is Stevenage music enthusiast Ross Francis.

He is also raising money for charity with Bright Star, having worked with singer songwriter ‘Benny’ to arrange, record, mix and master the song.

Having been writing songs for 20 years, he worked on this piece at the beginning of 2012 after taking Christmas cards down.

“I gathered all the cards up to sort them out and found myself reading them,” he said.

“All the classic images of Christmas were there staring back at me, trees and rooftops covered with snow and Santa in his sleigh. I got the idea for the song and quickly grabbed my guitar and the melody just came.”

All songs can be purchased on iTunes.