In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
These are the current new a cappella releases on sale.
Displaying 1-50 of 93 items.
Review: As their five excellent recordings in the PAC catalog will show, Ac Rock, the all-male quartet from Chicago is really into a cappella Rock n' Roll-arranging it cool, have big fun with it, recording it, but mostly singing it together, particularly in front of appreciative audiences! Not a bad gig, and as they keep getting better at singing, recording and arranging it, we will be expecting to see more rockin' albums from this prolific quartet. 14 spirited cuts, some of our favorites are Lennon/McCartney's "Paperback Writer," Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues," Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely," Brian Wilson's "I Get Around," The muscle car anthem "Hey Little Cobra," Randy Bachman's "Takin' Care of Business," Lieber & Stoller's "Yakety Yak," and the title tune. Fun stuff from the rockin' Windy City!
Songlist: Paperback Writer, Summertime Blues, Only the Lonely, Hold Me Tight, I Get Around, Hey Little Cobra, Spooky, Build Me Up Buttercup, Takin' Care of Business, Sunglasses at Night, I Think I Love You, The Way You Look Tonight, Yakety Yak, Ridin' the Storm Out
Review: Pride (and 2003 Champions) of SPEBSQSA's Illinois District, Alchemy has been rising steadily through the Barbershop competition in their quest for the Gold. These 15 songs show us how much this group has polished and refined their sound in the process. "Old St. Louie," "Birth of the Blues," "I Only Have Eyes for You," the very apt "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans," "Dayton, Ohio-1903," the very funny "Mississippi Squirrel Revival," the deathless "Lida Rose" in medley with "Will I Ever Tell You," "Gospel Medley" and "Stars Fell On Alabama" are pure Barbershop entertainment, that play on our heartstrings and nostalgia strings with the best of them. Sweet harmonies, pure ringing chords-this is the good stuff. Enjoy!
Songlist: Old St. Louie, Birth Of The Blues, I Only Have Eyes For You, I Love A Piano, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, I Tried To Forget You In Vain, Basin Street Blues, Dayton, Ohio - 1903, Mississippi Squirrel Revival, To-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's An Irish Lullaby), Naturally, Lida Rose / Will I Ever Tell You, Love Letters, Gospel Medley, Stars Fell On Alabama
Review: This is the AOH's third spirited recording, and the fun, excitement and feelings of love and nostalgia that come though it are part of the group's tradition. Included is the "Toy Set" that wowed the audience at the 2001 international competition in Nashville. The centerfold of the liner notes is a full-color shot of the 115-strong group on stage in complete "Toyland" costumes, from clowns and roman soldiers to pandas, cats, sailors, space cadets, Spiderman - you name it. It all says "fun," loud and clear, and that's how the group sings. 12 songs are here: "Applause," "I'm Beginning to See the Light," "Through the Years," "My Honey's Lovin' Arms," the Turtles' "Happy Together," "The Music of the Night," "Toy Song," "Toyland," "Short People," "One Alone," "Tonight" and "Friends." That must have been an unforgettable performance at SPEBSQSA Nashville, and this is an unforgettable CD on many levels - most of all the pure, sweet barbershop harmony that flows throughout.
Songlist: Applause, I'm Beginning to See the Light, Through The Years, My Honey's Lovin' Arms, Happy Together, The Music Of The Night, Toy Song, Short People, One Alone, Tonight, Friends
You Know It's Wrong
Review: The ARCVJE 2008-2009, directed by master teacher/director Dr. Art Lapierre, brings us another sweet, jazzy collection of accompanied Vocal Jazz, all the way from beautiful Sacramento, CA. The seven tunes (accompanied by an excellent student Jazz ensemble) are a scattish, upbeat take on Burton Lane & Alan Jay Lerner's "On a Clear Day," Billy Strayhorn's moody "Lush Life," Sunny Wilkinson & Brian Atchison's bluesy, romantic title tune, Eddie Harrison's sassy, sexy "You Know It's Wrong," Jimmy Giuffre & Jon Hendricks' scattish, upbeat "Four Brothers," Todd Buffa's driving, bluenote "American Eyes" and Gerry Niewood's happy, upbeat "Joy." Every one of these collections is a winner, and every one is hard to believe that these are college students. If you love Jazz, open "Your Eyes!"
Songlist: On A Clear Day, Lush Life, Your Eyes, You Know It's Wrong, Four Brothers, American Eyes, Joy
Bei mir bist du schon
Review: Four young men and four young women formed their a cappella group apes&babes in Norway in 1999, thinking it would only be a small summer project, but it took off from the first tone. Enthusiastic audiences demanded more, and since then the eight singers have ridden their fiery energy, driving rhythms and musical playfulness to success in several festivals and memorable concerts throughout Norway. Now they are based in Chicago, and in addition to saying that we think they should seriously consider entering the Chicago Regionals of the Harmony Sweepstakes in 2010, we really like this group! They started out with the intention of pushing the a cappella envelope, to sing pop without instruments and still sound like a band-and they have created a fresh, richly harmonic unique sound with faux instruments and an infectious spirit that continues to delight audiences (and judges!). There are 12 songs here, many with Norwegian titles, but the songs spoke to us very clearly, whether we understood the words or not. "Bei mir bist du schon," is the U.S. hit from the Swing era sung in German and English; you might remember "La Cumparsita," sung in Spanish, as "Hernando's Hideaway;" "La Sagesse" (Women, I'm Calling You) is a powerful tribute to the wisdom of women, mostly sung in English; "Little Sparrow" is a traditional folk tune with a strong message, and the Bulgarian folk tune "Gankino Horo" recalls the Swingle Singers with its driving symphony of nonsense syllables. "Miseriou" is a traditional Greek folk dance, brought to us in several different "ape-styles" and "Nane Coha" is a popular song among the Romany people about a girl who is getting married, but alas, has no dress. "Tika Tiki Kardi" by the Iranian singer Arash Labaf, is a driving, dramatic deep-bass folk tune, and the opening song, "Villemann og Magnhild" is a medieval Norwegian ballad about trolls, heroes and love. A beautifully designed liner notes booklet gives us the stories behind the songs and all the lyrics. Great stuff, from beginning to end-don't miss your chance to take a walk on this very cool a cappella planet!
Songlist: Villemann og Magnhild, Gankino Horo, Vinyl-intermezzo, Miserlou, Bei mir bist du schon, Nane Coha, Tike Tike Kardi, Minnharpeslatt fra Sunndal, La Sagesse (Women, I'm Calling You), Little Sparrow, La Cumparsita, Basull (Su Ru Ruddi)
On The Edge (Of the unknown)
Review: Eight man Polish a cappella ensemble Audiofeels recently gave us a memorable taste of what they call "Vocal Play" at the Harmony Sweeps Finals in San Rafael, CA. Vocal Play uses the human voice as a source of multiple instruments to create a vocal orchestra on stage, and this unique, creative concept has taken them from the Adam Mickiewicz University Choir in Poznan, Poland, where they met to Poland's prestigious Grand Theatre, to the NYC Sweeps Regionals, to the Finals, where they got a big ovation, and where to next? Their chosen musical "direction" has led to international acclaim and awards, and 2 CD set (Side A and Side F) "Unfinished" can only lead to more of the same! Some of our favorites are "Kiss from a Rose," which we loved at the Finals, "Unfinished Symphony," "What Does It Mean?," "Seven Nation Army," "What Goes Around Comes Around," "Ten Dzien," "You Came Close" and "Still," but each of these 15 cuts is fresh and compelling. Audiofeels is heading off boldly in its musical "direction," and we, along with thousand of other lovers of a cappella, want to hear where they're going. Don't miss this hot collection!
Songlist: What Does It Mean?, On The Edge (Of the unknown), Ten Dzien, You Came Close, Still, Banal, I Found a Place, You Came Close, Unfinished Sympathy, Kiss From a Rose, What Goes Around Comes Around, Bittersweet Symphony, Seven Nation Army, Bittersweet, Something in the Way
Review: We had the pleasure of catching 8-man Baudboys, "the Undisputed Kings of Geek A Cappella," live at the 2008 Harmony Sweeps Finals, and we look forward to seeing them again at the 2011 Finals, as they won the Pacific Northwest Regional again this year. Composed entirely of Microsoft employees and alumni, this a cappella group has been performing up and down the West Coast for more than two decades, thrilling audiences with their irresistible combination of musical excellence and geek comedy. "Hello_World," the group's debut recording, has 11 winning covers, with a fair amount of very funny lyric "augmentation" thrown in. Some of our favorites are the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Aeroplane," Mentor Williams and Dobie Gray's anthem "Drift Away," a quintessentially geek/gamer take on Tripod's "Gonna Make You Happy Tonight," Sting's "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic," Stevie Wonder's moody "Overjoyed," a particularly graphic cover of Weird Al Yankovic's "One More Minute," Cub's manic "New York City," Al Jarreau & Michael Omartian's jazzy, scattish "Boogie Down," Joseph Shabalala & Paul Simon's "Homeless/Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" and a completely incongruous, yet lovely, live cut of Dmytrovych Leontovych & Peter Wilhousky's "Carol of the Bells." The Baudboys have a fresh, (dare we say) modern sound, understated vocal percussion and background harmonies, sweet leads, great arrangements and a great sense of humor. Don't miss this impressive, surprising, big fun debut CD from Seattle's talented, slightly crazed Baudboys!
Songlist: Aeroplane, Drift Away, Gonna Make You Happy Tonight, Every Little Thing She Does, Overjoyed, One More Minute, New York City, Boogie Down, Ghost Train, Homeless Diamonds on The Soles of her Shoes, Carol of the Bells
Review: Originally hailing from Fargo, ND, The Emmy-winning Blenders now call Minneapolis, MN their home, and this talented, pioneering all male a cappella quartet has been very busy since we first discovered them in 1992 with the first of their now 13 recordings, "Totally Whipped," "From the Mouth" (1994), and "The Blenders" (1995). Then came their instant Best Seller Christmas collection, "Nog," which filled the stockings of all our friends and family with creamy-smooth harmonies. 2002's "When It Snows" was supported by an enormously successful holiday tour and made the Billboard charts, and "The Blenders Holiday Best," (2004) and "Most Wonderful Time" (2005), live DVD "Christmas with the Blenders" (2007) and 2 CD set "The Blenders: Christmas Collection" (2007) helped make the Blenders' name synonymous with Christmas! "Christmas Light" has 11 songs, mostly accompanied. Our favorites are of course the cuts with little or no accompaniment, the fun, rhythmic "Sleigh Ride," richly harmonic "Some Children See Him," and bright, joyous "What Child is This." Among the accompanied tunes, the original "Where Are You Christmas," "Last Christmas," "Amen," "This Christmas," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "Joy to the World" and bonus track "America" are standouts. But the highlight of all the Blenders recordings are the heavenly harmonies and great leads of these four talented men, often called "one of America's best-kept vocal secrets," who have been touring and delighting live audiences for decades with their signature sound.
Songlist: This Christmas, Last Christmas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Where Are You Christmas, Amen!, Children Go Where I Send Thee , Sleigh Ride, What Child Is This, Some Children See Him, Joy to the World, America (bonus track)
Why Didn't You Call Me?
Review: The unfortunate news is that Blind Man's Bluff has broken up as a group and won't be up on stage electrifying audiences any time soon. The good news is that before they broke up, they left us all a lovely parting gift, this CD! Including are "Red Line" and "The Drive," stream-of-consciousness urban angst anthems with roots in rap, heavy on the vocal percussion as are all BMB songs, and the rocking, hurt, writhing "Why Didn't You Call Me." "Dirty World" and "Feel" are backed up by what sounds like synthesizer overload, but we have no idea if it's vocal or not, "My One Addiction," "Reservations For One," "I Don't Like" (includes kittens, flowers, SUVs, strip malls, Stallone and implants, among other things), and "Breathin'." This is push-the-a-cappella-envelope, sometimes angry, moody, risky stuff, not for everyone, but the most important art and music is like that!
Songlist: Red Line, The Drive, Slightly Crazy, Why Didn't You Call Me?, Dirty World, Feel, My One Addiction, Reservations For One, I Don't Like, Breathin'
A Cappella Choir In The Sky
Review: Musical malfeasants the Bobs are simply one of the most beloved and original a cappella groups ever, writing such classics as "Slow Down Krishna," "Kill Your Television" and "Drive By Love." Not only were the Bobs acclaimed for their original material, they were also beloved for their hilarious and technically masterful renditions of cover songs including "Psycho Killer," "Helter Skelter" and "Purple Haze." Along the way they were Grammy-nominated, appeared on PBS in their own one hour special and were added to the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of American History! "Best of the Bobs" a.k.a. "Twenty Songs from Twenty Years" is an instant collector's item, with rare outtakes, twelve previously unreleased tracks in all including three brand new songs. No greatest hits re-hash, this CD takes you through dark and winding passages into the very center of the Bobs' twisted psyches, behind the scenes to the core of the Bobs' creative genius. A must have for any Bobs fan.
Songlist: The Boxer, Giant Robot Store, Weekend in Cincinnati, Bee Bop I Love You, A Cappella Choir In The Sky, Fluffy's Master Plan for World Domination, Hey Coach, Don't Call Me A Queer, Swingers, Elwood Decker, The Wind Cries Mary, White Room, Searchin, Slow Down Krishna, Share A Load, Mopping, Mopping, Mopping, Please Let Me Be Your Third World Country, Helmet, Art for Art's Sake, Cowboy Lips, Helter Skelter
Review: Since 1983, when the Bobs, the original "band without instruments" put out their first, self-titled album, we started our own love affair with this talented, funny, edgy, envelope-pushing group. Matthew Bob Stull, Dan Bob Schumacher, Richard Bob Greene and newest member Angie Bob Doctor, local Harmony Sweeps favorite performer and host, have come up with the goods for 30 years of recording and performing, and now have taken a long-overdue item off their bucket list, "the concept album." "Biographies" is an album about historical figures, both famous and not-particularly-famous, and the group that has been described as "Manhattan Transfer meets Monty Python" nails it! A few of our favorite song titles will give you a taste: "Andy (TV comic Andy Kaufman) Always Dreamed of Wrestling," Lord Buckley explains the life of Jesus on "The Nazz," "The Homey Rumours" takes on the "great one" Jackie Gleason, "Clarence Birdseye Flash Frozen Food" speaks for itself, as does "Fidel's (Castro) Fashion Manifesto," "Julia's Too Tall" is a delicious take on the life of Julia Child; "Lorenzo da Ponte" (Mozart's librettist) will make you forget the movie's Antonio Solieri; "Tesla, Tesla 1,2,3" (a forgotten Bay Area genius now totally in and hot); "Johnny Ramone" (Punk pioneer and guitarist for the Ramones) and finally, "Shut Up and Sing," the autobiography of the Bobs. No surprise to us, this collection is funny, intelligent, ironic and cutting-edge from beginning to end. Don't miss "Biographies," another winner from one of our all-time favorite mixed-voice a cappella quartets!
Songlist: Andy Always Dreamed of Wrestling , The Nazz , The Homey Rumours , Clarence Birdseye Flash Frozen Food , Valentina Tereshkova , Fidel's Fashion Manifesto , Elwood Decker , Hedy Lamarr Spreads it Around , Julia's Too Tall , Lorenzo da Ponte , Tesla, Tesla, 1,2,3 , Johnny Ramone , Bach to Bach , Shut up and Sing
The Druid Song
Review: The Bobs have left an indelible impression since their formation as a new wave a cappella group 20 years ago. "Coaster" swerves into the 21st century, with the same wanton desire to corrupt the minds of all who listen that have characterized the Bobs' previous nine recordings. Musically, of course, the membership - Matthew, Richard, Joe and Amy - are exceedingly qualified, more than might be suggested by such lyrical perversions as "keeps me warm at night/she's like a fire, she's like a tire" ("Rubber Girl") and "rising from my coffin/for coffee and a muffin" ("Drive Time Blues"), while walking the high wire between classical, jazz, rap and rock. There's even an accompanied pop tune - "Believe In Love" - that sets aside the musical malfeasance in favor of an unabashedly sincere performance by Joe Bob. The addition of Amy's wickedly mischievous contributions such as "Bring To Boil" and "Fluffy's Master Plan For World Domination" show that the Bobs had better not plan on retiring any time soon.
Songlist: Caravan, Drive Time Blues, She Made Me Name Her Earl, Loyal Officer, Barber Lips, A Vacant Stare, Turtle Girl, That Old Swamp, Rubber Girl, Bring To Boil, Believe In Love, Bach To Bach, Hidden Bonus Track, The Druid Song, Let's Adopt A Highway, Light My Fire, Fluffys Master Plan, A Cappella Choir
Review: Kill your television! Good advice but that's not really the message in the tune with that name, written completely from bumper sticker messages. That begins material that shares sardonic and whimsical views of tattoos, coffee, love, tagging, beat poetry and more. In the last album the Bobs began working with Scott Matthews and this producer is a significant participant in the creation of the all original work mostly written by Richard Green or a Green/Finetti collaboration. This reviewer's personal favorite is the beat poetry with a fabulous, very spare backing.
Songlist: When We Start To Sing, Tattoo Me Now, Kill Your Televison, Meat On The Moon, Elwood Decker, Cafe, Reasons, Stranger Then Love, Smoke, Spray, Too Cool To Care, Bus Tours, I.T.H.O.T.M.O.A., Andy Always Dreamed Of Wrestling
People Are Strange
Review: Sacramento, CA-based all-male sextet BNO first got together in a 4-bedroom house 8 years ago, and discovered the kind of chemistry that you find in the bigtime, big city groups. "Vinyl" is their third CD, after the excellent "Rho Sham Bo" and "Director's Cut." 17 songs, from the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'," "Fire" and "Come Go with Me" to remarkable vocal percussion on Lennon/McCartney's "Come Together" and on the Drifters' "Under The Boardwalk," this is great stuff. "Brown-Eyed Girl," "Footloose," "The Still Of The Night," the Righteous Bros' "My Girl," the Motown hit "Grapevine," the Doors' "People Are Strange"--the hits just keep on coming. What we love about BNO, besides their song selection, is a) their energy, spirit and love of the music, b) their great arrangements and vocal percussion, c) they're spot on key, and d) they nail every song, as you absolutely know they do in a live performance. Great stuff!
Songlist: Soundtrack (Takin' You Back), Gimme Some Lovin', Fire, Come and Go With Me, Come Together, Under the Boardwalk, Brown Eyed Girl, Only You, Footloose, Change The World, Still of the Night, Hooch, My Girl, With Or Without You, Grapevine, The People Are Strange, The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Review: Breath of Soul, David, Jesse, Tony and Jake, is an all-male a cappella contemporary quartet who bill themselves as "Nashville's Premier Vocal Band." "4 the record" is their 3rd album, following 2009's "Blue Christmas" and 2010's "Breath of Soul," to which we gave rave reviews on the Primarily A Cappella website, commenting, "to be this good early in their careers promises great things for BOS." "4" is the poised, finely-crafted album of a mature group who have paid their dues and are ready to join a handful of cappella's elite groups. Some of our favorites among the 10 cuts are beautifully arranged covers of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks," Lady GaGa's "Bad Romance," a fine pair of originals by tenor & vocal percussionist Jake, "Bee" and "Give Yourself;" The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun," excellent takes on a pair by Cory Hosler, "Fix You, Fix Me" and "My Last Season;" an impressive, sweetly-segueing medley of "Michael Jackson vs. Queen," Adele's "Rollin' in the Deep," and a soulful, harmonic take on Jason Mraz's romantic anthem "I Won't Give Up." Don't miss this one--Breath of Soul is smokin' hot and "4" took our breath away!
Songlist: Pumped Up Kicks, Bad Romance, Bee, House of the Rising Sun, Fix You, Fix Me, Michael Jackson vs Queen, Give Yourself, Rollin' in the Deep, My Last Season, I Won't Give Up
Review: "Moves" is the second CD by 1999-2000 champion British Barbershop chorus CCC, and it gets off on the right foot with a hilarious "Mother-In-Law Medley" that puts new words and meanings to "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," "Our Love Is Here to Stay" and "Hello Mother, Hello Father." 13 winning tunes follow, some favorites: the classic "Blue Velvet," "Just A Cottage Small," "Here's That Rainy Day," "Sunday Medley," "All the Things You Are," "Blue Shadows on the Trail," the folk hit "Today" (While the Blossoms Still Cling to the Vine), "I Wish You Love," the Motown hit "My Girl," and "Last Laugh Medley." We like to think of CCC as the "Little David" chorus, 40 guys outsinging choruses 2 or 3 times their size. "Moves" is great entertainment by a very special Barbershop chorus from Britain!
Songlist: Mother-In-Law Medley, Blue Velvet, Just A Cottage Small, Here's That Rainy Day, I Only Have Eyes for You, Sunday Medley, All the Things You Are, Blue Shadows on the Trail, Today (While the Blossoms Still Cling to the Vine), Running Scared, I Wish You Love, My Girl, Skye Boat Song, Last Laugh Medley
Review: Energetic 5-man, one-woman vocal band Cartoon Johnny first hit the Washington, DC area in 2001 under the name "3 guys mike." After a year, two of the original Mikes moved on, and 4 new men and one woman joined, changing the makeup of the group and updating the name. In their 3rd appearance at the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweeps regional, the group won 1st Place, best arrangement for "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and "Audience Favorite." They went on to perform a strong set at one of the best Harmony Sweeps Finals we've ever seen and heard. "Face the Music" draws on influences from classic soul to modern alternative, and includes a variety of sure-fire audience favorites and the group's own original music. 7 songs, some favorites are George Michael's "Careless Whisper," live covers of Lennon/McCartney's "Drive My Car," and the rock classic "Higher and Higher," and the originals "Bring Me to Life," "Secret Smile" and the live cut, "Better from Here," written and arranged by group member Mike Henrickson. A strong debut CD from a fast-rising, spirited, talented sextet from Washington, DC!
Songlist: Careless Whisper, Sebastian, Bring Me To Life, Drive My Car, Better From Here (Live), Secret Smile (Live), Higher and Higher (Live)
Review: These four talented women began their musical journey in September of 1994. By their 10th anniversary they had earned 4 Regional Championships and competed six times in the Sweet Adelines International Quartet Contest, placing as high as 24th. "Keepin'" is the group's debut album, 14 spirited, personalized takes on chestnuts like "Blue Skies," "Lazy River," "Don't Break the Heart that Loves You," "It's a Good Day," "Two Tickets to Georgia" medley, "Miss Celie's Blues," "Lullabye of Birdland," "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby," "Your Make Me Feel So Young" and the final cut, "That's How You Jazz." An impressive debut, and some very nice Sweet Adelines harmonies and ringing chords from Chord Company.
Songlist: Blue Skies, A Song Comin' On / Sing Hallelujah, Lazy River, Don't Break The Heart That Loves You, All Dressed Up With A Broken Heart, Its A Good Day, Two Tickets to Georgia Medley, Miss Celie's Blues, You're in Wrong With The Right Baby, Lullaby of Broadway, What'll I Do, You Must Of Been A Beautiful Baby, You Make Me Feel So Young, That's How You Jazz Medley
Review: Padi Boyd, Lisa Kelleher, Paul Kolb, John Meyer, Deb Nixon, Alan Smale and Karen Smale, the Chromatics, bring us a bright, fresh Christmas CD, featuring standard carols and pop tunes, strikingly arranged. They're all here: "Angels We Have Heard On High," "White Christmas," "Let It Snow, Let It Snow," "Frosty/Santa Medley," 14 classic songs to help fill you with the Christmas spirit!
Songlist: Angles We Have Heard On High, White Christmas, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Sing With Gladness, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Riu Riu Chiu, Frosty/Santa Medley, Winter Madrigal, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, A Merry Christmas, Glory Hallelu, The One Horse Open Sleigh, Silent Night
Rhode Island Is Famous For You
Review: Bay Area favorite, 4-man, 1-woman vocal jazz group Clockwork surprised a strong field with a win in the 2004 Bay Area Regional, then went on to place 2nd in the National Finals, making many friends and new fans along the way. "Teseract" is Clockwork's debut CD (on PAC Records), produced by The Bobs' Richard Bob Greene. There are 11 songs, all with cutting-edge arrangements, particularly by group member Stephen Saxon (also including Greene and group members Angie Doctor and Jim Hale). Herbie Hancock's sassy "And (So) What If I Don't," (There's some nice alto sax on this one, otherwise "Teseract" is all a cappella), a cool, jazzy "My Baby Just Cares For Me," Lennon/McCartney's classic "Blackbird" (with actual Red-winged Blackbird sounds), and a rainy-day bluesy "DC Farewell." "Donna Lee" segues perfectly from the laid-back "Back Home Indiana" to Charley Parker's scattish, driving jazz standard, Radiohead's "Creep" runs the gamut from quiet to crazed, and jazz standard "Rhode Island Is Famous For You" features a bright, upbeat lead by Doctor. Clockwork nails John Coltrane's frantic, driving "Moment's Notice," slowing down with perfect control for Richard Rogers' moody "Little Girl Blue," and then taking off on some very nice vocal riffs on "Variation #1 on (J. Williams') 'Nightwatch" and finishing up with the con man's anthem, a bluesy, appropriately smarmy original by Jim Hale, "Big Cash Deal." We loved Clockwork live, and "Teseract" is poised, confident proof of their readiness to join a cappella's vocal jazz elite!
Songlist: And (So) What If I Don't?, My Baby Just Cares For Me, Blackbird, D.C. Farewell, Donna Lee, Creep, Rhode Island Is Famous For You, Moment's Notice, Little Girl Blues, Variations #1 on "Nightwatch", Big Cash Deal
Review: Founded in Rhode Island in 1995 with a dozen new, enthusiastic singers, the Coastline Show Chorus has added over 100 experienced singers from ages 13 to 70ish. It has also climbed up into the heady air of elite Sweet Adelines choruses. Led by Master Director Gail Jencik to a 4th place finish in 2007, and a 7th place finish in 2009, it's clear from the photos in the liner notes and on Coastline's website how much fun this group is having on stage, and how much they are into cool costumes! There are 13 songs here, some favorites are "Witchcraft, "Imagine," "I Will Survive," "Makin' Whoopee" (sung with the Narragansett Boys Chorus), the brilliant "Hooked on the Classics," "How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm," "Name in Lights" and the hilarious live cut from International competition, "Ed Sullivan Medley." Lots of great harmonies and big fun stuff here!
Songlist: I Love a Piano, Witchcraft, Imagine, I Wish You Love, I Will Survive, Good Bye World, Makin Whoopee, Hooked on the Classics, America the Beautiful/Let Freedom Ring, How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm, If the Rest of the World Don't Want You, Name in Lights, Ed Sullivan Medley
The Drunken Sailor
Review: DAP is a dynamic eight-part mixed (4 men and 4 women) a cappella ensemble that performs a wide array of musical styles--from classical to jazz to pop to gospel to folk that has been performing together for about 3 years. Every member had considerable experience in barbershop groups, choirs, bands and the like, and most of them are married or related to at least one other group member. They have been performing to a wide variety of audiences in and out of Colorado to rave reviews. 14 varied songs, from Woody Guthrie's "This Land (is Your Land)" and jazzy covers of "The Drunken Sailor" and Lennon/McCartney's "Follow the Sun" to a stunning rendition of Dvorak's 'New World" Symphony 2nd Movement." Ward Swingle's arrangement Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" shows the group to be in company, in terms of sheer talent, with the Swingle Singers. "That's All," "You Are the New Day," "Heartache Tonight," Phil Everly's "When Will I Be Loved," Billy Joel's "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" and "Stars and Stripes Forever." This group nails them all. A surprising, recommended CD by a very talented new octet!
Songlist: This Land (Is Your Land), The Drunken Sailor, I'll Follow the Sun, Dvorak "New World" Symphony, Flight of the Bumblebee, That's All, Take A Chance on Me, You Are the New Day, A Quiet Place, Heartache Tonight, When Will I Be Loved, Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel), The Star Spangled Banner, Stars and Stripes Forever
In the Bleak Midwinter
Review: Sarasota, Florida's Ditchfields, inspired by Austria's famous Von Trapps, are actually all members of one family, led by parents Stephen and Bernice, son Nathaneal and his wife Regina, daughter Stephanie, teenage sons Michael and David, and 3 little grandsons, Andrew, Christopher and Joshua. Over the past 14 years the Family has performed the popular music of the '30s, '40s and '50s, show stoppers from Broadway, and the best loved traditional standards. "A Cappella Christmas" comes from their very popular annual Christmas concerts. Thirteen of our favorite carols and hymns: "Carol of the Bells," "Good King Wenceslas," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "In the Bleak Midwinter," "The Little Drummer Boy," "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," "What Child Is This," "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" and "Silent Night." The arrangements are dramatic and powerful, yet simple and sincere. "A Cappella Christmas" will be a welcome, uplifting addition to your family's holiday celebrations.
Songlist: Carol of the Bells, Good King Wenceslas, Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming, O Come All Ye Faithful, In the Bleak Midwinter, I Wonder as I Wander, The Little Drummer Boy, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, We Three Kings, What Child is This (Greensleeves), Caroling, Caroling, Sweet Little Jesus Boy, Silent Night
There Is Nothing Like a Dame
Review: First formed in 1989, The Bad Boys of A Cappella," known of r their lights, smoke, wigs, costumes and general silliness, have added another winner to their collection of live shows, which up to this point have included the Variety Show, Country Western Show, Holiday Show and Groovy 60s Show. "A Cappella Broadway" premiered in April 2007 as a triple groundbreaker: their first show entirely of songs not featured in any of their previous shows, the first time they've staged an extended run of a show at a single venue, and it's the first revue of Broadway tunes performed entirely without musical instruments! 12 songs, from Music Man's "76 Trombones," Cabaret's "Wilkommen" and West Side Story's "Gee, Officer Krupke" to The Fantasticks' "Try to Remember," My Fair Lady's "With a Little Bit O' Luck" and Carousel's "You'll Never Walk Alone." Some tunes, like Les Miserables' "Bring Him Home," will touch you and break your heart, Fiddler on the Roof's "If I Were a Rich Man," South Pacific's "There is Nothin' Like a Dame," Oklahoma's oompa-bandish "Oklahoma" and Guys and Dolls' "Fugue for Tinhorns" will crack you up. Enough said-this is another generous helping of great, funny stuff from the Edlos!
Songlist: 76 Trombones, Willkommen, Gee, Officer Krupke, Bring Him Home, I Am I, Don Quixote, If I Were A Rich Man, There Is Nothing Like a Dame, Oklahoma!, Fugue For Tinhorns, Try To Remember, With A Little Bit of Luck, You'll Never Walk Alone
Review: The Edlos first all-original album. This California foursome have been on the cutting edge of the new contemporary a cappella movement since their debut, and have sustained a loyal following, courtesy of their highly entertaining live performances. The group continues to parody anything and everybody, as on "Paper," "IRS Blues" and "Garbage Man" (the latter previously released on their "Sampler" CD), but in fact, their musical depth extends far beyond the comic, and embraces a variety of stylistic influences. "The Dream," as a case in point, traverses into classical territory and even has a quasi-operatic finale. "Down At The Mall" spills over into doo-wop, with it's nonsense syllables and high falsetto overlay. The Edlos' musical credentials bring a sophistication to their sound that is their own inimitable brand.
Songlist: Acappellypso, You, What A Surprise, Freedomsong, Our Home, Ascending Star of Bethlehem, For Daddy, Paper, Garbage Man, The IRSBlues, Down at the Mall, Kitty's Quake, Late Nightmare, The Dream
All Through The Night
Review: The Edlos are first-rate technical singers who amuse themselves and their zealous followers with zany antics and offbeat lyrics. This mix of the high and lowbrow has resulted in an eclectic sound that is umistakeably Edlos. For this special Christmas collection enjoy the Appalachian traditional, "Talkin' About Sufferin' Here Below," a Ukrainian carol, "Carol Of The Bells," "Big Santa (The Visit)," and "Sim Shalom," among others. This male quartet makes everything they do sound easy and casual, but listen intently: the whole is fashioned with the utmost of precision, and scholarship that takes years to acquire.
Songlist: Ascending Star of Bethlem, Little Drummer Boy, Gimme Some Presents, Big Santa (The Visit), Le Sommeil De L'Enfant Jesus (The Sleep of the Infant Jesus), Talk about Sufferin' Here Below, The Coventry Carol, Sim Shalom, All Through the Night, O Holy Night, Ukrainian Carol (Carol of the Bells)
Give In To The Lord
Review: For Phillip, Ryan, Tim and Joey, sweet-singing members of Deer Lodge, TN's Emmanuel Quartet, their ministry is simple-its all right there in 1 Chronicles: "Sing to the Lord, aall the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples." The 11-title songlist on "Feeling Good" speaks (or in fact sings) for itself: "Children's Medley, "Mighty is the Word," "If We Miss Heaven," "What More Could He Do?," "Give In To the Lord," "The Ballad of Elisha's Bones," "My Savior First of All," "Peaceful Side of Jordan," "A New Day," "We Shall Wear A Crown" and "Twenty Three." Ryan's rich deep bass, Tim's solid baritone, Phillip's fine tenor and Joey's soaring leads make each of these songs a joyous, inspirational winner. Don't miss "Feeling Good!"
Songlist: Children's Medley, Mighty is the Word, If We Miss Heaven, What More Could He Do?, Give In To The Lord, The Ballad of Elisha's Bones, My Savior First Of All, Peaceful Side of Jordan, A New Day, We Shall Wear a Crown, Twenty-Three
Review: Encore is an a cappella quintet featuring Kirby Shaw, his wife Markin, Roger and Joelle Graves, and Diana Ylvisoker, based in Ashland Oregon. An A Cappella Christmas features 12 tunes, all arranged by Kirby Shaw in numerous styles, from vocal jazz, choral, calypso, and funk, to Cajun, spiritual and even a 16th century round. Some of our favorites are "Carol of the Bells" with new lyrics by Kirby, "A Renaissance Christmas (medly)". "Rock Him in the Manger"(a KS original spiritual), "Sing We Noel", "Enatus Est Emmanuel", "Jamaican Noel"' and a few sweetly sung chestnuts like "White Christmas". It's a beautifully wrapped, unexpected Christmas gift from your uncle Kirby in Oregon that's exactly want you wanted. Encore!
Songlist: A Renaissance Christmas, Rock Him In The Manger, Carol of the Bells, The Christmas Song, Cool Yule, Sing We Noel, Mary Had A Baby, Christmas is the Time og Many Colors, Do You Hear What I Hear?, Silver Bells, Fanfare for Christmas, Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland, Run to the Manger, Enatus Est Emmanuel, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Calypso Carol, White Christmas, The Chipmonk Song, Go Tell It On The Mountain, Jamaican Noel, Merry Christmas to You All
Review: Dan, Thom, Janet and Joe (he spells it Jo3) are the London, Ontario-based mixed voice Contemporary a cappella group The Essentials, contains a faux "Parental Advisory" on the back of the cardboard jewel box sleeve for "Acappella Content," warning that it contains only human voices and drums, but "it still sounds so full that you'll think there's a whole band playing." Continuing, it adds: "Lyrics are suitable for all ages"-whew! We hope no parents will be scared off from enjoying this excellent collection by the warning, and conversely, that those in search of questionable lyrics will at least enjoy some great a cappella covers! Our favorites among the 12 songs include the a laid back arrangement of the Reggae anthem "I Can See Clearly Now," the Edgar Winter Group's "Free Ride," The Doobie Brothers' "Takin' It to the Streets," Tim McGraw's poignant Country hit "Some Things Never Change," Stephen Stills' Buffalo Springfield and CSN&Y hit, "Love The One You're With," a soulful, funky cover of Dave Mason's hit for Joe Cocker, "Feelin' Alright," the Rockapella standard "Falling Over You," and a live recording of Ray Gillen's Badlands Gospel hit, "In A Dream." Lead duties are shared among the four, and each shows off their serious talents as the others provide rich, sumptuous background vocals. Add some marvelous arrangements and you have "Nothing But Blue," the debut winner from The Essentials! Extensive liner notes with all the lyrics.
Songlist: I Can See Clearly Now, Free Ride, You and I, Invisible, Floating Away, Takin' It To The Streets, Some Things Never Change, Reality, Love The One You're With, Falling Over You, Feelin' Alright, In A Dream
Review: Here's a group that shows that the uniquely American style of doo wop can be sung from over the border as this Canadian group's latest Christmas CD is a gem. More like doo-wop tinged there is both great singing (what a bass!) and arrangements that are a standout from the usual Christmas fair. It has been quite awhile since their previous release and time has seasoned them well as they have been performing steadily for years. There is the occasional very light accompaniment but vocals are very much front and center on this holiday treat.
Songlist: White Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Remember December, What Child Is This?, The First Noel, Little Drummer Boy, The Christmas Song, O Holy Night, Jingle Bell Rock, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Happy Christmas
After the Goldrush
Review: Two man, two women Canadian Contemporary Quartet the Euphorics, blew us away winning the 1999 Harmony Sweeps Bay Area Regional and gave a great performance at the Finals. We loved their debut album "Standing Up for Love" by have been waiting patiently for its sequel, and now happily hold "Born to Sing" in our hot little hands! The wonderful harmonies and leads by Joni Bye (alto/soprano), Helen Davis (alto/soprano) and Bing Jenson (bass) are as solid and crisp as ever. There is one significant change, the fine tenor of Nathan Aswell, has been replaced by that of David Steele; but we have to say the group is sounding better than ever. "Born to Sing" has 10 songs, beginning with a Curtis Mayfield/Bob Marley medley, "People Get Ready/Three Little Birds/One Love," a very funny group reggae original, "When the Big One Comes," a sweet Lennon/McCartney medley, "Eleanor Rigby/Across the Universe," Billy Joel's "River of Dreams," Richard and Robert Sherman's "I Wanna Be Like You," a nice traditional medley, "Down to the River to Pray/I'll Fly Away/Man of Constant Sorrow," bass Bing's hit from the Sweeps, "I Sing Low," "When the Night Feels My Song," Neil Young's "After the Goldrush" and closing with Stevie Wonder's "As." Every one of these is a winner. The Euphorics have a huge, spirited sound and put on a live show as entertaining as any we have seen. Treat yourself to "Born to Sing," and enjoy!
Songlist: People Get Ready/Three Little Birds/ One Love, When the Big One Comes, Eleanor Rigby/Across the Unverse, River of Dreams, I Wanna Be Like You, Down to the River to Pray/I'll Fly Away/Man of Constant Sorrow, I Sing Low, When the Night Feels My Song, After the Goldrush, As (always)
Review: We have personally experienced the vocal power of Colorado-based, 7-man Face, who first began singing together in 2000, and first performed for the public in the summer of 2002--the year they won their first of three Audience Favorite awards at the Harmony Sweeps Rocky Mountain Regional. In Spring of 2005 they won the Regional and we saw them win Audience Favorite at the Harmony Sweeps National Finals, placing 2nd overall. "Forward" is exactly that, a collection of 11 covers that announce to the a cappella world that Face is ready to join the elite. Beginning with Mark Broussard's driving "Home," Tonic's brooding "If You Could Only See" and some amazing vocal sax, trumpet and keyboards on Mancini's "Pink Panther Theme;" the great song selection continues with Counting Crows' bouncy "Accidentally In Love," the BeeGees' romantic anthem "How Deep Is Your Love," The Hoodoo Gurus' Adams Familyesque "Dig It Up" and "American Passion," an incongruous medley of Bach's "Erkenne Mich, Mein Huter" and Paul Simon's "American Tune" which totally works. "Forward" is an impressive collection that moves and touches us-great stuff!
Songlist: Home, If You Could Only See, Calling All Angels, Pink Panther Theme, Sugar, We're Goin' Down, Accidentally In Love, You & Me & the Bottle Makes Three Tonight, How Deep Is Your Love, It's Not The Crime, Dig It Up, American Passion
Review: One of our favorite Harmony Sweeps finalist groups (they placed second in both 2005 and 2007, winning Audience Favorite and Best Original Arrangement awards) we have followed the career of this multi-talented, all male sextet from Denver, CO. When NBC based their new hit show "The Sing-Off" on the Harmony Sweepstakes, we were thrilled to see Face rise up to become Finalists, and although they didn't win it all, the group gained a huge new following and showed a new generation of viewers what we all have known for years, the tremendous power and attraction of a live a cappella! In their new CD "Momentum" on their first cut, the dynamic "O Fortuna," arranged by group member Ben Lunstad, they include in parentheses that the song won Best Original Arrangement at the '07 National Harmony Sweeps Finals! There are 11 songs here, and it's clear that Face has ridden that success to turn themselves into one of a cappella's elite groups, with stellar arrangements by Lunstad and group members Ryan Driver and Stephen Ross. Listen to "Boondocks," Collins/Fagenson/Siebels' "Promise," Lennon/McCartney's "Let It Be," Griffiths/Orzabal's "Break It Down Again," Bicusse/Newley's sultry "Feeling Good," wonderful faux electric guitar on Cain/Perry/Schon's retro anthem "Don't Stop Believing," Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours," Dean/Malloy/Mann/Taylor's "Looking for a Place to Land, Colin Hay's "Overkill," and Gilmore/Moore's "On the Turning Away," and you're listening to the new Face of a cappella, standard-bearers of a growing a cappella Renaissance. Don't miss the apty titled "Momentum!"
Songlist: O Fortuna, Boondocks, Promise, Let It Be, Break it Down Again, Feeling Good, Don't Stop Believing, I'm Yours, Looking For a Place to Land, Overkill, On the Turning Away
The Duke of Dubuque
Review: Pride of Minneapolis, MN, mixed-voice quintet Five By Design is famous for being the first vocal group to create and star in their own original musical retrospectives for symphony orchestras and big bands! "Stay Tuned," in fact, features 17 tunes from just such a collaboration, with Willis Delony & The Robert Baca Jazz Orchestra. Every song here is a Swing Era classic: "I Feel A Song Comin' On," "Sh' Boom," "Hey There," "Papa Loves Mambo," "New York, New York," "Istanbul," "'S Wonderful," "The Girl From Ipanema," "More" and "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White." Five By Design clearly loves their music, they have a fresh, clean sound, the Robert Baca Jazz Orchestra is smokin,' and the song selection couldn't be more entertaining-so get "Stay Tuned" and enjoy!
Songlist: I Feel a Song Comin' On, Sh' Boom, Cross Over the Bridge, Hey There, Papa Loves Mambo, I Really Love You, Make Love to Me, New York, New York, Istanbul, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, 'S Wonderful, The Duke of Dubuque, The Girl from Ipanema, More, The Curtain Falls, As Long as I'm Singing, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White
The First Noel
Review: The last CD featuring original member Bob Flanigan and the arrangements of Dick Reynolds, this mostly-accompanied CD (listen to the spectacular "trombone choir" on "Silent Night"!) was recorded in 1992. The Freshmen have become a sort of post-graduate institution for singers everywhere; their approach to chord voicings - dropping the root of a five-part chord, and the ingenious placement of the remaining notes - galvanized audiences and critics alike. Phil Mattson contributes an arrangement of "I'll Be Home For Christmas," showing his respect, while "And The Bells Rang" chimes brightly with the excitement of this very special "Freshmas"!
Songlist: Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, We Wish you a Merry Christmas, I'll Be Home For Christmas, White Christmas, Christmas Song, And the Bells Rang, The First Noel, Away in a Manger, We Three Kings, Silent Night, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Review: The four young men of Go Fish have a polished, tight and professional sound, and though they are contemporary Christian, with a lyrical emphasis on a message that can't be missed, they have much in common with Rockapella and the Blenders. Indeed, the Blenders' own Darren Rust mixed this CD, which includes half original compositions, as well as holiday perennials such as 'Angels We Have Heard On High,' 'Silent Night,' and 'Away In The Manger,' though, in the case of 'Angels,' the Go Fish version is a 90's dance-mix. Likewise, 'Silent Night' is only recognizable by the words - the rhythm, melody and harmonization has been created anew. 'More Than A Story' is a musical dramatization, with a newscaster's voiceover, telling the tale of the birth of Jesus. Includes drum and percussion accompaniment.
Songlist: Silent Night, O, Holy Night, Zechariah's Song, Angels We Have Heard On High, Away In A Manger, More Than a Story, Mary Did You Know?, Go Tell It To The Mountain, I Beleive In You, The Grinch Song
Review: The Grunyon's say Laborantem laudat, cantatem amat dominus, or, The Lord Respects me when I work, but loves me when I sing. There is no better way to describe this group other than a bunch of guys who collectively share the same bond of love for a cappella. Since 1949, in exchange for Poker, Tuesday nights of vocal jazz mischief and mayhem were a regularly scheduled affair for the Grunyons. Albeit, an amateur effort, this collection is fabulous for those who respect a good time for good times sake! These guys always and only had fun and after 50 years of singing it is about time they showed us just how much fun they have indulged. Most famous Grunyon, Bill Gard, shows us his arranging specialty with title track "Just in Time", as well as, "Little Darlin", "Laughter in the Rain" and "This time the Dream's on Me" plus a few more. Other favorites on this loaded 19 song collection are "Beginning to See the Light" by Ellington, "This Masquerade" by Leon Russell, "Little Red Riding Hood" by The Bobs, and a Moon Medley arranged by Ed Wolff. If you like Ed Wolff, his arranging is celebrated strong here, Grunyon style. Though timeliness has never been a Grunyon factor, the final song is appropriately "This Will Be My Shining Hour" by Arlen and Mercer, arranged by Bill Gard. A Grunyon Metaphor speaketh; our lives are now at their best and will be "' til I'm with you again."
Songlist: Just In Time, Tea For Two, That Sunday, That Summer, Overture to William Tell, And So It Goes, I Found Love, This Time the Dreams on Me, This Masquerade, Beginnin' to See the Light, Darling, You and I, Shooby Doin', Little Darlin', Little Red Riding Hood, Laughter in the Rain, Almost Always, Lullaby, Moon Medley, Lover Come Back to Me, This Will Be My Shining Hour
Review: Funky, swinging, contemporary, jazzy: this Canadian nine-member mixed ensemble is a stylistic delegation from a variety of genres. About half of the material is original, composed by Debbie Fleming, who also produced. They scat through the midsection of "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," trilling in the upper registers and shaking the notes, ending on a descending smear. The original, "All I Want For Christmas" (with rhythm track), has a danceable vocal bass groove, while the "Charlie Brown Christmas" segues into "Christmas Time Is Here." The sound is brilliant, with big layered backing chords, and ringing high soprano parts.
Songlist: All I Want For Christmas, I'll Miss You This Christmas, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, In a Manger, Charlie Brown Christmas, Glory Halleluiah, Dancing, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Talk With Santa, Angel's Lullaby, Jingle Bell Rock, Candles in the Windows, Caribbean Christmas, Night of His Birth, Carolling, Carolling
Review: Experiencing the Jacks live at a trendy South of Market club in San Francisco first turned us on to the power and glory of a hot group that could move and thrill an audience onstage with only mikes in their hands. Since then the guys, Nicholas Girard, John Pointer, Elliot Michael Robinson, Deke Sharon & Austin Willacy have had big fun touring, recording, meeting and performing with other groups and always growing their fan base. The aptly named "Pollen" is a fascinating experiment that involves some of our all-time favorite groups, for example Australia's Sweeps Champs The Idea of North, England's The Swingles, and BR6 from Brazil. The Jacks wrote songs, arranged them, performed them live and "noodled with the arrangements," then recorded the songs, added some parts and sent the recordings to their guest artists and "told them to go crazy, then we added complimentary parts of our own." The only caveat: "Everything you hear is a human voice, but sometimes we mess with it." Ten amazing tunes, some of our favorites are: "Crazy," with The Idea of North; "Quiet Moon," with BR6; "This Life" with The Swingles; "Confessional," with Canada's Cadence; "As It Falls Apart" with MICappella, Singapore; "Your Love" with Maybebop, Germany; "Get What You Need" with Cluster, Italy; "Talk2Me" with Postyr Project, Denmark; "Wo Ai Ni" with Voco Novo, Taiwan and Freeman, China; and "Got What You Wanted" with Exit, Korea and Kaichiro Kitamura, Japan. Writing credits for these wonderful vocal collages go to Austin for "As it Falls Apart," "Crazy" and "Got What You Wanted;" Nicholas for "Your Love;" John for "Get What You Need," "This Life" and "Confessional;" Elliot for "Talk2Me;" and Deke for "Wo Ai Ni" and "Quiet Moon." In a cappella poker five Jacks, drawing some of the best international kings, queens & aces in the deck, makes every track of "Pollen" a stone winner. You don't want to miss this one!!
Songlist: As It Falls Apart, Your Love, Get What You Need, Talk2Me, Crazy, Wo Ai Ni, This Life, Got What You Wanted, Confessional, Quiet Moon
Your Smiling Face
Review: The Sound, founded and produced annually by Townsend Belisle, has been Cape Cod's all-male a cappella ensemble since 1994, and is comprised of an elite group of 14 young male singers from colleges and universities across the country. They perform in backyards, weddings, fine dining establishments, stadiums and everything in between. "Cape Standard Time" has 15 finely crafted covers, some favorites are: "72 Hour Daze (Taxiride), Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon," James Taylor's "Your Smiling Face," Otis Reddings " The Dock Of The Bay," Stephen Bishop's "On and On," Michael Jackson's "Thriller," the Blenders' arrangement of Christopher Cross' "Sailing," Sting's marvelous "Fields of Gold," and Queen's immortal "Bohemian Rhapsody." Strong, solid vocal percussion, sweet, soaring leads, hip arrangements, strong material-it adds up to an entertaining winner for Hyannis Sound!
Songlist: 72 Hour Daze, A Thousand Miles, Fly Me to the Moon, Your Smiling Face, (Sitting on) the Dock of the Bay, On and On, Walking Away, Thriller, Sailing, Fields of Gold, I Feel Good, L-Y, Last Goodbye, Bohemian Rhapsody, Parting Blessing
Slow Boat To China
Review: Formed in 2004, Denver-based Ignition! almost immediately stepped onto the competition stage, barely missing a wild-card invitation to the 2004 BHS Internationals, which they qualified for the following year as Rocky Mountain District Champs. They placed 21st at the 2006 Internationals, and the news flash from Denver is the group's 12th place finish at the '07 International contest. Bass Denny "Papa", Baritone Matt "the Mouth", Lead Curtis "Chopper," and Tenor Dan "The Laser" are on the fast track in the Barbershop world, as the 13 tunes on "Gettin' Started" show. Some favorites are group originals "Yo Mama!" and "Be Good to Your Mama" (written by Denny Malone), Billy Joel's "Goodnight My Angel," Irving Berlin's "What'll I Do," "I'll Fly Away," the spiritual "Mary Had A Baby," "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You" and "Barbara Ann." Great ringing harmonies and chords, and we always like to see original Barbershop material. An impressive debut!
Songlist: Yo!, Yo Mama!, Slow Boat To China, Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel), Feelin' Fine, Be Good To Your Mama, What'll I Do, I'll Fly Away, Ride Red Ride, Mary Had A Baby, Nevertheless, You're Nobody, Barbara Ann
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Review: With very hip and original takes on some of the best loved Christmas carols, and two Inpulse originals, this CD should not be missed. Some favorites include a beautiful contemporary take on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," the triumphant and soulful "O Holy Night," the impressive vocal percussion and rockin' solo in their original song "Sound of Salvation," and their soothing sound in "White Christmas." Inpulse's rich, soulful sound is sure to warm your heart this holiday season.
Songlist: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, How Christmas Was Meant to Be, O Holy Night, Sound of Salvation, Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth, White Christmas, On This Christmas Day, Christmas Song, Angels We Have Heard on High
Living on the Edge
Review: The core blend of three soulful women (Gwen, Linda and Renee) of the soulful Bay Area a cappella ensemble The Irrationals has been singing together for over 15 years. This funky, diverse group has an eclectic, African American-based repertoire that explores life, love and politics. There are 11 songs here, which feature soaring leads, strong vocal percussion and background vocals. Favorites are "Train in Vain," the title tune, "Something to Talk About," the powerful stream-of-consciousness two originals by Susan Anders, "Living on the Edge" and "Trouble Now," the stark "Everything and Nothing," the bluesy "Microwave Life," the jazzy "Mighty Long Way" and the poignant "Love Me Still." This is surprising, entertaining, thought-provoking stuff from The Irrationals!
Songlist: Train In Vain, Done Waiting, Something to Talk About, Living on the Edge, Everything and Nothing, Microwave Life, Mighty Long Way, Love Me Still, Key Largo, Trouble Now, Happy Birthday
Put On The Armor of God
Review: New Orleans, LA's Tight Harmony Records brings us this joyous, spirited collection of a cappella Doo-Wop Gospel featuring the vocal, writing and arranging talents of Jerome Alexander (of Jay, Ray and Gee) and a strong supporting group. These 18 songs, originally recorded in the early 90s, are from tape masters, luckily preserved when the original masters were lost due to Katrina. Alexander originals "Jesus Is Our Lead Singer," "The Ten Commandments of God," "Hambone Praise Song," "Put On The Armor of God," "I'll Be A Fool for the Lord," " "Don't Let Him Fool, Rule or Ride You," "Don't Forget to Say Your Prayers" and "He Did It for You and Me" are favorites, as is the raucous African American Jubilee Song, "My Dungeon Shook and My Chains Fell Off." There's some accompaniment (keyboard and percussion) on a few songs, but the emphasis is on the fine vocals and spirited message. Alexander is a major Gospel/Doo Wop talent, and his group, smooth, hot and experienced, has no trouble keeping up. "Sacred" is a surprising, fresh collection of juicy roots Gospel, and we had big fun listening to every cut!
Songlist: Jesus Is Our Lead Singer, The Ten Commandments Of God, My Dungeon Shook & My Chains Fell Off, Where He Leads Me, I'll Be A Fool For The Lord, Don't Let Him Fool You, Rule You Or Ride You, Don't Forget To Say Your Prayers, The King Of The Glory, Yes, Jesus Loves Me, Hush, He Did It For You And Me, Hambone Praise Song, Put On The Armor Of God, He (The Stomp Version), Face In The Place On Sunday, Twelve Months Of Praise Anonymous Love, Anonymous Love (Christmas Version), Christmas Done Finally Came
Review: Harmony is a universal urge, and when it accompanies a love theme, it's the pinnacle of music-making. The Laurels first sought that peak in 1959, harmonizing at sock hops and at the studio. Forty years later, original member Dick Muse and four others took their places around the mike to record 16 classic and "should-have-been-classic" doo-wop tunes. "Please Mr. Sun," "Ball & Chain," "Everyone's Laughing," the top-40 hit "Barefootin'," "Willette," "Cold Feet," "For Your Love," "Something's Got A Hold On Me," "Lundy Dundy," "Time Can Make You Change" and "Sweet Was The Wine" and others. All a cappella except for the final cut, "Rhythm." These are authentic, gravelly-bass, soaring tenor, sweet harmony doo-wop, the kind we love to hear. "Keeping" is a keeper!
Songlist: Please Mr Sun, Ball & Chain, Everyone's Laughing, My Mothers Eyes, Barefootin', Heart & Soul, Willette, The Sun, Cold Feet, For Your Love, Something's Got A Hold On Me, Truthfully, Lundy Dundy, Time Can Make You Change, Crying In The Chapel, Sweet Was The Wine, Rhythm
Dancing with the Angels
Review: Lubbock, TX-based Contemporary Christian a cappella quintet Legacy is Marty, Clint, Jake, Michael and Josh, and "Reliant" is their third album, following "Legacy" and Christmas collection "The Gift," both best sellers in the Singers.com catalog. First singing together in college in Lubbock in 2002 and touring together in the summer of 2003, the group went their separate ways; but some "amazing" happenings brought them back together in Lubbock in 2006 to continue their musical ministry. Compared to groups like Take 6 and Rockapella, Legacy has become known for their rich harmonies, strong leads, arrangements and vocal percussion. There are 10 songs here, all of which we're hearing for the first time, including a very nice original, written by group member Jake Lieman. Favorites are MercyMe's "God With Us," Brandan Heath & Jason Ingram's powerful "Give Me Your Eyes," Mark Hall's lovely "Slow Fade" and poignant "Does Anybody Hear Her," Mike Donahee, Phillip Larue & Jason Ingram's inspirational "By Your Side," Tiffany Arbuckle-Lee, Shaun Shankel & Tyler Hayes' "Safe," Steve Fee's "Glorious One," Ed Cash, Michael Neagle & Trent Monk's joyous "Dancing With the Angels" and Charlie Peacock's upbeat "In the Light." Wait, that's all of them, and we're not surprised-every cut in this collection is a beautiful, thought-provoking winner. These wonderful albums from Legacy don't come along very often, so treat yourself to "Reliant" now, and enjoy!
Songlist: God With Us, Give Me Your Eyes, Slow Fade, By Your Side, Does Anybody Hear Her?, Safe, Glorious One, Dancing with the Angels, In The Light, Lord I'll Fly
Oy Mame Bin leh Farliebt
Review: Although Listen Up! has two excellent recordings, "Shimu Na" and "Al Hanisim," in our catalog, we're happy to welcome their latest CD, "Jewphoria," to the Primarily A Cappella label. Listen Up! is Rebecca Singer, Moshe Mann, Michael Mendelson and Steve Singer. Here are 12 fresh and appealing, often funny, mostly Jewish doo-wop songs: "Oy Mamme Bin Ich Farliebt," "Etz Chayim," "Tzena," "Yom Shabbaton," "Al Kol Eileh," "Tzaddik Katamar" (w/violin accompaniment), "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," "Under the Chuppah" (a takeoff on "Under The Boardwalk"), "Hineh Ba Hashalom," "Tum Balalaika," "Nisayon" and "Hatikvah." What comes across in all songs is a love for singing, a lot of talent and a sense of fun & celebration - an im-pressive third CD. Listen Up! - we want to hear more!
Songlist: Oy Mame Bin Ich Farliebt, Etz Chayim, Tzena, Yom Shabbaton, al Kol Eileh, Tzaddik Katamar, Bei Mir Bist du Schoen, Under The Chuppah, Hineh Ba HaShalom, Tum Balalaika, Nisayon, Hatikvah
Higher and Higher
Review: A live recording of m-pact, one of our favorite pop/jazz vocal ensembles of all time, at Seattle's Triple Door-what a treat!! Since being named 1996-97 Harmony Sweeps champs and Audience Favorite, m-pact has been wowing appreciative audiences all over the world, including several memorable appearances at the West Coast Summit. Finally, the signature sound and eclectic musical tastes of this internationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning vocal sensation are down on plastic. The song selection dances from soaring soul like a marvelous arrangement of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish," "Ain't Nobody," "Still the One" and Willie Dixon's "29 Ways;" and sophisticated jazz like Miles Davis' "All Blues" and the salsa scattish "Northeast Wind;" to fresh pop originals like "u nee 2 no" and the jazzy "found a love in you," written by brilliant alto lead Britt Quentin. The disco tune "Boogie Oogie Oogie" becomes a vocal percussion showcase for Trist Curless' flawless beat-box, and "If We Try" highlights Britt's pure, soaring, almost unbelievable range, as does a jazz interpretation of Cole Porter's "Night and Day." "Live" continues with the jazzy, ultra-hip "What If We Was Cool," a surprising jazz interpretation of the pop anthem "Higher and Higher," and closes with an incongruous, but lovely cover of Bach's "How Shall I Fitly Greet Thee." Everyone who has had the one-of-a-kind experience of seeing and hearing m-pact live, and knows what a gift that is, will appreciate what has been captured on these two discs. Brilliant, stunning, and highly recommended!
Songlist: Boogie Boogie Oogie, Ain't Nobody, Somebody Love Me, What If We Was Cool, If We Try, Night and Day, All Blues, Still The One, Found A Love In You, 29 Ways, Higher and Higher
Merry Christmas Baby
Review: After a couple of decades and over 20 albums perhaps the most well-known of all vocal harmony groups has released their very first all a cappella recording - and it was well worth the wait! Of course we might well be somewhat biased due to our love of unaccompanied vocals but this album is truly a joy and will become, we are sure, a vocal harmony Christmas classic. First released in Japan the recording was produced by Tim Hauser and co-produced by the highly regarded Roger Treece who also arranged some of the songs. The vocals are always solid with the Transfer and their voices are highlighted even further when sung unaccompanied with each voice showing their years of experience as vocal jazz singers. The arrangements are stellar and this album will be bringing you holiday cheer for years to come.
Songlist: Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Christmas Time Is HereRoger Treece, Good King Wencslas, Toyland, My Grown-Up Christmas List, Merry Christmas Baby, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Christmas Is Coming, Winter Wonderland
Review: Since their formation in 2001, combining 3 gold medal-winning veterans, Paul, Dale and Mark, with newcomer bass Brian O'Dell, MatriX began their steady climb up the elite Barbershop Quartet ladder with a 19th place finish at the 2002 convention. 2003 saw the group add another newcomer, lead Jeff Wallace, who led MatriX to a 12th place finish at the Montreal convention, and in the 2006 Indianapolis competition broke into the top 10, placing 9th. Their new self-titled release really shows off the talents of this fast-rising group. 12 songs, beginning with the powerful "I'm Gonna Live Till I Die," "Look Me Up When You're in Dixie," the heart-tugging standards "Georgia On My Mind," "If You Had All The World And Its Gold," "Distant Melody," and Billy Joel's wonderful "Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)." Paul Simon's "59th St. Bridge song (Feelin' Groovy)" has a carefree arrangement, there's a strong live cut from Montreal in 2003, "Black Eyed Susan Brown," the poignant "Garden in the Rain" (which segues into "Over the Rainbow") and the final tune, "Some Lucky Day," are all winners. Great arrangements, ringing harmonies and sheer love of singing add up to a great collection of barbershop and pop from fast-rising MatriX!
Songlist: I'm Gonna Live Till I Die, The Song Is You, Look Me Up When You're In Dixie, Georgia On My Mind, Black Eyed Susan Brown (Live), If You Had All The World And It's Gold, Feelin' Groovy (The 59th Street Bridge Song), Distant Melody, You Took Advantage Of Me, Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel), A Garden In The Rain, Some Lucky Day