In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Acapella Vocal Band (AVB) was a vocal group put together by Keith Lancaster in 1986 to augment the vocal group Acapella.(1) AVB's popularity and ministry quickly grew, prompting Lancaster to launch AVB as a full-time touring group in 1988. AVB went through various lineup and stylistic changes before disbanding in 2000.
In addition to their early duties as Acappella's opening act and augmentation group, AVB performed and recorded as an independent ensemble. Many of their recordings, which included Give Me Light(1987) and Steppin' On A Cloud (1988), were later re-released on a CD titled The Early Years. In June 1988, with Acappella's expansion to a quartet, AVB branched off to tour on their own under the auspices of Acappella Ministries. Both groups underwent a shift in musical style during this period. Whereas previously, they had covered traditional hymns, praise songs and contemporary Christian pop music, both Acappella and AVB now recorded and performed primarily original music, much of which was composed by Lancaster. Acappella forged ahead with an adult contemporary sound while AVB targeted the youth market.
With Song In My Soul (1989), AVB made a major shift toward contemporary pop, rock and R&B sounds, though still entirely produced a cappella. On What's Your Tag Say?, the shift toward slick hip-hop and R&B was even greater, with a strong lyrical focus on the youth market and extensive choreography incorporated into their live performances.(1) By the time Celebrate And Party became popular, the transformation to an near-perfect a cappella mimicry of the New Jack Swing style had been achieved, with a sound similar to Take 6, Boyz II Men, and Tony! Toni! Tone!. The song U & Me & God Make 5 followed in 1993, producing a hit on the CCM charts. The AVB lineup of John K. Green, Brishan Hatcher, Wes McKinzie, Max Plaster and Steve Reischl also recorded AVB's Spanish project, Caminando en la Luz (1994), and "greatest hits" compilation, The Road (1995).
After a brief hiatus, AVB returned with a different lineup for Way of Life and yet another lineup and sound for Real. Although the group is now defunct, more than 20 former members reunited in Nashville for a concert in July 2009.
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Review: A vital part of Keith Lancaster's Acappella Ministries of Paris, TN, Wes, Max, John, Brishan and Steve are Acappella Vocal Band, AVB. "U and Me and God Make 5" is a surprising, thought-provoking, mostly accompanied album of 10 Contemporary Christian songs. The steady hand of Keith Lancaster is everywhere on the album, from producing it to writing and composing songs like "I Need You" and "Die 2 Live." Original songs like "Someone Special," "Money" and "My Love Won't Die" are written and composed, all or in part, by John, and the succinct "Ignorance Ain't Bliss" was written and composed by Wes. The metaphor "The Land of Five" is used here to give people a picture of the group's vision of the true Christian life. Part of AVB's powerful musical ministry, "U and Me and God Make 5" is beautifully sung and written, and it is one of the most unique and creative Contemporary Christian albums we have heard!
Songlist: Someone Special, U Are Not Alone, Ignorance Ain't Bliss, Kyrie, My Love Won't Die, Money, Spiritual One Night Stand, Spirit's N Da House, I Need You, Die 2 Live
Review: It's easy to see talented, spiritual vocalists like Josh, Brishan, Andrew and Aaron of AVB, Acappella Vocal Band, performing and recording under the wing of Producer Keith Lancaster's Acappella Ministries of Paris, TN. Several of the 11 songs are written all or in part by Keith, including the title tune, "I Don't Know Why" and "I've Found Him." Group member Aaron wrote the dynamic "The Saints Go Marching," "All for the Good," "The Ones" and "I Attribute;" Brishan wrote "Silent Screams" and "I Don't Know Why;" and Josh wrote the lovely "Without Love." This is beautifully produced, cutting-edge Contemporary Christian music-beautiful, dramatic, thought-provoking stuff. Don't miss the powerful musical ministry of AVB's "Way of Life!"
Songlist: Way of Life, Without Love, I Don't Know Why, The Saints Go Marching, The Prodigal, Where Do You Run To?, All for the Good, The Ones, Silent Screams, I've Found Him, I Attribute
Review: Under the umbrella of the Acappella Ministries and writer/producer Keith Lancaster, who wrote and produced here with Melissa Lancaster, the Acappella Vocal Band is a hipper, Gen X-oriented group with a message. These five casually-attired, appealing young men sing light rock songs, which are packaged with energetic vocal percussion, current production values and superior musicianship. 'Way To Glory' mixes up the tempo and note values unexpectedly; the contrast of long and short immediately perks up the ear. 'When I Forget' repeats the phrase anthemically throughout the verse, acting as a chordal accompaniment. 'Real' is tight and polished.
Songlist: Give, We Have Come, Broken, Worlds Apart, He Had Everything, Don't Be Overcome, When I Forget, Way To Glory, Hard Pressed, We Will Not Serve, Jehovah Is Our God
Review: AVB's all time best selling album. Includes the beautiful praise song Open My Heart, and the fun Growing Up With King James.
Songlist: Growin' Up with King James, What's Your Tag Say?, Conversation, U Can't Go 2 Church, Walk By Faith, Attitude Check, Changin', Gregorian Rhapsody, It's Not Enuff!, One Way, Legalistic Tendencies, Open My Heart, Accept One Another