In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, The Blenders are proud to call Minneapolis, Minnesota their home. They have spent the last 19 years touring the U.S. with their unique style of vocal harmony-based music. They have appeared with such acts as Jay Leno, Howie Mandel, Savage Garden, Blues Traveler, Chicago, The Righteous Brothers, Lou Rawls, Chuck Berry and many more. They have appeared on a variety of national and regional television shows including The Arsenio Hall Show (FOX), The Today Show on NBC, Crook and Chase (TNN), and WGN. Radio performances have included WGN and National Public Radio, to name a few. In 2007, their music was featured in the Queen Latifah film, The Perfect Holiday. In 2008, The Blenders' version of Lean on Me was featured in the film trailer for "Nothing Like the Holidays." They have also won 2 Emmy Awards for their work in television commercials for FOX9 in Minneapolis.
The group spent their first few years building up their fan base by touring hundreds of colleges and universities across the country. In the process, they received the Contemporary Artist of the Year Award in 1994 and 1995 by the National Association of Campus Activities. With the support of these loyal fans, The Blenders have created a presence that continues to expand worldwide.
Each member of The Blenders had the good fortune of growing up in a musical family that nurtured their love of song. Although their influences stretch far and wide, Tim Kasper, Ryan Lance, Darren Rust and Allan Rust find a common bond in vocal music. From R&B and Jazz, to Pop and Rock, their tight harmonies and upbeat arrangements always provide the perfect blend.
The Blenders continue writing their own music as well as adapting songs of their favorite artists. They have released 13 recordings to date including a compilation album called "Now and Then" (1997). It features three cuts from each of their first three albums; "Totally Whipped" (1992), "From the Mouth" (1994), and "The Blenders" (1995), along with three previously unreleased tracks. Also in 1997, The Blenders released their first Christmas album entitled "Nog", which is a favorite among their fans and features the group's unmistakable, smooth vocal harmonies.
The Blenders found international success with their first-ever major-label release, "Loveland" (1999) on Universal Records. They even hit number one in a handful of European countries with a remake of the quirky song, "(I am in Love with the) McDonald's Girl."
After a year hiatus that began at the end of 2000, The Blenders returned to the scene in 2002 with a new Christmas album entitled "When it Snows". With an enormously successful holiday concert tour to support it, the album quickly found its way onto the Billboard charts in just a few weeks of hitting the stores. In 2004, they released "The Blenders Holiday Best", a compilation of their holiday CDs with the added track, "I'll be home for Christmas." In 2004 they also released "Another Folkin' Christmas" (an EP as The Folkers). In 2005 The Blenders released another very successful holiday CD, "Most Wonderful Time."
"Song from the Soul", their 11th CD release (October 2006) was The Blenders' first non-holiday CD released in 8 years, followed up in 2008 by "Songs from the Soul: Vol. II."
In 2007 they finally released a 'live' DVD called "Christmas with The Blenders." As a companion piece, they also released a 2 CD set containing every Christmas song they've ever recorded called "The Blenders: Christmas Collection."
Often described as, "one of America's best-kept vocal secrets", The Blenders continue to record and tour the country, delighting their audiences with their signature vocal sound.
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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)
Review: This 2004 releases is a compilation of their other two Christmas recording ('Nog' and 'When It Snows') plus a new bonus track'I'll Be Home For Christmas'
Songlist: Carol of the Bells, 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, Do You Hear What I Hear, When It Snows, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, The Christmas Song, The First Noel, Pure Imagination / White Christmas, Walkin' in a WInter Wonderland, Angels We Have Heard On High, One Small Child/We Three Kings, O Come All Ye Faithful, Tiny Little Christmas, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town, Silent Night, I'll Be Home For Christmas
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
Review: In years past, if we were asked for our favorite Christmas CD, 'Nog,' by the Blenders came right to the tip of our minds. The all male quartet was the definition of smooth-as-silk, break-your-heart harmonies and Omigod arrangements. But today we found 'Time' in our pile of review CDs, and we realized that Santa loves Contemporary a cappella. 12 cuts, all crackling like a yule log with spot-on vocal percussion - the title tune, 'Go Tell it on the Mountain,' 'It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,' 'Frosty the Snowman/Here Comes Santa Claus' medley, 'I Wonder As I Wander,' a funky 'Deck the Halls,' a bluenote 'O Little Town of Bethlehem,' the walking-jazzy 'I Bought You a Plastic Star (for Your Aluminum Tree'), 'Away In A Manger,' and the Firsesign Theater-ish sound-skit 'Christmas Eve,' which segues into the incongruous, disco band-accompanied 'All Wrapped Up.' Each of these songs is a gem that needs a few listens to truly appreciate. The Men in Blend have done it again!
Songlist: It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, Go Tell It On The Mountain, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, Santa's Little Helper, Frosty The Snowman/Here Comes Santa Claus, I Wonder As I Wander, Deck The Halls, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, I Bought You A Plastic Star, Away In A Manger, Christmas Eve, All Wrapped Up
The Christmas Song
Review: Hurry, quick! Look at what the Santa's little helpers have been up to this year! It's hard to believe that these four young men from Minnesota have transfused these familiar holiday chestnuts with such inspiration and wonder, but indeed they have. 'Let It Snow' takes as it's initial premise a Polynesian tiki lounge rhythm - already different - and then takes the cheery melody headlong into a ninth chord resolution! This CD is trimmed with so many gorgeous decorations that it improves the more one hears it, revealing subtleties that delight upon discovery. The creativity just saturates every song, whether as a distinctive rhythmic variation or unexpected countermelody, but always integrated into the whole (by the way, the group produced and arranged 'Nog' themselves). In terms of intonation and blend, the Blenders (coinciding with their choice of name), are the best in the business: listen to 'Do You Hear What I Hear' as just one excellent example. It's perfectly calibrated, the senses reveling in the purity of sound. Contemporary a cappella at its best.
Songlist: The Christmas Song, Do You Hear What I Hear, Let It Snow, The First Noel, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, The Little Drummer Boy, Angels We Have Heard On High, Christmas Time Is Here, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Silent Night
Review: This 1997 release is a compilation of some of the group's favorite songs from their first three albums, plus three previously unreleased tunes. The new material opens the album - so the first half (the 'Now' part) is accompanied, but full of the luscious vocals that has won the group so many fans. It includes a somewhat obscure Led Zeppelin cover, 'That's The Way;' a solemn song about a friend's death 'Fly Away;' and radio-friendly 'Every Now and Then.' Among the six a cappella tunes are the Christopher Cross tune 'Sailing,' and originals 'Plainotfancy' and 'Rock Your World.' The CD is intended to introduce The Blenders to listeners outside the a cappella world, but it will also serve as a great introduction to the group for our catalog customers, and is a must for collectors who want a complete set by this up and coming vocal band.
Songlist: That's the Way, Fly Away, Every Now & Then, Let It Fall, Charlie Anyboy, Comin' Back Again, Sailing, Plainotfancy, Grey Matters, Together, Rock Your World, Last Kiss
Review: On their annual holiday concert tour, The Blenders got the idea for a different kind of recording than they had done in their 16 years together, of music so universal that it could be performed for any audience at any time of the year. It would be a tribute album, not Christmas music, and not a cappella. 10 songs based on a simple criteria: they had to be soulful, songs that speak to the heart, songs with messages of hope: 'People Get Ready,' compassion -'Takin' It to the Streets,' support - 'Lean On Me,' and love - 'Put A Little Love in Your Heart,' 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered,' 'How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),' 'Love Train' and 'Love the One You're With.' They had to do a couple of songs, 'What You Won't Do for Love' and '29 Ways,' just because they feel so good. Admittedly, it's not easy getting used to an accompanied Blenders album, but the voices, harmony and soul we've loved in these Sweeps champs is as strong as ever, the tunes are great, and 'Songs' is another Blenders winner.
Songlist: How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), Takin' It To The Streets, Lean On Me, What You Won't Do For Love, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Put A Little Love In Your Heart, Love The One Your With, Love Train, People Get Get Ready, 29 Ways
Review: The Blenders have long been one of our favorite a cappella groups, particularly around Christmas, when they have released 5 wonderful Christmas albums and a live Christmas DVD. Darren, Tim, Ryan and Allan take a different tack on 'Songs from the Soul,' a Soul cover collection, accompanied by drums, guitars, bass and keyboards. Motown is of course well represented here, with 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough,' Stevie Wonder's 'Isn't She Lovely,' the Four Tops hit 'Reach Out (I'll Be There),' and Aretha Franklin's 'Knew You Were Waiting for Me.' Pop selections include Carole King's hit for James Taylor, 'You've Got A Friend,' The Gibb brother's Disco hit 'How Deep is Your Love,' the Grand Funk Railroad rocker 'Some Kind of Wonderful,' and the Elton John/Bernie Taupin classic, 'Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me.' Although we prefer to hear the Blenders sing a cappella, these are some of our favorite classic hits, and their butter-smooth harmonies are as sweet as ever. And the leads show what we always knew, a top-drawer quartet like the Blenders is comparable to most accompanied bands, but with four lead singers. If you like classic accompanied soul, pop and rock, you'll love 'Songs from the Soul!'
Songlist: Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Isn't She Lovely, The Heart of the Matter, Just the Two of Us, I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me), You've Got A Friend, Reach Out (I'll Be There), How Deep Is Your Love, Love Will Keep Us Alive, Some Kind of Wonderful, Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me
Review: Fargo North Dakota is the center of the a cappella universe! Say what? Well it becomes so, at least momentarily, with each new Blenders release. This first release from 1992 introduced a young quartet of men who were bursting with creative energy, musical cleverness, and humor. Mostly we are treated to original work with just 4 covers for those who like to judge talent against the past. Totally Whipped was a great initial release and truly foreshadowed the career which is one of the dynamic successes of the a cappella world. Be prepared to boogie!
Songlist: Jump Up, Accidental Lovers, You Can't Do That, In My Room, She Was Mine, Stand By Me, Faith, Drive By, Get Ready, Last Kiss, Together, Mama Knows Best, I Understood (Be Who You Want), Rock Your World, Last Kiss (808 Mix)
Twas the Night
Review: The Blenders, one of our favorite groups of all time, and whose Christmas CD on PAC Records, 'Nog,' has been our best-selling Christmas title, have a new Christmas CD! 'Carol of the Bells' segues into a surprising, jazzy, blue-note vocal-percussion 'Twas the Night.' 'Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland' is a funky, bopping rap romp (with some non-vocal percussion). The sweet 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' has the trademark Blenders harmonies. 'When It Snows' is a powerful original, 'One Small Child/We Three Kings' is dramatically beautiful. The atmospheric original 'Pure Imagination' segues into a finger-snapping 'White Christmas,' a funky 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,' a touching falsetto 'O Come All Ye Faithful,' 'Sleigh Ride' is a parody of the Velvet Underground's 'Walk on the Wild Side,' and a final sweet, rhythmic original, 'Tiny Little Christmas.' Some non-vocal percussion and keyboards on some cuts. A striking, innovative Christmas CD by the Blenders!
Songlist: Carol Of The Bells, Twas The Night, Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, When It Snows, One Small Child / We Three Kings, Pure Imagination / White Christmas, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town, O Come All Ye Faithful, Sleigh Ride, Tiny Little Christmas
Review: Popular contemporary a cappella group The Blenders' arrangements are in high demand for their tight, sweet harmonies. Included here some of their most well-loved Christmas songs as featured on their top-selling recordings. Scored for men's voices, TTBB plus solo.
Songlist: Angels We Have Heard On High, Christmas Time Is Here, When It Snows, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, Rudoplh The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Silent Night, The Christmas Song, The First Noel, Tiny Little Christmas, T'was The Night Before Christmas
Review: The Blenders have been performing a series of very successful Christmas concerts for many years and now we finally have a chance to see for ourselves what makes the shows so popular. Neither all a cappella nor just Christmas songs the concert is nevertheless a real treat for Blenders fans who enjoy their wonderful harmonies and a blend that can only come after many years of singing together. The all a cappella 'Hark The Herald Angel Sings' and 'I Wonder As I Wander' are particular treats on this enjoyable live performance footage.
Songlist: Opening Credits, Put a Little Love In Your Heart, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, When it Snows, Audience Greetings, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland, I Wonder As I Wander, Do You Hear What I Hear, One Small Child / We 3 Kings, Frosty The Snowman, Audience Greeting 2, I Bought You a Plastic Star (For Your Aluminum Tree), Pure Imagination / White Christmas, Lean On Me, All Wrapped Up, Love Train, End Credits