In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Although they are simply four voices and a tambourine, Tonic Sol-fa has spent the past decade on the road carving their niche as the nation's top vocal group. In that time, this quartet has been named one of the top five "must see" groups in America, has been awarded numerous original song and album awards in pop, gospel and holiday genres, appeared on NBC's Today Show and in the pages of Newsweek magazine. Outings with Jay Leno, Shawn Colvin, and Garrison Keillor have propelled album sales to more than 2,000,000 copies (mostly sold from the back of their trailer!) and have earned the group thousands of intensely loyal fans.
By 2000, the quartet was voted into the Midwest Music Hall of Fame. In 2002, Tonic Sol-fa averaged over 150 shows annually in 48 states. 2007 brought the group's music to radio stations and retail stores nationwide. In 2009, Tonic Sol-fa's third public television special was broadcast to over 1,800 stations across the United States, with an international launch to begin this year. And in 2010, Tonic Sol-fa won their first Emmy Award in the "Musical Composition/Arrangement" category for a song performed in a Toys for Tots PSA.
The New York Times describes Tonic Sol-fa's sound as "A vocal kaleidoscope...unique to the human voice." Improvisational and passionate music combined with cutting-edge stage presence is the benchmark by which critics and fans agree: nobody does it like Tonic Sol-fa.
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Review: Tonic Sol-fa's Greg, Shaun, Jared and Mark have been blowing us away with their sweet leads and buttery harmonies since 1996, when they released the first of many winners in the PAC catalog. Touring extensively and playing to sold-out audiences, TSF are high on our short list of most exciting Contemporary groups. Twenty one is a rich collection of 11 tunes, most of them beautifully arranged covers, but two of our favorites are originals written by group members Greg and Shaun, "Rest Your Head" and "Southern Guitars." "Other favorites include "99 Problems," "I Need a Dollar," the Killers' "Human," Rollins and Barton's lovely "Wrapped Around You," Dorff & Altman's "Butch Cassidy," Jen Foster's "Secondhand Love" Tom Petty's "Learning to Fly" and Dorff & Kaz' marriage song "Do You." We love Tonic's yummy background harmonies, solid vocal percussion and powerful leads. "Twenty one" is good stuff from first cut to the last by one of our longtime favorite veteran quartets!
Songlist: I Need A Dollar, Do You?, Rest Your Head, 99 Problems, Secondhand Love, Once Before I Go, Human, Southern Guitars, Wrapped Around You, Butch Cassidy, Learning To Fly
Away in a Manger/O Come Emmanuel
Review: Tonic Sol-Fa, Jared, Mark, Shaun and Greg, have averaged over 150 shows annually in 48 states, winning numerous original song and album awards in pop, gospel and holiday genres, including their first Emmy for Original Musical Composition! Performances on NBC's Today Show, Jay Leno, Shawn Colvin and Garrison Keillor have propelled album sales to more than 2 million copies (mostly sold from the back of their trailer) and thousands of loyal fans. "Christmas" has 18 tunes, favorites are a rockin', joyful "Joy to the World," the upbeat, surprising originals "Come to Save the World," "Baby King," "On This Christmas Night" and "King of Glory;" raucous live cut "Adeste Fideles," finger-popping salsa-flavored "Ay, Ay, Ay It's Christmas," the live Elvis-like "Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me;" juicy new arrangements of standards "Up on the Housetop," "Silent Night," "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen" and "Little Drummer Boy;" new holiday lyrics to the rocker "29 Ways to My Baby's Door," the truly silly "Nuttin' for Christmas" and finishing with the lovely, poignant "Grace." Tonic's live shows are legendary, and many of these are live cuts that capture that excitement and energy. Give yourself and your loved ones this joyful, spirited collection, a Christmas Tonic!
Songlist: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Last Christmas, Angels We Have Heard on High, Away in a Manger/O Come Emmanuel, North to Alaska, Deck the Halls, O Christmas Tree, Carol of the Bells, All Will be Well, Santa's Serenade, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Review: The boys are back for their second, nationwide holiday telecast! Filmed over two nights in an intimate Midwestern setting, Tonic Sol-fa channels the halcyon days of the "Rat Pack" with a mix of spontaneity and contemporary flair. Catch the camaraderie, high jinx and, of course, the masterful harmonies of America's premiere all vocal band..
Songlist: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing , Holiday Road, Angels We Have Heard on High , Holiday Medley , Greatest Time of Year, O Come All Ye Faithful , I Saw Three Ships , Cactus Christmas , Miss You Most (at Christmastime) , Rockin' On Top of the World, The First Noel, Do You Hear What I Hear
Review: Shaun, Greg, Mark and Jared of TSF, one of our favorite hard-working veteran Contemporary a cappella quartets, perform about 150 concerts each year across 48 states to a combined audience of 250,000 plus. Including "Just One of Those Days" they have released 8 excellent CDs and two DVDs, sold over a million albums and have toured nationally and internationally for 12 years. Tonic Sol-fa produces an annual, sold-out 20 city holiday tour in the Midwest as well as spring and summer concert tours throughout the U.S. Very impressive, but what really catches our attention is butter-smooth harmonies, spot-on vocal percussion, brilliant arrangements and sweet leads, and that's here in abundance on these 11 great cuts. The Everly Brothers' wonderful "Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)," Fred Wilhelm/Georgia Middleman's title track, a fine arrangement of Randy Newman's classic "Sail Away," John Shanks/Keith Urban's "Somebody Like You," and Walter Earl Brown's 1968 Elvis anthem "If I Can Dream" have to number among our favorites. The same for Fred Wilhelm and Lori McKenna's "Very Same Place," Wilhelm/busbee's "Something Beautiful," Wilhelm/Kevin Fisher's rhythmic gem "Where Does The Money Come From," Brad Paisley/Tim Owens' "Rainin' You," R.Simpson/D.Payne/R. Rush's down-home "Highway Patrol"...let's face it, there's not a weak cut here. If you're having Just One of Those Days, treat yourself to some top-drawer Contemporary a cappella from one of the best groups performing today!
Songlist: Gone, Gone, Gone, Just One Of Those Days, Sail Away, Very Same Place, Somebody Like You, Highway Patrol, Something Beautiful, Where Does the Money Come From, Rainin' You, That Old Pair Of Jeans, If I Can Dream
Ay Ay Ay It's Christmas
Review: Probably the most rocking and swinging holiday release of the 2007 season this is one fun a cappella Christmas recording. Along with a number of traditional holiday classics the group has written some great original tunes including the infectious "King of Glory", "On This Christmas Night" and the delightful "Come To Save The World". Always known for their high-energy concerts and dynamic stage presence this recording also demonstrates their considerable arranging skills as well. "Happy Holiday", another Irving Berlin Christmas classic, gets a wonderful treatment as does the upbeat "Ay Ay Ay It's Christmas". "Rockin' on Top of the World" will have you dancing around the Christmas tree and the recording closes with a sweet live version of "Baby King".
Songlist: Happy Holiday, On This Christmas Night, King of Glory, Come to Save the World, Let There Be Peace on Earth, You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch, Ay Ay Ay It's Christmas, Up On The Housetop, Goodnight, Rockin' On Top of the World, Baby King
Review: Recorded live from Minneapolis's Orchestra Hall at the culmination of one of their always-sold-out Christmas concerts this DVD finds the award-winning a cappella group returning to its musical roots to deliver what the Pioneer Press calls .. an event as much a party as a concert." "A fine blend, a driving sense of rhythm, and a pitch that's right on target", this DVD puts you front row at the holiday event where Tonic Sol-fa, "...filled the air with a marvelous variety of musical textures."
Songlist: Joy To The World, Come To Save The World, Baby King, Adeste Fideles, Ay Ay Ay It's Christmas, We Owe Them More Than That, On This Christmas Night, King Of Glory, Santa Bring Me My Baby Back To Me, Up On The Housetop, Chances, Long Black Train, 29 Ways To My Baby's Door, Nuttin' For Christmas, Silent Night, God Rest Ye Merry Genltmen, Little Drummer Boy, Grace
Who Wants To Go?
Review: As we listen to hot Contemporary quartet Tonic's wonderful cover of Willie Dixon's "29 Ways To My Baby's Door," it's clear that these four attractive, hard-working, personable young men (down from 5) have many more than 29 ways to please audiences! We'd havee to count their tour schedule of hundreds of energetic, live, sold-out shows in 32 states that feature pop hits, country songs, classic oldies, award-winning originals, parodies and audience interaction. Then we'd have to add some winning CDs like "By Request," "Red Vinyl," "Style," "Sugarue," "Left Turn In Cross Traffic" and others. And last, but far from least, we have to add the 12 songs of "Boston to Beijing," Mark, Shaun, Greg and Jared's latest and best. Nashville's powerful Vivaton Records, with their substantial backing, state of the art recording studio, have decided the boys are stars (which we have known all along), and "Boston" is getting serious mention in the mainstream media. Six originals, the very top-40 title tune, "Sleep On," "Who Wants to Go," "Oklahoma Wind" (which is a country hit waiting to happen), "So Easy" and "Other Side of Town." Add a poignant cover of "Chances," Wayne Kirkpatrick's "It's Me Again," a rock-solid, funky arrangement of the Doobie's "Takin' It To The Streets" and J.D. Crowley's song of faith, "Grace," which has the refrain, "It was Grace that brought me here." Yes, but the touring, recording and everything Tonic has done to turn themselves into some of most exciting, audience-pleasing a cappella singers on the planet also helped and we couldn't be happier for them! Some non-vocal percussion, but who cares-"Boston" is one of the best a cappella CDs of the year.
Songlist: Boston to Beijing, Chances, Sleep On, It's Me Again, Who Wants To Go?, Oklahoma Wind, So Easy, Twenty-Nine Ways To My Baby's Door, Rescued Me, Other Side Of Town, Takin' It To The Street
29 Ways to My Baby's Door
Review: One of our favorite Contemporary groups, Greg, Shaun, Mark and Jared have been coming up with great CDs since 1996's "Left Turns"-particularly fine are 1997's Christmas album, "Carol," 2001's "Style," 2002's "Sugarue" and 2003's "Red Vinyl." We look at "By Request" as yet another showpiece of why Tonic is one of the most dynamic a cappella groups in the world, and why they need to be recognized as major stars! The 10-song songlist in the liner notes is presented as a Top 40 Radio Requests list, with five new songs, "Chances," Chips' "At The Dark End of the Street," "Until Forever's Gone," Josh Turner's "Long Black Train," and Willie Dixon's smoking "29 Ways to My Baby's Door." The guys simply nail "29," one of the best songs we've heard this year. The other five, Simon & Garfunkle's "Cecelia," Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl," the manic country hit "Sold," Marty Robbins' western classic "El Paso," and "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" have appeared on other CDs, but they are well-chosen hits, surely some of group's best stuff. Top-drawer arrangements, and a depth of sound amazing for a quartet-"By Request" is another impressive winner for Tonic Sol-Fa!
Songlist: 29 Ways to My Baby's Door, Cecilia, Brown Eyed Girl, Chances, At the Dark End of the Street, Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident), El Paso, Until Forever's Gone, Scooby Doo, Where Are You? (remix), Long Black Train
Review: Paving their rising career with excellent CDs, from 1996's "Left Turns," "Carol," ('97), 2001's "Style," 2002's Xmas CD "Sugarue" to "Red Vinyl," TSF, one of our favorite Contemporary groups, may have found their breakthrough CD. Ten songs, all originals by group member Shaun Johnson except for a strong cover of "A Little Less Conversation," "Red" features some of the best vocal percussion we've heard, smooth, rich harmonies-there's not a weak cut on the CD. Particular favorites are "Sleep On," "Apartment 204," the rap-flavored, sampled "Velvet Jefferson," "Boston to Beijing," "Sweet Time" and "Who Will Love Me." What's amazing is the fullness of the sound these four men can create together, and the feeling in the lyrics. This is great stuff!
Songlist: Sleep On, Virginia, A Little Less Conversation, Apartment, Take Me Away, Velvet Jefferson, Long Lonely While, Boston to Beijing, Sweet Time, Who Will Love Me
God Rest You Merry Gentlemen
Review: The hard working Contemporary male quartet Tonic Sol Fa brings us an envelope-pushing Christmas CD, "Sugarue." They took eight traditional carols, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Joy to the World," "Joseph's Song," "I Saw Three Ships," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "The First Noel," "Silent Night," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "The Little Drummer Boy," and added strong vocal percussion, jazzy arrangements and their own blend of butter-smooth harmonies. To this they added a pair of original Christmas songs, "Joseph's Song" and "Sno" written by group member Shaun Johnson. The result is as fresh as a new-fallen snow-but let there be no mistake, the feeling and love that is at the heart of all these carols is still abundantly there. Sugarue is a treat, and it has our early vote for best Christmas CD of the year!
Songlist: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, Joseph's Song, I Saw Three Ships, O Come All Ye Faithful, The First Noel, Silent Night, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, SNO, The Little Drummer Boy
Review: The hard-working contemporary quintet, Tonic Sol-Fa, has recorded a little something to tide us over - a five song EP. It's two covers and three originals are tight and adept, with prominent vocal percussion, a smooth and relaxed feel, and songwriting reminiscent of the Blenders and Rockapella. "To Make You Feel My Love," a Bob Dylan cover, is downright pretty. "Hold Me Close" and "Under The Boardwalk" are straight from the pop doo-wop school (extra credit for the lush harmonies on "Boardwalk"). This is smart pop cappella.
Songlist: Dance Alone (Hold Me Close), Oklahoma Wind, Under the Boardwalk, To Make YOu Feel My Love, Without You