The House Jacks

The original Jacks met each other while singing in a cappella groups at their various colleges on the East Coast. They all moved to San Francisco to form the House Jacks in September 1991. Since then, there have been several membership changes, culminating in the tight ensemble showcased and loved today around the world. They found thier name in the Yellow Pages under Heavy Equipment Rental: a "house jack" is what you use when you want to move a house. Anyone who's seen them perform live will tell you that the name is appropriate. "Raise the roof" takes on a whole new meaning with the House Jacks.

They have headlined in many famous venues around the country, including The Bottom Line and The Bitter End (NYC), The Great American Music Hall (SF), The House Of Blues (Boston), The Birchmere (Alexandria, VA), and The Iron Horse (Northampton, MA). In addition, they have begun to make waves in Europe, headlining at many well-known German venues, including: Spectaculum Mundi (Munich), Theater am Aegi (Hannover), and Cafe Schlotte (Berlin). In the fall of 2001, the Jacks toured Japan.

The House Jacks have appeared with James Brown, Ray Charles, Jon Secada, LL Cool J, the Neville Brothers, President Bill Clinton, Crosby Stills and Nash, the Pointer Sisters, the Temptations, The Gap Band, Tower of Power, Starship, Run-DMC, and many others.

The House Jacks are: Wes Carroll, Garth Kravitz, Austin Wllacy, Bert Bacco, Deke Sharon

Unbroken

More Love
Adventure Day
What's for Real
After You
Maybe That's the Reason
From Sunday
Stop and Think
Good Things
Middle Ground
Unbroken

It sometimes happens that bands write their best songs early in their career. However, the House Jacks new CD - their first with wholly original material in several years - proves that those generalities don't apply here. Maturity can be a good thing! "Unbroken" contains their best writing since, well, maybe ever, with compositions from every member (including Austin Willacy, who's back). The strength of their material shows that marriage and family can contribute in positive ways to artistic development, as in Deke Sharon's joyous nod to fatherhood, "Adventure Day." The vocal chops of the Jacks have always been in the upper of the upper echelon, but now their performances are translating to CD with new passion. Part of the credit is due to the production - it's BIG. So every nuance of those trademark harmonies shines through, and the vocal bass and drum tones are brilliant. Take, for example, the title track: it's powerful, evocative, and could match anything heard on modern rock radio. The House Jacks early promise was just a taste of things to come.
7378 CD $14.98


Drive

Feelin' Funkae
Bam!
Dive Into You
Thread
Sign Your Name
Breathe
We Fly
Around
I Want It All
Change
Father Figure
Peace Love and Understanding
What You Gonna Do?
Still By My Side
Next To You
Crash Into Me
So Far Away

How do you cheer The House Jacks in German? (OK wait for it...) LOUDLY! And so it was on all the stops in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and, yes the USA. The results are a grand album of these rock/funk-masters singing a few covers, some new arrangements of older work and 11 (count-em) new unreleased originals which you will enjoy in two sets totaling over an hour of music! This must be a first in the anals of live recordings where the normal fare is familiar songs from other recordings rather than original works. One of the qualities which we find particularly appealing is the mix of beauty and quiet harmony added into the hard rocking songs which our tapping feet and nodding heads have come to expect from this band. You know superlatives have long since run out when we try to create verbal accolades for the band which effectively created a cappella rock/funk genre, which pioneered vocal percussion, and which is still is as good as it gets. While all the tunes feature Bert Bacco, Wes Carroll, Garth Kravits, and Deke Sharon, the fifth voice on some of the tunes is Austin Willacy and on some, Kevin Fudge. This is worth mentioning for Austin Willacy has returned to the Jacks once again! YES! Hešs the creator of some of the most unique and brilliant songs the band has recorded. Remember also that Drive marks the tenth anniversary of the original rock a cappella band.
2925 CD $14.98


Funkwich

The Way It Makes Me Feel
Crazy Maze
Don't Turn Away
Slide
Completely
Dirt
Let's Get to It
Saturnalia Smile
All Of My Life
Express Yourself
Kashmir
Star Spangled Banner

Tommy Boy Records signed the House Jacks to a contract. They labored long and hard in the studio, accepting some musical guidelines from the record company to create a more "popular" sound and then the company didn't know how to promote any music so original. After a long delay, the rights returned to the group who refunkified the sound, added a couple of bonus tracks and released Funkwich themselves. There is a new recording of "The Way It Makes Me Feel," along with seven other originals, two covers and the fan favorite bonus tracks, "The Star- Spangled Banner" and "Kashmir."
2520 CD $14.98


Naked Funk

The Way It Makes Me Feel
Crazy Maze
Dirt
All of My Life
Slide
Saturnalia Smile
Express Yourself
Don't Turn Away
Attitude
Kashmir
Another Chance
Palm Sunday

1999 release on the German Staccato label ­ the House Jacks have made quite an impression on the German a cappella scene, where they tour often. While there are no new tracks on this CD - compiled from their previous two recordings, "Naked Noise" and "Funkwich" - this is a great introduction to the groupšs rock-oriented, but technically superb sound. Beginning with their signature song, "The Way It Makes Me Feel," which has an undulating groove and an indelible hook that inhabits the brain like a virus, the CD follows with favorites such as "Saturnalia Smile," "Dirt," and the Jacksš legendary (and definitive) version of Led Zeppelinšs "Kashmir." The House Jacks were one of the catalysts for the resurgence of contemporary a cappella in the 1990šs, and this CD shows why!
2537 CD $14.98


Naked Noise
Tear Down The Walls
The Way It Makes Me Feel
Superhero
Gone
Another Chance
Jack It Up
Erotica Bazaar
Attitude
The Last To Know
Palm Sunday

This is an important album! The singers were recruited by Deke Sharon from the best singers of college a cappella groups and convinced to relocate in San Francisco where they have become the role models for high energy male rock/rap/funk groups. We were introduced to one of the three best vocal percussionists in the business, Andrew Chaikin, whose work still baffles drummers. Naked Noise is totally original, not only in writing but singing, production, and complexity of arranging. If you want a truly mind blowing a cappella experience, this is it!
2510 CD $14.98


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