In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
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2Praise : Join 2 Sing
Join 2 Sing is a vocal a cappella collection by Jeremiah Savage and Nathanael Vossler. By dubbing layers of voice, they have created a professional arrangement of rich chords and blended harmonies in each song. Join 2 Sing is the first CD released by 2PRAISE. It began as an experiment with recording and dubbing vocals, but quickly evolved into a more ambitious project, due to the interest and encouragement of those who listened. This excellent CD features many original songs as well as re-arranged hymns that the whole family can enjoy.
Songlist: Child Of The Great I Am, It's Your Love, Unto You, Come And See, Vessel Of Honor, Join To Sing, Freedom, Depth Of Mercy, Wideness In God's Mercy, God Is Still God, Gloria, Let God Guide, Gift
Ac Rock : Ridin' The Storm Out
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
Acappella Company : Rescue
No one song more captures the essence of Acappella than Rescue. It is by far the most requested song in concert and tops the group's "most favorite list" as submitted by their fans. If you want to hear where the quartet really started cooking, Rescue is the album for you.
Songlist: Listen to Him, Rescue, John 10 (Introduction to Life), Life, Who Is Gonna Tell the Child?, Everybody Said (But Nobody Did), It Is Good For Us to Be Here, That Could Have Been Me, Take It Away, That They May All Be One, I Have a Friend
Alchemy : From Old.. to Blue!
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
American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble : Your Eyes
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
Apes & Babes : Planet Of
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)
Audiofeels : Unfinished
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
Bar & Grill Singers : A Time To Grill
"Warning: all of the sounds on this recording were produced by lawyers," the liner notes on this CD caution us. But we all have a favorite lawyer with a birthday, or will buy the hilarious, all-too-true "A Time to Grill" for ourselves! These dozen mixed-voice Austin lawyers, who have previously graced us with "Licensed to Grill" and "Grilling Me Softly," bring us more hilarious, law-related lyrics to pop hits (primarily written by group members Paul Carmona, Alan Waldrop and David DuBose). "Appointed Forever" (to the tune of "Happy Together") and "The Longest Time" also appeared on "Licensed," all the others are new material. "It's In His Briefs" (It's In His Kiss), "Man of Constant Workload" (Sorrow), the "Gospel" classic, "Mighty Law Firm In The Sky," "Bill Me Anytime" (Sugar In The Morning), the heartbreaking "Defending P.I. (Personal Injury)," (Bye, Bye, American Pie); "Jet Plane," "Maybe Tomorrow" (Lady Madonna), "Judicial Retirees" (Drifting Along with the Tumblng Tumbleweeds),"Ethics Trouble" (Trouble, Right Here in River City), and finishing, incongruously, with a nicely-done "Star Spangled Banner." Mostly lightly accompanied, by the group. This is, once again, spot-on, brilliant, funny stuff that you, and your lawyer friend/relative/whatever, will totally love. If you don't, sue us!
Songlist: Appointed Forever, It's In His Briefs, Man of Constant Workload, Mighty Law Firm In The Sky, Bill me Anytime, Defending P.I. ("Personal Injury"), Jet Plane, Maybe Tomorrow, Judicial Retirees, The Longest Time, Ethics Trouble, Star Spangled Banner
Baudboys : Hello World
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
Beat'achon : West Side Z'Mirot
Beat'Achon is Chaim Birman, Jordan B. Gorfinkel, Elie Landau, Dave Matkowsky, David Max and Avy Schreiber, and "West Side Z'Mirot" (which we assume translates to something like "story"), is their third CD. There are 12 "Shabbat" songs here, Jewish traditional music beautifully and harmoniously sung in 6-part harmony. The booklet included has an explanation of each song in English, then the words in both Yiddish and in the centuries-old calligraphic Yiddish. The CD makes you feel as if you are sitting back in a synagogue, just allowing the ancient spirituality in the words and the sweet soulful harmonies of these talented men wash over you!
Songlist: Shalom Aleichem, Eishet Chayil, Menuchah V'Simchah, You Zeh L'yisrael, Kah Ribou, You Zeh M'chubad, Yom Shabbaton, Ki Eshmirah Shabbat, Mizmor L'david, Yedid Nefesh (Maher Ehor), Im Eshkachech / Shir Hama'alot, Na'ar Hayiti
Blenders : Now And Then
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
Blind Man's Bluff : Blind Man's Bluff
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'
Bobs : Plugged
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
Bobs : Coaster
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
Bobs : Best Of
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
Bobs : Biographies
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
Brass Farthing : Brass Farthing
We got a chance to experience Brass Farthing, 8 authentically-costumed, hard-drinking, sweet-harmonizing men, at the recent Harmony Sweeps Bay Area Regional. Raising their steins to us, they belted out classic drinking songs that one could expect to hear at a college fraternity rush party, getting many of us to join in! Most of these, like "God Bless the Human Elbow," "Red is the Rose," "All Among the Barley," "Boozin'," "Babylon is Fallen" and "Bellman," the heart-tugging (sort of ) tale of a beloved hound dog, are traditional tunes. "Another Irish Drinking Song" was written and composed by Da Vinci's Notebook's Paul Sabourin, "She Was Golden" was written by Brass Farthing's Daniel I. Briggs, "Glorious Beer" by Steve Leggett & Will Godwin" and "Eat Bertha's Mussels" by John Roberts. There are 10 authentically hammered, very funny tunes here, with arrangements by the group. This is good old, testosterone-soaked material, the stuff of sea shanties, or sung in a drinking sessions in the cabin of a fishing boat while a 20-foot mechanical shark cruises the dark waters outside. Also, don't miss an opportunity to see BF live!
Songlist: God Bless the Human Elbow, Glorious Beer, Babylon is Fallen, Red is the Rose, Another Irish Drinking Song, All Among the Barley, She Was Golden, Boozin', Bellman, Eat Bertha's Mussels
Brass Farthing : More Songs About Dogs and Beer
All male a cappella octet Brass Farthing, "a group of stalwart lads brought together to sing songs, raise good cheer, and otherwise make merry in the company of friends both old and new." We had the good fortune to catch the live show of these 8 authentically costumed and propped male vocalists at the 2011 Bay Area Harmony Sweeps Regionals in San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, where they easily won Audience Favorite and First Place, and have to say that these guys are amazing! Rory, Daniel, Chris, George (Director), Mark (Assistant Director) Jim, Tazz and Ben have found wonderful, hilarious, traditional English drinking songs like "Itches in Me Britches," "Bass Ale," "Dido Bendigo," "General Taylor," "The Crayfish," "Barbed Wire," the nearly bawdy, very funny "Brasso," "Gamble Gold and Robin Hood" and "Charlie Mopps." They've also unearthed such gems as Fred W. Leigh's (1911) "Mary Anne, She's After Me," C. Frank Horn's "Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake," Paddy Ryan's (1938) "The Man That Waters the Worker's Beer" and Peter Bellamy's "Oak, Ash and Thorn," with lyrics by Rudyard Kipling. The boys have written a couple of their own: Daniel's "The Rope" and Rory's "I Love You More than Beer."
Songlist: Itches in McBritches, Bass Ale, Dido Bendigo, General Taylor, The Crayfish, Mary Anne She's After Me, Barbed Wire, Miss Fogarty's Christmas Cake, The Rope, The Man That Waters the Workers Beer, Brasso, Gamble Gold and Robin Hood, I Love You More Than Beer, Oak Ash and Thorn, Charlie Mopps
Breath of Soul : 4 The Record
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
Cartoon Johnny : Face The Music
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)
Chord Company : Keepin' You Company
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
Clockwork : Tesseract
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
Club Cabaret : Happy Hour
Cabaret Quartet was born when Pam, Holly and Donna performed together as part of two special public relations tours to China in 2002 and 2003. Returning home, they contacted Patty, a world-renowned Sweet Adelines tenor, and Cabaret was born. Recently the group placed 8th at the 2007 Internationals in Calgary. "Happy Hour" is a strong collection of mostly romance-related tunes like "Cornet Man," "Don't Take Your Love From Me," "Mr. Hooper's Fin-It-In-A-Minute Book," "The Man That Got Away," "Meet Me Where They Play the Blues," "You Turned the Tables on Me," "Young and Foolish," "As Long As You're Not In Love With Anyone Else/Undecided" and "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens." With their beautiful, spirited harmonies and lyrics that can as easily lift up your heart or break it, Cabaret has broken into the top ten in the Sweet Adelines world, so we raise our glasses to these rising stars!
Songlist: Intro, Cornet Man, Don't Take Your Love From Me, Mr. Hopper's Find-It-In-A-Minute Book, I'll Always Be In Love With You, Some Lucky Day, The Man That Got Away, Meet Me Where They Play The Blues, Sophisticated Lady, You Turned The Tables On Me, Young and Foolish, As Long As You're Not In Love With Anyone Else/ Undecided, Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens
Coastline Show Chorus : Imagine
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
Coco's Lunch : A Whole New Way Of Getting Dressed
The five young women singers who call themselves Coco's Lunch have got rhythm, they've got music, and they've got that swing (the kind that it don't mean a thing if you ain't got it)! For the five years they've been together they've built a reputation as one of Australia's most outstanding and innovative a cappella groups. They weave earthy songs with driving (non-vocal) percussion (and there is your odd flute passage), drawing on the sounds of the world in a distinctly Australian way. "Dressed" is Coco's third CD, following "Invisible Rhythm" and "Wally Wombat Shuffle." The Songs (all written and/or composed by group members) are: "Shine," "Thulele Mama Ya," "Nature's Vanishing Points," "All The Wild Wonders," "A Whole New Way," "Fly Away," "Shifting Time," "Sleepless," "Night Reserviert," "Unity" and "Sister My Sister." The words, all included on the nice-looking liner notes, are moving poems of freedom, love and wildness. "Dressed" is a fun, refreshing, toe-tapper of a CD that satisfies on many levels!
Songlist: Shine, Thulele Mama Ya, Nature's Vanishing Points, All the Wild Wonders, A Whole New Way of Getting Dressed, Fly Away, Shifting Time, Sleepless, Nicht Reserviet, Unity, Sister My Sister
Coco's Lunch : Invisible Rhythm
Invisible Rhythm received an ARIA award nomination for best contemporary album. This highly successful recording by Coco's Lunch was a finalist in the Australian World Music Awards and was featured as World Music CD of the Week in the Sydney Morning Herald. Featuring the brilliant harmonies with sophisticated rhythms of these five skilled musicians and composers, Invisible Rhythm transcends cultural borders. Their songs are in variety of musical styles with lyrics that are earthy and spiritual. Although many of the songs were written be one person, it is obvious that the final product is the result of the closeness and compatibility of the group. Try the soulful "Seven Sisters" or the improvised "Goodnight."
Songlist: Sing of This Time, Journey , Mio Caro, Invisible Rhythm, Seven Sisters, Sleepy Harp, In My Room, Mama Mo, Gubaveeny, Five, Goodnight
Edlos : The Edlos Sampler
The Edlos are one the best-known groups in contemporary a cappella. Drawing on material from their previous three CD's, this "Sampler" is your basic Edlos 101, with a couple of new songs for extra credit: "Garbage Man" and "Mrs. Claus." This California group is known for their humor, and there is plenty of that, but there is plenty of substance as well: their solid education in the fundamentals of a cappella singing and the styles of barbershop and doo wop have endeared them to fans for many years past, and for many years to come!
Songlist: Garbage Man, For Ever And Ever, Amen, Tupelo Honey, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Dream, Sim Shalom, Mrs. Claus, Ascending Star Of Bethlehem
Edlos : Just Us
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
Emmanuel Quartet : A New Day
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
Essentials : Nothing But Blue
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
Euphorics : Born To Sing
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)
Face : Momentum
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
Face : Forward
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
Five Live : Take Two
The (you guessed it!) five members of Five Live met while singing together in the Swingle Singers. One by one they left the group to pursue individual careers as free-lance singers. Collectively, they worked in just about every different type of musical work, opera, jazz, avant-garde film, and radio session work. Although each enjoyed the work immensely, they realized that they all missed close harmony singing. One night after a good meal and a few glasses of wine they began to sing for fun and the rest, as they say, is history. Five Live was born to create a more gutsy/pop sort of sound with five singers, three men and two women. Their program contains humor and energy with an international repertoire ranging from "Yesterday" by the Beatles to rhythmic Latin American favorites such as "Bambaleo" by the Gipsy Kings. Along the way you'll be treated to a truly original rendition of "Don't Worry Be Happy." (Hah, you thought it couldn't be done!) You'll find a medley of Edith Piaf tunes, "Volare," "Sir Duke," "Send In The Clowns," and more. All these have been crafted with a touch of jazz and a wide brush of pop sounds by some of the best trained voices around. They are Sarah Eyden - soprano, Carol Canning - alto, Andy Busher - Tenor, Ben Parry - baritone, and David Porter Thomas - bass. You will find that the beauty and comfortable familiarity of the songs will foster listening to Five Live over and over
Songlist: Boy From New York City, Besame Mucho, Overture "Marriage of Figaro", Don't Worry Be Happy, Uptown Girl, Piaf Medley, Volare, Drive My Car, Yesterday, Sir Duke, Send In The Clowns, The Winner Takes It All, Vem Kan Segla, Bambaleo
Five O'Clock Shadow : So There
This is the first CD with Paul Pampinella and Samrat Chakrabarti (some will remember Paul from the vastly popular Vox One). The group has released a solid and technically accomplished record of pop originals in the "blue-eyed soul" vein. The two covers include what is definitely the flashiest tune, the'70's booty shaker "Get Down Tonight." The stylized, crisp and layered production, as well as the energy of the performance, is the album's piece de resistance. The originals are more subtle, and we recommend you give them your undivided and rapt attention for full enjoyment; the spot-on harmonies, expert arrangements and tasteful percussion show why Five O'Clock Shadow is highly recognized among listeners and a cappella singers alike. A syncopated toe-tapper, "Stop and Say Hello" is off of their third CD, '"So There." From the New England region, Five O'Clock Shadow has refined their skills through constant touring on the college circuit. Preparing to parlay their already considerable success into greater exposure before a larger audience, the group throws down the gauntlet with superb songwriting and skillful taut production.
Songlist: Mine Tonight, What's It All About, Far Away, Hold Me For Awhile, Thinking Of You , Stop And Say Hello, Move On, If You Could Only See, Get Down Tonight/That's The Way, Tribute
Four Shadow : Live
There's a new hotbed of a cappella: Minnesota! We just reviewed Blue Jupiter's "ear candy," and as it turns out, they've been opening across the country for Minneapolis-based Four Shadow. Also four good-looking, more-talented-than-you-can-believe young guys, who have been rising fast in the a cappella world with high-energy live shows (we can hear the teenage girls screaming in the background), Four Shadow brings us 17 amazing covers on "Live." Some of our favorites: James Brown's "I Feel Good," "In The Still of the Night," The BeeGee's disco anthem "Stayin' Alive," "Sugar Ray Medley," "I Can Live With That," "County Fair Love" (an original by the group's Karl Schroeder), The Doobie's "Joy to the World" and the last tune,"I Can't Get Next to You." There's plenty of funny chatter between the group and the appreciative audience. Big Bible Belt Fun!
Songlist: I Feel Good, In the Still of the Night, Barbara Ann, For What It's Worth, Movin' On Up, Stayin' Alive, Walking On Sunshine, Sugar Ray Medley, (Drew's Philosophy), World To Me, (Action Figures), If, I Can Live With That, County Fair Love, Joy To the World, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, George, I Can't Get Next To You
Gold Company : Who Could Ask For Anything More
Dr. Stephen Zegree, concert pianist, educator and one of the most respected Vocal Jazz conductors on the planet, directs two 16-mixed voices permutations of Western Michigan's Gold Company, plus the Gold Company Band, essentially a 21-member Jazz orchestra in this 15-song, mostly-accompanied collection. Guest conductor Duane Shields Davis also directs a version of Gold Company and the Band here, as well as doing the dynamic arrangements for Rodgers & Hart's "This Can't Be Love" and Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye." Other favorites are the George Gershwin standard "I Got Rhythm, a scattish, salsa take on Caesar & Youman's "Tea for Two," a pair of originals written and arranged by student Tenor Mark Jackson, "Pure Gold," "We're Here for You" and "Go For The Gold;" Gillies & Foster's power ballad "Stand Up for Love," the a cappella version of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee," arranged, of course by Ward Swingle, Bobby McFerrin's sublime a cappella "In The Garden," and the Glenn Miller Classic that bears the name of the home of Western Michigan, "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo." Dr. Zegree has led Gold Company in winning a fistful of DownBeat Magazine awards and a reputation as one of the most respected Collegiate Vocal Bands in the world. Every one of these cuts is as hot, or cool, as we like it, and we're sure you'll also love "Who could ask for anything more!"
Songlist: I Got Rhythm , This Can't Be Love, Tea For Two, Pure Gold, Prisoner Of Love, In The Stone, Stand Up For Love, Flight Of The Bumble Bee , We're Here For You, Quiet Night Of Quiet Stars, Go For The Gold, Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye, The Garden, I Believe, I've Got a Gal In Kalamazoo
Grunyons : Just In Time
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
Hampton Avenue : Everybody Sing
Toronto-based Hampton Avenue is an eight-piece mixed group. Their warm sound lies somewhere between contemporary jazz and pop, easy on the ear, pleasant and cheerful in disposition. Musical Director, arranger and group member Debbie Fleming, who has orchestrated a recording of consistent and professional quality, write most of the songs. Highlights include the simple and uncluttered "The Gathering," one of the few slow numbers, in addition to the standard, "Here's That Rainy Day"; Hampton Avenue's musicality, and the manner in which their voices compliment each other, really blossoms on that one. Unusual harmonization distinguishes "Fixing A Hole," elevating it from a mere imitation to a memorable version in its own right. Entirely a cappella, with the exception of two cuts (which are augmented by tasteful bass and percussion).
Songlist: Everybody Sing, Make Lemonade, The Gathering, In a Mellow Tone, Baila, Here's That Rainy Day, Foodblooz, Fixing a Hole, Corner Of My Mind, Shoofly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy, Shodioh, Dedication, Voce Etude, Let's Jive
House Jacks : Pollen
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
Hyannis Sound : Annual Bootleg Vol 1
"Annual Bootleg Volume 1" is of course a live CD in a simple cardboard sleeve that has a songlist printed on it and very little else. It assumes we know that THS is a Cape Cod-based a cappella vocal group of between 10 and 14 young men, and luckily, we do. 16 songs, some favorites are the Beatles' "Drive My Car, "Bring It To Me," "Remedy," "Just My Imagination," "Signed Sealed Delivered," Huey Lewis & the News' "If This Is It," Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi," "Love Train" and closing with their trademark "Irish Parting Blessing." Recorded at First Baptist Church, Hyannis in August of 2003 before an enthusiastic audience. Good stuff!
Songlist: Drive My Car, Bring It to Me (arr: Ian Varley), I Wish (arr: Ed Boyer), On and On (arr: Townsend Belisle), Remedy (arr: Eric Fosbury), Still Fighting It (arr: Ed Boyer), Baba O'Riley (arr: Victor Sandman), Signed, Sealed, Delivered (arr. Deke Sharon), If This is It (arr: Eric Fosbury), Don't Cry (arr: Aithan Shapira), L-Y (arr: Townsend Belisle), Big Yellow Taxi (arr: Samrat Chakrabarti), The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing (Jim Barrington), Love Train (arr: Ed Boyer), Irish Blessing
Hyannis Sound : Cape Standard Time
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
Ignition! : Gettin' Started
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
Irrationals : Done Waiting
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
Jerome Alexander (Jay, Ray, and Gee) : Sacred Doo-Wop
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
John Tesh Project : Pure Gospel
John Tesh is probably most recognized as the former co-host of TV's popular 'Entertainment Tonight.' Though he loved doing the show, it was a side track from his real love which is music... composing, performing, and producing. The John Tesh Project is that aspect of his varied musical talents in which John plays the role of Executive Producer. In this case he also helps produce this wonderful choir of professional singers assembled by Carmen Twillie who is the choir's director and vocal arranger. Twenty seven inspired singers make up a stunning choir. Obviously we can't credit all the singers here but, for example, one tenor, whose name will be familiar to the a capppella world, is Randy Crenshaw. You will be treated to fourteen gospel tunes of great familiarity to afictionados of this field of music. To entice those who wish introduction to such classic inspirational singing, fresh arrangements of 'Rock Of Ages,' 'Come By Here (Kum Ba Ya),' 'Amazing Grace,' and 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' will provide anchors of familiarity. The sessions were recorded in pure digital format so, although there is a large vocal group present on each song, you feel as if you can hear each and every voice.
Songlist: Great Is Thy Faithfulness, O Sacred Head, Now Wounded, Rock of Ages, Come By Here (Kum Ba Ya), In That Great Gettin'-up Morning, Tell Me the Old, Old Story, Marching to Zion, I Love To Tell The Story, All Hail The Power of Jesus' Name, Amazing Grace, I Shall Not Be Moved, Battle Hymn of the Republic, There Is A Fountain, Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
Key of She : Our First Time
Only 15 months old as a group, Key of She's six women singers are anything but shy about jumping into the a cappella scene! "Our First Time" is their self-produced debut, limited-run CD, and if it lacks at all in studio polish, it more than makes it up in spirit and the group's sheer love of singing a cappella together. Recorded in January, 2002 in Sue's Studio,Skillman, New Jersey, this CD is one of the things we most enjoy about a cappella--the fact that Patty, Lisa, Pat, Sue, Dyann & Amy can practice and put a repertoire together, do some gigs, create some fans who ask for a CD to take home, rent some studio time, and produce a very special, beautifully arranged group of songs. Included are Van Morrison's "Moondance," Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin," Shania Twain's "Honey, I'm Home,"Leon Russell's "This Masquerade," the very funny feminist hymn "Ah! Men,"Sara McLachlan's "Angel," Jonathan Larson's "Seasons of Love," "I Feel Lucky" and "Wide Open Spaces." This is a fun CD, especially for everyone who has ever dreamed of doing exactly what Key of She has done here!
Songlist: Moondance, I've Got You Under My Skin, Honey, I'm Home, This masquerade, Ah! Men, Angel, Seasons of Love, I Feel Lucky, Wide Open Spaces
Kinsey Sicks : Sicks In The City
After wowing the crowds at a couple of Harmony Sweepstakes Bay Area Regionals and a West Coast Summit, this highly entertaining quartet went on to a critically acclaimed off-Broadway run with their show "Dragapella." The show was nominated for a prestigious Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics and it's clear from the 18 new songs that Rachel, Trampolina, Trixie and Winnie have been busy little boy/girls. "You're Scaring Us," sung to the tune of the 5th Dimension's "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" is a hilarious anthem to gay men's (and everyone else's) aging horrors. "Cruise People Uglier Than You" goes strangely well with the segue "Don't Let There Be A Morning After." The ode to a yuppie real estate agent, "Bugle Boy on Avenue B" musically explains why you can't afford your apartment. Then comes the aria to telemarketers "MCI will call you..." to the tune of "Bali Hai." This review is getting verbose, but it could easily be twice as long - this is brilliant, dangerous and funny stuff. We loved them live, and we love this CD!
Songlist: You're Scaring Us, Locked Out of the Chapel of Love, Amour, amor, Cruise People Uglier Than You, Don't Let There Be a Morning After, Ad Nauseum, Bugle Boy on Avenue B, What You Never Told Me, MCI, Dubya, Fetish, Leaning Close, It's Crystal Time in the City, Snatchmaker, Snatchmaker, Nice Jewish Girls, Proud Marys, Everybody Loves a Drag Queen, Sexy Underwear
Kitka : The Rusalka Cycle
In Slavic folklore, Rusalki are the restless spirits of women who have died unjust, untimely or unnatural deaths. They inhabit the waters, forests, and fields, luring people to them with their mesmerizing songs and wild laughter. Performed by the eight powerful vocalists of Kitka, The Rusalka Cycle is a riveting dream-like journey that weaves traditional Eastern European folk song together with original music by Mariana Sadovska. This CD features Kitka singing as you've never heard them sing before. With stirring accompaniment by cellists Moses Sedler and Elaine Kreston, and percussionist Kevin Mummey, this CD captures the highly dramatic and risk-taking performance piece that has wowed audiences and critics alike.
Songlist: Awakening, River Rose, Wave, Farewell, Transformation, Last Night, Sirens, Lamentation, To The Lake
Ladies First : 1st
When "Ladies First" was founded in 1991, they didn't know that their name would also become a testimony of our success. Since the first German Barbershop Competition in 1992, Ladies First has taken first place every time. They won three provincial choral competitions and were the first German Chorus to qualify and be invited to the Sweet Adelines Internationals in Atlanta in 1999. Their director, experienced German "Barbershopper" Manfred Adams, brings the best out of his "Ladies," whether it be in music, choreography or simply entertainment. "1st" is all sung in English, and is an impressive, finely-crafted tour-de-force of a CD. The powerful harmonies, the innovative arrangements and the sheer, infectious spirit of these four women show why they have won so many awards in the growing European Barbershop movement. 15 cuts, "This is Some Lucky Day," "Original Dixieland One Step," "Stars Fell on Alabama," "It Don't Mean A Thing," an amazing arranged "Drunken Sailor," a "Good Old Acappella" that warms our hearts, a smoky "Hit Me With A Hot Note," a randy "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme," Elvis' "Love Me Tender," and a swinging "Royal Garden Blues" are favorites. Sweet Adelines has taken strong root in Europe, and Ladies First has the kind of sound and pizzazz that we have only seen from groups wearing International medals and posing in front of large trophies-give 'em a listen!
Songlist: This Is Some Lucky Day, Love Is Here To Stay, Original Dixiland One Step, Stars Fell On Alabama, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), The Rose, Drunken Sailor, One Alone, Good Old A Cappella, Their Hearts Were Full of Spring, Hit Me With A Hot Note, When October Goes, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Love Me Tender, Royal Garden Blues
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