April 19, 2005

Realtime - Four Brothers

Alberta, BC (Canada)-based RealTime is an a cappella vocal group that sings and performs in a wide variety of vocal music, from Contemporary to Barbershop and everything in between. Their biggest thrill in their first year, 2004, was the enormous standing ovation they got at the 2004 International contest in Louisville, KY from 8.000 crazy barbershop fans, where they were thrilled and honored to be named finalists in their debut contest appearance. Their second biggest was getting into the studio to record "Four Brothers," their best stuff from their first year. 13 tunes: Barbershop tunes "When the Saints Go Marchin' In," "Come Fly With Me," "I've Got A Gal in Kalamazoo," "The Birth of the Blues," "All of Me," "Yesterday I Heard the Rain," "Keep Your Sunny Side Up," and "Everything's Coming Up Roses." The jazzy title tune, the jazz standard "It Was A Very Good Year," and the ballads "Loch Lomond" and "Anthem" round out the finely-crafted program. "Four Brothers" has the beautiful arrangements, tight harmonies and sheer great entertainment that are making RealTime one of the fastest-rising groups in the Barbershop world. 5673 CD 14.98

Posted by acapnews at 11:47 PM

April 15, 2005

Key of She - In The Key Of She

Now in its fourth year together, New-Jersey-based all-female jazz sextet Key of She bring us a poised, confident 2nd CD (their first, the excellent "Our First Time"). Strong vocal percussion, shared solo duties and sheer vocal talent give this group a rare full, rich sound that was not lost on the audience and judges at the 2002 New York Harmony Sweeps Regional, where they were awarded 2nd place and Audience Favorite. After that they opened for the late Ray Charles, and appeared on the national Jane Pauley show. There are 12 songs, in genres that vary from jazz and salsa to pop classics. A sexy, rhythmic cover of "Something to Talk About," "In These Shoes" is a hilarious send-up of the whole Romance Novel mindset; and the jazz classic "Fever" has some surprising, refreshing vocal sampling. Sting's "Every Little Thing (He) Does Is Magic," is, in fact, magic. Del Shannon's pop classic "Runaway" has a hot, funky arrangement and a sweet lead, the eternal question "Why Haven't I Heard From You," the Gershwins' classic "S'Wonderful," a bluenote cover of "S'Wonderful," Fleetwood Mac's "Warm Ways," David Cassidy's "I Think I Love You," and the funny "Bald Headed Men" top off the program. Key of She has a bunches of vocal talent, humor and joy of singing, and it adds up to a winning, highly entertaining CD! 7448 CD 14.98
Listen to "Change The World"

Posted by acapnews at 2:37 AM

High Five - Moondance

"Moondance" is the debut CD for New York mixed-voice jazz quintet High Five, who are no strangers to the Harmony Sweepstakes, placing second to Vox Bop in 2004's very competitive New York Regional. 13 crisply arranged jazz tunes lend themselves well to High Five's fresh, clean sound, some favorites: "Moondance/Fever Medley," "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," "One Note Samba," the upbeat "Let's Get Away From It All," a sweet, doo-woppy "Up on the Roof," "Walking Down the Street," the salsa-flavored "Mais Que Nada," a bluenote "Whistling in the Dark" a finger-snapping "One for My Baby" and a surprising arrangement of "Brahms Lullaby." There is bigtime talent here, from the singers and arrangements to the exquisite design of the liner notes. An impressive debut from High Five, who we will be expecting to see onstage at a Harmony Sweeps Finals before too long! 4609 CD 14.98

Posted by acapnews at 12:29 AM

April 7, 2005

Fleet Street Singers

Stanford University's elite 15-man a cappella ensemble brings us "Fleet Street," a manic, dramatic, surprising, very funny collection of 15 originals, written, arranged and performed by the group. "The King of Plumland," "All Original," "Life Sized Barbie" puts the lie to the contention that there's no dating at Stanford; "Everyone Pees in the Shower" shines the harsh light of truth on humanity's dirty little secret; "Love Song" is a tender tale of kisses, double homicide and bodies under the floor; "Lawyer" is a crazed tale of what we all suspect goes on behind the scenes at "Boston Legal," "Olympic Recession," "Losing Laura," "Clear Skies," "Teen Angst" basically beats the concept to death, "Pokey the Penguin" is pure children's book silliness, "Life" describes your life in such a way that suicide is really the only option, "Gift of the Gods/The Dawn of Battle" and the final cut, "The Lords of A Cappella," with the deathless chorus line: "Although we may seem fearsome, we ain't got Salmonella, and we are the Lords of A Cappella!" This is inspired silliness, written especially by Michael Solomon, Michael Bernstein and others. "Fleet Street" is funny stuff that must either be enjoyed in a live performance with a pitcher of beer, or on this CD! All lyrics are featured on the foldout liner notes, which have a full-bleed closeup of a hunk of swiss cheese (don't ask!) 1751 CD 14.98

Posted by acapnews at 12:28 AM