July 20, 2008

The Fault Line - Junkin' em Up

New York-based male a cappella quartet The Fault Line has jumped into the mainstream of Rock 'n Roll with no instruments, and they're rising fast! "Junkin' 'Em Up" is one of those albums that you find yourself looking incredulously for those ten little words—and then you find them: "No instruments were used in the making of this album." Adam, Jeff, Justin and Matt are pushing the a cappella envelope, testing the limits of the human voice, and we, of course, love bands that do that! "Maureen" has some very fine faux snare drum, "The Way You Make Me Feel" recalls The House Jacks and Rockapella at their finest, "My Girl" has Righteous Brothers searching for the drum kit and the guy who's playing the screaming guitar solo. "Stand By Me" has a bluesy, sassy attitude, "Believer" updates the Monkees in wonderful electronic ways, "Dance Dance" is as rich and delicious as Sting's original, , the powerful, dark "Sky" is a rhythmic gem, "Use Me" and "Some Kind of Wonderful" round out a stunningly good album. You can buy "Junkin'" to find out exactly what these New Yorkers have learned to do with their voices, or you can buy it because it seriously rocks. Your choice! 2512 CD 14.95
Listen to "Magic

Posted by acapnews at 10:53 AM

Eclipse - Grateful Praise

"Grateful Praise" is the 5th excellent CD from Utah-based Contemporary Christian sextet Eclipse. We have been watching Eclipse with great interest since their dynamic performances at the Harmony Sweeps Finals in 2001 and 2002, winners of the Denver and Pacific NW Regionals. The group's trademark sound features tight, smooth harmonies, solid vocal percussion, complex, beautiful arrangements and high energy. Innovative covers of three traditional tunes in the public domain, "All Creatures of Our God and King," begin the album, followed by the touching "Mercy's Arms," "God is Love," the lovely and familiar "Evening Prayer," "Open Thou My Soul," "Go With Me," one of our favorite hymns, "Be Still My Soul," and it finishes strongly with a pair of fine originals, "I Believe in Christ" and "Let The Words." Each note is true here, each arrangement effortlessly perfect. The full color liner notes are as beautiful as any we have ever seen. An album that inspires and lifts us up, on many levels! 2255 CD 15.95
Listen to "Open Thou Mine Eyes

Posted by acapnews at 12:51 AM

July 19, 2008

Vocal Spectrum - Vocal Spectrum 2

2006 International Quartet Championship Vocal Spectrum are one of the youngest quartets to ever win such a coveted award and are a fine example of the fresh yet traditional approach to the noble art of barbershop singing. This new release is a true gem and will please both the traditionalists and those looking to expand the barbershop sound. The opening Bobby Darin song “As Long As I’m Singin’”, arranged by David Wright, sets the tone as this acclaimed arranger has been coaching the quartet for several years and his influence is most apparent. This recording belongs in all barbershop fans collection. 2525 CD 14.95
Listen to "As Long As I'm Singing

Posted by acapnews at 3:23 AM

State Line Grocery - Restocked

Georgia-based State Line Grocery formed in July of 2003 and won the Dixie District Quartet Championship in the fall of that same year. Lead Tim Brooks, Tenor Dylan Oxford, Bass Drew McMillan and Baritone Mark Lamback recently finished 3th with a strong performance at the 2008 BHS International competition that was held in Nashville, Tennesee. "Restocked" has 14 tunes, some of our favorites are Stephen Sondheim's "Everything's Coming Up Roses," Irving Berlin's "Isn't This a Lovely Day," Young and Ahlert's "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," "Danny Boy," Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Blue Moon of Kentucky," "The Tennessee Waltz," "Glad Rag Doll," "Over the Sunset Mountains" and Frishberg and Mandel's "You Are There." State Line has a rich, spirited sound with tight harmonies, ringing chords and wonderful arrangements. Combine that with their love of singing with each other, and you have one of the elite quartets in the world. "Restocked" is great Barbershop from the first song to the last powerful chord! 5839 CD 14.95
Listen to "Goin' to the Dance with You

Posted by acapnews at 12:44 AM

July 16, 2008

139th Street Quartet - Collection

One of the prize Barbershop compilations of all time by the legendary 139th Street Quartet, "Collection" is a winner for lovers of the finest Barbershop Harmony in the history of SPEBSQSA. The quartet was formed in 1975, and got its name from the address of Pete Neushul's factory building in LA, deciding to let the group make the name, instead of the name making the group. Four different lead singers, Jim Meehan (1975-78), Larry Wright (1978-88), John Sherburn (1988-91) and Dan Jordan(1991-present) contribute at least 10 songs to the grand total of 64 songs on this 3-disc set (which are, oddly, numbered 1, 3 and 9). Within 2 years of its founding, the 139th won a silver medal at the SPEBSQSA Internationals in Philadelphia, and regularly did well in competition, for instance scoring bronze medals in 1989, silver in 1990, and bronze again in 1991. Appearing on TV for the first time in 1985 on the first of several episodes of "Cheers," this was quickly followed by an episode of "Night Court." They were also very fortunate to record with the legendary Neil Diamond, who sang lead with the group on a song for each of his Christmas recordings, both of which went multi-platinum, "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen" on disc 3 is one of these tunes. The group wrote several of its own tunes, including "Best Times I Ever Had," "Now Here You Are Back Again," "My Dear Old Irish Mammy," as well as original words, intros and bridges to many other songs. Anyway, the liner notes are thick with Barbershop history and comments by the guys, and the music is all a cappella except for a couple of tunes like "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do." It's very hard to pick a favorite with so much great material, so we're going to go with the "Theme Song From Cheers." Sit back and enjoy about 3 hours of tunes by one of the great Barbershop quartets of all time! 5836 3CDs 39.95
Listen to "Theme Song From "Cheers"

Posted by acapnews at 2:38 AM

July 12, 2008

Rescue - Before The Throne

Formed in 1996, Gresham, OR-based Contemporary Christian male quartet Rescue dedicated themselves to a ministry of learning, writing and performing a cappella songs. Now, 6 excellent CDs and one live DVD in the PAC catalog, and a whole lot of wonderful live performances later, "Before the Throne" shows just how well these talented, deeply spiritual men have fulfilled their commitment. "Before" has 10 richly-harmonic songs that feature state-of-the-art vocal percussion by group members Brandon, Jason and Steve, and some of the best faux trumpet (actually, it sounds like a whole trumpet section) we've heard on the title tune and "Somebody's Watchin'." Other favorites are an original by group member Brian Sell, "I Cry," "Unleashed" by Wm. Barfield and Scott Krippayne (with added lyrics by Brian and Jason), Nicole Nordeman's lovely "Please Come," "How Great" by Ed Cash (a live cut that features audience call and response), Chris Tomlin and James Reeves; Lincoln Brewster's "Love the Lord," Nathan Arnold' "Grace" and Laurie Klein's gorgeous "I Love You, Lord." A welcome surprise is the 11th "tune," a tour-de-force beatbox talk and demonstration by Brandon Bell. Powerful and beautiful - another winner from Rescue! 2525 CD 14.95
Listen to "I Love You Lord

Posted by acapnews at 12:47 AM

July 11, 2008

Ready, Willing and Mabel - Busy Line

"Busy Line" is the second excellent album by talented, mixed voice (2 men, 2 women) Vocal Jazz group R,W&M, who first came on to our radar with their wonderful set at the 2005 Harmony Sweeps Bay Area Regional. The LA-based retro quartet, who have been singing together since 2003, feature lead Caroline Mclean, alto Kate Walker, tenor Peter Neushul and bass Jim Campbell has taken the place of fellow "chord freak" Robert Clark. 15 nostalgic favorites, beginning with a "Fascinating Rhythm/Steppin' Out with My Baby" medley, the Gershwins' haunting "Shadow of Your Smile" from "The Sandpiper," Freddie Mercury's big fun Roaring 20s reprise "Seaside Rendezvous," Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye," and another nice medley, "Let's Go to Brazil/The Gift," which has some non-vocal percussion and bass, and Cahn, Chaplin & Lunceford's "Rhythm is Our Business" is big band-accompanied. Irving Berlin's upbeat "Blue Skies," Bloom & Gallup's bluesy "Maybe You'll Be There" and Leonard Bernstein's "Some Other Time" round out the program. Murray Semos and Frank Stanton's title tune has some non-vocal bass and percussion, and Mandel and Bergman's "Where Do You Start" has some bluenote Saxophone. An entertaining, authentic (even down to the vintage clothing worn by the group in the liner notes pix), sweet-harmonied trip to another era from Ready, Willing & Mabel! 2511 CD 14.95
Listen to "Some Other Time

Posted by acapnews at 10:49 AM