December 10, 2010

NBC The Sing-Off: Harmonies for the Holidays

A cappella is getting great national exposure on the hit NBC prime time show The Sing-Off and here for the Holidays is a collection of seasonal songs for the series. Each of the ten participating groups are featured on this weel produced recording and at a special price this should be in every a cappella fan's stocking this Christmas. 6033 CD 10.95
Listen to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Posted by acapnews at 12:01 PM

December 8, 2010

OC Times - Destinations

"Destinations" is the second well-crafted album by Lead Sean Devine (formerly of one of our favorite groups, the Alley Cats), Tenor Shawn York, Baritone Patrick Claypool and Bass Cory Hunt of Orange County, CA-based OC Times. When we reviewed their debut album "Let's Fly" they had just won Silver (2nd Place) medals at the 2007 SPBSQSA International Quartet competition in Denver. We called them "the fast-rising future of Barbershop," and we were so right, in 2008 they won Gold! After that came a national and international tour that covered 33 states and 9 countries, from Madrid, Spain and St. Petersburg, Russia to Helsinki, Finland and Aukland, New Zealand. Returning home, OCT made their next Destination a recording studio to record their 14 favorite tunes, most arranged by their friend Aaron Dale. Some favorites are Freddie Mercury of Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," a pair by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, "Surfer Girl" and "Fun, Fun, Fun;" Howard Steiner/Buddy Kaye's "Don't Be a Baby, Baby," William Trader's "Fool Such As I," Randy Newman's "I Will Go Sailing No More," Billy Rose/Mabel Wayne's "It Happened in Monterey," Alan & Marilyn Bergman/Marvin Hamlisch's poignant "The Way We Were" and the live cut "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" by Maurice Mysels/Ira Kosloff. Each of these cuts is a little Barbershop masterpiece, brought home to us by consummate entertainers OC Times, and "Destinations" is big fun from beginning to end! 6024 CD 14.95
Listen to "Fool Such As I

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

December 7, 2010

Rajaton - Tarinoita

With 10 wonderful albums and a live DVD among our personal Vocal Jazz favorites available on, we are always thrilled to see and hear a new Rajaton release! This Finnish three man/three women a cappella sextet has a clean, perfect sound that brings to mind groups like Sweeps winners Idea of North, Sing-Off Champs Nota, Sweden's The Real Group, Rockapella and M-Pact. There ar 12 songs here, 6 in Finnish ("Onni," "Vainamoisen Veneretki," "Satakieli Monrepoossa," "Tuuti, Tuuti Poiuttani," the surreal soundscape "Surma," the poignant "Kaivo" and the gentle folk tune "Laulua Lopettaessa." Although we don’t speak Finnish, we particularly enjoy these cuts, all the more lovely and powerful because they are in the singers' native tongue. Other favorites are "The Lament (of My Heart)," "Aurora," "Uphill," "I Need You to Turn To" and "Glass House." Rajaton paints with delicate sound, perfectly in tune and harmony, and each album is a surprising, stunning masterpiece. Treat yourself to "Terinoita" by Rajaton, one of our all-time favorites, and clearly one of the best a cappella ensembles in the world! 7594 CD 14.95
Listen to "Tuuti, tuuti poiuttani

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

December 6, 2010

Sonos - December Songs

Since Moira Smiley and VOCO's surprise win at the 2007 Harmony Sweeps Finals, NBC's launch of their new hit "The Sing-Off," based on the Sweeps, and the runaway hit "Glee," Los Angeles seems to have become a musical hotbed, an a cappella Mecca if you will. In the thick of this vocal revolution, rising like sweet harmonic cream out of UCLA's crazed a cappella scene in 2008, 3-man, three-woman Sonos performed their debut concert at a hotel café, and released their debut CD, "SonoSings." Group member Jessica Freedman: "We do our best to defy stereotypes." Ben McLain: "The whole approach has been to distance ourselves from kitsch." Rachel Bearer: "And we don't go 'dow.'" Freedman explains: "That's one of the words vocal groups use to emulate an instrument, like a guitar, with a made-up syllable." Sonos' sound is clean and rich, resonating with technically augmented vocal percussion, perfect leads and a surprising blend of intricately arranged harmonies. The result is a powerful, moving experience that invites comparison with such artists as the Real Group, Vox One and The Idea of North. There are 10 cuts here, and we had to listen two or three times to the album to fully appreciate songs like Priscilla Bearer's original "Ave Maria," Bates & Alfred Burt's "All on a Christmas Morning," Jessica's original "Come December," the traditional tunes "O Holy Night," "Greensleeves," "I Saw Three Ships," "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing" and "Janette Isabella," all very non-traditionally arranged; another stunning Priscilla Bearer original, "For Samuel," and Ben McClain's haunting (possibly synthesizer accompanied) "Home." Amazing. One of the best we've heard this year (or ever). "December Songs" is what the LA a cappella revolution sounds like! 6030 CD 14.95
Listen to "O Holy Night

Posted by acapnews at 12:52 AM

December 3, 2010

The Real Group - En Riktig Jul (with DVD)

Look what we found in our stocking–a new two-disc Christmas gift set from The Real Group, the quintessential, pioneering, standard-setting Swedish mixed-voice Vocal Jazz quintet and one of our all-time favorite ensembles! The set includes their wonderful Christmas CD "En Riktig Jul," a best seller in the catalog and one of our favorite Christmas CDs, with 13 wonderful Swedish carols and folk tunes and extensive color, multilingual liner notes. But the prize is the "Xmas Concert & Showcase" DVD, which contains two mpg clips of a live concert given by this remarkable group, of seven tunes, all in Swedish with some short introductions by the group. The songs are "The Big Juleblues," "Drangstalle," "Stilla Natt," "Tomtannas Julnatt," "Kalle i Djungeln," "Jul, Jul Stralande Jul" and the Lennon/McCartney standard "Ticket to Ride." It is such a treat to watch this legendary group perform live, playing flawlessly off each other's enormous talent with perfect timing, humor and grace. For all the Real Group's millions of fans, and fans-to-be (those who have not heard them yet), this set is truly a Real Christmas present from Sweden! 1380 CD & DVD 26.95
Listen to "Positively 4th Street

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

December 1, 2010

Persuasions - Knockin' on Bob's Door

Pioneering a cappella 5-man quintet The Persuasions, who have wowed us live at the West Coast A Cappella Summit, and with 18 beautiful albums on, bring us another winning tribute to a rock icon. Having so honored such groups as the Beatles, U2, Frank Zappa and the Grateful Dead, "Knockin' on Bob's Door" features (of course) the music of Bob Dylan. Two Doo-Woppy, rearranged versions of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and the anthem "Like a Rolling Stone" and a rhythmic, Africanized "All Along the Watchtower" gives us an immediate taste of what a treat we're in for. "Don't Think Twice It's All Right," "Positively 4th Street," "Lay Lady Lay," "Just Like A Woman"" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" are all Dylan masterworks that are reinvented and rearranged in the Persuasions inimitable trademark harmonies. Other favorites among the 14 sumptuous cuts are "Blowing in the Wind," "When I Paint My Masterpiece" and "Forever Young." Dylan's iconic material and the Persuasions' deep-harmonied, soulful a cappella sound make a winning combination that we're sure you'll want in your collection! 7550 CD 15.95
Listen to "Positively 4th Street

Posted by acapnews at 12:10 AM