April 27, 2011

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! 5894 CD 14.95
Listen to "Drift Away

Posted by acapnews at 2:00 AM

April 26, 2011

Vocalescence - Gratitude, Gravy and Garrison

Storyteller Garrison Keillor and conductor Philip Brunelle lead a harmonious celebration of all things Thanksgiving with the melodious voices of the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers and their special guests, singer Jearlyn Steele and pianist Richard Dworsky. Along the way we learn that Thanksgiving really isn’t all about the turkey — it’s actually all about the pie. 6152 CD 15.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

April 24, 2011

Westminster Chorus - It Only Takes a Moment

The 57-strong, all-male Los Angeles-based Westminster Chorus is a Barbershop Harmony Society Legend! First formed in the Spring of 2002 of 15 members whose average age was 20, the chorus grew to over 50 members, captured the Far Western District Chorus Championship in 2003 and 2005, then placed an incredible 2nd to The Vocal Majority in 2006. This relatively unknown group, the youngest chorus ever to grace the International stage, went on to win International Gold in 2007 and 2010! "It Only Takes a Moment" is a well-chosen "Best Of" selection of 16 varied songs, from traditional tunes like "Sloop John B," "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel," "Shenandoah" and "Goodbye Dixie, Goodbye;" Swing music like, a wonderful "Nat King Cole Medley," Gershwin's "Let's Burn Up the Town" and "Hit That Jive Jack;" Classical songs like Rachmaninov's "Bogroditse Devo" and Esch and Whitacre's "Lux Aurumque;" heartstring-tuggers like the title tune, "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring," "Still Fighting It" and "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go" and foot-tappers like "Early American Uptempo Medley." Westminster's sound is powerful yet subtle, equally adept at inspiring us with a soaring crescendo and breaking our hearts with a romantic tune about love. This is a marvelously entertaining, beautifully arranged collection from the talented young guns of the Barbershop Harmony Society! 5892 CD 14.95
Listen to "Hit That Jive Jack

Posted by acapnews at 2:03 AM

April 12, 2011

Sound Circle - Finding the Flow

17-strong, Boulder, CO-based Sound Circle was first formed in 1994 by founding Artistic Director Sue Coffee, who is also founding Artistic Director of the 125-voice Resonance Women's Chorus and has won numerous awards. This statement from their website tells us a lot about them: 'The women of Sound Circle, an a cappella women's vocal ensemble, have come together to experience the deep joy of making music and to share that joy with our audiences. The music we sing connects us to the voices, sounds and rhythms of our own lives. We seek out music that speaks of women's experiences and music by women composers.' Here are the titles of the 12 beautiful songs of 'Finding the Flow:' 'Kinder,' by Alyx Autuori of Copper Wimmin, 'Woodsmoke and Oranges' by Ian Tamblyn, 'Under Heaven, Under the Sun' by Malcolm Dalglish, 'I am into to your fire' by Craig Carnahan and James Broughton, 'Sweet Darkness' by Terry Schlenker, 'Stay' by Carol Maillard, Richard Shindell's poignant ballad 'Last Fare of the Day,' Linda Webber's 'Silence of Our Dreams,' Kimmerjae Johnson's 'Float Down the River,' Sue Johnson's 'Sister, My Sister,' the Kirby Shaw-arranged traditional tune 'Down by the Riverside' and Tom Kimmel's 'Never Saw Blue Like That.' 'Finding the Flow' is powerful, deeply-felt music that touches and moves us. Great stuff from Sound Circle! 6096 CD 15.95
Listen to "Under Heaven, Under the Sun

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

April 11, 2011

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." 6520 CD 12.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:05 AM