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Barry Carl

Barry Carl

Born: 1950.

In the spring of 1988, while sitting in the Pier 72 Diner on 72nd Street and West End Avenue in New York City, Carl read an ad for a bass in an a cappella group called Rockapella in Backstage. He answered the ad and auditioned for Sean Altman and Elliott Kerman, but did not hear back from the two for months. That summer, while Carl worked with the Minnesota Opera, Altman and Kerman asked him to be in the group and sent him a stack of music to learn. Upon receiving and looking over the music, Carl decided he didn't want to sing barbershop tunes and Christmas songs, so he sent the music back and told the pair he had changed his mind about taking the position.

Altman then called Carl and persuaded him to try it, asserting that it would be a minimal(clarification needed) time commitment. He was a member of Rockapella for 14 years, two years longer than Altman's own membership. Carl's first gig with Rockapella was singing the "Star Spangled Banner" at a New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden, which the group had been hired to do for 12 games; the quartet was booed throughout the entire song and relieved of their obligation to sing at the next 11 games. Upon looking back at the experience, both Carl and Altman have stated the negative feedback was because of their slow arrangement of the national anthem.

Over the 14 years he spent with the band, Carl wrote five songs on the 15 CDs he appears on with Rockapella: "Give" (with Masahiro Ikumi and Scott Leonard), "Island Christmas" (Bash!), "Fat Jack & Bonefish Joe" (with Lisa S. Johnson), "Quiet Sensation" (Vocobeat), and "Bored & Stroked" (Out Cold); arranged the group's cover of "Love Me Tender" (Lucky Seven); and performed numerous bass solos for songs both on and not included in Rockapella's albums. He recorded many of his parts for these albums in his recording studio The BassMint, "a luxurious pro studio on the green banks of the Hackensack River" as Carl describes it.

In late 2002, Carl decided to retire from Rockapella to pursue other opportunities; his last concert with the group was on July 14, 2002 in Burbank, California at the Starlight Bowl, but appeared as the principal bass singer on the group's album Smilin', which was released a month later. Carl has, however, continued to work with music. He released a solo CD in 2004 titled The SoLow Project, which contains 20 songs split into four sections of Negro spirituals, sea chanties, a collection of songs by Jacques Ibert, and a song cycle by Modest Mussorgsky. He also appeared on movie soundtracks as an ensemble singer for such films as Corpse Bride and Nine; in 2007 he appeared in the independent movie The Wedding Weekend as a tough guy in prison who likes to sing.) In the fall of 2009, Carl filmed a scene for the Will Ferrell movie The Other Guys, released on August 6, 2010, in which he is an a cappella singer in a bar.

Since 2008 Carl has gotten back together with Steve Keyes, Kerman, and Altman on three occasions, billing themselves as XRP. This regrouping of the 1988-1991 line up of Rockapella was originally scheduled to occur only twice: once as a practice gig on July 26, 2008, and a second time at the 2008 A Cappellastock in Ogden, Utah on August 23. However, XRP got together for a third show on April 17, 2009, and sang a song written by Carl and Altman on the Schoolhouse Rock!: Earth Rock soundtrack called "You Oughta Be Savin' Water"; Carl is also one of the singers on another Altman song on the same album titled "Save the Ocean". In addition to singing with old friends at various gigs, Carl sings in a pro chorus with the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra from time to time, and every now and then concertizes with Rockland Vocal Arts, a small ensemble of singers. Carl also privately teaches a limited number of vocal students and coaches vocal groups.

Member of: Rockapella - Bass

Member of
Rockapella (Former) - Bass

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