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best a capella groups

fi_in_nz 19 Apr 06 - 03:45 PM
jimmyt 19 Apr 06 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Jim 19 Apr 06 - 04:15 PM
RTim 19 Apr 06 - 04:43 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 20 Apr 06 - 01:52 AM
s&r 20 Apr 06 - 02:46 AM
Les in Chorlton 20 Apr 06 - 03:13 AM
Splott Man 20 Apr 06 - 03:33 AM
Splott Man 20 Apr 06 - 07:29 AM
Mo the caller 20 Apr 06 - 07:47 AM
Peter T. 20 Apr 06 - 08:41 AM
jojofolkagogo 20 Apr 06 - 08:51 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Apr 06 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Bobcat 20 Apr 06 - 10:58 AM
pavane 20 Apr 06 - 11:04 AM
dick greenhaus 20 Apr 06 - 11:40 AM
Trevor 20 Apr 06 - 11:47 AM
the one 21 Apr 06 - 07:56 AM
Saro 21 Apr 06 - 09:39 AM
MARINER 21 Apr 06 - 02:37 PM
fi_in_nz 21 Apr 06 - 05:57 PM
Artful Codger 21 Apr 06 - 11:09 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 06 - 01:17 PM
Artful Codger 26 Apr 06 - 09:58 PM
Wilfried Schaum 27 Apr 06 - 02:51 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Apr 06 - 03:54 AM
George Papavgeris 27 Apr 06 - 04:30 AM
pavane 27 Apr 06 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,ifor 27 Apr 06 - 04:07 PM
Elmer Fudd 28 Apr 06 - 12:01 PM
Fliss 28 Apr 06 - 06:18 PM
Leadfingers 28 Apr 06 - 08:30 PM
Al 28 Apr 06 - 11:56 PM
Richard Brandenburg 29 Apr 06 - 01:58 AM
woodsie 29 Apr 06 - 07:58 AM
Betsy 29 Apr 06 - 08:50 AM
John Hardly 29 Apr 06 - 10:07 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Apr 06 - 11:25 AM
Artful Codger 30 Apr 06 - 06:46 AM
sharyn 30 Apr 06 - 12:16 PM
Northerner 30 Apr 06 - 01:28 PM
Forsh 30 Apr 06 - 02:11 PM
Big Jim from Jackson 01 May 06 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Rattler 01 May 06 - 06:29 PM
Herga Kitty 01 May 06 - 06:55 PM
jimmyt 01 May 06 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 May 06 - 08:12 PM
GeoffLawes 01 May 06 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,saulgoldie 01 May 06 - 09:04 PM
Seamus Kennedy 01 May 06 - 10:52 PM
The Barden of England 02 May 06 - 02:40 AM
treewind 02 May 06 - 03:42 AM
GUEST,Sooz (at work) 02 May 06 - 08:20 AM
GUEST,Arthur Itic 02 May 06 - 12:33 PM
Peterr 03 May 06 - 11:54 AM
Northerner 03 May 06 - 12:37 PM
Hopfolk 03 May 06 - 12:48 PM
fi_in_nz 03 May 06 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Karen 15 Jul 07 - 07:05 PM
Gray D 15 Jul 07 - 07:32 PM
Rowan 16 Jul 07 - 01:17 AM
Artful Codger 16 Jul 07 - 01:42 AM
Dave Hanson 16 Jul 07 - 07:02 AM
Artful Codger 16 Jul 07 - 01:03 PM
PoppaGator 16 Jul 07 - 02:07 PM
Mike Miller 16 Jul 07 - 05:48 PM
Rowan 16 Jul 07 - 06:53 PM
Dave Hanson 17 Jul 07 - 04:52 AM
Artful Codger 17 Jul 07 - 05:09 PM
Gray D 17 Jul 07 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,dizzyLisa 18 Jul 07 - 08:38 AM
Donuel 18 Jul 07 - 04:27 PM
Mike Miller 18 Jul 07 - 04:45 PM
Donuel 18 Jul 07 - 04:54 PM
Tootler 18 Jul 07 - 06:08 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Jul 07 - 06:24 PM
Artful Codger 18 Jul 07 - 08:43 PM
Mike Miller 19 Jul 07 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,guest 26 Jul 07 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,guest 26 Jul 07 - 09:32 AM
Artful Codger 28 Aug 07 - 08:44 PM
rinso 29 Aug 07 - 04:45 AM
stallion 29 Aug 07 - 05:05 AM
mattkeen 29 Aug 07 - 06:16 AM
mattkeen 29 Aug 07 - 06:21 AM
Banjiman 29 Aug 07 - 06:44 AM
JennyO 29 Aug 07 - 06:51 AM
treewind 29 Aug 07 - 07:08 AM
Janice in NJ 29 Aug 07 - 08:01 AM
vectis 29 Aug 07 - 05:20 PM
the button 29 Aug 07 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Texas Guest 29 Aug 07 - 06:09 PM
Herga Kitty 29 Aug 07 - 07:37 PM
Nick E 29 Aug 07 - 08:01 PM
gecko 29 Aug 07 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,Liz 31 Aug 07 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,Mad Jock 31 Aug 07 - 11:12 AM
Doktor Doktor 31 Aug 07 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Vin2 31 Aug 07 - 06:05 PM
Leadfingers 31 Aug 07 - 07:01 PM
GUEST 01 Sep 07 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Peter Red Bull Folk Club 01 Sep 07 - 08:07 AM
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Subject: best a capella groups
From: fi_in_nz
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 03:45 PM

I love listening to good harmonisers. I thought the "best a capella folkies" thread might give me some new groups to look out for, but it's on a different topic. So, who are your favourite a capella harmony groups?

I like the Young Tradition, Witches of Elswick and I just discovered a two man band who do some of their stuff a capella called Scolds Bridle. LocTup together are also good. Looking forward to hearing who else is doing good stuff at the mo..... Cheers F


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: jimmyt
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 03:49 PM

Are you interested in just folk acapella?   I have tons of Acapella groups.SOme of my favorites are Singers Unlimited (old stuff from the 60s) Beachfront Property, The Bobs, Rockapella, Accoustix, occasionally Manhattin Transfer, Glad, well, I will stop here. Oh, I forgot to mention one of my favorite groups named DaVinci's Notebook that does comedy Acapella.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 04:15 PM

I also mentioned this in the other acapella thread, but check out the Watersons or Waterson/Carthy.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: RTim
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 04:43 PM

I would say - Finest Kind from Canada - Look out for them in England during June; you won't be disappointed.
see - www.ianrobb.com for tour details.

Tim R


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 01:52 AM

Although now disbanded (after 20 yrs) I stongly reccommend Artisan


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: s&r
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 02:46 AM

Scolds Bridle are great, but very female for a two man group.

Wilsons, Tanglefoot, Shellback Chorus.

Stu


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 03:13 AM

Swan Arcade, Coope, Boyes and Simpson


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Splott Man
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 03:33 AM

Lynne Herauld & Pat Turner, Dangerous Curves. Years ago Isca Fayre and Arky's Toast.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Splott Man
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 07:29 AM

Grace Notes


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Mo the caller
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 07:47 AM

The Waite Collective ( ginger haired mother & daughters from Cheshire)


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 08:41 AM

Oak, Ash and Thorn!!! (including our own Daverino Swanno)

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 08:51 AM

Yep, Lynne Heraufd/Pat Turner, gotta be good for me ...

I've got a Cassette of "Sisters Unlimited" - they do a GREAT
version of the shanty ;

"child Birth's no bed of Rosies - Bear Down"" Hilarious

Jo-Jo
(jojofolkagogo@yahoo.com)


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 10:28 AM

A couple of friends of mine are in a group called the Paradigm Vocal Ensemble from the Dallas and Fort Worth area in Texas. I hadn't heard their work until one of the guys was burning and printing CDs for sale at the print shop where I do a lot of business. He gave me a CD and I was blown away by the beauty of their singing. I think there are links to several complete songs from their web site.

http://www.paradigmvocalensemble.org/index.php

SRS


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Bobcat
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 10:58 AM

And way back The English Tapestry......Love the Wilsons and Coope Boyes and Simpson. and more recently The witches of Elswick   and Devil's interval


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: pavane
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 11:04 AM

I vote for Young Tradition, already mentioned at the start.

Peter Bellamy, of YT, also did some similar songs on his Kipling albums, with his wife and (brother-in-law) Chris Birch.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 11:40 AM

If you're interested in but not terribly knowledgable anout folk a capella groups, Fellside has a wonderful sampler called "Voices in Harmony" that can let you hear a whole lot of them. And don't forget
Craig, Robson and Morgan (who seem to be performing as "Reiver's Divas"
and Cockersdale.
Good stuff. (available at CAMSCO, of course)


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Trevor
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 11:47 AM

Have a listen to Rapsquillion, if you get a chance, for an eclectic approach to traditional music.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: the one
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 07:56 AM

thease girls dont dust, without sue


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Saro
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 09:39 AM

As both Craig Morgan Robson and Finest Kind have been mentioned on this thread, I'll take the opportunity to let you know that both groups will be in concert in Winchester (that's Hampshire, UK!) on Monday 12th June. It'll be FK's only appearance in the South of England as far as I know. Send me a PM if you want more information.
Best wishes
Sarah


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: MARINER
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 02:37 PM

The Voice Squad and The Persuasions


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: fi_in_nz
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 05:57 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. Finest Kind are playing near us with Coope Boyes and Simpson, or even nearer on their own so I'll have to try and get to hear them. Forgot to mention the Silly Sisters at the top - surprised they haven't been mentioned in the thread.
Someone mentioned the Shellbacks, and of course any shanty singing has great harmony potential and the best thing of all is that it's participatory. My fave shanty group is the Maritime Crew from Auckland, NZ they regularly play in the maritime museum there if anyone happens to be down that way ;-) F


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 11:09 PM

Aren't there two p's in "a cappella"? That's how my ancient Webster's lists it.

My trad folk faves have already been mentioned (and good on ya for finally mentioning the Silly Sisters albums). So I'll take the opportunity to list a few a cappella notables a bit farther afield:

Uncle Bonsai, an acoustic trio that escapes description, though "sardonic" would have to be in there somewhere. Their harmonies were tight and unconventional, and they could sing a patter song like Gilbert and Sullivan on speed.

The Blenders, a fantastic doo-wop group out of Minnesota. Kinda like Rockapella meets The Bobs.

The first two albums by Take Six (gospel/jazz). This is jaw-dropping a cappella singing.

Todd Rundgren's A Cappella--he sang everything on the record, including the "instruments". True to his chameleonic talents, the styles run the gamut, including a song in the traditional English folk idiom, sung mostly as a vocal solo.

At the other end of the spectrum, David Hykes harmonized with himself in the literal sense, by producing distinct harmonic overtones. He also put together a "harmonic choir"--an eerie listening experience.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 06 - 01:17 PM

take6


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Artful Codger
Date: 26 Apr 06 - 09:58 PM

biteme


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 27 Apr 06 - 02:51 AM

The King's Singers: not directly a folk group, but singing some folk, too, mostly by classical composers, if I remember right. Their Renaissance madrigals are a revelation.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Apr 06 - 03:54 AM

Young Tradition were the definition of the genre of unaccompanied English folk harmony. Watersons damn fine too.

More recently Jinx's Stack (a bit barber-shopy at times) - now I think re-formed and back with us.

But why has no-one mentioned Capella (yes spelt that way, which actually is another name for a she-goat)? They have a smashing sound with the male voice above the female - and Tony has recently been postinghere as Cap-or-ella.

And of course there was Ramskyte - a wall of sound with 5 part harmony.

And Joe Stead's new band, Kimber's Men, aren't they unaccompanied?


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 27 Apr 06 - 04:30 AM

Yes, the King's Singers have to be the absolute top, the standard everyone else is judged by.

Do duos count? If so, and despite the fact that they are not English (but they started making their name with their first English tour, and are in the UK at least 3 months a year) CLOUDSTREET.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: pavane
Date: 27 Apr 06 - 09:45 AM

Ever come across a group called Porterhouse, from Wales?
Only made 1 album, as far as I know


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,ifor
Date: 27 Apr 06 - 04:07 PM

Porterhouse were a wonderful band based around the Vale of Glamorgan in the very early 1970s.Their female singer Stef now lives in Swansea and is still singing in a local choir. One of the other male singers is now sadly deceased.
Coope Boyce and Simpson are fine singers and can often be seen at Sidmouth in early August.
Ifor


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 12:01 PM

NexTradition

Persuasions


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Fliss
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 06:18 PM

Cuckoo Oak - ace group from Shropshire. PAt, Dawn, Pete and Mike.
fliss


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 08:30 PM

PEDANT ALERT !!!!!

Strictly speaking , A Cappella means In The style of The Chapel - Or Church Music doesnt it ? So an unaccompanied Folk Group MAY well be singing A cappella and maybe not !!

But I will still put another plug in for C M R -(Craig Morgan Robson )
especially as two of them are Mudcat members - Why isnt Carolyn a Catter ??


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Al
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 11:56 PM

Me I like THE BOBS. Of course, I might be prejudiced, because Mattew Bob is an old friend who used to give me singing telegrams for my birthday dressed in his National Onion monkey suit.
Al


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Richard Brandenburg
Date: 29 Apr 06 - 01:58 AM

The Golden Gate Quartet.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: woodsie
Date: 29 Apr 06 - 07:58 AM

Yes, I agree with Richard. Capella are a wonderful duo and are unusual 'cos the female has the bass/tenor voice and the male tenor/alto. They can be found gigging at folk events throughout Kent and the South East.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Betsy
Date: 29 Apr 06 - 08:50 AM

Come on !!!! - 5 Brothers and their sister - The WILSON FAMILY - brilliant.

Cheers Betsy


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: John Hardly
Date: 29 Apr 06 - 10:07 AM

WETBLANKET ON THE PEDANT ALERT!!!!

Definition number one in most dictionaries (I can't even believe that I am going to bring a dictionary into this discussion after dissing the practice in M.Ted's thread) is "without instrumental accompaniment". Definition number 2 is "in the style of church or chapel music".

Don't worry though, Leadfingers. We all still think you're the cat's. Even if you are wrong -- this is the first time I ever remember that actually being the case.

My favorite acapella groups...

Nashville Bluegrass Band
Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver
Front Range
(and like JimmyT mentioned) Manhattan Transfer


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Apr 06 - 11:25 AM

Thanks, John. You saved me a trip to Webster's myself. :)


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Artful Codger
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 06:46 AM

Another pedant alert:

The Manhattan Transfer did very few songs a cappella. Their a cappella counterpart would be Singers Unlimited, whom they were undoubtedly modeling, and in fact most of MT's a cappella numbers were Gene Puerling arrangements.

Groups like The King's Singers and Chanticleer are certainly accomplished, but once you get into primarily classical groups, you're in a realm that doesn't quite fit the implicit limits of this venue, and one could list a plethora of equally accomplished groups in that realm.   For classical and Renaissance music, they can't be faulted, but their arrangements of folk and popular material are so drenched in "high art" and cutesy touches that you need to keep insulin handy. In my opinion, a "best" group rarely puts out an album you mostly cringe through.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: sharyn
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 12:16 PM

Swan Arcade. Regal Slip. Out of the Rain (a now defunct California band -- PM radriano for details). Bryony. Beggar's Velvet. Finest Kind -- this can't be said often enough -- they are tops -- but so was Out of the Rain. Cindy Kallet put out a couple of good harmony albums with Ellen Epstein and Michael Somebody-or-Other: "Only Human" and "Angels in Daring" with some a capella cuts. Janet Russell and Christine Kydd made a couple of good duet albums, too.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Northerner
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 01:28 PM

Another website slant on it.

"A Capella?
Some musical dictionaries indicate the Italian a cappella is preferred over the Latin a capella (one "p") yet both are technically correct. Why do those dictionaries muddy the waters with two spellings?

The phrase was first used in Italian Catholic churches, where Latin was the language for sacred text. Thus, the Latin spelling for 'in the style of the chapel' - a capella - has some historical basis. However, most other musical terms - forte, accelerando, and many others - are Italian in origin. Since the Italian spelling is more consistent with other musical terms, it has been used more frequently."


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Forsh
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:11 PM

RUMBYLOWE! (well I would say that, wouldn't I?) Only one Album as all you Aussies know, and wot about Beltane? :) Yeah!


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 01 May 06 - 10:27 AM

How about Ladysmith Black Mombazo? It doesn't get more a cappella than that.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Rattler
Date: 01 May 06 - 06:29 PM

As RB mentioned earlier, Capella are a little recognised treasure in the UK. Hear them!


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 May 06 - 06:55 PM

Going back a bit, Valley Folk, Songwainers, Threadbare Consort, Dead Sea Surfers, Folly Bridge, Top Shelf....


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: jimmyt
Date: 01 May 06 - 07:08 PM

Singers Unlimited is probably the consumate unaccompanied group albiet they NEVER did concerts but were only studio jingle singers who got together, basically sightread the stuff and cut records in a take or two back in the sixties.

A couple points of interest are Gene Puerling rarely ever changed a single note in his arrangements once written. The lady singer rarely spent more than a day or so reading over the music before the final take and has frequently said later that she doesn't even remember recording the songs much less singing them. They sound almost brand new to her years later. Incredible musicians. I agree with the Blenders being outstanding but ya gotta hear Beachfront Property before ya decide on the best Acapella! jimmyt


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 May 06 - 08:12 PM

BTW... "The Flying Pickets"


http://www.pickets.co.uk/index2.htm


oh.. and i reckon the "Beach Boys" deserve an honourary mention


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 01 May 06 - 08:45 PM

Peta Webb and Ken Hall are tremendous harmonisers -their version of I Am Stretched on Your Grave is electrifying (As Close As Can Be Fellside FECD155) Their CD also contains some very good unison singing which is a type of group a capella singing that I often prefer to harmony singing. Will Duke and Dan Quinn are another duet who sing really well in unison.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,saulgoldie
Date: 01 May 06 - 09:04 PM

Bummer about Artisan splitting. Anyone know the inside dope? And are there any CDs available for DaVinci's Notebook? I meant to go hear them, and the next I knew they weren't performing anymore. Oh phooey!


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 01 May 06 - 10:52 PM

Early Mills Brothers.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: The Barden of England
Date: 02 May 06 - 02:40 AM

Richard Bridge, Woodsie and others are spot on - Capella should be seen and heard far more often than they are, and if they're in your neck of the woods miss them at your peril.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: treewind
Date: 02 May 06 - 03:42 AM

There's not much "inside dope" about Artisan's split. They'd been doing it for about twenty years and doubtless needed a change. Hilary has been getting very busy with Quicksilver (duo with Grant Baynham), Jacey and Brian have formed The Brian Bedford Band and life goes on.

Not much "a cap(p)ella" about either of the new groupings though. The BBB has lots of instruments!

Anahata


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Sooz (at work)
Date: 02 May 06 - 08:20 AM

The Swingle Singers got me interested in the 1960's, long before I heard my current favourites (Artisan, Cockersdale and Coope Boyes and Simpson.)Mind you, we get some pretty amazing harmonies at Gainsborough Folk Club, particularly when Bod Cleveland sings a Keith Marsden song!


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Arthur Itic
Date: 02 May 06 - 12:33 PM

Moxy Fruvous should be mentioned here and there's a cracking Aussie band called Akasa that are quite special too. I'm sure they are both websited up if you care to investigate.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Peterr
Date: 03 May 06 - 11:54 AM

When did peolpe start using 'a capella' (never mind how many ps)? We used to call it unaccompanied.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Northerner
Date: 03 May 06 - 12:37 PM

I still describe myself as singing songs unaccomapanied.   Of course, when I went to some singing lessons in the autumn my singing would have been described as a capella.

Surely, the traditional singers would not have used the expression a capella?


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Hopfolk
Date: 03 May 06 - 12:48 PM

The Copper family is worth a mention as they both harmonise and also sing "Straight".
If you're interested, there's a wealth of material on topic record's "Voice of the people" series - though some of the songs come across a little impaired by the age of the singers. Still, it's the songs isn't it? :-)

There's a compilation called "Voices in Harmony" which you MUST GET as it has tracks by many of the people mentioned on this thread.

Cheers - Keep on singin'.

CamoJohn


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: fi_in_nz
Date: 03 May 06 - 12:56 PM

I used "a capella" (sp????? ;-) because I started singing in classical and chapel (hence possibly my spelling of it too (narh, that's just an excuse)) choirs and madrigals etc. Now I'm singing trad I must be singing unaccompanied...... will try to remember for next time. F


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 07:05 PM

Porterhouse were probably the best a capella group that I,ve ever had the privilege of seeing. They were also really nice people. Robin unfortunately is no is no longer with us. He was the main force behind the group. He was the musical arranger and also very good looking.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Gray D
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 07:32 PM

Saw Porterhouse several times at Barry Folk Club (now on about its 4th or 5th incarnation). They were, as stated above, wonderful. Only got one album by them - "Bide Lady Bide" Cambrian Recordings MCT216 -which I still drag out and sing along to from time to time.

I have championed one or two of these before I know but if you can find their stuff check out A Filetta from Corsica (well known in France), Rustavi Choir, Journalist, Mtiebi (sang with one of them a couple of weeks ago)and Mzetamze from Georgia, Trio Bulgarka and Les Mysteres de les Voix Bulgares from Bulgaria (not all unaccompanied but worth a visit harmonywise) and, of course, the output from Northern Harmony in Vermont USA who collect stuff from all over the world and put considerable effort into performing it properly.

And if you get a chance to sing with any of them . . . take it.

Gray D


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Rowan
Date: 16 Jul 07 - 01:17 AM

From Oz, in chronological order,
Canterbury Fair,
Pageant,
Rumbylowe,
a couple from TI whose name escapes me in this senior moment,
Roaring Forties,
Spooky Men's Chorale

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Artful Codger
Date: 16 Jul 07 - 01:42 AM

I tend to use "a cappella" instead of "unaccompanied" because the latter might simply mean "alone", "with no one else". It's not strictly vocal, as witness the Bach suites for unaccompanied violin. Nor does it necessarily preclude a performer from accompanying himself. I also don't like defining things in terms of what they are not. Why should there be an automatic presumption of accompaniment, particularly with trad folk songs??


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Jul 07 - 07:02 AM

Why do people insist on calling unaccompanied folk singing ' a capella '

which means in the style of the church [ or chapel ] there are even shanty groups listed, which by no stretch of the imagination can be said to be singing in the style of the church.

It's UNACCOMPANIED.

eric


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Artful Codger
Date: 16 Jul 07 - 01:03 PM

Ahem, that bit of pedantry has already been addressed in this thread.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: PoppaGator
Date: 16 Jul 07 - 02:07 PM

To me, "unaccompanied" singing would denote solo vocal-only performances, and might even be understood to include self-accompanied performances (e.g., guitar and vocal, as practiced by many of us).

Most of the music under discussion here involves group singing without instrumental accompaniment, where the singers are, essentially, accompanying each other. Hence, as far as I'm concerned, "a cap(p)ella" is a more accurate term than "unacompanied," even when the music is not "church style," regardless of the term's ancient etymology and its literal translation from the Latin (or Italian).

As noted throughout the thread, there are great examples of group vocals without instrumental accompaniment in many subgenres in and out of folk music, including sea-shanties, barbershop, jazz, etc.

Let me throw in a mention of the great neo-doo-wop group The Persuasions. "Doo-wop" was originally a grassroots urban "folk" form generally performed without instrumentation, right out on the proverbial streetcorner, with nonsense-syllable singing providing the harmonies, counterpoint, rhythms, etc., ordinarily supplied by bass, guitar, piano, horns, drums, etc. The popular records inspired by this musical movement generally put at least some instrumentation back into the mix ~ recording of purely vocal doo-wop didn't occur until a later self-consious "revival."

The Persuasions are the greatest example of this revival. Part of the doo-wop tradition is creation of new arrangements of already-well-known songs, and these guys have done a particularly outstanding job of that, recording full albums of their reinterpretations of reggae sings, Grateful Dead songs, Bob Dylan songs, etc.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Mike Miller
Date: 16 Jul 07 - 05:48 PM

I am a great fan of a capella singing. I was a member of The Mainliners (The Bryn Mawr chapter of The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet singing in America) and I, once, sang with The Persuasions at a swimming pool.
I have composed for choirs and taught music for forty years and I can say, without qualification, that TAKE 6 is the most astonishing vocal group I have ever heard. They have redefined Gospel and a capella and they have raised the bar forever. I took their first CD, "Spread Love" to a Mainliners rehearsal and blew everyone away.
Other dynamic a capella groups are Lambert, Hendricks and Ross and The Buffalo Bills (That's The Bills you hear in the movie, "The Music Man"). I kind of like the old Golden Ring, too.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Rowan
Date: 16 Jul 07 - 06:53 PM

When I started performing (in Oz), groups (pairs, trios etc up to about octets) that sang harmonies with no instrumental involvement were always (in the folk scene) described as singing unaccompanied harmonies; soloists that did so sang "unaccompanied" but not with harmonies unless the audience got into the act, which happened. The fashion changed in (as far as I can tell) in the 90s, when commentators with more classical training than knowledge of the folk scene started using "a capella" (and a cappella) to describe such items. Of course, it may have been that such commentators were using the term for the obligatory non-instrumental item in any Steeleye Span concert a couple of decades earlier but there weren't many such commentators on radio/tv in Oz at that time so I wouldn't have known.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 17 Jul 07 - 04:52 AM

Folk song in general is not sung ' in the style of the chappel ' just imagine the old hunting songs and sea shanties ? a capella ? I think not.

eric


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Artful Codger
Date: 17 Jul 07 - 05:09 PM

Seems to be a nasty echo in here...


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Gray D
Date: 17 Jul 07 - 06:55 PM

Peeps you are (thread) drifting. Fi wants names of groups to check out.

Fi - I forgot Northampton Harmony - their version of "Idumea" esp. live, jaw dropping.

Gray D


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,dizzyLisa
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 08:38 AM

For me it has to be Pete Luscombe and John Bartlett who some of you may know from Victory Morris (& honourary Hartley men )and as part of Ramskyte. Since the death of Brian Ingham they have re-invented themselves as WholeHearted and you can hear them on their mySpace at:
www.myspace.com/wholeheartedduo Between Hartley stands they will hopefully be singing in the Neps and other Broadstairs pubs during folk week..... ahhhhhh !!


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 04:27 PM

The Swingle Singers did the 1812 overature complete with making their voices sound like church bells.

Their Claire d'Lune is also outstanding.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Mike Miller
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 04:45 PM

You bet The Swingles were terrific. Dave Swingle was a brilliant arranger and is responsible for the resurgence of a cappela. But, I contend that Take6 has extended his vision and has set the bar so high that no other group will be able to equal them. Their first album, the all gospel "Spread Love", was a revelation. I, no longer, perform "Oh, Mary, Don't You Weep". After hearing Take6's version, I wouldn't dare.

                   Mike


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 04:54 PM

I will check out take 6 who are new to me.

or is it Take Sex?


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 06:08 PM

PoppaGator wrote

To me, "unaccompanied" singing would denote solo vocal-only performances, and might even be understood to include self-accompanied performances (e.g., guitar and vocal, as practiced by many of us).

Most of the music under discussion here involves group singing without instrumental accompaniment, where the singers are, essentially, accompanying each other. Hence, as far as I'm concerned, "a cap(p)ella" is a more accurate term than "unacompanied," even when the music is not "church style," regardless of the term's ancient etymology and its literal translation from the Latin (or Italian).


I think this is more a difference in terminology on the two sides of the Atlantic. In the UK the term normally used is "unaccompanied" both for solo and group singing. "A capella" tends to be restricted to classical singing groups. In fact I have even heard the term "unaccompanied" used for classical groups.

To add to the list on the thread, no one has mentioned the Keelers from Tyneside. Excellent unaccompanied harmony singing.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 06:24 PM

You can fight all day over what to call it, but whoever wins the argument will find few acts to top the aforementioned "Capella".

Not only are their harmonies superb, and their choice of material inspired, but the completely unexpected sound achieved by Tony's counter tenor and Leslie's deep contralto, is stunning on first hearing, and insistently begs revisiting.

They are simply different, and it is a mystery to me that they are not at least as well known as CMR.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Artful Codger
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 08:43 PM

Don: Take 6 was a gospel/jazz sextet, which may explain that little mystery. Their eponymous first album (1988) won a Grammy, and deservedly so, and immediately put them into the same league as Singers Unlimited, Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices and Voicestra. For guys so young not only to sing so well but to write such amazing arrangements must've made even Gene Puerling and Bobby McFerrin jade-green with envy!

That said, I can only recommend their first two albums, Take 6 and So Much 2 Say--after that, they took a more mainstream, instrument-supported direction that detracts greatly from their vocal strengths. But I recommend those first albums with hoots and waving arms and even a little rabid dribble.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Mike Miller
Date: 19 Jul 07 - 12:29 AM

The Artful Codger's got that right. They met at a small religious college in the South so they are rooted in black gospel music but, it seems to me, their influences are The Swingle Singers, The Four Freshmen and The Hi-Lo's (Listen to the Clark Burroughs-like falsetto
rides). I, too, was disappointed when they started using some instrumental accompaniment and branching into a more secular repitore. If there was, ever, a group that didn't need backup, it was Take6.
Their audience was, primarily, black. It took the rest of us a while to catch up.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:26 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:32 AM

Wilsons at saddleworth, all three concerts, just brilliant!!!


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Artful Codger
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 08:44 PM

Just encountered this:

When a boy asked what "a cappella" meant, his father replied, "It means that the choir will sing without musical accomplishment."


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: rinso
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 04:45 AM

I fell in love with singing 'bout instruments after hearing The Macalmans sing Paper Doll and To People Who Have Gardens
Watersons where great but struggled with pitch
Last time I heard Quartz they where superb(a cafellows in the true sense) And the demise of Artisan is a great loss to the folk scene

Rinsos


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: stallion
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 05:05 AM

WOT No 2BS&S!






where did I put me Berghaus!


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: mattkeen
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 06:16 AM

Favourites

Coope, Boyes &Simpson

Devils Interval


Watersons


No particular order


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: mattkeen
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 06:21 AM

Oh yes and the Spooky Men!!!

What an ommission


Dont you lot talk a load of bxxlocks about definitions, when we all actually understand what the thread was asking anyway?

Are any of you retired geography teachers?


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Banjiman
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 06:44 AM

Stallion,

You beat me to it, I was just about to mention TWO BLACK SHEEP & A STALLION. One of my favorites!

Paul


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: JennyO
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 06:51 AM

"It means that the choir will sing without musical accomplishment."

Artful Codger, this belongs in the Malapropisms thread!


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: treewind
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 07:08 AM

New one on me, heard last Sunday at Shrewsbury Festival : Muldoon's Picnic - Scottish, very accomplished, very loud and very international in their repertoire.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 08:01 AM

Let me add two important groups that came out of the African-American tradition, the SNCC Freedom Singers and Sweet Honey in the Rock. Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon was a founding member of both.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: vectis
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 05:20 PM

Cappella are definately my numero uno acappella singing in the south east.
Cartouche is a new formation of Leslie & Tony plus Mike Nicholson. Makes the short hairs on the back of your neck stand up and quiver. Brilliant, should go far.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: the button
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 05:24 PM

Another vote for Sweet Honey in the Rock from me.
Plus The Watersons (obviously), and the Dead Sea Surfers -- never owned one of the records, but they were always such a good laugh at festivals.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 06:09 PM

A lot of fine folks mentioned here, especially the Mills Brothers, Seamus; however - the best group I have ever heard sing live is none other than, Anuna. They are simply the best - no contest, no argument,...end of discussion. By the way, you all can hear them live this fall as they are touring all over America; in fact, they will be at the Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas on November 20th.
See ya' there?


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 07:37 PM

Haven't heard Cartouche yet, but would like to. Suspect the Young 'uns will be due for a nomination. Invidious to suggest any are best, really.... love CMR, Wholehearted, Witches of Elswick, Devil's Interval.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Nick E
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 08:01 PM

Now these two are not purely acaplea. First, I have to say Great Big Sea does some great numbers.
And I have a soft spot for Stan Rogers.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: gecko
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 08:17 PM

Sadly now defunct, the Flying Pickets from the UK were hard to beat. I wasn't lucky enough to hear them live so I've had to make do with a couple of recordings.

YIU

gecko


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Liz
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 10:01 AM

I agree with most of the above, but I have to say that the performances the Wilsons have given, at the festivals I have visited this year, must put them to the top of my list.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Mad Jock
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 11:12 AM

I must say Taggart and Wright are superb but then as I am related I might seem to be a bit biased but all you need to do is listen to some of what they can do on their website and you will agree.

Others Coope Boyes and Simpson (but there are three of them)

Muldoon Picnic , a very talented and technically superb young group who deserve much more attention, (five of them very complicated stuff)

Tanglefoot.Yeah but when Taggart and Wright did support for them it was a close thing.

The Mac calmans. Nick Keir rated Taggart and Wright after they did support for them at the Lomond fest a few years back.So I cant be totally biased.

Tarneybackle a Perthshire based trio.


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Doktor Doktor
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 11:31 AM

Tha Wilsaaans for sheer power ... Cockersdale for sheer harmony .. The current Copper's generation .. Artisan for the record ...
Oddly enough I've not seen / heard too many non-British harmony groups on tour here, even though we get a steaty stream of vocalists & instrumentalists. Am I missing somethin? or do voice-only acts not translate so well?


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Vin2
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 06:05 PM

No desrespect to all t'others but reckon it has to be the Wilsons for me at the mo. Can't stop listening to 'Stocking Tops' - fabulouss stuff!!


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: Leadfingers
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 07:01 PM

C M R !! and 100 !!


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 06:56 AM

From the English folk scene The Watersons were in a class of thier own.There are a lot of sweet harmony groups but the Watersons had a more earthy sound which still gets to me after years of listening to them.

I did see the Flying Pickets at the Islington Folk club they were very good.

Sweet Honey In the Rock excellent music and political commitment.



My personal favourites (apart from the Watersons) are from the jazz swing era The Mills Brothers who were famous not only for their wonderful harmony singing but for imitating brass instruments. As well as their own records they recorded a lot with Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald wonderful stuff.

Ken Hall


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Subject: RE: best a capella groups
From: GUEST,Peter Red Bull Folk Club
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 08:07 AM

As already mentioned Grace Notes are one of the best!!
And they're on at The Red Bull Stockport..Monday 8th October   
Tickets £6.00 either mail or phone me for more!
details here
www.stockportfolk.co.uk
It will be full so if you want to come make sure you book a ticket!
Peter


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