When you hear “a capella” what do you think of? Barbershop quartets? Kitschy vaudeville acts? At one time that was spot-on but these days a capella has a place in pop music alongside the biggest names in pop, hip-hop, rock and R & B. The guys in Straight No Chaser do an amazing job reinventing some of the greatest songs in popular music from Marvin Gaye, Walk the Moon, Weezer, Jason Mraz and so many more.
For anyone who is new to the genre, a capella is singing without instrumental backup. It started out as religious music. The phrase a capella means “in the manner of the church.”
Later, a capella became the realm of barbershop quartets and college glee clubs. Rumor has it, the first college a capella group began at Rensselaer Polytechnic (outside of Albany, NY) in 1873. That original group was very different from the Harvard Callbacks and Tufts University Beelzebubs everyone knows today.
Today’s a capella groups are showing a new generation that a capella can be cool. Shows like Pitch Perfect and The Sing Off have made the genre mainstream. A capella became cool enough for VH1 to take notice and post this article featuring Straight No Chaser.
Check out their videos. Our favorites are “Take Me to Church” (Hozier) and “Can’t Feel My face” (Weeknd). Want to see the real deal? Straight No Chaser will be here at the Music Circus on August 6th and at the Melody Tent on August 7th. Tickets on sale now!
Special thanks to Straight No Chaser for the use of information from their website.