In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Utilizing close harmonies and traditional "old-time" gospel treatment of songs, The Vocal Union has brought audiences to their feet in Tulsa, Nashville, Cincinnati, many other cities from Texas to Ohio to Alabama -and points in between. Family Bookstore managers expressed enthusiasm for the power of The Vocal Union's singing when VU performed at their annual convention in Grand Rapids, MI, along with Bryan Duncan, Cindy Morgan, Amy Morris, John Elefante, and others. In fact, The Vocal Union received three standing ovations and were asked to perform an encore at the end of the entire show! VU has more recently appeared on stage with the Kingsmen Quartet, 'Nharmony, and The Cumberland Boys. Calling on years of singing and recording experience as well as a rich heritage of Southern Gospel roots, The Vocal Union's members bring a cappella musical expertise, enthusiasm, and deep feeling to their performances.
Based in Nashville, Tennessee, VU has been touring the country for the past seven years performing for special church events, community concerts, and fundraisers. Its fan base has spread worldwide with distribution by Word Records. Fans from Iceland, Nigeria, Brazil and other countries have signed the group's online guest book and illustrate VU's strong international appeal. Vocal Union's style ranges from high-energy traditional, to tight-harmony jazz and soulful spirituals, to contemporary street corner a cappella. The group tailors the set list to match the demographics of the audience. Many of the tunes feature vocal percussion and "vocal bass guitar" to firmly establish the rhythmic element. The inner voicings are meticulously arranged and seriously performed to perfection. The group is blessed with some of the finest soloists in Christian music. The technical sound quality is taken very seriously. The group travels with professional sound equipment adequate for 2,500 to 3,000 seats and a professional sound man.
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Review: When Acappella Company founder Keith Lancaster took a singing hiatus from his first group, he just couldn't stay away for long. This first recording, released in 1995, forges a sound that combines some of the straightforward harmony of Southern Gospel with the bass and percussion of contemporary a cappella. The vocal harmony will be a refreshing change for Christian music lovers who perhaps find other Acappella Company groups a bit too processed. Among the enjoyable songs: "We Shall Wear A Crown," ballad "Home Where I Belong" and "Sweet Beulah Land."
Review: Seven-man Southern Gospel ensemble The Vocal Union is the third offspring of Paris, TN's Acappella Ministries; the first being the A Cappella Company, created by Keith Lancaster, who is Executive Producer of "All Around Me." From "Get Ready," the first song by these talented, spiritual men, we feel the power of their music and their ministry. This is the best of Contemporary Christian a cappella: strong, innovative vocal percussion, soaring Rockapella-like backup vocals, rich, deep bass harmonies, strong original lyrics, music and arrangements-it's easy to see how "Once Upon A Tree" won the 2001 CASA Religious Album of the Year. It's hard to pick favorites from these 12, because there's not a weak cut on the CD. "Livin Love," "I Wanna Love You," "We've Got This Groove" (they do, and we can feel it!), "Heaven's Irony," "Rise and Walk,' "To See Jesus," "Do You Believe," "This Is Love" and the final cut, "What Heavenly Music." "All Around Me" is VU's 5th CD, and it is another finely-crafted, joyous winner.
In The Palm Of Your Hand
Review: The A Cappella Company's Keith Lancaster is the producer of six-man, Nashville-based Vocal Union's sixth winning CD. "Just Like" is just like their other five, that is, filled with rich Gospel harmonies and excellent original material that will have you humming and singing along! Originals include the title tune, "There Have Been Healin'," "Wake Up" and "He Gave His Life" all by group member Gary Miller, R. Fisher Boyce's "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem," Ron Block's "In the Palm of Your Hand," Dottie Rambo's "Remind Me Dear Lord," Hazel Trubee's "Walk Right Out of this Valley," and Geniece Ingold's "In My Robe of White." Each of these songs share an upbeat, positive message, wonderful lyrics and the group's joyous love of singing and spreading the Gospel, all of which add up to one of the best Gospel CDs we've ever heard. Enjoy!
Review: There has never been so prolific a musical ministry as the many branches of the tree which Keith Lancaster planted with the creation of the Acappella Company. in this third grouping of voices and spirits which comprise The Vocal Union, only Gary Miller is the constant, having participated in the creation of all three recordings. His presence on this one is ubiquitous as a writer of music and lyrics, in engineering, and doing the final mix. The rest of the vocal line-up is Bruce Coleson, Allen Krehbiel, Steve Camping, Brian Wiersma, Michael Forehand, Ryan Thomas, with additional vocals by Rob Williams. The recording is Christian a cappella in all its contemporary upbeat manifestations. There are jazz riffs, doo-wop and the sound which seems to be a hallmark of the Acappella Company, strong downbeats, sweet complex harmonies, and rich multi layered production. There is even a song which is perfect for jitterbugging, 'Wish I'd Seen It.' The youthful exuberance of the singers who join Gary is expressed in a joyous, toe tapping production with just enough sweet solemnity that you don't get totally lost in the music to the detriment of the message. It must be said that bearing witness musically is one of the most attractive forms of ministry to be found.
Review: The Vocal Union is back with their second recording. Because the 1999 group's line-up has only one member still singing with them who is on this recording (Gary Miller), we'll take the time to mention their names. Along with Gary are Keith Lancaster, Gary Moyers, Gary Miller, John Laws, Roy Hawkins, Darin Cochran, Robert Orr and Paul Kennamer Jr. As in the first Vocal Union recording the group sticks close to its Southern Gospel roots, using close harmony and traditional 'old time' singing. Eight voices give the music its choral fullness, rather than overdubbing or studio techniques. In fact, it isn't until the last song that Keith Lancaster breaks down and adds just a bit of his 'sound' to the mix. By no means does this mean the songs are sedate. Though four square is in evidence, there are touches of doo-wop sneaking in occasionally, along with a bluegrass element.