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Female Contemporary Ensemble from Durham, NC.

Stella is an a cappella group of seven women from North Carolina. About their free-ranging tastes, Stella member Julie Mooney says, "We have seven very different women with wildly diverse musical passions bringing new song possibilities to the table all the time. The quality of each of our voices is also pretty different. Those two ingredients, plus the flexibility of a cappella as a musical form, keep us compulsively eclectic." Since assembling loosely in 1998 to sing favorite songs among themselves, Stella has moved on to public performances at house concerts and such venues as the NC Museum of Art, Festival for the Eno, Artsplosure, Light Up Durham, and the LEAF festival in Black Mountain, NC.

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Stella : Different Skies : 1 CD

Stella : Different Skies    onsale

Different Skies is the second release from 7-woman Durham, NC-based a cappella group Stella, the first being the excellent "Gimme Stella." This is a sumptuous, gorgeous collection of 15 tunes, some of which are lightly accompanied by bass, guitar and even a Moroccan riq on the lovely opening cut, "Before This Time Another Year." These 7 women share a love of good stories, eclectic tastes and music from different cultures. Two originals, "Cave Ranger," which reflects on the sexy possibilities of a date with a cave ranger, and "Teenage Girls.," tells the tragic tale of the death of a beloved teenage friend, are marvelous. Other favorites are the sweetly rhythmic "Be Mine (Little Baby)," "Satellites," "My Babe," "I'll Never Leave You Baby," the bluesy "Blue and Lonesome," the stark anti-war song "No More To The Dance," shape-note tune "Wondrous Love," "Shto Si Goro," a gospel tune from the Georgia Sea Islands, the powerful "Kappee," a Finnish folk tale, the poignant ballad "Teenage Girls" and the wonderful American shape note song, "Long Time Traveller." Since first getting together in 1998 to harmonize favorite tunes with each other, the group took the name Stella in 2000 and began to perform publicly in venues such as the NC Museum of Art, Festival for the Eno, Artsplosure, Light Up Durham and Black Mountain, NC's LEAF Festival. Possibly because of this, their sound as a group has taken a huge leap forward-every cut on "Different Skies" is a richly harmonic delight!

Songlist: Before This Time Another Year, Be Mine (Little Baby), Satellites, Northern Cross, My Babe, Cave Ranger, I'll Never Leave You Baby, Blue And Lonesome, Wondrous Love, Shto Si Goro, No More To The Dance, Stretched On Your Grave, Kappee, Teenage Girls, Long Time Traveller

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2361c | 1 CD | $14.95 ON SALE $3.95 | A Cappella

Stella : Gimme Stella : 1 CD

Stella : Gimme Stella

The seven very different women of Durham, NC-based Stella have a varied repertoire that includes folk/traditional (from America and other lands), gospel, doo-wop, pop, Celtic, sea chanty, and a few unusual numbers the group describes as "compulsively eclectic," such as "Emoni Ennen," a traditional Finnish song. Performing before appreciative crowds in North Carolina, the group finally wanted to answer "Yes!" to the question, "Do you have a CD?", and "Gimme Stella" is the result. The group's creamy, complex harmonies are featured on 16 songs, mostly covers, but there's even an original tune, "She's a Rocket," inspired by Stella member and writer Alison Jones' 12 year old daughter. Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane," "I'm An Old Cowhand," Joe Tex's "I Want to Do Everything For You," Jerome Kern's "The Way You Look Tonight," the traditional folk tunes "Building a Home," "Fire Down Below," "Oh My Little Darlin'," "Moonshiner," "I'll Fly Away" and "Sorrows Away" are all sung with joyful feeling. A particular favorite of ours was "On Children," by Ysaye M. Barnwell, based on the words of Kahlil Gibran. "Gimme" is a wise, impressive first CD. Recommended.

Songlist: Sweet Jane (Lou Reed, BMI Joan Armatrading, BMI), I'm an Old Cowhand, I Want to Do Everything for You (Joe Tex, BMI, On Children (Ysaye M. Barnwell, Kahlil Gibran, BMI), She's a Rocket (Alison Jones), The Way You Look Tonight (Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields, BMI), Building a Home (traditional), Sierra Nevada (Joel Herron, ASCAP), Fire Down Below (traditional), Oh My Little Darlin' (traditional), The Burning of Auchindoon (traditional), Cloud Dancing (Margaret Roche, ASCAP), Moonshiner (traditional), I'll Fly Away (traditional), Sorrow Away (traditional), Emoni Ennen (Mari Hannele Kaasinen, Sari Johanna Kaasinen, ASCAP)

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7383c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella

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