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National Finals Recordings

Harmony Sweepstakes 25th Anniversary

Sly and the Family Stone Medley - 17th Avenue All Stars
Mas Que Nada - The Idea of North
In a Mellow Tonen - +4Db
Blackbird - Hi-Fidelity
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Naturally 7
Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie - Moira Smiley & VOCO
Wizard of Oz Medley - Chapter 6
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Clockwork
Mary Don't You Weep - Traces
O Sinfuni Mungu - Harmonytrix
Get Down Tonight - Five O'Clock Shadow
The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face - Acapelicans
Paper Moon - Moodswing
Stray Cat Strut - The Coats
Plastic Jesus - The New Originals
Route 66 - Pickup 6
Spiderman - Chicago Voice Exchange
Sweet Georgia Brown - Metropolis
Change in My Life - M-Pact
Star Wars - Moosebutter
O Fortuna - FACE
That's How You Jazz - Citylights
Say SoVoSo
16 Tons - Road Show
Tron - Mouth Beats
Bye Bye Norman Love Notes
When the White Lilacs Bloom - Vocaldente
Brand New Day - Maxx Factor
Book of Love - Rezonate
The Future Pt. 2 - Mouth Beats
Don't Break the Heart - Maxx Factor
Nothing at All - Vocaldente
Bill Bailey Medley - Love Notes
Angel - Evolution
Cat is High - Roadshow
Ghost Train - Rezonate
What I Like - 3 Men and A Melody
Bless the Broken Road - Cartoon Johnny

For a quarter century the Harmony Sweepstakes has been delighting audiences nationwide and still the event continues to grow in popularity. The contest was the inspiration for the hit NBC show The Sing-Off which has brought even more interest to the art of a cappella singing. Winners of the eight regional competitions are flown to the Bay Area to compete in the National Finals and this 2 CD release features the 25th annual contest plus a second CD featuring a selection of the top performances from the first 25 years. From vocal jazz to doo wop, barbershop to pop and all styles audiences are amazed at the versatility of the human voice on display in this most exhilarating evening of vocal harmony singing.

Listen to Change in My Life (m-pact) in Real Audio

2009 2CDs $16.95

Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals 2007

O Fortuna - Face
Bring Me Little Water, Silvie - Moira Smiley & VOCO
Steal My Kisses - DoubleShot
Rock Around The Clock - The Fault Line
Sugarcane Jubilee - Men in Black
Don't Worry 'Bout A Thing - V-Chords
Wade in the Water - Solstice
Szerelem - Moira Smiley & VOCO
Home - Face
Some Kind of Wonderful - The Fault Line
Run Around - Men in Black
Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident) - V-Chords
Defying Gravity Paul Wolf Nightwatch
Stand in that River - Moira Smiley & VOCO
The Lion Sleeps Tonight - DoubleShot
Enterprise / Sulu Medley - Hi-Fidelity
Kappee - Solstice
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - Nightwatch

On a perfect May Saturday night in San Rafael, CA, the sold-out audience witnessed another unbelievable evening of unaccompanied vocal harmony singing. Eight Regional winners were up on stage, singing their hearts out for the fans and the judges, with the National Championship on the line. The best 18 songs of the night, including from local favorites the folk/world female ensemble Solstice with "Wade in the Water" and the dynamic "Kappee." A pair of songs from Audience Favorites Denver's "Face," includes the gritty, powerful rocker "Home," that won them 2nd Place. Three tracks from the evening’s winners National Champs from Los Angeles, Moira Smiley & VOCO with the folk tune "Bring Me Little Water, Silvie," "Szerelem" and the lovely, moving "Stand in that River." Other favorites are New York's The Fault Line's "Some Kind of Wonderful;" the Pacific NW's V-Chords' "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing”, Boston's Men in Black's "Run Around" and Chicago's Nightwatch's very funny "Defying Gravity." And let us not forget host group 2006 Champions Hi-Fidelity (hey, that's 2 in a row for L.A.!), whose "Enterprise/Sulu Medley" reminds us how brilliant and funny they can be.

Listen to Home (Face) in Real Audio

2007 CD $14.98

Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals 2006

Adams Family - Hi-Fidelity
My Baby Just Cares For Me - Clockwork
Only You - Regency
Take the A train - Round Midnight
Last Train to Clarksville - ElmoThumm
Blackbird - Hi-Fidelity
Jump, Jive & Wail - Regency
As - Traces
Creep - Clockwork
Tin Roof Blues - Round Midnight
Shooting Star - ElmoThumm
We Built This City - Tongue Tied A Cappella
Long Train Runnin' - Curious Gage
Sunglasses - Tongue Tied A Cappella
Windmills - Curious G
Wonderful World II - Traces

It's the first weekend in May, and the sold-out audience at Marin Veterans Auditorium in San Rafael, CA is buzzing with anticipation of seeing the Harmony Sweepstakes Finals, possibly the best live show in a cappella! 8 Regional-winning groups are backstage, having beat out as many as 8 other groups for the privilege of singing their hearts out for the National Championship. "Finals" has 16 of the best tunes from that memorable night, including Bay Area winner Clockwork's jazzy "My Baby Just Cares For Me," and wonderful cover of Radiohead's "Creep," part of an excellent set that won them 3rd place, and the award for "Best Original Arrangement." We hear Mid-Atlantic-winning Regency's "Only You" and high-energy "Jump, Jive and Wail," part of a great set that won them 2nd place. LA barbershop quartet Hi Fidelity, in "Addams Family" costume, bring us the "Addams Family" theme and a key-bending, hilarious "Blackbird," they won both Audience Favorite and the National Championship. New York Quartet 'Round Midnight's "Take the A-Train" and "Tin Roof Blues," Chicago's Elmo Thumm's "Last Train to Clarksville" and "Shooting Star," Denver's Curious Gage's "Long Train Runnin'" and "Windmills" show us how good Hi-Fidelity had to be to win. Boston's Traces sing "As" and "Wonderful World," which won Best Original Song," and the Pacific NW's Tongue Tied A Cappella give us a dynamic cover of the Starship's "We Built This City." Exciting cuts from a magic May evening in San Rafael!

Listen to Blackbird (Hi Fidelity) and Only You (Regency) in Real Audio

2006 CD $14.98

Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals 2005

Ode To Krispy Kreme (Chapter 6)
Don't Worry 'Bout A Thing (Chapter 6)
Paper Moon (Moodswing)
Mary Don't You Weep (Traces)
Joy To The World (Groove For Thought)
Superstitious/I Wish (Fiveplay)
Can't Stop Thinking About You (Firedrill!)
Crazy Love (Cartoon Johnny)
What's Goin' On? (Undivided)
I Never Knew (Fiveplay)
Englishman In New York (Traces)
Chain OfFools (Firedrill!)
Pink Panther Theme (Face)
Moanin' (Moodswing)
Walk The Straighter Road (Groove For Thought)
Rock Your Body (Cartoon Johnny)
Amazing Grace (Undivided)
Harder To Breathe (Face)
Safety Dance (Face)

It always seems to us as the Harmony Sweeps celebrates another year of its existence (its 21st, in this case), that "last year's Finals were so sublime, how could this year's possibly…etc., etc."—but then we're in the sold-out, excited audience for this year's, and the first group is about to come on… what we're trying to say is somehow each Sweeps Final is better than the last. And what we love about the CDs is that they're live, 9 of the best a cappella groups in the world on one stage, singing their hearts out for 13 short minutes, for the National Championship. Last May, Mid-Atlantic's Cartoon Johnny, Boston's Firedrill, Chicago's Fiveplay, NYC's Traces, Denver's Face, Pacific NW's Groove for Thought, LA's Undivided and SF's own Moodswing were those groups. 19 songs, including "Joy to the World" and Best Original Song, "Walk the Straighter Road" by Kevin Kunz of National Champions Groove For Thought, David Lichtman Best Original Arrangement winner "Paper Moon" by Greg Murai of Moodswing, ("Moanin'" by Moodswing is also happily included), 3rd Place finishers Fiveplay sing Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious/IWish" and "I Never Knew," and runner-up and Audience Favorite Face have 3 winners, "Pink Panther Theme," "Harder To Breathe" and "Safety Dance." But let us not forget hosts Chapter 6, whose "Ode to Krispy Kreme" and "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" drew standing O's, Firedrill's Motown classic "Chain of Fools," Traces' "Mary Don't You Weep," Undivided's "What's Goin' On" and Cartoon Johnny's "Crazy Love." A savory sampler from a magic night in May in San Rafael, CA!

Listen to Walk The Straighter Road (Groove For Thought) and Paper Moon (Moodswing) in Real Audio

2005 CD $14.98

National Finals 2004

Happy Birthday - Alpha
Themes/Variations on It Don't Mean A Thing- Chapter 6
Blue Bayou - Idea Of North
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Clockwork
Salsa Te Triago Yo - Alpha
7th Wheel - Chapter 6
Charlie on the M.T.A - Heebee-Jeebees
Take 5 - Mosaic
St. Louis Blues - Road Show
I've Got Rhythm/Fascinatin' Rhythm - Clockwork
God Bless This Child - Vox Bop
Obsession - Impulse
Cree (Believe) - AlphaKiss From A Rose - Impulse
Isn't She Lovely - Idea of North
Use the Force - Heebee Jeebees
The Commercial Medley - Vox Bop
Bye Bye Blues - Road Show
Shining Star - Mosaic 

This year's Harmony Sweepstakes reminded all who participated, how magical making music can be. Now, we all can share that magic by listening toÊthis excellent live recording. With 20 years gone by, this national competition is still going strong and bringing out the very best in a cappella singing.This year's show had an excellent assortment of various styles, including jazz, pop, contemporary, latin and much more. There were lots of humorous moments, including the national champions, Chapter Six's original song, "7th Wheel", as well as somber/uplifting moments including the beautiful performance of "Kiss From A Rose" by Impulse. Of course no one could forget Clockwork's performance of "Inna-Godda-Da-Vida" or Vox Bop's "Commercial medley". With continuous stellar performances from all eight groups, this 19 track CD is sure to keep you entertained.

2004 CD $14.98

National Finals 2003

 Mas Que Nada - Idea of North
Amarte Mas - Undivided Musical Group
Psycho: The Musical - Moosebutter
Go tell It On the Mountain - Second Chance Singers
My Funny Valentine - All About Buford
Truck Drivin' Man - Nightwatch
Gimme Some Skin - Perfect Gentlemen
Straighten Up and Fly Right - Cadence
You're Not So Good - Groove Society
Tempted - Cadence
When She Loved Me - Idea of North
Sand Down My Pants - Second Chance Singers
Star Wars - Moosebutter
Meanest Thing You Ever Did Was Kiss Me
Yes Sir, That's My Baby
Mission Impossible Theme - Undivided Musical Group
Summertime - All About Buford
Listen to the Music - Groove Society

We're of the almost certainly biased opinion that the Harmony Sweeps Finals are the best a cappella shows in the world. Imagine 8 groups, who have come in first in Regional competition with 10 other groups in places like New York, Boston, the Bay Area, Chicago and LA, performing before a packed auditorium in San Rafael, CA for 12 minutes each, for the coveted National Championship. Each year outdoes the last, and 'electric' doesn't do justice to the 2003 Finals. There are 18 songs on the CD, two from each group and two from '02 Champs, and very funny hosts, LA's Perfect Gentlemen, 'Gimme Some Skin' and the guitar accompanied (!) 'Meanest Thing You Ever Did Was Kiss Me.' The Bay Area's hilarious Moosebutter brings us 'Psycho, The Musical,' winner of 'Best Original Song' (lyrics), and their trademark parody, 'Star Wars,' part of a set that won them 2nd place honors. The Pacific NW's Second Chance contribute a funky 'Go Tell It On The Mountain' and the very funny beach song parody 'Sand Down My Pants.' LA's Undivided Musical Group sing 'Amarte Mas' and nail Ward Swingle's arrangement of 'Mission Impossible Theme.' Boston's All About Buford do wonderful covers of the Gershwins' 'Summertime' and Rodgers & Hart's 'My Funny Valentine.' Chicago's Nightwatch sing two songs from their infamous 'Diner Set' (complete with ballistic donut), 'Truck Drivin' Man' and 'Yes Sir, That's My Baby,' and New York's very smooth Cadence covers 'Straighten Up and Fly Right' and 'Tempted' beautifully. Denver's Groove Society gets the crowd up and rocking with 'You're No Good' and the classic 'Listen to the Music.' Unbelievably, as good as all these groups were, the best was saved for last, Mid-Atlantic winner Idea of North from Australia, who shine on 'Mas Que Nada' (which won the David Lichtman Award for Best Arrangement) and Randy Newman's heart-tugging 'When She Loved Me.' Idea of North got the nod from the judges, and won Audience Favorite, while Moosebutter and Cadence placed 2nd and 3rd. A chorus of 'Goodnight Sweetheart' later we were all walking out of beautiful Marin Veterans Auditorium, not believing how good a show we had just seen and heard!

2003 CD $14.98

National Finals 2002

Eclipse - Look My Way
III Of A Kind - Man in the Mirror
The Perfect Gentlement - Patty Cake
Tone Rangers - Keep the Customer Satisfied
Eclipse - Danny Boy
Groove - Anna Begins
Tone Rangers - I Need You
Autri - Krimanchuli
Groove - I Feel Good
The Perfect Gentlemen - Blue Skies
Autri - Tale of War
III Of A Kind - Anak
Standards - Nothing But Love
Chapter 6 - Bohemian Rhapsody
Chapter 6 - Wizard of Oz Medley
Standards - Prayer of the Children 

The sellout crowd at Marin Veterans Aud. in San Rafael, CA once again saw a dazzling Harmony Sweepstakes Final - Eight Regional winners from all over the country, giving their all in the "most exciting twelve minutes in a cappella." In this wonderfully recorded CD we hear Denver winner Eclipse's "Danny Boy" and "Look My Way," Bay Area Winner III of a Kind's incredible cover of "Man in the Mirror" and the Asian hit tune "Anak;" returning winner (Pacific NW) The Standards' "Ain't Got Nothing But Love" and heartfelt "Prayer of the Children;" Boston Winner Groove's great covers of "Anna Begins" and James Brown's classic "I Feel Good," and New York winner, the Russian group Autri, sings "Keimanchuli" and a stunning original by one of its members, "Tale of War." Los Angeles' Perfect Gentlemen's cutting edge barbershop harmony soars into "Blue Skies" and "Patty Cake." Washington, DC's Tone Rangers score with their offbeat covers of "I Need You" and Simon & Garfunkel's "Keep The Customer Satisfied." Finally, Chicago winner Chapter 6 nails Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and finishes with a hilarious "Wizard Of Oz Medley." In the end the judges chose The Perfect Gentlemen as National Champion, (also chosen Audience Favorite) and we walked into the night, smiling and raving about one of the best a cappella shows of all time!

2002 CD $14.98

National Finals 2001 (SOLD OUT)

If you were there in San Rafael on May 5th, 2001, you know what an incredible show this was. Eight of the best groups in the world, Sixth Wave, Voice Trek, Freestyle, Vox Bop, So Rare, T Minus 5, 4:2:5 and Eclipse, on stage for 12 incredible minutes each, the show hilariously hosted by last year's winner, Toxic Audio. The sellout (always) audience was blown away by one amazing performance after another, ranging from the ridiculous, T Minus 5¼s side-splitting "Red Neck Avenger" and Freestyle's very funny "Paper Doll," to the unbelievable, Vox Bop's genre-hopping commentary on all things a cappella, "Slinky Variations," and Voice Trek's tour-de-force "William Tell Overture;" to the sublime, So Rare's "Ain¼t Misbehavin¼ and 4:2:5's "Still The One." In the end, the judges had a difficult choice, and went with Los Angele'¼ Sixth Wave, whose "Grazin' in the Grass" and "Mambo" are representative of their wonderful vocal jazz set. Add two songs by Toxic Audio, which makes 18, and you have a barn-burner CD of one of the best a cappella shows of all time. Wow!

2001 CD $14.98

National Finals 2000

 Toxic Audio - Route 66
+4db - Away
Naturally Seven - Train
Perfect Gentlemen - Style
All Star Vocal Band - Don't Stop Believin'
Chapter 6 - Istanbul
Exboyfriends - Ramble On
Live Wire - Zoot Suit Riot
Naturally Seven - Have I Ever Told You
Total Experiance Gospel Choir - The Lord's Prayer
+4db - I Could Write A Book
All Star Vocal Band - I Wish
Toxic Audio - The Water Is Wide
Chapter 6 - Jump, Jive And Wail
Perfect Gentlemen - A Salute to 20th Century Music
Total Experiance Gospel Choir - Pass Me Not
Exboyfriends - A Philoyles Thing

The professionalism of the competing groups becomes more impressive with each passing year! Each and every ensemble that graces the stage with their talent has something special, and each group is distinct in its own way. Of course the contemporary and jazz groups are always popular - and in fact, Toxic Audio, the contemporary/jazz quintet from Florida, took first place, and another mixed jazz quintet, Bay Area favorites +4 db, were third - but, in addition, we feature the Perfect Gentlemen, a barbershop group from Los Angeles (2nd place), and the Total Experience Gospel Choir. Of course, 1999 champs, and your hosts, the contemporary Christian septet, Seven, perform two songs, and their virtuosity is undeniable. Audience favorites the Exboyfriends (who have won this category in previous New York regionals, flexing their performance muscles), swagger with Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On," while the reconstituted All Star Vocal Band (formerly the 17th Ave. All Stars) cover Journey and Stevie Wonder. Live Wire and Chapter Six represent the hot retro swing craze. It's a panoply of sound!

2000 CD $14.98

National Finals 1999 (SOLD OUT)

This year's program was the most diverse and exciting yet. Filled with emerging groups, as well as Sweepstakes favorites such as Chicago Voice Exchange, the competition was intense indeed. Seven, from New York, garnered top honors, with their intricate and multi-textured voicings, heard to best advantage on "Bridge Over Troubled Water"; the group's arrangements are expanding the universe of sound. Taking second place were the Standards, five brothers whose onstage appeal and energy charmed everyone. Minimum Wage's outrageous humor, as exemplified by "The Last Cowboy Song," had the audience begging for mercy (or more?) Other musical highlights include the ringing tones of last year's champs, Metropolis (a barbershop quartet), the Euphorics, with "Message In A Bottle" and Pickup 6's medley of Beatles favorites.

2999 CD $14.98

National Finals 1998

 In a Mellow Tone
Some Lucky Day
Good Lovin'
The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face
This Island Earth
That's How You Jazz (medley)
Wake Up Call
Get It On
Virtual Insanity
Happy World
Maritime Folk Song
Chili Con Carne
Coronet Man
Yakko's World
Sign Your Name Across My Heart
Improvised Jam

We are fortunate indeed to have assembled such a truly talented group of finalists for the 1998 Harmony Sweeps. Winners Metropolis, the barbershop quartet from Southern California, sing "Some Lucky Day" and the entertaining "Yakko's World." Audience favorite (and second-place finishers) +4dB begin the festivities with "In A Mellow Tone" and also perform the Real Group's "Chile Con Carne." Other groups include Canadians the Heebee-jeebees, catalog favorites Blind Man's Bluff, Ball in the House and Acapelicans (from Australia), Cool Shooz and the third place winners, the Sweet Adelines' quartet City Lights. Bonus performance: An improvised jam by our evening's hosts, SoVoSo.

2998 CD $14.98

National Finals 1997

Say: So Vo So
Say A Prayer: So Vo So
Stray Cat Strut: DaVinci's Notebook
Nuclear Power: Graffiti Tribe
Change The World: Graffiti Tribe
Nothing Is Written: This Side Up
Hush: This Side Up
Higher And Higher: Chicago Voice Exchange
Spiderman: Chicago Voice Exchange
Get Down Tonight: Five O'Clock Shadow
All I Want: Five O'Clock Shadow
Some Kind Of Wonderful: Kickshaw
Thinkin' About You: Kickshaw
Human Nature: Seven Seconds
Celebration M-Pact!
If I Lost You: M-Pact!

Well, here we go again saying that this year's Harmony Sweepstakes recording is even better than all the rest, but it is so true! The quality of the groups improves, and the recordings really do get better! Features our Regional Champs Five O'Clock Shadow, Kickshaw, Seven Seconds, SoVoSo, Graffiti Tribe, This Side Up, Chicago Voice Exchange, and DaVinci's Notebook plus 1996 National Champs M-PACT!

2597 CD $14.98

National Finals 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993 (ALL SOLD OUT - There are tapes available for $4.45)

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