We’ve all seen them flood youtube. Amateur and home recordings of people, every day folk like you or I, performing the music of others. Thousands upon thousands of guitarists, piano players and singers showing off their chops.
It is this phenomenon that kicked off the new album by Ben Folds. The album is called University A Cappella, and it does just what it says on the tin. It’s University A Cappella groups covering Ben Folds songs.
The idea came from Folds being sent a link of a university a cappella group performing one of his songs.
Once he decided to record these a cappella versions, he put the word out online and University groups submitted 250 versions of his songs for consideration. 14 groups make the final tracklisting, and Folds himself contributes two tracks.
It is a surprisingly varied recording. The ‘Loreleis’ stand out by being an all girl group. The female voice also counter points on You Don’t Know Me performed by ‘With Someone Else’s Money’. Folds himself flew around the US to halls, studios and whatever rooms he could find to help oversee the recordings.
We don’t see this as being a major work. It will sit along side ‘Fear Of Pop’ and the Shatner record as curiosities in Folds’ career. What is cool is how this record came together. There is a link to a video below, and seeing these kids very excited to be recording is a blast.
It all came full circle in February when the Nasoons, the a cappella group from Princeton who started it all, supported Ben Folds at a gig. So next time you put up that video of yourself playing a song, you might end up supporting the band one day!
Watch a great making of video at http://www.benfolds.com/acappella