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January 28, 2008

Knudsen Brothers find harmony in song

New York Daily News:

The calendar says January, but inside Bally's Palace Theater there's a breath of spring. A revue called "Six," starring an a cappella group composed of six of the 10 Knudsen brothers, brings warmth and charm to the cramped showroom during a 70-minute show of nonstop energy.

Short and sweet, it is just what the doctor ordered to chase away the winter blues. In many ways, we've seen this before - a company of bright and sassy people singing doo wop, blues, Motown and soft rock. What makes "Six" special is the way it accomplishes this.

Despite a preshow note that everything the audience hears is being produced by the brothers, you will swear that this is a fib, that there has to be a percussion group hidden somewhere. But moments after the six bounce onto the stage in black pants and spangled shirts, you slowly realize that those drums, cymbals and bass are being produced by one of the brothers with his mouth.

The effect is amazing. It sounds as if a three-piece combo is up there with them. Some of the brothers are balding, others chunky. Whatever their looks, you'll have a whale of a good time.

The flimsy thread that ties the show together is based on a trip around the United States, from - where else? - Atlantic City to the Pacific. "In the Still of the Night," an homage to the Philadelphia doo wop sounds, was just lovely. And the trumpet sounds produced by one of the brothers in a tribute to New Orleans - Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" - would've brought an "ohhhhhhh, yeahhhhh" from Ol' Satchmo.

A visit to Detroit evoked the spirit of Motown's great groups such as the Four Tops , the Supremes and the Temptations. What really heated up the stage, however, was the Knudsens' tribute to the California sounds of the Beach Boys.

How come 10 brothers? "My parents kept trying to have a girl," shrugs Barry Knudsen. "We were born all over the country because my father was always looking for work and ways to keep the family together. I was born in Davenport, Iowa."

His singing siblings are Kevin (born in Farmington, N.M.), Lynn (Mesa, Ariz.), Jak (El Paso, Tex.) and Owen and Curtis (Seattle.)

When they were still young, their father, Arnold Knudsen, noticed their potential for four- and five-part harmony and began working with them. They made their national TV debut on the "Donny and Marie" show in May 1978.

Curtis remains the heartthrob. Leaving the theater, the boys like to greet the departing members of the audience at the door. That's when Agnes and Ray Cohen of Pottstown, Pa., approached. "I want to take you home with me," says Agnes, pinching Curtis' cheek while ignoring her husband. "I think you're so adorable. I'm 93!" For Agnes, winter had suddenly turned to spring.

That's more like it!

Posted by acapnews at January 28, 2008 10:32 PM

Comments

I love the Knudsen Brothers! I have seen them three times in person. I would like to buy more of their CDs. How can I do that?

Posted by: Betty Williams at September 2, 2008 3:49 PM

Betty,
My brothers are very busy as you may imagine. The best way to get their CDs and see what is available at www.sixrealbros.com They sell their CDs only at their shows and online.

Occasionally you'll find one floating around in the Intermountain West LDS-themed bookstores from putting it on their shelves several years ago.

I'm looking forward to another CD. Their most recent ones were done in 2003. Yuletide and Nu-Wop are my most favorite ones.

I hope I've been of some assistance. As one of their fans, you are the reason they keep doing what they do--they love seeing people having an enjoyable time but more importantly, seeing their inspirational songs, for example, moving their fans emotionally and at times spiritually. And they are able to provide a livelihood for their families, too.

So, to sum it up buying at their website is the most convenient way, granted you have internet access.

I've been rather wordy.

Take care, Ms. Williams

--Brent (number 8 of 10)

Posted by: Brent Knudsen at October 7, 2008 9:23 PM

I have a cd by the knudsen brothers with a song called I love a rainy night, But the cd is rather scratched and unplayable. Do you have a current cd with that song available?

Posted by: shanna at April 29, 2009 8:39 PM

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