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September 28, 2008

Ball in the House generates full sound

Reporter Herald (CO):

When Ball in the House is on the road, the traveling is light. Although the group’s music is rich and full, they have no instruments to tote. That’s because the a cappella group carries all the percussion, strings and brass it needs in its five members’ voices. Whether singing R&B, pop or original tunes, the musicians’ performances are as full-throttled as if backed by a band.

The national act, which has opened for and performed with such notables as Smokey Robinson, Cher, Blondie, Jessica Simpson and the Temptations, will bring its cool, smooth sound to the Rialto Theater on Friday, Oct. 3.

Hailing from Boston, Ball in the House began as a quartet a decade ago under the guidance of Jon J. Ryan, who is now the group’s vocal percussionist. The four practiced several times a week, honing their velvet sound before taking it to coffeehouses and other small venues around the city. By the late ’90s, the “mouth band” had added a fifth singer — an old school friend of Ryan’s — and its full-sound music enjoyed a substantial following. By then, Ryan had given up singing to learn a variety of complex percussive beat box sounds that earned him the title of “human drum machine.”

The percussion added further dimension to the group’s already dynamic sound. Gaining in popularity, the professional, full-time band made it to the stage at the Apollo Theater in New York and a variety of Florida venues before winning the New England region’s 1998 National Harmony Sweepstakes. Added to its list of prominent performances was a gig as the voices behind television and radio ads for Cool Whip.

Gaining critical acclaim wherever it performed, the quintet soon became an a cappella powerhouse. When the tragedy of Sept. 11 occurred, however, several of the members were compelled to leave the band for personal reasons. After a nationwide audition, new singers were brought in to once again fill out the five-singer group.

Today, with Ryan on vocal percussion, Dave Guisti and Aaron Loveland as tenors, Dan Szymezak as baritone and bass singer Ryan Chappelle, Ball in the House travels the world amazing its audiences with unbelievable harmonies. The group has a new album, a Christmas album titled “Believe,” ready for release in November. Fresh from an Alaskan tour, the group will appear in Wyoming and Loveland before heading to New York.

Posted by acapnews at September 28, 2008 9:37 PM

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