The Bobs - free live performance
Sunday, December 30th 3:00 PM
The Bobs (prat)fall outside a cappella traditions, landing in a hot tub of humor and vocal prowess. What other band can headline The American Songbook series, open for Frank Zappa and The Dead, and perform for 700 million people on the Emmy Awards?
Matthew Stull and Gunnar Madsen founded The Bobs in 1981 in Berkeley, California, and were quickly joined by bass singer Richard Greene and über-alto Janie Scott. They performed in the San Francisco area until a 1984 Grammy nomination for their unique vocal cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” catapulted them into a national and international tour schedule.
1989 saw Gunnar’s departure and Joe Finetti’s arrival. Joe refined and improved The Bobs’ vocal percussion sound, creating a virtual a cappella standard. In 1995 Janie left and Lori Rivera joined the group until 1998, when Amy Engelhardt became the official femme Bob. 2003 brought Joe’s replacement Dan Schumacher, alum of other cool vocal groups Monkey Puzzle and Kickshaw with Blake Lewis. The Bobs have left an indelible mark on modern vocal music, but as the prevailing trailblazers of contemporary a cappella music, The Bobs continue to add to their musical palette.
After notions for Fourth of July and Groundhog’s Day albums were scrapped (too obviously commercial), The Bobs emerged with Too Many Santas, the perfect thing to join Aunt Lotte’s fruitcake and Uncle Cleetus’ bottle of Old Spice under that gorgeous plastic Christmas “tree.” There’s “Christmas in Jail, ” “The Night Before the Night Before Christmas” and “Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” a seasonal variation on James Brown’s classic “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and many more. Dim the lights. Amidst the scent of chestnuts roasting on an open fire (whatever that means) and the dreamy vision of sparks drifting up your flue, let The Bobs carol you through yet another Yuletide season with the silvery peal of their scintillating voices. And mambo, Santa, mambo.