Do you think of libraries as venues for music? Not as a rule in most communities, but we do pretty well at Thomas Ford with our Friday at the Ford concerts and our annual An Evening at the Opera. We may also bring in music for special occasions, as we did for the 80th Anniversary Party, when Miss Uma booked Ac•Rock, an a cappella quartet that rips the guitars and drums out of rock and roll to let their voices carry the beat and melody. Their hour-long concert for families drew quite a crowd to our basement community room, where their riotous harmonies and crazed antics delighted listeners. It was great to clap and sing along to a series of familiar songs ranging from doo-wop to hard rock.
Ac-Rock has honed its entertainment skills and developed programs for different audiences. With the family program, we got elements from both school assembly presentations and serious concerts. Of course, nothing ever seems very serious for the quartet with its constant banter and slapstick gymnastics. Still, the singers let us know about the basic history and musical foundations of a capella singing. The pleased audience bought up dozens of Ac•Rock CDs after the show.
I took home their CD Acapellago, which dates from 1999, making it the second of their six albums. I bought it for the songs at the bottom of the menu - "Witch Doctor" and "Some Kind of Wonderful" - but found my favorites have turned out to be tracks 2, 4, 6, and 10 - "Come Go with Me," "Vehicle," "Bus Stop," and "409." On "Vehicle" they actual allow a guitar solo from Jim Peterik of the original Ides of March. Harry Nilson's "Coconuts" seems too long, but I am otherwise very happy with the selection and tempted to order more online at the Ac•Rock website. Luckily for us, Ac•Rock donated a portion of the after concert sales back to the library.