Coverville 53: A Captivating A Capella Extravaganza

February 17, 2005

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Some of the best a capella bands exclusively perform covers, and you’ll hear some of my favorites tonight. If you pick up one of the excellent Brown Derbies’ CDs, please let them know you heard it on Coverville (noticable response helps me get permission from other artists!):

“Jessie’s Girl” – The Xtension Chords (originally Rick Springfield)

“Who’s That Girl?” – The Flying Picketts (originally the Eurythmics)

“Harder Than Your Husband” – The Persuasions (originally Frank Zappa)

“Particle Man” – The Bobs (originally They Might Be Giants)

“Drive My Car” – Bobby McFerrin (originally The Beatles)

“Romeo and Juliet” – The Brown Derbies (originally Dire Straits)

“Bittersweet Symphony” – The Brown Derbies (originally The Verve)

Thanks again for all your votes at Podcast Alley! Your support is what makes this show possible. If you’d like to cast a vote for me, you can use the link in the top right corner of this page.

36 minutes |


  1. Hey –
    I’m the music director of Brandeis Voicemale. We do covers almost exclusively, and we picked up the best all male collegiate a cappella album this past year. I’m a devoted coverville listener, and there’s nothing more that I would love to hear than my own voice on coverville. Let me know what I can do to get our tunes on your excellent show.

  2. That Romeo and Juliet cover was really something,thank you for sharing!Not to mention the fact that being interupted by your wife was something that added to the whole atmosphere coverville have to offer,keep on!

  3. Another awesome a capella performance is Ambiance’s cover of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Not quite pop music of the contemporary era, but certainly an amazing performance all the way from the opening “clarinet” intro through the shimmering finish.

  4. Looks like the site was down for an hour or so. Mine was as well, along with the whole bluehost server. Glad everything is back up and working again.

    Anyway, I loved this show, and I never knew it before, but I guess I’m an a capella fan! Thanks for getting me into it, and now it’s off to iTunes I go!

  5. For some very strange accapella versions try The Nimoys..Aphex twin done accapella anyone?

    Also I have an odd ‘rockapella’ version of that Alter Ego club track too…very funny 🙂

  6. FYI, a detroit FM talk radio station (97.1) played the first part of your acapelle show on the radio. At first they were making fun of the unedited aspect of it, especially where your wife interupts you to tell you that someone was on the phone. However as it went on they got into it. Also they played the entire first song, Jessie’s Girl.

    They LOVED that some. If you are in contact with that band you have have them call in to the radio station. It was the show that runs until 3 pm.

  7. A cappella? Dude!

    Seriously, I’m a huge fan of acappella music and could bore you to tears with suggestions. But if i might make just one suggestion, try to find a group called spiralmouth. They did a very grungy album including a cover of NIN’s “Closer” that still knocks me out. Of course the female vocalist on that track manages to make it sound just a little more extreme than Trent. There’s also a very cool group here (Seattle) called Kickshaw that did an exceptional version of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”…

    Oh if you want suggestions, drop a line. I’ll be an avid listener now 🙂

  8. The Detroit radio station was 97.1 and the show was MotorCity Middays with Gregg and Michelle. They were playing the February 17th broadcast. Today they played more of the broadcast and Michelle said she loved Bittersweet Symphony. I am downloading the same broadcast now…I love that song.

    Jeremy in Detroit

  9. Loved the a cappella show, you found some great stuff. You’ll have to do this again.

    Here’s a premise for the next one… see if you can do a whole a cappella show with only one male voice. This set seems to be about 40-some male voices and one female.

    Please, don’t get me wrong. I like male a cappella singers (I used to be one) (an a cappella singer, that is — I’m still male). But surely you can find some great female stuff, too.

    The challenge will be to find the anti-Bobs — all female except for one male.

    Looking forward to it,


  10. Hi, I’m the one who gave you a full set list a couple of days too late to help. I finally listened to the show today, and here’s my additional comments:

    1. For the next time you do this (the semi-annual a cappella broadcast?), please add some ‘vocal band’ sounds, such as the House Jacks or Five o’Clock Shadow. I’d love to hear the harder stuff in there.

    2. Or, for the other extreme, take some of the precise, elegant covers by the King’s Singers; “Cecilia” is particularly good.

    3. The connection between the Persuasions and Frank Zappa is even closer than you mentioned; Zappa actually signed them in 1969 for their first recording. “One of their garage sessions was recorded while they were “just messing around.” It was being played in a Jersey City record store which piped the sound onto the street (Stan Krause’s?) when David Dashev walked by, heard it and sent the tape to Frank Zappa, who loved it. ”

    4. You want TMBG covers? Wait a few months, you can have a full album of them.

    And if you like TMBG, you probably like Oingo Boingo. They’ll have one at about the same time.

    Be well!

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