Just an aca-fan navigating the aca-world.

First Listen Friday: Simply Put

on February 10, 2012

People have asked me where I hear about all of the a cappella groups I listen to. There are various sources, so maybe I’ll do an entire blogpost on that in the future.

In this case, I discovered Simply Put while watching the livestream of the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival (LAAF) Collegiate Competition in January 2012, which Simply Put hosted and during which they sang “”It Don’t Mean a Thing (If You Ain’t Got That Swing),” but would you believe this group somehow worked in “All the Single Ladies” and “I Whip My Hair” (arrangement by David Stal)?! I kid you not, it was RIDICULOUS (in a very good way)!

So, of course, I purchased their album Simply Put and took a first listen.


Simply Put A Cappella

Meet Simply Put: (L to R): Loren Smith (bass), Andi Gibson (soprano), Melissa Stewart (alto), Marisa Esposito (mezzo), Drew Tablak (tenor), David Stal (baritone/VP)

And interestingly, there is a style — a little jazzy, a little big band, a little theatrical — that is somehow more. There are recognizable influences from other artists that hint at the versatility of Simply Put. It sure makes me want to put the music on repeat so I can catch new things each time through. The ability to listen on repeat is a must for me when I purchase an entire album. This one’s a winner.

Simply Put was recently nominated for three 2012 CARAs (Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards) for Best Jazz Song for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,”  Best CAL (Contemporary A Cappella League) Album for Simply Put, and Best CAL Song for “Human Nature.”

You can also find Simply Put’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the brand new album, Voices Only Forte, a compilation of tracks from professional, semi-professional, and amateur a cappella groups (i.e., non-collegiate).  I can’t find a video of it to post for you, so instead, here is “Killing Me Softly.”

My favorite tracks on Simply Put are “Killing Me Softly,” “Human Nature,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” but really, pretty much every song.

Band: Simply Put
Twitter: @SimplyPutSINGS
YouTube: SimplyPutSINGS

I am happy to say I will be present for the Live CARA Awards — with red carpet — at BOSSaca, cheering on Simply Put and all the other nominees. Don’t you wish you were going? #beep

In the meantime, leave a comment and let me know what you think about Simply Put!


*NOTE: Hey, everyone – made a correction in paragraph 2. “Sing, Sing, Sing” arranged by Deke Sharon is a completely different song than “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” arranged by David Stal. Credit where credit is due. I also corrected the CARA nomination info – 3 noms, not 2.


9 responses to “First Listen Friday: Simply Put

  1. Minnarie says:

    I’m loving them already!

  2. Scott says:

    I heard A Cappella over my shoulder and I asked if you updated your blog. It’s always a refreshing highlight! Keep em coming!

  3. Lieve De Geyter says:

    Love your blog !!!! thinking of making a dutch blog about accapella.Not the same as yours of course. any sugestions ???? The Belgian Chaser aka lieve De Geyter

    • Ooohh, fun. I love that idea! Well, I use WordPress, and it’s pretty easy to figure out. The blog host sites have a lot of “how-to” information and recommendations on how to make your blog successful, too.

      The advice I got from friends with experience (thank you Scott and Ranha) was:

      (1) Post at least once, preferably 2-3 times per week.
      (2) Include at least 2 photos or videos.
      (3) Keep having fun while you do it, or it’s not worth it.

      Let me know what questions you have, and if I can’t answer them, I will find someone who can!

      • Love your name, your blog, and this kind of music. Group kind of reminds me of Delilah.

      • Thank you! I love that you hear something that reminds you of another group. For me they are closest in style to Afro Blue, and the jazz chords you hear from Take 6, Groove for Thought, committed, etc. But there’s a Broadway sound, too. Makes sense, since that’s the background of at least one of the singers. Keep listening!

  4. Thank you so much for writing a little something about our group!! It means a great deal!!

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