Acappella Vocal Band

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Acappella Vocal Band (AVB) was a vocal group put together by Keith Lancaster in 1986 to augment the vocal group Acappella.[1] AVB's popularity and ministry quickly grew, prompting Lancaster to launch AVB as a full-time touring group in 1988. AVB went through various lineup and stylistic changes before disbanding in 2000.

In addition to their early duties as Acappella's opening act and augmentation group, AVB performed and recorded as an independent ensemble. Many of their recordings, which included Give Me Light (1987) and Steppin' On A Cloud (1988), were later re-released on a CD titled The Early Years. In June 1988, with Acappella's expansion to a quartet, AVB branched off to tour on their own under the auspices of Acappella Ministries. Both groups underwent a shift in musical style during this period. Whereas previously, they had covered traditional hymns, praise songs and contemporary Christian pop music, both Acappella and AVB now recorded and performed primarily original music, much of which was composed by Lancaster. Acappella forged ahead with an adult contemporary sound while AVB targeted the youth market.

With Song In My Soul (1989), AVB made a major shift toward contemporary pop, rock and R&B sounds, though still entirely produced a cappella. On What's Your Tag Say?, the shift toward slick hip-hop and R&B was even greater, with a strong lyrical focus on the youth market and extensive choreography incorporated into their live performances.[1] By the time Celebrate And Party became popular, the transformation to a near-perfect a cappella mimicry of the new jack swing style had been achieved, with a sound similar to Take 6, Boyz II Men, and Tony! Toni! Toné!. The song U & Me & God Make 5 followed in 1993, producing a hit on the CCM charts. The AVB lineup of John K. Green, Brishan Hatcher, Wes McKinzie, Max Plaster and Steve Reischl also recorded AVB's Spanish project, Caminando en la Luz (1994), and "greatest hits" compilation, The Road (1995).

After a brief hiatus, AVB returned with a different lineup for Way of Life and yet another lineup and sound for Real. Although the group is now defunct, almost 30 former members reunited in Nashville for a concert in July 2009.

Previous members[edit]

  • Todd Austin – Nashville, TN.
  • Chad Bahr – Graphic designer in Plato, MN. View his portfolio.
  • Shannon Beasley – Teaches English at Arkansas State University. Personal trainer for Victory Fitness. Official Website.
  • Luke Brown – Singer/songwriter in Nashville, TN. Official Website.
  • Tony Brown – Worship minister at Grace Harbor Church in Rogers, AR. Official Website.
  • Dale Cal – Works for government in Nashville, TN.
  • Dale Carpenter – Worship Minister at Highland Park Christian Church in Tulsa, OK.
  • Terry Cheatham – Counselor; Professor of Psychology at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. Terry died in August 2018.
  • Todd Dunaway – Nashville, TN. Also sang bass for Watershed Worship.
  • Danny Elliott – Police officer in Tulsa, OK.
  • Dave Fletcher – Works for Microsoft in Seattle, WA.
  • George Gee – Florence, AL.
  • John K. Green – Singer/songwriter/producer in Los Angeles, CA.
  • Josh Harrison – Director of production for Premier Companies in Franklin, TN.
  • Brishan Hatcher – Worship minister at Highland Church of Christ in Memphis, TN Official Website.
  • Aaron Herman – Worship Pastor at Praise Fellowship Church in Sheboygan, WI.[2]
  • Chris Lindsey – Worship and Creative Arts Minister at Well House Church in Nashville, TN. Also sang with Watershed Worship.
  • Wes McKinzie – Instructor of Business and Sports Management at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City, OK.
  • Andrew McNeal; worked as Operator Manager for a Company in Washington D.C. - Recorded a solo album entitled "The Lord is Blessing Me." Andrew died in November 2011.
  • Max Plaster – St. Louis, MO.
  • Brian Randolph – Worship Minister at First Street Church in Dumas, TX.
  • Steve Reischl – St. Louis, MO.
  • Kevin Schaffer – Worship Minister at Central Church of Christ in Amarillo, TX.
  • Jay Smith – Teacher, songwriter and salesman in Atlanta, GA [1]
  • Tim Storms – Featured performer at Pierce Arrow Theater in Branson, MO.
  • Jeremy Swindle – Worship Minister at Landmark Church of Christ in Montgomery, AL.
  • Bret Testerman – Lead Minister at the Jacksonville Beach Church of Christ in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Also started Worship Coach, Inc., Providing Worship consulting for churches and coaching for Worship Ministers.

Group formations[edit]

Bass High Tenor Lead Tenor Baritone Percussion/Utility Album
Todd Dunaway Jeremy Swindle Chad Bahr Chris Lindsey Tony Brown Real (1999)
Josh Harrison Brishan Hatcher Aaron Herman Luke Brown
Josh Harrison Brishan Hatcher Aaron Herman Andrew McNeal Way of Life (1996)
Tim Storms Kevin Schaffer Brishan Hatcher Aaron Herman
Wes McKinzie Max Plaster John K. Green Steve Reischl Brishan Hatcher U & Me & God Make 5 (1993), The Land Of Five video (1994), Caminando En La Luz (1994), The Road (1995)
Wes McKinzie Max Plaster John K. Green Brian Randolph Brishan Hatcher Celebrate & Party (1992), AVB Video Party (1992)
Wes McKinzie Max Plaster John K. Green Brian Randolph Jay Smith This formation performed at least at an ACMS concert.
Wes McKinzie Max Plaster George Gee Jay Smith What's Your Tag Say? (1990)
Wes McKinzie Max Plaster Bret Testerman George Gee Jay Smith A Savior Is Born (1989) - with Acappella, A Savior Is Born re-release (1990) - with Acappella
Wes McKinzie Terry Cheatham Bret Testerman Danny Elliott Jay Smith Song In My Soul (1989), Song In My Soul video (1989)
Todd Austin Terry Cheatham Bret Testerman Shannon Beasley Jay Smith Steppin' On A Cloud (1988)
Dale Cal Terry Cheatham Bret Testerman Dale Carpenter Jay Smith
Dale Cal Terry Cheatham David Fletcher Dale Carpenter Jay Smith Give Me Light (1987)

Discography[edit]

The labels are taken from the original releases; many of the albums have been re-released with new distributors.

  • Give Me Light (1987, Clifty Records)
  • Steppin' On A Cloud (1988, Clifty Records)
  • Song In My Soul (1989, Clifty Records)
  • A Savior Is Born! (1989, Clifty Records, with Acappella)
  • What's Your Tag Say? (1991, Word)
  • Celebrate And Party (1992, Word)
  • U And Me And God Make 5 (1993, Word)
  • Caminando en la Luz (1994, Word)
  • The Road (1995, The Acappella Company)
  • Way Of Life (1996, The Acappella Company)
  • Real (1999, The Acappella Company)
  • The Early Years (2002, The Acappella Company)

AVB also appeared on numerous other recording projects for the Acappella Company (Acappella Series, Acappella Praise and Worship, Acappella Scripture Songs, Keith Lancaster solo projects) and made three video projects: Song In My Soul (1989), Video Party (1993), and The Land of Five (1994).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Pitch Pipecast Podcast featuring Gary Moyers, Wes McKinzie and Jay Smith". Archived from the original on 2009-07-21.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-18. Retrieved 2015-01-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]