Concert Review: Groove for Thought

Groove for Thought performed 7:30 p.m. yesterday at Roxy Hall. Photo credit: Sarah Pyo

By Ashley Webb, Reporter

Fabulous vocals and contagious grooves. That’s what was heard and felt when Seattle, Wash., singing group Groove for Thought visited Roxy Grove Hall at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Baylor’s School of Music hosted its 39th annual Lyceum Series. This series showcases many talented artists. But Monday, both the Baylor and Waco communities had a chance to listen to Groove for Thought.

Groove for Thought, together since 2000, started as friends in their living rooms singing different styles of music. Groove has seven singers: Amanda Taylor, lead soprano, Stephanie Collins, second soprano, Andrea Siedlecki, alto, James Niles, tenor Kelly Kunz, tenor and baritone, Brennan Baglio, baritone and Jeff Horenstein, bass. They were assisted by Tim Carey, a bassist, Nick Moore, a pianist and Todd Strait, a drummer.

Listening to the group, it was no shock as to why they were finalists on the “The Sing-Off” and opened several shows for Jay Leno at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. This music will make anyone’s day better. Their jazzy, almost 50s feel makes you want to listen on repeat.

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Groove for Thought performed 7:30 p.m. yesterday at Roxy Hall.

Their combination of swing, mixed with jazz, captivated the audience. They began their concert with a rendition of Richie Cole’s “Harold’s House of Jazz” and with that, the audience was on board and ready to hear more. Taylor, Siedlecki and Kunz stun with their soulful and smooth voices. Not once were there major pitch problems or anyone out of tune.

The most outstanding song would have to be Gene DePaul’s, “Teach Me Tonight.” This song, from their album “Unnecessary Dissonance,is super catchy. Looking around, you could see the audience bobbing their heads, swaying in their seats and tapping their feet. It takes everything in you to not stand in the aisles and start with the music. Listening, you hear each singer’s personality come through and their harmony is perfection.

Groove even sang the popular rendition of Hoyt Axton’s “Joy to the World.” I was worried, going in, that it was going to be another boring cover. But I was wrong. The upbeat tempo made me think I was listening to a completely different song.

But they don’t just play oldies. Groove’s singer, Baglio, and backup singers, Niles and Kunz, let their 90s kid out singing Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way.”

Along with the beautiful vocals and upbeat songs, there was a little bit of disappointment. Proclaimed as an a cappella group, I was frustrated when the band accompaniment was added. It would have been nice to hear more a cappella since that’s what got their career started. With that said, the disappointment quickly disappeared as Moore and Carey brought even more soul and originality to the set.

All-in-all, Groove for Thought was an excellent, talented group. Their clean and pure sounds would make anyone a fan.