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Ben Folds goes to college, returns with new album

on March 25, 2009, 10:45am

Back in October, Ben Folds headed back to college with the hope of finding a few a capella groups to help him create an album consisting entirely a cappella versions of his music. Some six months later, the North Carolina native’s search is over and on April 28th, he will release the finished product.

Aptly titled Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella, the 16-track effort features a capellas from 14 university groups, along with two from from the originator himself; Folds recorded two of his own a cappella tracks: instrument-free versions of “Effington” (from his 2008 album Way to Normal) and “Boxing”, which originally appeared on the 1995 self-titled Ben Folds Five album. Oh, and then there’s the part about the whole recording process…

Ben, his wife Fleur, and his engineer Joe Costa packed up their equipment, and hopped on planes, trains and automobiles to record these groups. Over 2 months, they set up camp in dorm lounges, lecture halls and campus television studios. They even recorded in a Synagogue.

Needless to say, the whole project turned out to be quite an endeavor, a fact which Folds explains highlights the sincerity of the album. “This is not a novelty. I consider this my new record. I’m incredibly proud of this. If this were Ben World, this would be my greatest hits album. I’d rather this be my greatest hits record than someone collecting my masters and slapping on a photo of me leaning against a piano. This is a better way. I’m a songwriter, and these are my songs.”

Check out an early taste of the album below and/or Folds at any of his upcoming tour dates (listed below as well), though the latter probably won’t feature as many a capellas…

Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella Tracklist:
01. Not the Same – The Sparetones (North Carolina at Greensboro)
02. Jesusland – Loreleis (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
03. Brick – Leading Tones (Ohio University)
04. You Don’t Know Me – With Someone Else’s Money (University of Georgia)
05. Still Fighting It – Mosaic Whispers (Washington University, St. Louis)
06. Boxing – Ben Folds
07. Selfless, Cold, and Composed – The Jazz Singers (Sacramento State)
08. Magic – Voices in Your Head (University of Chicago)
09. Landed – Colorado University Buffoons
10. Time – Nassoons (Princeton)
11. Effington – Ben Folds
12. Evaporated – The Newtones (Newton High School, Boston)
13. Fred Jones, part 2 – Gracenotes (West Chester University of Pennsylvania)
14. Army – Midnight Ramblers (University of Rochester)
15. Fair – The Fifth Element (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire)
16. The Luckiest – The Amateurs (Washington University, St. Louis)

Ben Folds 2009 Tour Dates:
03/26 – Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theatre
03/27 – Chestnut Hill, MA @ Boston College
03/28 – New Haven, CT @ Shubert Theatre
03/30 – Fredericksburg, VA @ University of Mary Washington
04/01 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
04/02 – Boca Raton, FL @ Florida Atlantic University
04/04 – Jacksonville, FL @ University of North Florida
04/06 – Mobile, AL @ Saenger Theatre
04/07 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
04/24 – Atlantic City, NJ @ House of Blues
04/28 – Orono, ME @ Collins Center
05/17 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater

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