Jeff Thacher

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Jeff Thacher
Birth name Jeffrey Thomas Thacher
Born (1967-12-23) December 23, 1967 (age 49)
Noank, Connecticut, U.S. He is the grandson of John Worley, a composer, performer, & teacher of classical and contemporary music for the saxophone.
Origin Potsdam, New York
Genres A cappella
Occupation(s) Performer, singer-songwriter, Producer, video director
Instruments Mouth drumming, vocals
Years active 1991–present
Labels Shakariki Records / PAID, Inc., Amerigo Records, J-Bird Records, Rentrak Records, ForLife Records
Associated acts Rockapella
Five O'Clock Shadow
The Nylons
The GrooveBarbers
Website www.rockapella.com

Jeffrey Thomas Thacher (born December 23, 1967) is an American musician, best known as a member of the vocal group Rockapella. A professional vocal percussionist (a practice also referred to as "mouth drumming" and related to the hiphop-derived beatboxing) and singer who emerged on the early contemporary a cappella scene in 1991, Jeff Thacher co-founded the Boston-based a cappella group Five O'Clock Shadow (aka FOCS) that year and went on to join Rockapella in 1993 as their full-time mouth-drummer. Thacher was a 1990 graduate of Berklee College Of Music's Music Production & Engineering program, and afterward spent several years in television & radio production when not performing[1][2]

Vocal percussion, as a full-time occupation amidst a band or ensemble, was a fairly new idea in 1991,[3] and Thacher performed as a tenor in Five O'Clock Shadow when not mouth-drumming. At that time, Rockapella was halfway through their stint on the children's television geography gameshow Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? on PBS(1991–1996) and had created several albums for the Japan-only record label For Life Records, as well as a soundtrack album for the Carmen Sandiego show. These albums had utilized individual computer-sequenced samples of mouth noises for their drum tracks. Rockapella sought to translate this approach organically to their live shows via a human performer,[1][4] and after a search, Thacher got the job.

Thacher's first concert with the group was on May 15, 1993 at the Berklee Performance Center,[1][5] after which he began touring internationally with Rockapella, making his first CD appearance with them on the song "Big Wet Rag" from the Carmen Sandiego soundtrack sequel Carmen Sandiego: Out Of This World (1993). The first album to feature Jeff's distinctive sound throughout was Rockapella's first all-originals album, Vocobeat (1994), for the Japanese market.[6]

As the mid-1990s progressed, the terms "organic" and "imitative" began to be used to describe contrasting a cappella vocal percussion styles, with Thacher as the most prominent progenitor of the "organic" approach, combining blatantly literal replication of drums with sounds that didn't seek to duplicate, but rather fill the role of a drum or percussive instrument.[1][3][7] Thacher was also the first vocal percussionist to employ a throat microphone (aka "throat mic") using electronic guitar pickups adhered to the larynx area of the throat (see piezoelectric sensor). The technique allowed intentional throat grunting sounds to be heard more effectively in live shows and on recordings (1997).[1] He became the first such artist to be professionally endorsed by a guitar pickup company (Seymour Duncan, from 1998 to present, now D-TAR).[8]

Thacher continues to tour actively within Rockapella, including multiple featured guest performer engagements with the Boston Pops Orchestra, as well as in various media outlets around the USA and abroad.

Thacher has also been an independent recording engineer, mix engineer, and mastering engineer, as well as music producer since 1995, working constantly with numerous a cappella groups and singer-songwriters. He works occasionally as writer/performer on television promo spots, including Nickelodeon's "Big Summer Movies" (2006) and holiday news promos for WPIX in New York, and directs & edits video productions. His work as a graphic artist can be seen throughout the artwork of his clients and collaborators.

Recent client music & video productions include:

• "Rock Around The Clock/Tell Me Something Good"[9] for Rockapella[10] released simultaneously as a video and single. The video is shot in and around Reno, Nevada. Thacher is credited as video director & editor, and music mix engineer, and appears on-camera as the group's vocal percussionist.

• "They Tried To Kill Us (We Survived, Let's Eat!)"[11] for the singer-songwriter/comedian - and co-founder of Rockapella - Sean Altman.[12] Thacher is credited as video writer, director & editor.

• "Christown"[13] for the gospel singer-songwriter - and former Rockapella member - John K. Brown.[14] Thacher is credited as video director & editor.

• "Wake Me Up (Mimamakim)"[15] for Pella Productions,[16] which is an a cappella sound-alike mashup recording of Avicii's pop song "Wake Me Up", and Idan Raichel's "Mimamakim". Thacher is credited as recording, mix, and mastering engineer.

• "4U4Now4Life"[17] for Rockapella[10] from their album, Bang. The video is shot on the streets of Tokyo, Japan. Thacher is credited as video director & editor, and appears on-camera as the group's vocal percussionist.

• "Taller Than Jesus"[18] for the singer-songwriter/comedian - and co-founder of Rockapella - Sean Altman.[12] Thacher is credited as video writer, director & editor, and appears on-camera briefly from behind.

• "Pretty Much You"[19] for Rockapella[10] from their album Motown & More. Thacher is credited as video director & editor, and appears on-camera as the group's vocal percussionist.

• "8 Nights Of Hanukkah"[20] for Pella Productions,[16] which is an a cappella sound-alike mashup recording of Fun's pop song "Some Nights", Adam Sandler's humorous "Hanukkah Song", and more traditional Jewish songs. Thacher is credited as recording, mix, and mastering engineer.

• "Carmen Sandiego theme song Vs. Number One Hits!"[21] for singer-songwriter/comedian - and Rockapella co-founder - Sean Altman.[12] Thacher is credited as editor & co-producer.

• "Moves Like Moses"[22] for Pella Productions,[16] which is an a cappella sound-alike recording & music video of Maroon 5's pop song "Moves Like Jagger", featuring humorous original lyrics about bar mitzvahs. Thacher is credited as video Director, recording & mix engineer, & music arranger.

• "Rewind" by indie teen pop singer Ali Brustofski, which was featured on TV promos for Nickelodeon's program, "iCarly" during the Kids Choice Awards[23] and helped Brustofski win the Z100/State Farm "Hometown Hero" Competition.[24] Thacher is credited as vocal arranger and recording engineer.

• "Holiday Party (Tonight Tonight)"[25] for Pella Productions,[16] which is an a cappella sound-alike recording of Hot Chelle Rae's pop song "Tonight Tonight", featuring original lyrics celebrating the Jewish holidays. Hot Chelle Rae praised the song & video on their Twitter feed in December 2011.[26][27] Thacher is credited as music mix engineer.

• "M.O.T. - Members Of The Tribe"[28] for Simcha & Gorfinkel,[29] a music humor duo composed of former Rockapella member Sean Altman and cartoonist & Jewish a cappella producer Jordan Gorfinkel. Thacher is credited as video Director.

Performer Discography[edit]

Domestic releases[edit]

Release Date Album/Single Artist Label
April 2015 Rock Around The Clock / Tell Me Something Good single Rockapella Shakariki Records
March 2013 Motown & More Rockapella Shakariki Records
November 2011 A Rockapella Holiday Rockapella Shakariki Records / PAID, Inc.
September 2010 Bang Rockapella Shakariki Records / PAID, Inc.
June 2004 Live In Japan Rockapella Shakariki Records
November 2002 Comfort & Joy Rockapella Amerigo Records
Re-released on Shakariki Records in 2004
August 2002 Smilin' Rockapella Amerigo Records
Re-released on Shakariki Records in 2004
March 2001 In Concert Rockapella J-Bird Records
Re-released on Shakariki Records in 2004
October 2000 Christmas Rockapella J-Bird Records
Re-released on Shakariki Records in 2004
March 2000 2 Rockapella J-Bird Records
Re-released on Shakariki Records in 2004
February 1999 Don't Tell Me You Do Rockapella J-Bird Records
Re-released on Shakariki Records in 2004
Mid-1997 Rockapella Rockapella Independent
Mid-1996 Lucky Seven Rockapella Independent
Mid-1995 Primer Rockapella Independent

International releases[edit]

Year Album Artist Label
2002 In Concert Rockapella Rentrak Records
November 2001 Christmas Rockapella Rentrak Records
November 1996 Lucky Seven:
Memories And Dreams
Rockapella ForLife Records
November 1995 Best Fest Rockapella ForLife Records
November 1994 Out Cold Rockapella ForLife Records
April 1994 Vocobeat Rockapella ForLife Records

Compilations[edit]

Release Date Album Artist Label
September 2002 Best A Cappella Rockapella ForLife Records
2002 More Than Ever Rockapella Rentrak Records

Unaffiliated releases[edit]

Year Album Artist Label
Summer 2005 Live At Duo Music Exchange Rockapella Duo Records

Miscellaneous releases[edit]

Year Album Artist Song
2007 Hokie Nation: An A Cappella Tribute Rockapella "I'll Hear Your Voice"
2002 20 Christmas Stars, Vol. IV Rockapella "Merry Christmas Darling"
2000 Mark and Brian: Little Drummer Boys Rockapella "Silver Bells" (Live performance)
1999 Revival - Sam Harris Rockapella "A Change In My Life" (Background vocals)
1996 Voices Only: A Cappella Originals Rockapella "Bed Of Nails"
1993 Carmen Sandiego: Out of This World Rockapella "Big Wet Rag"

Solo/Other CDs As Guest Performer[edit]

Release Date Album Artist
2011 Unplugged John K. Brown
2010 bOOmbOOm John K. Brown
2006 Unorthodox Sean Altman/What I Like About Jew
2005 Glory The Groovebarbers
2002 Alt.mania Sean Altman
2000 Some Children See Him Gas House Gang ("Go Tell It On the Mountain")
1999 Hot Lips - The Vocal Band Sampler compilation (The Nylons: "Monkey")
1999 Fabric Of Life (Vocal Percussion Remix) The Nylons ("Monkey")
1997 SeanDEMOnium Sean Altman

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Schulz, Mike (2007-11-28). "Spitting Sounds: Vocal Percussionist Jeff Thacher Performs with Rockapella at Hancher Auditorium". Rcreader.com. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  2. ^ "Jeff Thacher". Rockapella. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  3. ^ a b "The Contemporary A Cappella Society". Casa.org. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  4. ^ "Biography". Rockapella. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  5. ^ "Shows 1986-2001". Rockapella. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  6. ^ "Discography". Rockapella. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  7. ^ "got spit? percussion: Ask Wes". Mouthdrumming.com. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  8. ^ "D-TAR Top Artists". D-tar.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  9. ^ "YouTube music video for "Rock Around The Clock/Tell Me Something Good"". Rockapella on YouTube. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  10. ^ a b c "Rockapella website". Rockapella. 
  11. ^ "YouTube music video for "They Tried To Kill Us (We Survived, Let's Eat!)"". Sean Altman on YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  12. ^ a b c "Sean Altman website". Sean Altman. 
  13. ^ "YouTube music video for "Christown"". John Brown on YouTube. Retrieved 2013-12-14. 
  14. ^ "John K. Brown website". John K. Brown. 
  15. ^ "YouTube music video for "Wake Me Up (Mimamakim)"". Pella Productions on YouTube. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  16. ^ a b c d "Pella Productions website". Pella Productions. 
  17. ^ "YouTube music video for "4U4Now4Life"". Rockapella on YouTube. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  18. ^ "YouTube music video for "Taller Than Jesus"". Sean Altman on YouTube. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  19. ^ "YouTube music video for "Pretty Much You"". Rockapella on YouTube. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  20. ^ "YouTube music video for "8 Nights Of Hanukkah A Capella Mashup"". Pella Productions on YouTube. Retrieved 2012-12-21. 
  21. ^ "YouTube comedic video: "Carmen Sandiego theme song Vs. Number One Hits!"". Sean Altman on YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  22. ^ "YouTube music video "Moves Like Moses"". Pella Productions on YouTube. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  23. ^ "Rewind by Ali Brustofski - 2010 Promotional Video (Note: this is the 2010 recording, rather than earlier 2009 edition also found on YouTube)". Ali Brustofski. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  24. ^ "Z100's "Hometown Hero" competition winner Ali Brustofski". Z100 & StateFarm. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  25. ^ "YouTube music video for "Holiday Party"". Pella Productions on YouTube. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  26. ^ "Hot Chelle Rae Twitter feed (see Dec.21, 2011, 7:42am)". Hot Chelle Rae. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  27. ^ "Hot Chelle Rae website, featuring Twitter feed (see Dec.21, 2011, 7:42am)". Hot Chelle Rae. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  28. ^ "YouTube music video "Members Of The Tribe"". Simcha & Gorfinkel on YouTube. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  29. ^ "Simcha & Gorfinkel Facebook Page". 

External links[edit]