Chord On Blues was founded at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 1984. After what can only be considered an unfortunate year, mass attrition changed the membership of COB such that by the spring of the next school year, only 2 original Chords remained: Stuart Markus and Brendan Ahearn. But that winterís auditions filled out COB with plenty of talent, and with grim determination, Markus and Ahearn led the group to make Sound, Mind, & Body a big hit on campus and off (with the Georgetown Chimes at Georgetown) that spring with some help from music by Talking Heads.

Among the additions to COB that year were some who would remain for 3 years: Jim Bain, Ian Novack (2nd semester), and Scott Novack. The next year, Jim would become President, and the talent pool would be infused with the likes of Danny Marks, Mario Montoya, Dan Gaylin, Mike Loss, and Music Director Extraordinaire Aaron Dai. With the help of music from The Nylons and Crosby, Stills, and Nash, the spring show, Get the Sensation, was aptly named.

With no seniors graduating that year, COB had an excellent opportunity to branch out without sacrificing quality. Taking on Mike Alcantara, Kenny Shillingford, and Gary Levin that fall and with a repertoire already learned by most of the Chords, COB joined ranks with Quaker Notes in November of 1987 for what turned out to be the first of the popular Harmonic Convergence shows at The Gold Standard. An informal atmosphere and a great chance to interact with the crowd. And with the crowd support being so encouraging, it was time to do those things that other a cappella groups at Penn were already doing: going on tour and making an album.

Riding the crest of their success, COB made The Blue Tape in January of 1988 while most of them had colds and Mike Alcantara kept knocking over speakers during the recording. And then COB had yet more auditions and added Bill Michalski, Mark Giacobbe, and the tenacious Andy Mirsky (his 4th audition). For Spring Break, COB headed west to Aaronís home town of Los Altos Hills, CA, and toured Berkeley, Stanford, UCSF, and San Francisco in general. Too bad Aaronís dog ate the Ghiradelli chocolate that Scott had bought for his girlfriend Ida...who later became his wife.

And with the Penn Bookstore wall already painted before break, COB was ready on March 19, 1988, for the best yet of their Spring Shows in Harrison Auditorium at the University Museum: Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

So, settle your armrest disputes now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

(Happy Trails was originally on The Blue Tape as well, but was omitted here in lieu of the live version on Lather, Rinse, Repeat)

The Blue Tape was recorded at Third Story Recording, Philadelphia, PA, January 1988. Engineered by Scott Herzog.

Special Thanks to Eric Dolen, Dave Aureden, Scott Herzog, Phyllis from Hong Kong, Mr. & Mrs. George Dai, Harry Swallow, Beta Theta Pi, Van Pelt College House, Jenny Burris, Bren Ahearn, Dean Stetson, Quaker Notes, California Golden Overtones, Dave Casso, Cornelia, Venus and "Mars", and The Sun.

Extra special thanks to Bill Michalskiís father or uncle or whoever it was that made the Lather, Rinse, Repeat video that allowed this recording to be possible!


Reviews of Chord On Blues

"...Possibly the most noteworthy ensemble to form in the last decade..."
 -- Eastern A Cappella Review
"Chord on Blues is quite possibly the most noteworthy vocal ensemble to form since the inception of the mouth."
 -- Eastern A Cappella Review
"Kiki lela walana bobo. Ona!"
 -- Hawaii Today
"Go see them. I mean it. I mean, go! See them. See them go. Them see. Mean go. I them. It."
 -- Bob
"Chord on Blues is one of the East Coast's best kept secrets."
 -- The Western A Cappella Review

Heard On Tour

"Intense chocolate."
"I HATE TRAFFIC LIGHTS!!!"
"Make a left...NOWohmygodthatwasit."
"Spread 'em."
"This is a family restaurant, and you guys are acting like the Addams Family."
"As long as we're heading south, and it's 55 degrees, we're not lost."
"If I disappear, don't save me."
"Bite me!"
"How do they get, like, food?"
"I didn't go."
"That's not a police van...is it?"
"It's just a case of general persecution."
"Between the blood and the open skin, I get good traction."
"You are all so weird."


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