Cartoon Johnny is an energetic vocal band that pushes the limits of traditional a cappella. Drawing on influences from classic soul to modern alternative, they've crafted an exciting sound that is often mistaken for an instrumental band - but it's all vocal.
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Cartoon Johnny: Face The Music
Energetic 5-man, one-woman vocal band Cartoon Johnny first hit the Washington, DC area in 2001 under the name "3 guys mike." After a year, two of the original Mikes moved on, and 4 new men and one woman joined, changing the makeup of the group and updating the name. In their 3rd appearance at the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweeps regional, the group won 1st Place, best arrangement for "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and "Audience Favorite." They went on to perform a strong set at one of the best Harmony Sweeps Finals we've ever seen and heard. "Face the Music" draws on influences from classic soul to modern alternative, and includes a variety of sure-fire audience favorites and the group's own original music. 7 songs, some favorites are George Michael's "Careless Whisper," live covers of Lennon/McCartney's "Drive My Car," and the rock classic "Higher and Higher," and the originals "Bring Me to Life," "Secret Smile" and the live cut, "Better from Here," written and arranged by group member Mike Henrickson. A strong debut CD from a fast-rising, spirited, talented sextet from Washington, DC!
Cartoon Johnny: Power Up
Washington DC's 5-man, one woman a cappella sextet Cartoon Johnny, who impressed us with a strong set at the 2005 Harmony Sweeps Finals, and who released an excellent debut CD, "Face the Music," bring us "Power Up!," which features a strong combination of original material and covers. The originals, "More Like You," "Rock Your Body," "Love Will Decide," "When Will You Come Home," "Walked Away" and "What I Want," showcase the talents of Baritone Mike Henderson, who also does most of the group's arranging, mixing and editing. Earth, Wind & Fire's "Let's Groove," Sting's "If You Love Somebody," Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and P. Collins' "Why Can't It Wait 'Til Morning" are other favorites among these 11 cuts. Cartoon Johnny has a full, rich sound with wonderful vocal percussion, faux instruments and effects than make us check the liner notes for the reassuring "All sounds heard on this recording were generated by the human voice or body," which is of course there. Every cut here is a winner, and "Power Up!" is one of the best Contemporary recordings we've reviewed this year!