“Without any director, we just get out there and let it rip,” says Larry Kellogg, one of the 18 members of the all-male vocal chorus, SoundWorks. A free show at River Road United Methodist Church on June 27 at 1:30 p.m. will showcase the freewheeling style of this democratic a cappella harmony troupe, which performs intricate, harmonically dense arrangements that draw from such wide-ranging genres as vintage rhythm and blues, jazz and religious music. “We'll do a Manhattan Transfer number and then sing ‘Ave Maria,' and go into Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs,” Kellogg says. “We're a little bit of everything.”
SoundWorks has built a following on the regional music festival circuit since its formation in 1994. The ranks are filled with barbershop harmony vets (and at least one music educator) mostly from the Richmond area. Live, SoundWorks can almost come off like a musical mob — a gang of nattily dressed Nathan Detroits gesturing and emoting across a wide musical landscape, harmonizing in perfect pitch. And their version of “Little Red Riding Hood” is damn fine indeed. Find out more about these melodious “Men who Sing” at soundworkschorus.org.