Hello, we're The Four Fives, Brooklyn's best-if-not-only active barbershop quartet. This fall, we're releasing an album! We'll be spending a few days down the street at Refuge Recording to record the dozen-or-so songs we've been singing over the past few years at gigs around Brooklyn, from Somewhere Over the Rainbow to Ignition (Remix). Once the vocal tracks are down, Jeremy and Nick will help master them to get as close as we can to the sound of our live performances, and we'll send digital copies to all of you, our backers.
If we hit our goal, we should be able to get enough studio and post-production time to include the following songs:
- An Irish Lullaby
- I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over
- I'm Beginning To See The Light
- I've Been Workin' on the Railroad
- What'll I Do
- Ignition (Remix)
- My Blue Heaven
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow
- What Kind of Fool Am I
- Where Is Love
- White Christmas
If we go over our goal by at least $1000, we'll book a videographer to capture our album preview concert so that backers on all tiers can get a taste of what our live shows are like, and if we have funds beyond that we'll try to get some behind-the-scenes footage of recording in the studio.
The Four Fives are four old college friends that have been singing together since 1997: Jeremy Gough on tenor, Adam Arian on lead, Nick Moy on baritone, and Jed Schmidt on bass. We met back in college as members of an a cappella group called The Brown Derbies, singing everywhere from Good Morning America to Carnegie Hall to the White House. We drifted apart after graduation, but in 2013 we all realized that we lived within a few stops apart on the F train, and decided to take a summer afternoon to learn some new barbershop tunes over some beers on Adam's balcony.
Since then, we've learned a range of barbershop tunes from the corny to the jazzy, and performed them across the borough at pubs and private parties. Now that we've mastered a fair amount of material, we'd like to create a more permanent record of our efforts to share with our friends and family, and now that Jed is moving out of town, to have a memento by which to remember our days together in Brooklyn.
About Barbershop music
Barbershop is a distinctly American genre of vocal music focused on four-part harmony and "ringing" chords. It incorporates swipes, tags, and other characteristic musical devices to achieve a sound that makes the nerve ends tingle.
There were once days where you couldn't swing a dead cat in the city without hitting a barbershop quartet; the Parks Commission used to host barbershop contests from Central Park to Brooklyn's own Coney Island (as immortalized in one of barbershop's most beloved songs, 1924's Goodbye, My Coney Island Baby). These days, there's not much vocal harmony of this era on the streets of New York, but we've been keeping the spirit alive.
Auditioning for a gig at Bar Tabac on Smith St.
Singing with The Brown Derbies on Good Morning America
Singing the final number of UTOPIA with the cast
A rooftop serenade for the holidays
Testing out the studio for a recording of "What'll I Do"
Risks and challenges
This project is not without its risks. While The Four Fives will be recording content honed over the past few years, there there is always the chance of a black swan event. Jeremy might get bronchitis. Again. Adam might get caught in a sandstorm at Burning Man. Nick might get stranded in DUMBO when the F next shuts down. And Jed might never come back to Brooklyn once he moves north to the Hudson Valley.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (11 days)