Get Up and Dance - Swing, Boogie, Twist, Slop, Mashed Potatoes, Boogaloo, Cha-Cha and even Slow Drag. Put on your dancing shoes or just listen and take a trip down memory lane with Richmond, Virginia's quintessential oldies vocal group, "Bak N Da Day". Founded in 1999, the group consists of bass and founder, Russell Bennett; baritone, Anthony Harris; 2nd tenor Jeffrey Goode, and 1st tenors Larry Jones and Larry Everette. It was Bennett's desire to fulfill a long time dream of singing with an aggregation of colleagues and friends who have fun crooning those evergreens from a time when you could "understand the words". They draw their material from a repertoire of close to 100 songs, spanning the 50's, 60's and 70's. They are masters of vocal group harmony, encompassing several musical genres including Doo-Wop, Motown and Philly Soul. They are able to replicate a variety of sounds since each member is proficient at singing lead.
The group has a dynamic sound and has quite a reputation for being sharp dressers with slick routines. They have performed at many events, hotels and clubs in and around Richmond. They have opened for acts such as Howard Hewitt, Stephanie Mills and the O'Jays. Bak N Da Day is just as comfortable rendering romance ballards by the Flamingos, Skyliners, and the Five Satins as they are with raucus ditties, such as "Tossin and Turnin" (Bobby Lewis). Their grasp of Motown ranges from the sounds of the Temptations and the Miracles to the Four Tops and Jimmy Ruffin with a little Lionel Richie and the Commodores thrown in. They'll have you swooning to the Stylistics, Delfonics and Spinners or getting up to shag to The Intrigues, "In a Moment".
In addition to all that, they'll move you with show tunes from Broadway plays, such as "Showboat" and "Man of LaMancha". So once again, "Get Up and Dance" "Get Ready", "Come and Get These Memories" brought to you by Bak N Da Day. You'll be begging for more.
"As Carysbrook Performing Arts Center begins to wind up their season, the much-heralded group Bak N Da Day performed on April 25, to a near sell-out crowd...and blew the audience away on the first song. They had an explosive stage presence combined with flawless tight harmonizing. Their dynamic performance featured several musical genres, including Doo-Wop, R&B, Motown and Philly Soul, but their specialty is oldies, from the 50's, 60's and 70's. ...They have a reputation as masters of vocal group harmony and they lived up to it in every way...Stylish and upbeat, the group featured some fluid moves and sleek routines. Their version of music from familiar groups of the time, including the Del Vikings, Pookie Hudson and the Spaniels, Stylistics, Delfonics, Spinners and The Five Satins was nostalgic magic to many listening...Their lively, energetic performance engaged the audience during "Mustang Sally" and kept a fluid pace throughout the evening, without a flat moment. Their dynamism was contagious as the audience sang along and clapped to a variety of songs. Many left smiling, commenting they enjoyed the performance. No double this group will be asked back again and become a staple..."
Page H. Gifford
Bak N Da Day were outstanding performers and extremely professional. This wasn't a dancing crowd and they had the entire room up on their feet by the third song. Bak N Da Day has set the bar high for future programs!
As noteworthy as the reception food was - and it was superb - Russell's group just blew everyone away. Of course, the vast majority of our guests are from the same era as Fricka and I are (and Russell and the rest of his band), so we thought our guests would enjoy them. The energy level for our reception stayed high through the whole evening, and the dance floor was always occupied. Among a host of noteworthy things we could say about Bak N Da Day, we were particularly taken with how they remained so focused on us and the guests. They clearly understand that - unlike some bands - it's 'not all about them'. In fact, they didn't even introduce themselves until just before the last song of the third & last set. An indication of how well they were received was the number of guests who requested their card during breaks and after they were done for the evening. Even the staff of The Colony Club said that was the most enjoyable reception they had ever attended (due to the music), even though they were working the entire time! And the videographer thanked me after the evening ended for 'allowing him to attend our wedding and reception' since he and his 2-man staff enjoyed the band's performance - and therefore the last three hours of the reception - so much, as they continued to film.
Last week, after we received the initial playlist from Russell, we requested several changes (dropped five songs, added five others we liked better) and Russell made them immediately.&
I appreciated the advance offer from Mr. Bennett to include details about my parents who were celebrating their fiftieth golden wedding anniversary. This personal touch meant so much to them and ensured that this memory would last. Their music truly took the audience back down memory lane and the sound was so authentic. Last but not least, they wove in educational history on the songs that they played throughout the performance.
I want to thank you and the group for your performance for the 49th Festival of Arts. As usual, the songs and your harmonies were big crowd-pleasers and I can count on our patrons asking that you be invited to return. The stylish, slick outfits made the show even better and you guys still kept your cool in them despite the heat.
The forth of July is always a challenge for us and knowing we can count on you for a great performance and professional attitude takes away part of that worry. Knowing that you are always working to add another element, take the group a step further, or come up with something new, let’s us know that we will always get a performance that's fresh and well thought out. Thank you again, you are a big part of our success and we look forward to working with you in the future.
Mary G. Boelt
Festival of Arts Manager, Richmond PRCF
I can't say enough good things! It was a pleasure working with Russell. He was professional, courteous and very communicative. The rest of the group was wonderful, too. The audience just loved them! We had about 250 at the first show and the second show was packed, close to our 335 capacity and some of the folks who were at the first show came back for the second. They were just super! So professional and warm on stage and interacted with our audience. It was great and we're talking about having them back for a holiday show!
Giselle J. (Feb 6th, 2013)