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SCOTT SIMON, host:

There's a little something missing when the music septet Naturally 7 gets together. Now listen to this, see if you can guess.

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: I don't care what you think you heard. No musical instruments were harmed, much less used in the performance of that song which is called "Wall of Sound." What you just heard was Naturally 7 doing what they do naturally best, something they call vocal play. No instruments, just voices. Naturally 7 has toured with the Canadian singer Michael Buble. They've performed for Prince Charles and Quincy Jones. Now they're performing for us here in Studio 4A at NPR headquarters.

Gentlemen, thanks so much.

NATURALLY 7 (Music Group): Thank you, thank you.

SIMON: Really honored to have you, having seen you perform on the Paris subways.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: At least on that famous YouTube clip. Could I get each of you to introduce yourselves in turn, and also with the instrument that you mimic?

Mr. ARMAND HUTTON: (Naturally 7): All right. I'm Hops and I mimic the bass guitar.

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: And beautifully tuned. Yes.

Mr. WARREN THOMAS (Naturally 7): I'm Warren, most of the time I'm doing drums something like...

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. ROD ELDRIDGE (Naturally 7): I'm Rod and I am the…

(Soundbite of music)

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GARFIELD BUCKLEY (Naturally 7): I'm Garfield and I'm the harmonica, harmonica.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. JAMAL REED (Naturally 7): I'm Jamal and I'm the flute like this...

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. DWIGHT STEWART (Naturally 7) I'm Dwight, your baritone.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. ROGER THOMAS (Naturally 7): And I'm Roger. Can like the romp in the group, but instrument played and wall sound is the...

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: This is amazing. Armand Hops Hutton...

Mr. HUTTON: Hey.

SIMON: Where'd you get that voice?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: I mean does everybody in your family have a voice like that?

Mr. HUTTON: Nah, not really. I've been this way ever since I was born. I kind of came out the womb, mama.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: That was your voice, mama.

Mr. HUTTON: Kind of scared people, yeah. Growing up, it was difficult because whenever I would try to talk to a girl on the phone and the father would answer, they would say wait a second, this can't be the fifth grader in my daughter's class.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. HUTTON: So it was a little difficult getting a girlfriend in that respect. But other than that, it's been a blessing.

SIMON: I first saw you, what I guess is now a famous YouTube clip, of you folks singing on the Paris subway. Gradually people are just sitting there in their own worlds and they turn away, but eventually they all get together. How did that come about?

Mr. R. THOMAS: We wish we could say it was our idea, but while we were in France, one of the executives from the record label had said after we sang probably at a restaurant, we just sang kind of for her, and she was like, wow. She said I've got an idea. Would you tomorrow, during rush hour, go and sing on the Metro and let's just see what happens? And that's exactly what we did.

SIMON: Could we get you then to do what you did, from the Paris Metro to Studio 4A?

Mr. R. THOMAS: Here it is.

(Soundbite of song)

NATURALLY 7: (Singing) I can feel it coming in the air tonight. Oh Lord, 'cause I've been waiting for this moment for all my life. Oh Lord. Oh Lord. Oh Lord. I can feel it in air tonight. Can you feel it in the air tonight? Oh Lord. I can feel it in air tonight. Can you feel it in the air tonight? Oh Lord. I can feel it in air tonight. Can you feel it in the air tonight? Oh Lord. I can feel it in air tonight. We gone do like, like, like. Oh Lord.

I know you're there. I feel you're here. Got to (unintelligible). You're (unintelligible) Don't lose your faith. We'll (unintelligible). I (unintelligible) I can feel it coming in the air tonight. Oh Lord, 'cause I've been waiting for this moment for all my life. Oh Lord. I can feel it. I can feel it in air tonight. Can you feel it in the air tonight? In the air. 'Cause if you feel it in the air tonight, we (unintelligible) oh, oh, oh-oh, oh, oh, oh, oh oh-oh, oh, oh...

I can feel it in air tonight. Can you feel it in the air tonight? Oh, oh, oh, oh. 'Cause if you feel in the air tonight. Right because I keep it cue. I can feel it coming…

SIMON: Gosh, that's a wonderful song. And I predict that Miley Cyrus will not be able to cover it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Our producers had suggested that you might teach me how to do a little vocal play. You know, and look, this is a cheap theatrical showbiz gimmick that I would ordinarily reject, but I'm the father of a six-year-old and a two-year-old and my wife is all about theatrical gimmicks at this point.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: If you can teach me to do something to amuse them...

Mr. ELDRIDGE: All right. Well...

SIMON: ...I'd be very grateful.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: I think we have the perfect thing for, to amuse the six year-old for sure.

SIMON: Yeah. Okay.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: You could be the DJ, right?

SIMON: Okay. Yeah.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: It's pretty simple.

SIMON: Yeah. For you.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: They're all looking in the control room at me like now he's really going to fall on his face, yes?

Mr. ELDRIDGE: You're just going just repeat after me.

SIMON: Okay.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: Okay?

SIMON: Mm-hmm.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: Say hear it.

SIMON: Hear it.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: Say, ho-what?

SIMON: Ho-what?

Mr. ELDRIDGE: Hear it.

SIMON: Hear it.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: Ho-what?

SIMON: Ho-what?

Mr. ELDRIDGE: Hear it.

SIMON: Hear it.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: Ho-what?

SIMON: Ho-what?

Mr. ELDRIDGE: Hear it. Hear it. Hear it. Ho-what? Ho-what? Ho-what?

SIMON: Hear it. Hear it. Hear it. Ho-what? Ho-what...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Sounds like Bugs Bunny.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: That was getting there.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Oh yeah. I know if she's listening now, my wife, however, wants to crawl under a table.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Tell me about touring. There was this little matter of a fire on your tour bus, right?

Mr. HUTTON: Yeah.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: A little matter.

SIMON: What happened?

Mr. HUTTON: We were all sleeping in the bus. The next thing I know, we hear the bus driver saying, get off the bus, get off the bus. The bus is on fire.

SIMON: Gosh.

Mr. ELDRIDGE: Within minutes the whole inner part of the cabin was, you know, engulfed in flames. It didn't take very long at all. It was pretty hair-raising.

Mr. HUTTON: Fortunately, none of our instruments were destroyed in the fire.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: But now, Roger, I understand your instrument escaped in his pajamas. (Unintelligible) Boy, that sounds dreadful. Take two. Roger?

Mr. R. THOMAS: It was one of those things where, as Hops just said it, I felt like this was probably just a little smoke thing. It's not till we got off the bus that you look back at the bus and you say, only what we have.

SIMON: You have a last song you're going to perform for us, which I'm very eager to hear.

Mr. R. THOMAS: Yes. And this one is just a little ode to Simon and Garfunkel. Our father was like listen to lyrics. Listen to these lyrics. These guys are great writers. So here it is.

(Soundbite of song)

NATURALLY 7: (Singing) April come she will. When streams are ripe and swelled with rain; May, she will stay, resting in my arms again. Uh-huh. August, die she must, yeah. The autumn winds blow chilly and cold, September I'll remember, a love once new has now, now, now grown old. Ooh.

SIMON: And there's more from Naturally 7 on our Web site, nprmusic.org.

(Soundbite of song)

NATURALLY 7: (Singing) Bless this house. Oh Lord we pray. Make it safe by night and day. Bless be...

SIMON: This WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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