Thanks to the combined musical efforts of Straight No Chaser, "Glee" and "Pitch Perfect" (not to mention maybe a bit of nostalgia for the old "Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego?" theme song), a cappella music has become a legitimate pop cultural phenomenon.
Oddly enough, however, while pop and a cappella are pretty much intertwined, the Venn diagram of country music and instrument-free crooning has so far included two very separate, non-overlapping circles. That is until the last season of NBC’s "The Sing Off," which saw the Minnesota-based country a cappella quintet Home Free take the stage, and the title, back in December.
Now, just over a month after releasing their first album "Crazy Life," they’re on "The Sing Off" tour with fellow season four competitors VoicePlay and The Filharmonic, as well as season three singers – and Wisconsin natives – The Fannin Family. Before they take The Pabst Theater stage for two shows Thursday night, I talked to Home Free tenor Rob Lundquist about the group’s origins, its time on "The Sing Off," and why country music and a cappella just haven’t gotten along.
OnMilwaukee.com: How did you guys come together?
Rob Lundquist: The group started back in 2000. Chris and Adam (both Rupp) formed the group just out of high school. They were in college at the time. They started off with a few guys, and it just kind of snowballed into a career. They met me about six years ago after I was done with a group called Four Shadow out of Minneapolis that had just broken up. They needed a tenor, so I joined the group.
We met Tim (Foust) about five years ago. We had known about him for a long time. He had been in a bunch of different a cappella groups, so his reputation made it so that we gave him a call to see if he knew of any basses that would be interested. And he said, "Well, I’m not really doing anything right now if you want me?" And we were like, "Yes please."
And then we met Austin (Brown) on a Royal Caribbean cruise …Read more...