Home Free will help kick off the holiday season in State College on Sunday when the country quintet brings its “A Country Christmas” tour to The State Theatre.
Home Free catapulted into the national spotlight in 2013 as “The Sing-Off” season 4 winners. The all-vocal country sensation is known for its trademark a cappella renditions of today’s biggest country and pop hits.
Home Free is comprised of five vocalists: Austin Brown (high tenor), Adam Chance (baritone), Tim Foust (bass), Rob Lundquist (tenor) and Adam Rupp (vocal percussion/beatboxer). Performing more than 200 shows a year, the band has been perfecting its live show for almost a decade.
A native of Brooklyn Park, Minn., Lundquist has always had music in his life. His parents would sing everything to him and his sister growing up, showing them a wide variety of styles from pop to opera.
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“I tried out for the musical my junior year in high school, which happened to be ‘Man of La Mancha,’ and I knew then that I wanted to be a singer,” he said. “My influences varied from Frank Sinatra to James Taylor to Stevie Wonder to Boyz II Men.”
For the members of Home Free, it seemed to make the most sense to make country music their specialty, as they were able to set themselves apart from other groups who were doing the same thing they were doing for so long.
“Country music appeals to so many people because most country songs tell a story with which people can relate,” Lundquist said. “It also showcases three-part harmony a lot of the time, which works perfectly for a cappella. I think that’s why we’ve been successful — people like hearing all that harmony.”
In the band’s experience, people also love hearing vocal arrangements of holiday songs.
“That’s why every a cappella group has at least one Christmas album,” Lundquist said. “It’s no coincidence that some of our most successful YouTube videos are Christmas songs.”
Last year, the band made its Grand Ole Opry debut, released its third studio album — featuring The Oak Ridge Boys and Charlie Daniels — and were invited by Kenny Rogers to perform on his Christmas album.
Home Free re-released its Christmas album “Full of Cheer,” with the new name, “Full of Even More Cheer,” because they wanted the newest member, Adam Chance, to be on an album. The release includes some new tunes, including “How Great Thou Art,” which hit 3 million YouTube views in a little more than a week.
“We also added a studio version of ‘Colder Weather’ and Chance is showcased on one of the verses,” Lundquist said. “At our show, you’ll hear many of the songs on the album, plus some newer non-Christmas tunes that we’ve put out on YouTube.”
Lundquist said Home Free is extremely enthusiastic about its fans, who give them a ton of energy whenever they hit the stage.
“We love seeing little kids out there singing along with us, while their grandparents next to them are doing the same thing,” he said. “We try to break the fourth wall right from the very beginning so people are more comfortable with us throughout the show. Hopefully they’ll laugh, be touched and laugh some more.”
IF YOU GO
- What: Home Free: A Country Christmas
- When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13
- Where: The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College
- Info: www.thestatetheatre.org