Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The Euro Fry Family

Yesterday I came home from yet another Home Free travel. This was my third one and they just keep getting better and better although it's hard to believe that it's even possible. It isn't just the Guys of Home Free, as a whole and individually, that keeps improving - everything is!

This trip made my 6th and 7th time seeing them and my 3d and 4th VIP meeting them. I can honestly say that I am already excited for the next time. The pure love and joy I feel in their presence is quite stunningly mind-blowing when I start thinking about it. It how they make us feel that keeps us coming back for more.

My first stop on this trip was Utrecht in the Netherlands and my second stop was Girona, Spain, but in this first blog post about my trip I won't get into any details or stories about either of the shows or the VIPs. This post is dedicated to my extended family, to the Euro Fry Family as we call ourselves.

Back at the end of 2015, after the very first European show was announced I decided to start a special group for the Fries going to that show, and the later added shows, on that very first tour in this part of the world. I felt we needed a place where we could get to know each other better, a place where we could plan and discuss things like when we would arrive, which hotels we would be staying at and what clothes to wear without interruption from other Fries, and without posts about it getting lost in all the other posts. After that first tour we decided to keep the group for those that had been there and for future shows. We decided to keep it dedicated to only Europeans or to others going to any Euro shows. We felt we wanted and needed a place to ourselves to grow our own culture here in Europe.

We became a family even before we met that very first time. As you might have read in previous posts I wouldn't have been able to go to those first 2 shows, Birmingham and London 2016, if it hadn't been for a couple of amazing Fries making sure I got tickets and even picking me and my partner in crime, my sister Helena, up at the airport and driving us 3 hours to Birmingham.

Today our Euro Fry Family has grown to almost 200 members, and we expect it to keep growing.

This family is filled with so much love and joy it is almost difficult even for me to understand it, and I'm all about that love! This past weekend I have met Fries from all over Europe; Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Italy, Poland and probably more I can't think about right now. Please let me know in the comments if I met you and you're from a country I missed. I am used to multiple nationalities hanging out together since I live in a tourist area and have friends from all over, but this was still quite amazing.

I have gotten and given so many hugs and I have laughed until I cried more times than I ever have in such a short period of times. I have shared hostel and hotel rooms with people from a total of 4 different countries. I shared a flight with 4 other Fries from one show to another. I shared some of the best memories I will ever have with these people and I am so incredibly grateful and happy to have them all in my life. We slept little, talked a lot, laughed more, sang loud and loved from the depths of our hearts.

And we owe it all to 5 Guys that share their time and talents with us with joy and love. I know we are all already eagerly waiting to hear about the next time Home Free will come to see us - maybe even more so we get a chance to see each other than to see them. And we will all do whatever we can to see them again.

To my Euro Fry Family - you know who you are - I love you, you are amazing and I am so grateful I get to share this unbelievable experience with y'all. Thank you for being a part of this crazy life!

I loved being at Home Free's first show in Spain, just as I loved being at their first show in Europe last year, and I have so many things to tell you about that experience, after I told you all about the Utrecht show, in an upcoming post.

I didn't film any of the songs myself, but I found this video of Don't It Feel Good from Girona on YouTube. For those who don't know this is a Home Free original written by their bass singer Tim Foust. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Watching a video will never even begin to prepare you for what it's like to be there in person, but it will give you an idea of it.

So, Don't It Feel Good to be a part of this Euro Fry Family, my lovelies?


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Off On A Home Free Adventure

I have been crazy busy in the last few weeks with first finding a new home to move to (found one 4 days before the end of my lease) and then moving into said home.

Right now I am boarded on a flight to the Netherlands to begin my next Home Free adventure. I'll be meeting up with parts of my Euro Fry Family in Utrecht today with the first VIP and show on Friday. It will be crazy fun!

I will keep you posted!
Time to go!


Friday, 14 April 2017

Home Free Takes You On Dates

One of the things I love about Home Free is that you never know in advance what you will get when they release a new song/video. The only thing you can be sure of is that it will be good and of high quality! 

There are so many things to consider if you want to try to predict what they will come up with next;
What genre will they pick a song from? What twist will they give it? Who will sing lead? Will they switch up the lead half way through the song? What type of harmonizing will there be? Will it be a slow song or an up-tempo song, or maybe something in the middle?

What will the video be like? Will it be a party video? Maybe we'll see some dance moves? Will it be with members of their families? Will there be hired actors, or another LEGO one? What will the setting be? 

So many questions can go through a Home Fry's mind before a release, and that is one of my favourite things about Home Free. They always surprise us - except for on the quality of the arrangement and their performance of it. I can honestly say that I love all of the songs they do for one reason or another.

This last release is certainly no exception to this. Of course, they have managed to surprise and delight us again. 

The song of choice this time is Micheal Ray's romantic country hit "Think a Little Less". For the first time we get a full song lead by newest member Adam Chance - a perfect choice! I've heard, unofficially, that they had Austin in lead to begin with, but it just didn't sound and feel right so they changed it to Chance - a great decision as far as I'm concerned - and I love Austin! 

I haven't really written that much about Adam Chance yet so I want to share some thoughts about him now; When we, the fans, were informed that Chris Rupp was leaving the group and that Chance was to step in as the baritone I didn't really know anything about him, but I knew that if the band and Chris had chosen him then he must be a great fit. As soon as I heard him sing I knew I had been right in my belief. Chance actually has my favourite type of voice; smooth and smoky, sensitive and raw, and I had the feeling that he was singing straight to my heart. I still get that feeling whenever he sings. This is something that I feel about Austin's, Rob's and Tim's voices as well. Now, you might think that I often get that feeling about voices, but that is very far from the truth. I actually don't remember ever having it with maybe 2 or 3 other singers before I felt it the first time I heard Austin sing in Ring of Fire. That's anther reason why I love this group so much. No matter who sings lead, they speak to my heart. 

And this new video is very exciting as it will take you on dates with the Guys of Home Free. We get to be their respective dates throughout the video. Adam Rupp will take you on a horse carriage ride on a cold night. Rob Lundquist will cook for you. Tim Foust takes you to the movies. Austin Brown brings you to a Sea Life Aquarium and Adam Chance sings to you seductively in a bar. I love it! 

As always the vocals are impeccable as are the harmonies. We expect nothing less from these Guys! My favourite thing, after Chance's sexy voice of course, is the twingy guitar sound in the background. I am not sure who makes it, but my bet is on Austin as he's done similar sounds in other songs. You will only hear this sound listening through a good set of ear-buds or headphones, though. But then again, you should ALWAYS listen to Home Free's songs through headphones at least a few times to hear the bass and all those little details that makes up the fullness of the Home Free sound.  

What do you think about this song and video? Which date is your favourite? I like the one with Rob or Chance best, although if the date was with someone I love, or with any of these Guys, I wouldn't mind what we did. 

I hope you are having a nice Easter if you celebrate it, or a good weekend if you don't. Also, if you have the chance make sure you kiss a little more and think a little less - it makes life more fun! 


Sunday, 2 April 2017

Blue Looks Good On the Sky

We have waited for months for something new from Home Free. We haven't seen a new video since December when they released White Christmas. We haven't heard any new music since October when they released How Great Thou Art. But, finally, finally, finally, we could stop waiting earlier this week. 

Personally, I feel it was worth the wait, although I don't really want to wait for that long ever again. 

What they gave us is fresh and exciting and I can't wait to hear and see what else they have in store for us. 

Keith Urban's Blue Ain't Your Color is a bluesy country ballad that reached the top spot on several music charts around the world, including the US Hot Country Song (Billboard) chart where it spent 12 weeks as Nr 1. It is a great song that sticks in your memory, but I still get kind of bored with it halfway through. That's something I never get with Home Free's songs - they have a way of keeping them interesting all the way through.

So how did Home Free do covering this Grammy nominated song? I am not surprised, but as always pleased, to say that they knocked yet another one out of the park. They stayed close to the original, but still managed to give it a fresh and different twist. 

Bass singer Tim Foust and beatboxer Adam Rupp lay the - as always - solid foundation for Tenor Rob Lundquist who takes the lead. With his clear and unbelievably smooth voice Rob adds some soul to the mix of blues and country. Add the impeccable doo-wop harmonies, Austin Brown's high pitch oh-oh and Adam Chance's baritone to the second part of the song and the Motown feel was complete. 
Yes, this is a soulful, bluesy, country song with a touch of old school Motown a la Temptations or Franki Valli and the Four Seasons. And it works. It works incredibly well. Home Free's producer and arranger Darren Rust did it again! 

The Motown feel could have stopped there, but I am so happy that it didn't. The band decided to bring it to the video as well and in it we will see the five Guys standing in a straight line with microphone stands in front of them doing some slick and smooth classical Motown style dance moves choreographed by Kristin Denehy! And I am so happy I could cry. Honestly and for real! I mean, I love the old Motown feeling because it has heart and soul. I love Home Free because they have heart and soul. Bring the two together and I am in heaven - and blue really do looks good on the sky! And on the Guys of Home Free! There are so many things I love about this cover and video I could go on for ages, but I won't. I need to let you check it out for yourselves! 

But before you do - on another Home Free note; they are coming to Europe next month for 2 shows in Austria, 1 in Denmark, 1 in the Netherlands and 1 in Spain - I will be at the last 2 of them. Woohooo!! For more information and tickets check out their website. Oh, and the show in the Netherlands sold out in a matter of minutes! How cool is that!!
Also, they are working on a full European Tour for September of 2018 - to be announced in September later this year. I can not wait!!!! 

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday and I promise you that if you watch this video you will enjoy it even more - or start enjoying if you weren't already. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Birthday Rambles

Today is my birthday! Hip hip hooray for me! 

I love my birthday, not because I get presents or eat lots of cake - that doesn't really happen anymore - but because I make it an amazing day. I love filling it with things I love doing in a chilled and relaxed way. 

This year I took the day off from work so I didn't have to get up in the morning, I'm not a huge morning person - not that I'm grumpy, I just don't like getting out of bed. I spent the day listening to Home Free and books while cuddling my kitties. They know how to wish their mum a happy birthday! In the afternoon I took a long walk along the beach walk (Paseo) before I laid down on the sand and listened to the waves for a long time, just letting go of all the thoughts. I felt the wind touch my skin and the sun warm it. It was amazingly loving and soothing for my soul. On my way home I walked with bare feet and let the waves wash over them while picking some beautiful sea shells. Life quality at it's best! 

When I was a kid I had this book for the year of 1970, my birth year, and I started thinking about that book today. It listed things that happened during that year. It made me think about what happened on my birthday, other than me being born, so here are some things that occurred on March 21. 

Some birthdays and events from this day over the years;
- 1685 composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born
- 1958 actor Gary Oldman was born
- 1962 actor Matthew Broderick was born
- 1963 the prison island Alcatraz was closed
- 1970 (on my birthday) the first Earth Day proclamation was issued
- 2006 Twitter was founded

Also, I am now 17,168 days old now. 

Today's video is one of my favourite Home Free covers, of course. It is a cover of Maren Morris' song My Church. I not only love the melody - it is very catchy - but I love the sentiment of it. Some people mistake this song for a christian or religious song, but it is really a spiritual song and spirituality has nothing to do with religion, it is all about your heart. And this song speaks to my heart. My church is that place within where I get peace and ease, and I find that place when I listen to Home Free, walk along the beach, meditate, write, paint or do anything else that makes my heart sings. This song makes my heart sings. 

I hope you like it!


Sunday, 12 March 2017

The Sound of Silence

A couple of days ago Peter Hollens released his latest video featuring Home Free's bass singer Tim Foust. This song is the most requested song, of all times, by Peter Hollens' fans. The song is The Sound of Silence, a song I am sure you have heard on more than one occasion in your life.

The song was written by a young Paul Simon, of Simon & Garfunkel, and was part of their first album Wednesday Morning, 3 am released in October of 1964. The song - a soft duet accompanied by a guitar - was a failure, as was the album, and the duo split up. Less than a year later, after the song had started to grow some airplay, the song's producer decided to add some electronic instruments to it without running it by either Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel first and even released it before they had heard it. This new version hit The Billboard Top 100's No 1 spot just as 1966 arrived.

That version is the most popular and most famous still, but in late 2015 until Disturbed covered and released a video for it, a video that has more than 196 Million views on YouTube and it's widely shared on social media.

Now, enter Peter Hollens and Tim Foust.

This new version has everything that makes all the mentioned versions great, except for instruments. True to their roots this new and exciting rendition is all a cappella, Peter Hollens style. We have heard the combination of the two voices before, when they collaborated on Misty Mountain (read my blog post for that video here), and we love them together. This song shows us we have not been wrong.

So, what's so special about this cover?

- The words are important - and you can hear every single of them clearly here. The combination of the words and melody of this song makes it easy to hear anyway, but you hear it not only with your ears, but with your heart as well.
- The feeling - honestly, this songs melody is gripping and haunting on it's own, Peter and Tim adds to it with perfection, highlights in the right places and drops back when suitable all adding to the feeling that we need to see each other's hearts more.
- The harmonies - seriously, a cappella is all about harmonies and this is no exception. These two guys complement each other no matter if they sing tenor, baritone or bass - together, when harmonizing or separately. Yes, they both do a bit of both - although Tim's bass is unbeatable.
- The power build up - building up a song at the right time and in the right place is crucial for some songs and this is such a song. It's fair to say that it's easier to do using instruments - which is what happened when S&G re-released it in 1965, the song was overdubbed using instruments to help build up the power. Disturbed uses a combination of orchestra instruments and the singer David's strong and low voice to build it up - but it's a more required taste with that kind of metal. P&T use the song itself, and their voices, to emphasize the power.
- The intensity - how they look, how they sing, how the video is made - intense in just the right amount and way.
- The dark sides - both Peter and Tim brings out a dark side that I really like, Tim especially. We are so used to seeing these two guys as loving, caring and funny guys with big hearts, and it's nice to see the (obviously innocent) darkness shine through this way.
- The end - spot on in every single way - the looks, the lighter expressions, the colour leaving, the pose - mirroring the cover picture from Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends album.

In short - this song and video has a true potential to become one of the top 3 versions of this song - to me it is already No 1. Well done, Peter and Tim! Well done!

What are your thoughts? Which rendition is your all-time favourite? Comment below.

S&G original version 1964
S&G overdubbed version 1965
Disturbed version 2015


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Can't Stop the Feeling (For the Joys of My Life)

8 years ago today I did something that changed my life completely. March 1st 2009 was the day I took 3 bags with me and moved to Spain. (You can read the story behind it in this old blog post.)

My life today is simply amazing and I am so in love with it and everything in it and the best thing is that it keeps getting better and better by the day. Honestly! Sure, I have days that are not great, but most days are and those that aren't are still good days because I have so many things and people in my life that are amazing.

One of the most fun and amazing things I have done lately was to be able to make two people happy by giving away one regular Home Free ticket and selling a Home Free VIP ticket to a reduced price as Fry It Forwards (Read the story behind it here.). Those tickets now have new and happy homes and I can't wait for them to experience Home Free live. Congratulations to Rae Ellen and Sherry! It gives me so much joy to make other people happy.

Another thing a do to make people happy is my job. I am lucky enough to spend my days calling people to let them know that the company I work for cares. I absolutely love hearing the happiness in our customers' voices when they realize that's why I call them. Amazing!

On Monday I did something new and fun when I attended a choir practice for the first time since I was a teenager. I have been thinking about it on and off for a few years, but never done anything about it because - you know - I'm lazy and comfortable. But back in early January I decided that this was the year to find a fun choir to join. Of course it only took one day for someone to ask me, seemingly out of the blue, if I wanted to join one. I have been busy with other things since then, but on Monday I was finally able to go and I absolutely loved it and will try to go every week from now on! Of course it seems like the perfect choir for me where the joy and the heart is the most important thing and the choir leader believes that everybody has a good singing voice inside that is waiting to be discovered and let loose. I can't wait to hear it! Hehe

Today I went to see an apartment that I loved, loved, loved. I have wanted one of those apartments for years, but they don't get available very often. Well, this is my chance! It's got a big roof terrace and partial views to both the Sea and the mountains and it's in a perfect location and has a perfect layout. It is my right-now-dream-house (because I keep growing, evolving and expanding so eventually I will want something even better). Keep your fingers crossed that I will get it! Send me lots of love and positive vibes!

This blog is something else I love about my life. It fills my heart with joy to write and it fills my heart with joy, love and pride when someone reads and likes what I write. Thank you to all who do!

Today's video is one of my favourite Home Free covers lately. OK, I say that about all of them, I know, but seriously, they all are! Anyway, this is a cover of Justin Timberlake's Can't Stop The Feeling and it's a happy, fun, good feeling song. Perfect for how I feel about my life!

Oh, and one more thing! My life didn't get this amazing just by chance and by me waiting for it to become it - it is this fantastic because whenever something in my life isn't as good as I want it to be I change it to something closer to what I want than it was, one step at a time, and I make sure to enjoy every single step on the way. If something in your life isn't what you want change it - if you can't change it find a way to love it - and even if you do change it find a way to love, or at least like, it before it changes. That's the only way to do it, that's the most joyful way to live your life.
Now, go sing and dance and look at the good things in your life!