Saturday, 19 December 2015

A World Made of Love

I woke up this morning and got amazed, but not surprised. As I told you in my latest post a few days ago; on this past Monday Home Free was scheduled to perform with Kenny Rogers on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Due to circumstances beyond their control and just as they had chartered a private jet to do everything in their power to get there on time the show pulled the plug as they were not going to make it in time for the rehearsal. It was heartbreaking and even more so when they found out they couldn't get a refund on the money they had spent on the jet, especially since it was money they didn't really have.

In opposite of popular beliefs they don't make a lot of money. They make enough to have good lives, meaning they have homes to go home to and they don't have to starve, but they don't make much more. This is due to a number of things such as the record label taking most of what they make on the albums they sell, the band only gets pennies on the dollar (in Chris' own words). They don't actually make any money from Patreon as they put all the money into making new, and more, awesome videos for us all to enjoy. And even though they do around 250 shows a year they don't actually make a lot of money on it. They keep the ticket prices low so people can afford to attend the shows, and bring their friends, but they still have to pay for venues, rent of the RV, wages/salaries for their staff, food, hotels, insurances, equipment, clothes, flights and anything else that is needed for them to put on a show for all of us fans to enjoy. And we know they do that!

So, the cost of that jet was a deep cut into their pockets. 

The Fries have been telling them that we want to help out with that unexpected cost, over and over again, and last night the band started a GoFundMe to raise 2/3 of the money the jet cost. That means 10,000 dollar, the jet cost 15,000 dollar to rent. That is a whole lot of money for most people to come up with just like that, but they had to it to know that had tried everything to get there. Setting up this fund was a very hard decision for the Guys to make. It is never easy to ask for help, most people struggle with it, and for artists to do so must be a whole lot harder than for the regular person to do it, because you have a reputation to maintain, a good name to keep good, and asking for help, especially financial help, is a sensitive subject. In the end they figured that we have been offering, and begging them, to help and life is not all about giving it is also about receiving. So they went for it. Bravely so. I have a hard time asking to borrow even a few euros, so I know it must have scared them to put it all out there. I'm glad they did and I bet they are too.

In 45 minutes the goal was reached.

That's right. It only took 45 minutes. Mind-blowing. And yet, not surprising at all. And it's not over because even though the actual goal of 10,000 dollar was reached the Fries keep on giving. Not because the Guys asked us to, but because we want to. At this moment it is almost up to 22,000 dollar. I think we all think that they might need that money to charter a jet at some other time in their career, maybe to get to the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and when they do; boy, will they have a great story to tell. Jimmy will not be sorry.

And me being me, I can't help but think that this is the true reason why things happened the way they did. Maybe the Guys of Home Free needed to be shown how great our - their fans, their Home Fries - love for them is. Maybe we needed to show them. There is a special bond between them and us that is unique, and this proves it. The fact that they trust us, the Fries, enough to let us help them, and the fact that we are so willing and eager to be there for them, is proof that the world of Home Free and their fans is a great place to be. It is a world made of love.

So, why do we love them, so much. It is because they love so much, it is because every day they show their fans so much love and appreciation. We just give them back of what they give to us. And we just give each other and the people around us of what they give to us, and of what we give to each other. Again, it is a world made of love.

It is not unusual for a Fry not able to afford a ticket to a show to get a free ticket from another Fry. It is not unusual for a Fry to pick up another Fry and give her a ride to a show if she can not get there on her own. The world of the Fries is a world filled with loving and caring stories of Fries helping Fries, just because we want to, out of honest love and care. Why should we not extend that to the Guys of Home Free when it all starts with them? Why should we not share the amazing experience of giving and receiving unconditional love with those who so willingly give it to us first? It only makes sense to me. They, Home Free, are the love that brings us all together.

This is why we love them. This is why we; Home Free and the Home Fries; are making history. Not just music history because we, as Austin said, are giving the power back to the artist, but also because we are focusing on love and joy, we are spreading love and joy all around us, we are literally making the world a better place to live in. A world made of love. And it all starts with Home Free.

I know they are grateful and appreciative of all the Fries that are supporting them in whichever way they can and do, but I would like to thank them, the Guys, from the bottom of my heart, from the depth of my soul and the core of who I am. Because I am a better person that live a better life in a better world thanks to them. Thank you! Truly and honestly. Thank you!

The Guys of Home Free; Austin, Chris, Rob, Adam and Tim; and all of their loyal and loving Home Fries make my heart grow bigger. They make my world a world made of love.


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

I'll Be Home For Christmas

The last couple of days have been very exciting days for Home Free and the Home Fries, both happy exciting and disappointing, and just stressful.

A few days ago they announced that they had been invited by Kenny Rogers to sing "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" with him on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on the 14th, as in yesterday. They, and the Fries, where all very happy and excited about it. It happened to be on a rare day off in the middle of their "Home Free For the Holidays"-tour, this year's Christmas tour, so it was perfect.

They set out to fly from Nashville early yesterday morning but ran into flight problems. They actually boarded two different planes, and were de-boarded from both; then they were booked on yet another flight; but mechanical problems and weather conditions were working against them. So they ended up chartering a private jet to get to New York, and just as they had done so the show pulled the plug because they had no chance of making it there in time for rehearsal. They were so bummed, so heart broken, and it was so hard to follow their tweets without having my heart bleeding for them. This was a dream about to come true, that got broken in the last minute. However, they were not defeated and since the jet was already paid for they decided to fly there to support Kenny anyway.

They got to meet Jimmy Fallon and his crew, they met Channing Tatum (hello, handsome) and they got to hang out with Mr Rogers in the green room where they watched the airing of the show, chatted about old country legends and they even sang through the song with him without anybody else being around. A memory to treasure for them, I'm sure.

The Fries on the other hand got busy tweeting and messaging Jimmy Fallon and the Tonight Show to re-book Home Free, to give them a second chance and invite them back and other variations on the same subject. I have a mental picture of Fallon and his crew sitting there, scratching their heads, wondering wth happened to their twitter as it must have exploded all of a sudden, I know I had a few hundred nofications about it. Woooaaa! Never underestimate the power of the Fries! Of course, we don't know if it did any good, but at least they must have noticed both the Guys and their loyal fans. And the Guys felt our support and love which were much needed. They have all expressed their gratitude for the love we all showed them. As is their style. That's one of the reasons we love them so much.

Anyway, one way or another it so happened they announced that were going to be on a different TV-show early this morning instead. It was not their first appearance on Fox & Friends, they've been on there a couple of times before, but this time it was well needed, I think. Certainly for us fans, but obviously mostly for the Guys.

In my honest opinion things worked out in a great way because Jimmy Fallon never even spoke to Kenny Rogers on the show. Kenny just sang his song, and that was it. If Home Free had been on there they would have been the back-up singers to him, and then nothing else. People might have thought they were good, but not thought much more of it. Kenny is the big name. Kenny would have been in focus and would have gotten all the attention, at least to the audience sitting in front of the television sets at home.

On Fox & Friends, they were mentioned and lightly talked about before coming on and when they came on they were talked to both before and after they sang. And, boy oh boy, did they sing!! Rob sang like an angel. It was so beautiful I think the angels up in heaven must have cried. They all sounded absolutely amazing! It was more than perfect.

Maybe not as many people are reached by Fox & Friends as by the Tonight Show, but being in focus instead of being a back-up must be a lot better. I love the support and love they are getting from Kenny Rogers, it is amazing to see everything he is trying to do, and does, for Home Free, but it's out there now. He sings the song with Home Free on video in the background on every show during his "Once Again It's Christmas" tour, they are featured on his album, they have the video with them all singing together and he brought them to the Tonight Show and surely Jimmy Fallon must be curious and have their eyes on them now. But maybe, just maybe, this worked out better for them in the end.

The video-clip of them singing on TV this morning is up on the show's Facebook page, and it already has more than 50,000 views (5,5 hours after it was posted). So maybe, the flight problems were a blessing in disguise. I always believe things happen because there are greater things waiting instead.

So, what song did they sing?

They sang one of my all-time favourite Christmas songs "I'll Be Home For Christmas". It was originally written for soldiers during WWII, and performed by Bing Crosby. Home Free dedicates it to soldiers and their families that have to spend the holidays apart. Their just released video for the song is heartwarming and moving with real footage of returning soldiers surprising their families at Christmas time mixed with the five Guys of Home Free sitting in a Christmas dressed cabin, just singing. It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it. The combination of Rob's soulful and angelic voice and the footage of happy families re-united hits home even after having seen it 20 times or so.

I have spent Christmas all alone because I couldn't go home to my family because of work, but I can't even imagine what it must be like to be at war, or to have a loved one at war. All I know is that it was one of the hardest and saddest days of my life knowing that they, my family, were all there together and I was all alone. It was a very good lesson to go through, though, because it certainly made me look upon the holiday season with different eyes. Whether you are near or far from the people you love the most, remember to share your love in any way you can.

Of course, today's video is the video already mentioned, if you want to see the live performance from this morning you can find it right here, but first check out the video below.


Saturday, 12 December 2015

Speaking Of;

Last night we had our annual Christmas Dinner with work. As always it was a lot of fun and I wish I hadn't had to leave early, but I did. The setting was charming with a mixture of old and new decor; all my colleagues, more than 100 of us, where dressed up and stunningly beautiful (I must say we clean up really well); the spirit was high and by the time I left people were dancing their butts off on the dance floor. The food; well, some of it was very nice, but other things a disappointment. I didn't mind it too much though, as I'm having another Christmas Dinner tonight. And I know the food will be great at this one because I'm cooking half of the dishes myself.

Speaking of this dinner tonight; it's with good friends of ours and it will be the fifth year in a row we're having it. We take turns in who's house we're having it, and this year we're in our friends house. Makes it easier for me because I don't have to worry about cleaning, setting tables and other things like that, just cooking. I've made meatballs, and the traditional Christmas ham is in the oven. I've also made a rise porridge which is the base for the dessert, just mix it with some sweet whipped cream and add pieces of oranges and/or mandarins. It's called Ris a la Malta, and it's yum.

Speaking of Malta; that's where the company I'm doing my freelance writing for is based and I'm working on my first assignment for them right now, and will be dedicating tomorrow to it as I've got a deadline on midnight Monday.

Speaking of Monday; exciting Home Free news reached us the other day. They will be on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon together with Kenny Rogers and the Roots on Monday. How cool is that!! As a true and dedicated Home Fry I cried of excitement and joy. I love being part of this time in their careers when so many fantastic things happen. The sky truly is their limit, or maybe as my son once said, why limit yourself to the sky when there is a whole universe out there. True dat!

Todays video will be a Christmas song, but it won't be Home Free, it will be a cappella, though. I've mentioned Peter Hollens before, but I must say this is one of my favourite arrangements of his. What he does is that he uses only his own voice, but layers it. His vocal range is fantastic as is his voice. It's easy to understand why he has more than a million subscribers on YouTube.

Here's "Mary Did You Know?" with Peter Hollens.

Happy Saturday, y'all!


Monday, 7 December 2015

VoicePlay Medley

This blog post will not be about Home Free (say what?) even though they have got a fantastic new video out. I will write about that in another post coming to your home soon-ish.

No, this will not be a post about Home Free, but it will be about A Cappella, and more specifically about my second favourite A Cappella group. (Sorry Boys, but my deepest love is for Home Free, I just can't help it). This group was also on the Sing Off the year Home Free was, and they were my runner ups then too. Well, not at the exact time the show aired because I didn't watch it until like a year later, but you get my drift.

This group also consists of five guys, and they are also very funny, and cute in their own different ways. And they can sing with great harmonies, they have a great beat boxer with his own personality, and they have an amazing bass singer. So, basically they are like Home Free, but they are not because their personality and dynamic is completely different, but still great. And they don't do country, although they do do a great Elvira live, and Home Free's version was an arrangement by one the boys in this group..

I'm not going into any details about these guys or this group right now, I'll get to that eventually, I will however share some of my favourite videos with them, because just as Home Free they are producing videos as often as most people change their underwear, Well, maybe not quite that often, I just couldn't think of anything people do once or twice a month or so.

Oh, by the way, they are called VOICEPLAY!! Remember it, because you'll hear more about them.

  • This first video is one of my favourites, and it is a collaboration with Rachel Potter (an amazing singer) on The Phantom of The Opera. Of course, I'm loving this even more because I actually have tickets to see the Phantom when I'm in London in January. 

Here is the Phantom A Cappella Style,

Did you get goosebumps? I sure did.

  • Next up is their latest video. It's perfect because I've always wondered what I would or could give a Wookiee for Christmas,. Haven't you?

What can I say? Not a huge fan of Star Wars, but this had me laughing out loud. And how about those sweet harmonies?

  • VoicePlay has a video series they call ACA TOP 10 where they do a medley of their top 10 favourites on a certain theme. They are all great, but this one is my favourite. Maybe because I like musicals. 

Which one is your favourite? I can't even pick just one, there are just so many great ones.

  • Christmas is getting closer, and today is the 2nd Sunday of Advent. I put my Christmas Tree up tonight and well, I just love the bass in this version of White Christmas. Seriously, just listen to it. 

Are you blown away yet?

  • Last, but certainly not least, is VoicePlay's "Come join us on Patreon"-video. It's funny, and after you watched it you should head over to Patreon and support them. 

I'm still laughing. Aren't these boys great?

I promise you I will give you more posts about VoicePlay, because they are just that great!

That's it for today. It's just gone midnight here and I've got a busy week ahead of me, but a week filled with fun, friends, great music, laughter and 2 Christmas dinners! Oh, and some work and writing, but that's mostly fun too.