Thursday, 28 April 2016

Take a Chance and Try Everything For Success

I while back I told you about Home Free's founder and baritone Chris Rupp's decision to leave Home Free to pursue his solo career. His last days with the band he has so successfully lead through good times to great times are getting closer and in a couple of weeks he has done his last performance with them as part of the band. As I also mentioned at that time Home Free took on Adam Chance, former bass singer of Street Corner Symphony, as Chris' "replacement". I use the word replacement lightly because nobody can truly replace Chris and his voice nor should anybody try to, and Chance has said that he's there to bring his own thing to the table.

Unlike a lot of the other Home Fries I was never worried what it would sound like without Chris and with Chance, I was merely eager and excited to hear what the new sound would be like, but there was never a doubt in my mind that I would like it or that it wouldn't be great. I have complete faith in all of the Guys of Home Free, their dedication and love for what they do, and for Chris not leaving until they had found the right person to add to the mix. From the moment I first heard Chance sing, SoS songs, I loved the warmth and fullness of his voice. The first song could not come fast enough for me. As sad as a part of me is that Chris is leaving, as happy and excited am I for his new adventures and I will be following him closely, and I'm also excited to see what the future holds for Home Free.

I haven't seen the film Zootopia yet, Zootroplis in some countries, but I have heard the song "Try Everything" with Shakira from it. I have a love for Shakira and her voice and she is one of few artists I enjoy listening to over and over again, even though I don't follow her and haven't heard or know all of her songs. Also, the song in itself is good and I love the lyrics and it's got a catchy melody to it, I have liked hearing it when it's come on even though I have not gone hunting for it anywhere.

Now, mix all these things together, Home Free, Adam Chance and Try Everything, and what do we get?

We get success!

Yes, we finally got to hear how Home Free sounds with Chance mixed in, and let me tell you, it is perfection! I knew it would be great but this is far and beyond great, in my opinion. Chance brings an edge to the sound that I think I have been missing without really knowing it. I love his deep, full and a bit rough voice, that is still mellow and full of emotions. It has character. And I love that in a voice. Always have and always will. I think this is a great next step for Home Free. Since Chris had to do his own thing for happiness sake I'm glad they took a Chance (yeah, yeah, incredibly lame, but still funny, right?).

The song is, obviously, Try Everything and as per usual they shoot it through the roof like a rocket that has no intention of ever coming back to earth ever again. Yes, that's how fantastic it is. And, we not only get to hear Chance mix with the other Guys, we get to hear him sing solo. And I frekkin' love it!!

Now, this rendition is so much more than just Chance and a great song, though. It has a fantastic beat by Adam Rupp, a beat that makes me want to move my butt every time I hear it. And it has actually taken me jogging twice in last week. It's a heavier beat than we are used to hear, but I like it! Thanks, Adam. Like, really, me jogging. Weird. We also have Tim's bass line that catches my ear every time I hear the song, especially in the second half of the song. I love it! It's groovy! And the way his and Chance's voices blend is smooth and makes me want more of it, like right now! Of course we have more leads and harmonies by both Rob Lundquist and Austin Brown. Both, in my humble opinion, singing their hearts out in the most perfect ways. There's a fullness to both of their voices in this song that I really love and the way Chance's deep and lower baritone voice lifts Austin's and Rob's voices is simply gorgeous. And without loosing any of the harmonies we are so used to hearing.

I first heard this song last Wednesday when it was released to Home Free's Patrons, on Patreon, and I've had it on repeat ever since and I am still not even close to being tired of it. To me it is the sound track to my life right now as I have some really big changes going on and coming on in several different areas of my life. I'll Try Everything. Almost.

If you haven't checked it out yet you really need to do so RIGHT NOW!!! Just GO! I'll be here waiting to hear your opinion of our new baritone-bass Guy!

All that is left to say today is a big, fat, huge and very excited, WELCOME to Adam Chance!

Great debut, Chance! You will do!


Monday, 25 April 2016

5 + 5 Reasons to Watch

I was going to do this video as part of my 5 Reasons to Watch series, but I honestly have a problem picking only 5 reasons whenever it comes to these Guys. That would be 5 reasons that are not the 5 Guys, because that is what I want to do. Just list them one after the other. They all bring so much to the table that it seem unfair to only pick one or two of them. And, sure, I could do that, but then I wouldn't be able to list anything else and there are so many other things I want to list about this video.
So, I am just going to start listing and see where I end up. This can be fun!

Here we go!!

??? Reasons to Watch Home Free's cover of Garth Brooks Friends In Low Places:

1. The song - I love it!! I have heard it before, even though I don't think it was ever a very big hit in Sweden. I'm not really sure what it is about it that I love, I just do. Sometimes it is hard to put your finger on it and this is one of those times. Let me know why you love it, if you do!
2. Tim Foust - that voice! Oh man, that voice! This song showcases it better than any other song I have heard him sing. Just listen to how easily he goes from those low notes to those high notes and down to low notes again. Brava, Tim! Brava! I can't get enough of him singing this song.
3. Austin Brown - I am a big fan of Austin, and I have been from the first note I ever heard him sing (Ring of Fire feat Avi Kaplan). And as much as I love hearing him sing solos, I utterly adore hearing him do the type of harmony and high notes he does in this song. It lifts the song, it lifts Tim's voice and it lifts me. The fullness in Austin's voice is at it's best here, in my opinion. I love Tim in this song, but I think I love Austin just as much.
4. Adam Rupp - Great "drumming", Adam, as always! But also, great harmonizing! I am still waiting for the day we get to hear Adam sing a line on his own. Those doo-woops are awesome, but we need more, k!
5. Rob Lundquist - Come on! That whistling! We know he his an absolutely amazing whistler and he proves it yet again in ths song. I don't think I have heard anybody that can whistle that well ever before in my life.
6. Chris Rupp - yet again Chris' flawless harmonies acts like the glue between the rest of the guys, it fills the song out preventing it from sounding empty which is so important to the Home Free sound. That is something they do better than any other a cappella group I have ever heard. It might not be easy to pick up Chris specifically all the time, but he's there - lifting everything and everyone to higher grounds.
7. The scenery - what is not to like about the ocean, the colours, the wild life, the beach. I feel right at home with them there on the beach. I was just down at the beach today, different sea, different beach, but under the same sky.
8. The ice cold water over Tim's head - how much fun is that! I still laugh at his facial expression every time I watch this video. It's priceless.
9. The fun - As always these guys know how to have fun. And it shows in this video as well. This is one of the many reason's why I love them so much. They have so much fun, and they share it and show it. It's contagious. It makes me smile and laugh and feel like I'm there with them.
10. The chicken - if you are a Home Fry you know all about the chicken, and I know I have promised the rest of you the story about the stealth chicken, A question to the non-Fries in here; have you ever seen a chicken of any sort in any other Home Free videos? I'm sure you have because there is at least one in almost all of their videos starting with "All About That Bass". Sometimes it's hidden in plain sight and sometimes it's harder to find. I always have trouble finding it because I get so distracted by watching the Guys.

I think that's it for now. This post grew from 5 to 10 reasons to watch this video. I'm sure I could list more, but I'll save it for another time.

I hope you enjoy the video and the song as much as I do!


Friday, 1 April 2016

5 Reasons to Watch, 3

I feel like there is a lot of Peter Hollens going on in my life right now. That's not a bad thing. Far from it. I have been spending many hours this week listening to his songs. I've been a bit under the weather and his music has helped me find inspiration again. Not only is Peter Hollens a fantastic musician, he also seems to be a very nice and humble guy. And not only that, he actually "told" me that he loved the post I did on Misty Mountains featuring Tim Foust a couple of days ago. I mentioned to him, in a message on Patreon yesterday, that he had liked the tweet with the link to it and he replied back on that message that he loved. In capital letters and several exclamation marks. How cool is that?! Thanks, Peter!

Anyway, I've been thinking about writing about his version of this song because it is one of my favourites, and today he released a new version of it. Great timing there!

Today's video choice is;

I See Fire - Peter Hollens featuring Taylor Davis

(Taylor Davis is an amazing violinist and she's been in a couple of Home Free's songs as well.)

Here's the list;

  1. The arrangement - I love the build up in this song. It goes from soft to energetic to power in an absolutely perfect balance. That's how you do it! Again, Tom Anderson did a great job with it and Peter and Taylor perfects it! The way the violin blends in and at the same time stands out is brilliant. That's not an easy thing to do!
  2. Taylor Davis - I've already mentioned that she is amazing at playing that violin. She's feeling it, she's not just playing it. Violin can be terrible if played without feelings, but I've never heard anything by Taylor Davis that's been without soul. Just click her name above this list and listen to more of her stuff, she loves film and video game scores. Cool stuff!
  3. The scenery - The contrast between the cold, windy and snowy mountain where Peter is and the still and green forest where Taylor is gives the song a feeling of hope. I'm being thrown back and forth between the worst of winters and the best of summers back in Sweden. It's beautiful. Gorgeous. Even this video is the work of the amazing people at FifGen Films. What can I say? Awesome job! Simple, but stunning and effective.
  4. The song - I haven't seen the Hobbit yet. I know - shame on me, but who has the time when there are so many great music videos to watch and re-watch? Anyway, I love this song. It's beautiful and powerful. Not just the arrangement, but the melody and the lyrics too. It's emotional and strong. Ed Sheeran sure wrote an amazing song and you can read the story about it here. It's quite cool.
  5. Peter Hollens- I can't really leave him out, can I? Not that I would want to. Peter has this amazing ability to transform his voice into what seems like almost anything song wise. Soft, emotional, powerful - he does it all. And he does it all in this song. And he can sing, like really good. That's a great thing for a singer, not all of them can. The way he layers the songs with himself and his own voice, but still manages to make it sound like there is a whole bunch of different people, is really cool, and he does it oh so well. Great job, as always, Peter!
Please, when you have listened to the song and watched the video, at least a few times, check the information underneath it and follow the links and hit like, subscribe or whatever is required on all of Peter's and Taylor's different social media pages. And FifGen's too.

As always, please, let me know what you think of this list. Do you agree or do you disagree with anything?

The next video in this series will be the new Home Free video. It hasn't been released to the public yet, but you can expect it within the next couple of days, or you can go sign up on Patreon and watch it right now. This video is so much fun and it is one of my favourite songs they do. Keep an out for it, and for my 5 Reasons to Watch it.

If you want to hear this song with Peter Hollens, but fully a cappella you can find it here. You can find Ed Sheerans original here. As much as I love Ed's version, I must say I prefer both of Peter's versions, but since I love the violin my favourite is this video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and let me know which one is your favourite.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, 31 March 2016

5 Reasons to Watch, 2

Welcome back!

Today's choice of video is one that speaks to the little girl inside of me, as well as to the music lover and the Disney lover that I am. This is a medley of Disney Princess songs. Evynne Hollens, wife of Peter Hollens from the latest post in this series, loves singing and she is very, very good at it, and in this video and song she showcases 14 Disney Princesses from Snow White in 1937 to Elsa and Anna, from Frozen, in 2013.

Here's my list with 5 Reasons to Watch;

Evolution of the Disney Princess with Evynne Hollens

  1. The songs - I love Disney songs! The arranger Nathan Alef has chosen the most catching and well-known parts of each song, and it makes this medley even more appealing to me because I don't really know the rest of the lyrics to most of them, but these parts I know so this song is just full of fun!
  2. The outfits - Seriously, if you are going to do a video where you sing 14 different Disney Princess songs you NEED 14 different Princess costumes. These were made especially for Evynne and you can find the link for the company that made them in the video information. All the costume are simply cool and fun! More fun!
  3. The make-up - I love the make-up in this video. It really enhances Evynne's beauty in so many different ways and I can without using my imagination see the Princess she is for every song. Whoever did it did a fantastic job!
  4. The edit - I think this edit is brilliant. All the Princesses are completely separate from each other in those squares, but at the same time they are all together when they all look at the one singing. I don't know how they did it but FifGen Films are masters as we already know, but without great filming by Merlin Showalter the brilliant editing couldn't have been this perfect. 
  5. Evynne Hollens - is certainly not the least on this list. There are so many things to say about her. First of all her voice; it is pure and clean and yet so full of emotions that I can hear the Princesses singing. Her eyes are just amazing and mesmerizing. She goes so much into character in each of the Princesses that I believe she is her, it shows in her eyes, on her face and in her whole body language. Ant then there's the joy - the joy is so contagious and I can see that she really loves doing this and it makes me happy.
There we have it. I love this video and medley and I will watch it over and over again for a long time to come.It makes me happy. Evynne also released a video of the full version of one of songs today, you can check t out here, but first go have a look at this video, and share it. Always share the videos and my posts. Help spread the music to the world. I believe it makes the world a better and happier place!

Also, you should totally head over to Evynne's YouTube channel! She has lots and lots of fun stuff there! Maybe you want to learn how to belt like a Disney Princess? Well, Evynne can teach you how to do it!

That's it from me for today. Let me know what you think of my list! 


A Thank You From My Son To Me

As you may already know last week was my birthday. You may also know that I have a very talented son who is a musician, a composer and a great piano player. A few years ago he made an arrangement on Happy Birthday to You as my Birthday present, and the following year he did another arrangement of it. Last year he composed a song, and this year he did too.

Now, I am a very lucky person and mother, because not everyone has songs especially composed for them, but I have two. How cool is that??

As you may also know I listen a lot to a cappella music, my son's music is the exact opposite and is instrumental, film score kind of music. I love how I can hear him grow as a human being and a person through his music, and this last song just blew me away.

I also do whatever I can support him on his path to leave his dreams, that means sharing his music with you and it also means supporting him on Patreon. I will also ask you to consider supporting him if you like what you hear. I would love for him to be able to focus on his music full-time without having to worry about money coming in. He is too good not to.

Honestly, any young man that honours his mother with a song like this should be helped in any way possible to follow his passions.

So, please, listen to the song called Thank You, consider supporting him, on Patreon and/or by sharing the song. The song will very likely be one of the tracks on an upcoming album.

And now I proudly present my son, Robin Lindberg! I hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

5 Reasons to Watch

Welcome to my first ever 5 Reasons to Watch Series!

In this series I will simply state 5 Reasons To Watch a certain music video of my choice. The reasons will of course very much be from my personal point of view and taste. The songs, artists and videos can be just about anything, but there will of course be a focus on Home Free's videos, as well as Chris Rupp's videos, but not only. 

My choice for the first video and song is one I haven't been able to stop watching and listening to since it's release almost 2 weeks ago. I actually wake up with this song in my head even if I haven't listened to it the evening before;

Misty Mountain with Peter Hollens featuring Tim Foust

Here are my 5 Reasons to Watch it;

  1. Peter Hollens - is an amazing artist with a spectacular voice and he is considered something of a YouTube phenomenon with his more than 1,3 Million subscribers. He collaborates with a lot of different, mostly independent and YouTube based, artists using his fandom and popularity to spread the music outside of the big labels. Most of the songs he releases are completely a cappella and except for the guest/featuring artist all sounds are made by Peter himself. Everything you hear in this video, except for Tim Foust, is Peter. That's just - wow!
  2. Tim Foust - the voice. That deep, full bass takes me to places I've never been before and it makes me want to go there over and over again. Having heard that voice live, having felt the rumbling all around and inside my body in real life makes me want to sit close by when he sings this. Holy Bass!! I want more of it!
  3. Tim Foust - the eyes. It's like he looks straight into the deepest corner of my soul and funnily enough brings light into it. They grab me, and keep me hooked all way through, and when he's not in picture I miss them. Sorry Peter, but Tim wins this one. I want more of them!
  4. The arrangement - by Tom Anderson - I've heard a few arrangements of this song and this is one of my favourites. It feels full and it satisfies me. It doesn't distract from the song, but enhances it. And even though I want more of that bass I also love Peter's voice and I think the two complements the other very well.
  5. The video - by FifGen Films - no surprise there really, everything they do turns out great and original. What they did with Tim for this video was amazing, they were able to bring out the darkness in him. Fun fact is that Peter's and Tim's parts were filmed thousands of miles apart at different times, in different countries. I wonder if they brought his clothes with them to location?

Obviously, you need to check out the video for yourself to be able to agree or disagree with my reasons. Do you have any more reasons that I haven't listed? (I have limited myself to 5, of course) Do you not agree with any of my reasons? Let me know in the comments below. 


Here's the video;

Monday, 21 March 2016

Chris Rupp is Moving on From Home Free to Shine on His Own

The world of the Home Fries were shaken at it's roots this past Friday, the 18th, when Home Free's founder and baritone Chris Rupp along with the rest of the Guys announced that he will be leaving the group in May. 

There are so many things to feel and think about this that is has taken me a few days to assemble my thoughts and feelings enough to be able to put it into writing. 

I would like to start with the announcement itself. The video. It is a very emotional Chris that tells us the news, clearly very taken by his decision, but underneath the seriousness, the sincerity, and the struggle to keep it together you can see the certainty, the joy and the excitement in his eyes. It was comforting and left at least me with the feeling that he knows what he's doing and that it is the right thing to do. The other Guys in the group all expressed their support of Chris' choice and they went on to announce and introduce the new addition to Home Free - Adam Chance, reassuring the world that they are not splitting up. 

Looking at the other Guys in the video I am taken by the pride in Chris' younger brother beat boxer Adam Rupp's eyes, the joy in high tenor Austin's eyes, the sadness in lead tenor Rob's eyes and the love in bass singer Tim's eyes when they look at Chris. It is clear that they all support him in this next step, as well as obviously being sad that he is leaving. 

Have a look for yourself and tell me your own thoughts and feelings;

It's been 15 years since Chris and Adam started Home Free and the group has been Chris' baby ever since. A baby that has grown up to be a teenager and it's now time for Chris to let that teenager grow into a grown up in it's own rights. Chris has spent his whole adult life nurturing, caring for, loving and struggle for the success of Home Free, and he has done an amazing job. He has often taken a step back from the spotlight to let the other Guys be there and he deserves to be there on his own. I have been following Chris' solo projects since he first announced them and the one thing that has struck me in every single Facebook Live or Periscope that he has done, and there has been a lot, is the joy, passion and energy he has shown for it. Watching the streaming from his release party for Shine I saw a Chris that was new to me. He was an artist taking his rightful place on stage; in the spotlight and he looked liked he belonged there. He had an energy and passion that I've rarely seen him have with Home Free (that's not saying he's not been passionate and energetic with them as well). Therefore, this decision came as no surprise to me. Therefore, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the right decision. For him and for Home Free. It would not be right to the group, to the other Guys, to himself or to the fans to stay when his heart and passion clearly is somewhere else. Also, Chris is not the type of person that will hold back on his dreams, if he had been he wouldn't have kept going with Home Free during the tough times in the past. To me, this was something that was due to happen at some point, and why not make that point right now when his solo career is at the verge of taking off and before Home Free hits that really big break that awaits them. Once they do it would have been a harder and a way more risky decision, and maybe that break would have been hold off by Chris not being fully commited. Chris has a solid fan base that keeps growing, so does Home Free. The timing, in my opinion, is perfect.

This is one of my favourite songs right now, and it's by Chris and it fits very well because it's all about Moving On;

I can't wait to hear what more amazing music we'll get to hear from Chris. (I know, you are still waiting for my review of Shine, and it's coming): I see a bright future for him!

So what about this new guy, Adam Chance? Well, he comes straight from the amazing a cappella group Street Corner Symphony who were the runner-ups in the Sing Off season 2 back in 2010. Even though Adam is his name he goes by Chance with the Guys of Home Free, so that is what we will call him too. Two Adams is one too many if you ask me so I'm grateful for that. And I like the name Chance, he looks like a Chance to me. Anyway, Chance was the bass singer for SCS, but he will take the baritone spot in Home Free, because he has an amazing vocal range as I understand it. I've only heard him sing in baritone during one song, but what I heard seems promising. He's got a warm, full voice with a twinge in it that I love. 

I'm eager and excited to hear what Chance will bring to the Home Free sound. Personally I'm hoping for a bass duett. Without taking anything at all away from the amazing Chris I hope and think that Chance is what Home Free needs to take them to that next level. Change is good sometimes, just look at what happened when Austin joined them?!

So where does this leave the Home Fries? Well, obviously very emotional. Lots of tears have been shed, some disappointment, some anger and a lot of fear has been expressed, but in the whole I've seen a tremendous amount of support and love going out to both Chris, Chance and Home Free. Honestly, once again, I'm proud to be a part of this amazing fan base. Most of us are both sad and excited. We mourn the Home Free that we know and love, but we are excited for what the future will bring us from both Chris and Home Free. I am confident their choice of replacement is a great one. There is excitement in the air as we welcome Chance to the Home Free Family.

Finally, I'd like to say something more about the announcement itself; I can't think of a more dignified way to announce something like this. It was honest, heartfelt, loving and perfectly set up from the beginning to the end. We got our hearts broken, we were ensured everything was as it should be, and we were brought into the future with excitement. Well done, Home Free and Chris! Well done! You are class acts both on and off the stage! Respect!

I'll end this post with one of Chris' videos. There are several of them that would fit this post, but I'm ending with the one I find most fitting; Shine, because that is what Chris is doing. He's stepping into the light, from spending a lot of time in the shadows, to Shine. And let's be honest, isn't this a great song! Go, Chris, Go! Shine for you, Shine for Home Free, Shine for the Fries and Shine for your fans (still lacking a name; suggestions anyone? "Chrupps", Chups"?)

Oh, and today is my Birthday so leave a comment about the announcement and the blog post as a gift for me!


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

My First Home Free Show - Live

We knew we were arriving a little bit late to the show, and as we entered the building we could hear the sweet harmonies of Home Free streaming out from the speakers in the entrance hall. I was so excited I didn't even stop to think about what song it was. We asked someone where the concert was and were pointed in the right direction. Arriving at the doors we could see the Guys on the screen above. It gave a kind of surreal feeling to it to know that what we saw, something I've seen on my laptop screen a million times or so, was actually happening just behind those doors. The lovely girls on guard checked our tickets and told us we'd have to wait until they finished the song before we could enter the concert hall. Luckily, we didn't have to wait long, or maybe it was an eternity, I'm not quite sure. The time went by so fast, and yet I'd been waiting for this moment for a year and a half.
Finally, the doors were opened for us and we walked in.

To get to this point of time we had long travels to do. I had flown in to London Stansted airport from Spain early afternoon, my sister H had flown in from Sweden mid afternoon and we were picked up by our fellow Fry and friend L on her way from home to Birmingham. This was the first time we met L, although she had been my Home Fry Angel for a long time now. Not only would she get me and H to the Birmingham show, but she also made sure I wouldn't miss the VIP in London by getting me the ticket when I didn't have the funds at the time for ticket release. Without her none of this would be happening.

After she picked us up at the airport we had a 3 hour drive ahead of us to get to the show. We were guided on our way by Shawn, or maybe Sean, the GPS. Overall he did a great job, but he was also the reason why we ended up arriving late as he took us on a detour that wasted our time, and as we arrived at the venue he didn't lead us to the closest parking lot but sent us far away from the hall itself and still didn't show us anywhere to park. Eventually we ended up parking on the street and instead took to foot to get there. I was actually surprised, and so grateful, when we found out that we had only missed the first half of the first song. It was Cruise, by the way.

Anyway, back to entering the concert hall.

As I stepped in through the doors the first thing I saw was Austin with a huge smile on his face. And I mean a huge smile. That image hasn't left me ever since. While finding our seats I searched for all of them, one by one. They all had huge smiles on their faces. It was like they couldn't believe the reaction from the audience. It was breathtaking to finally have them so close. I just couldn't believe they were there, I was there. There were only a few meters in between us. I guess that might have been what they were thinking too. They were just as stunned by being there as we were that they were.

I was amazed by how incredibly good-looking they are in person, and I was amazed by the space they take up. They are tall, yes, but it is more than their physical size that take up space. They all have this individual glow around them, and together that glow adds up to more than the sum of the five of them - it multiplies. A lot. It's like a golden aura surrounds them, it's spreading from them, oozes through the air and embraces everyone that's in the same room as they are. It fills you up with feelings of love and joy and it makes you feel like it is the very best place to be in the whole world. It makes you happy, and I'm sure that if you have any problems or troubles in life they are all wiped away for as long as the show goes on - and maybe for a while after it has ended as well.

This didn't just happen when they were on stage performing, though, it was the same phenomenon happening in the signing line after the show.

The biggest, brightest and strongest of the individual auras was Chris', it was visible on stage, but when they were sitting at the signing table it was obvious, and I found myself wondering if that was always the case or if it was something that had been growing stronger with the release of Shine. Either way I loved it. It made me feel safe.

I can't tell you in what order they did the songs, or even which songs they performed (at least not all of them), but I can tell you that I loved every second of the show and it ended much too soon. I am so happy I had a second show already planned a few days later.

I had been warned that they sound better live than they do on their recordings, but I can honestly tell you that even if I didn't doubt that I had no idea how much better they would be, I really didn't have a clue. I was expecting a false note, or a slightly missed beat, here and there but even if there might have been one or two I didn't notice them. I was expecting perfect harmonies but what they delivered was not only perfection, but also more life, more emotion, and even better voices than on the recordings. I now find myself missing something when I listen to the album tracks, not because they are not great, but because the live versions are undeniably outstanding. I hope they will release a live album in the future, but even then it will never be even close to being the same thing.

One of the things I had been looking forward to most was the feeling of the bass in my butt. And boy did we feel it! Even with all the "warnings" there is just no way anyone can ever understand what that actually means until you experience it in real life. People has explained it going up through your feet and all through your body, or feeling it in their chest. Well, I say all of that but I could almost see the air vibrating around me, and I could definitely feel the air rumbling - almost to the point where I could touch it. I think the whole hall got quiet for that first split second when we felt it before bursting in to loud cheers and woooaas. I remember looking at my sister in utter disbelief and amazement. What the heck was that? It was just so much more than I could ever have made up even if I had tried to exaggerate it.

When it comes to all the voices they all just sound so much better in real life, however impossible it seems, and the one standing out the most to me was Rob's voice. How anyone can have such a sweet, smooth voice is something I will never understand, and he's such a big Guy that it hits you even stronger when he literally sound like an angel when he sings.

Austin was clearly very taken all through the show. He had a quirky little smile in the corner of his mouth the whole show, and when he sang "Bring Him Home" he got so emotional his voice even cracked up a bit which made it even more touching and fantastic, and then it was that last high and very long note of his - incredible - especially since it keeps getting more power the longer he holds it. Wow! Just wow! Chills all over my body and you could have heard a pin drop to the floor.

Chris' voice is so soft, clean and comforting. It makes me feel safe, and I am so happy he has his solo album so we get to hear it more. I think safe, soft and comforting are perfect words to describe Chris - his aura, his voice, his intelligence; everything about him breaths of those feelings. I bet he is the stability in the group.

Tim's voice is - well - freakish. So smooth, so low, so high - so everything. I knew that already, but it's kind of crazy to hear it in real life. How is it even possible to have such a range. When he did his solo part in Thinking Out Loud/Let's Get It On it's just unreal.

And then there's Adam; there's really nothing one can say to explain what he can do. All the songs he beat boxes in, all the live videos that can be found online are fantastic, but they are nowhere close to the reality. I can't even begin to tell you how high my expectations were on Adam's skills, and I can't even begin to tell you how far he exceeded those expectations. There simply is no way to understand it, not even when you have seen and heard it live. There are no words. It's just not possible to explain it. What you hear in the live videos of his solo - it's nothing compared to what it really is to hear him live. Take whatever grade you would give it and multiply it by ten - fifty - a hundred times, and then maybe you will come a little bit closer to reality. A reality that seems made up and surreal, but you know it is happening for real because you can see it and hear it, and you can feel it physically in your whole body. Yes, when Adam drops that bass you can feel it just as much as you can feel Tim's bass, but in a different vibration.

But a Home Free show is so much more than the music and the amazement of their individual and combined talents, there's also the humour, because in between the beauty and the amazement there's the laughter. These Guys know how to deliver a joke and they do it all through the show. They have us laughing out loud on more than one occasion. The rapid banter between the Guys of Home Free, and the way they pick up on their audience makes this concert more than just a concert, it makes it high level entertainment. Add to that the interaction with the audience in form of sing-a-longs and, well, there is absolutely nothing more to wish for, except that it would never end or that you could do it all over again right now.

Finally, I'd like to say that I have not yet attended a Home Free show, simply because a Home Free show is not attended, it is felt. It is felt throughout your whole body, emotionally and physically, in so many different ways and so many different emotions and it leaves you wanting more of it. Over and over again. And then do it all over again. And again.

And still, somehow, there's so much more than just the shows. There's also the friendships formed. New friends you meet for the very first time that feels like you have known them for years. Strangers being there for one another through thick and thin, supporting each other, lifting each other up when needed long before any of us actually met. We are brought together online through the mutual love for this group of talented and charismatic men, but we grow to love, respect and appreciate each other for who we all are. But I will write more about that in an upcoming post.

I only took a few pics at the Birmingham show, the one above being one of them, and only a couple of videos where the sound was crappy, but there are plenty of them to find on YouTube if you want to experience the show with us.


Sunday, 17 January 2016

What's Going On?

Hi y'all,

I'm just checking in to let you know what's going on in my life and some of my plans for the future.

First of all; I'm very busy packing up my home for our move next Friday. It's all going according to "plans". We've been packing a little bit now and then, but this weekend we are doing some more focused packing. We want most of it to be done by tomorrow night, so we'll only have bits here and there to pack during the week and only a few things to pack come Friday morning. I'm so excited!

My friends C, D and I had our monthly Girly Night tonight with films, foot baths, face scrub and popcorn drenched in butter last night, it was so relaxing and fun. Usually we do face and hair masks as well, but we skipped those yesterday because we were so into the films we forgot until it was too late. After we move we will live slightly further away so we might need to change our Girly Nights to Girly Sleepovers. Walking between our buildings now takes a minute in a gated community, but walking between our homes after the move will be 15 minutes in the dark streets, and doing that walk in our PJs in the middle of the night might not be a great idea.

I've got four more days of work before I've got 2,5 weeks off starting with the move on Friday, Next is Awards Night with work next Saturday, and then I'm off on my dream trip to see my sister, Home Free, Home Fries, London, musicals and who knows what else, on the following Wednesday. I've decided to cut my trip shorter than I originally planned because I am eager to come home to my new house to really start living in it before going back to work on the 8th. I'm on late that week which means I get to sleep in, and then sit in my office and do some writing before going to work. Oh, and my bf and I have our 6 year anniversary on the 7th.

So, how about the blog. Well, on the 1st of February, when I 'm in London, it's my blog's 1 year anniversary. As I will be away I'm not sure what time and possibility I will have to post something special, but I'll do what I can. When I come back I'm going to start working on a new series for the blog; I'm going to call it "5 reasons to watch ..." and I'm planning on doing one for every Home Free video (already released and new releases), every Chris Rupp video, some of the VoicePlay videos and whatever other videos I feel like doing it for. I will post at least one a week, some weeks more. I've been thinking about doing it for a while and I am really looking forward to it. I hope you will all come visit the blog to check it out. Oh, and those 5 reasons will not be the Guys of Home Free, because they are kind of obviously in all of them.

I also want to get back into my other writing, because I love to write. With my new home office I feel I will have an easier time to focus and be creative. Right now I'm doing most of my writing sitting in bed and it's not really inspiring in the long run.

I've mentioned my dad's writer's desk in previous posts and my plan is to have it here before my birthday in March. It's always been my dream to write a book sitting at that desk.

These are all things I am very excited about, and I can't wait for it all to happen. But in the meantime I am enjoying the ride just as much. All the planning and dreaming is just as big part of it all as the goals are. That's the trick to life, I think, to not only strive for and celebrate reaching a goal, but to enjoy and love the journey to it.

Today's video is a live video from the release party for Chris Rupp's debut solo album "Shine". This song is a fun swing style male duet, and it makes me smile and feel happy. Here's "Drinkin' With Me". Try not to smile. Seriously, if you didn't get this album yet this is the time to do so. You can find all the information about how to get it at Chris' website.

Thanks to Heidi Rancour for filming it, sharing it and allowing me to use it. You should check out her YouTube channel, she's got some really nice live videos.


Saturday, 9 January 2016

Moving On

Home Free's baritone and co-founder Chris Rupp released his debut solo album, "Shine"", yesterday and I must say I'm loving it. This album is filled with all sorts of songs; there are ballads, duets, country, soft piano, swing, fun, sadness, broken hearts, loving hearts and it's just so much fun. I always knew Chris had a very good voice, smooth and sweet, but on this album he shows sides of himself and it that surprises me. In a completely good way.

I will be writing a review of the whole album, but as I am in the middle of packing for our move as well as getting things ready for my upcoming UK-trip (including 2 Home Free shows and the Phantom of the Opera) I'm not exactly sure when I will have time to get to it. But you should still go get the album, so you can discuss my review with me when I post it. "Shine" is available for download on several different places, and as I'm not a fan of iTunes I used CDbaby, the only thing you need to think about if you use CDbaby is that you will need to download it to a computer as it comes down as zip files you need extract before transferring them to your mobile device. It's also on Spotify, but I only recommend that if you are already a Premium member since you can't really choose the songs you want to hear on there if you're not, and it's more expensive to become a Premium member than it is to actually buy the album. If you want to you can also get it as a physical CD from Chris' website, where you can also get his recently released piano CD "Setting the Stage", his "Thinkin' Calendar", and there's also a link to his Patreon page as well where you can support the making of more videos. We have been told there will be videos coming out for all 11 songs. You can find it all right here. For those of us going to the Home Free shows in the UK and Ireland Chris' has said that he will bring some CD's over for us to buy.

However, I want to mention one of the songs off this album right now. This is a song called "Moving On" and it's written from the perspective of someone lying on their death bed. I love everything about this song; the melody, the lyrics, the piano, the instrumental build up behind the piano and most of all the message. This song also has the honour of being the first official video off of "Shine" and it fits the song perfectly in mood. It's just Chris playing the piano, singing, in the dark surrounded by lit candles. As the song progresses the day dawns and it gets light.

I think it's perfect because that's how I feel when I listen to this song. It's almost like hearing my dad in his final days. He told us he was going to be ok, that he had lived a good life, and that his only wish was for us to live our lives to the fullest, to be happy. And that is exactly what this song is about. It was all darkness, but then the day came along with the light.

I know some people will cry out of sadness from this song, but I cried out of joy and love the first few times I heard it. It just makes me happy, because I feel like I am living my life to the fullest and I am happy, just as my dad wanted. He didn't want to me be stuck in grief and sadness, he wanted me to go out into the world and be the very best I can be.

This song is so amazing I want it played at my funeral when that day comes, in 50-60 years from now (I have a lot of life left in me yet). It says what I would want to say to the ones I might leave behind. Don't grieve me, celebrate my life. Be happy, I will be ok. Actually, I will be great.

Anyway, here's "Moving On". I hope you like it as much as I do.

Oh, and if you happen to be in the Mankato, Minnesota area tonight go to Buster's and check out Chris' release party if there are any tickets left.

Now that I think about it, the title of the song is very fitting when I'm in the middle of packing to move on to a new home. I'm Moving On, in this life. :D


Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year

Choose the story you want to write!

I have a friend that sets a motto for every year, and for 2016 her motto is "choose the story you want to write". It pretty much sums up how I have lived my life for the past few years and I wanted to say something about just that.

I try not to leave anything to "coincidence" or chance, I try to make real decisions. Conscientious decisions of what I want in my life, or not. By that I don't mean that I can control everything that happens, but what I can control is how I react and act on everything.

I'll take the most recent event in my life as an example. A few weeks ago my boyfriend went to pay our rent and was told that our landlord had decided not to renew our contract when it was up for it in mid February. Only minutes after he got the news he spoke to a friend and mentioned it to him and our friend then told my boyfriend about a house that was available in the area where he lives, so when my boyfriend called me shortly after he told me that "hey, we have to move", and "hey, we might have the chance to move to a house".

Here's where the decision on how to react and act comes in. I had a choice between getting upset that we had to move from a place where we have lived for almost four years, or to get excited that we had the chance to move to a new place, possibly a house. It's all about where I chose to put my focus, right?! So I chose to be happy about it, to see the opportunity brought to us. We viewed the house, we payed the deposit for it and we are moving in in three weeks time. This will give me an office of my own where I can sit and write, my boyfriend will have his own office and man cave, the layout is a lot better than what we've got now, I can put a small table in the kitchen, there is a small porch and good space both in the front and the back, there is space for a work shop and storage in the garage and it's for the same rent as we pay now.

So, how does our choice of reaction and action make a difference here? In the way we felt about it. We could choose to be upset with our current landlord for making us move, or we could choose to be grateful to him for making us move. We choose the latter, because it makes us feel better, and, let's face it, we're getting a house instead of a cramped apartment. An apartment we love in many ways, but it's still not as good as the new house.

Now, if you hadn't already noticed I am all about finding the silver lining to anything and everything that happens in life. Even my dad's passing seven years ago has the silver lining of me getting my life together and deciding to change it to something better than it was. That does not mean I don't miss my dad every day, it's just a better feeling way to look at things.

And that's the rub to it all. Whatever story you choose to write, choose the one that makes you feel better out of the options you have. Every situation, every second of every day, has the option of you choosing how you want to feel. Always, always, always choose the option that makes you feel best, and always, always, always remember to be grateful. Because gratitude makes you feel good.

Feelings don't choose you, you choose your feelings by choosing your thoughts. Try it. Think of something and check how it makes you feel, then think of something else and check how it makes you feel. Now, choose the good thoughts and you will feel the good feelings. Whenever you feel bad it means you are thinking thoughts that makes you feel bad, find better thoughts and you feel better feelings. Choose the story you want to write.

My story for 2016 will be better, bigger and happier than ever before. It will be filled with love, joy, laughter, friends, family, prosperity and creativity. I will keep growing; both intellectually, creatively and emotionally. I will do more things that make me feel good, and I will become even better at living my dreams. Dreams are meant to be lived (if you don't believe me ask Home Free, or your artist of choice if other), and that is the second part of choosing the story you want to write. Follow your dreams, write your own life, make decisions that will make you treasure your life more (even if it is already perfect, or even if it seems impossible). Do things that will make you feel better.

Years ago I made the decision that every new year will be better than the year before was, and even through the rough years I have managed to find silver linings to make it so. So as I am leaving a fantastic 2015 behind I know that 2016 will be even more fabulous. Because I choose the story I want to write.

I'm starting my new year by having a lazy day. I have done some writing (as you can read, hehe), I spent some time sunbathing up on the roof terrace, I have listened to some music, I've meditated, I made some carb-free bread, and I am about to have a nice warm bath with candles and some soft calming music. All things that make me feel good. Because isn't that what life is all about after all? To feel as good, and be as happy as you can be? So don't let outer circumstances control you, choose the story you want to write. Take control of your happiness and your life and be the best that you can be.

That is my only new year's resolution. To Choose the story I want to write, and to feel as good as I possibly can at every given moment.

What is yours?

Thank you to my friend G for letting me use her motto for today's post. I am so looking forward to meeting you in London!

Today's video is by another one of my favourite artists, and he is not a cappella, nor is he country. However, I would love to see a collaboration between him and Home Free at some point.

Here's Bruno Mars with a song perfectly fitted for today; The Lazy Song. This is also one of my favourite videos as it's cute, goofy and it makes me happy. (There is an alternative official video for this song, but I prefer this one). I have shared this song and video once before, but it was last year so ... here you go!

Happy New Year, friends!