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!