The Duncan Banner
Before NBC’s “The Sing-Off” and before “Pitch Perfect,” five guys from Minnesota were already showing the nation just how “aca-awesome” it is to make music with your mouth.
Home Free consists of members Chris Rupp, Tim Foust, Rob Lunquist, Adam Rupp, Austin Brown and Matt Atwood. Yes, that’s six guys. Atwood and his wife recently had a little bundle of joy join their family and he wanted to stay home more for a while, so Brown took his position in the group for the time being.
With only microphones and their voices, this group provide an a cappella sound that is what they call “an eclectic mix of everything” since forming in 2001. Home Free will be featured as the Chisholm Trail Art Council’s final concert of their 2012-13 CTAC Live Concert Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Simmons Center.
“Adam, Chris and I met in elementary school and we put this together for a hobby, then years later, it became a full-time job,” said Atwood, who is also the promotional director. “It’s something that’s pretty hard to do and takes a lot of practice.”
All of the members have extensive and impressive backgrounds in music and each can play at least one instrument at professional capacity. However, when creating the group, they decided a capella was the way to go.
“We chose it for the challenge,” Atwood said. “It’s a niche.”
That little niche has been thrown into the limelight in recent years by NBC’s reality competition show “The Sing Off” and the hilarious hit film “Pitch Perfect.” Home Free was actually set to compete on “The Sing-Off” before it was canceled in 2012.
It was announced in March that the show will begin again this year for its fourth season. Atwood said that should Home Free be asked to participate in it this time around, they most likely won’t.
“We’re doing pretty well without it but those type of things (the show and movie) have helped,” he said. “A lot of people come expecting a barbershop show and what they get is more like what you see in ‘Pitch Perfect.’”
When the group said they do “everything,” they mean it. From oldies like “Rockin’ Robin” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to more contemporary jams from musicians like Michael Bublé and Jason Mraz, there is something to catch the ears of any age group.
“We have tried to develop a show to entertain everybody,” said Atwood. “We try to keep it very light-hearted, so there’s a lot of comedy in our show.”
This is Home Free’s first ever performance in Oklahoma, though they’ve been to surrounding southern states.
“I noticed that we have skipped over Oklahoma every time we go down south, so it’s always nice to get into a new place and expand our fan base,” he said. “Hopefully, this is the first of many shows in Oklahoma.”
From parents who have been dragged along by their children to grandchildren having been dragged along by their grandparents, though they had a different expectation of what they would be hearing, all have come up to the group afterwards to say how much they enjoyed the show.
“Our biggest compliment is when people tell us after the show that they feel like they’ve known us forever because we’re so down to earth,” said Atwood.
“We’re a group of friends having a good time and I think that translates well to the audience. You’ll have a good time with us. I’ve never seen someone walk out of our show without a smile.”