Home Free (group)

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Home Free
Home Free in 2018 (left to right: Rob Lundquist, Austin Brown, Tim Foust, Adam Chance, Adam Rupp)
Home Free in 2018 (left to right: Rob Lundquist, Austin Brown, Tim Foust, Adam Chance, Adam Rupp)
Background information
Also known asHome Free Vocal Band
OriginMankato, Minnesota, U.S.
GenresA cappella, country
Years activeJanuary 2001 (January 2001)–present[1]
MembersAustin Brown
Rob Lundquist
Adam Rupp
Tim Foust
Adam Chance
Past membersChris Rupp
Matt Atwood
Darren Scruggs
Dan Lemke
Chris Foss
Elliott Robinson
Troy Horne
Matthew Tuey
Joe Fine
Joe Kent
Adam Bastien
Websitehomefreemusic.com

Home Free is an American country a cappella group of five vocalists: Austin Brown, Rob Lundquist, Adam Rupp, Tim Foust, and Adam Chance. Starting as a show group, they toured with approximately 200 shows a year across the United States.[2] The group won the fourth season of The Sing-Off on NBC in 2013. They sang an arrangement of Hunter Hayes' "I Want Crazy" as their final competitive song, earning the group $100,000 and a recording contract with Sony.[3]

The band released their first major label album, Crazy Life, in February 2014.[4] Their most recent album, So Long Dixie, was released in November 2022.

History[edit]

Home Free was originally formed in January 2001 by Chris Rupp[1] in Mankato, Minnesota, when some of its members were still in their teens.[5] The five founding members were brothers Chris and Adam Rupp, Matt Atwood, Darren Scruggs, and Dan Lemke. They took their name from a boat owned by Atwood's grandfather who helped support the group financially in their early years.[6] The group began as a hobby for the singers, but they gradually grew in experience and popularity. By 2007 they had enough of a following to pursue music full-time. During this period, the Rupp brothers and Atwood formed the core of the group, with Atwood singing lead tenor. Other members of the group came and went. Current member Rob Lundquist, another Minnesotan, joined in 2008.[7]

For much of the group's history they worked with many talented bass singers, but did not have a full-time committed bass voice. In 2007 Chris Foss sang with them. Elliott Robinson was added as bass in September 2008, and was replaced in June 2009 by Troy Horne. Later that year, Horne left to rejoin the House Jacks. To replace Horne they turned to Tim Foust, who first sang with them as a guest on their 2010 tour. A Texas native, Foust was then pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter of country music and had recently released a solo album, but was not ready to sign on full-time. Matthew Tuey sang with the group in the interim of 2011, until Foust joined them full-time in January 2012.[7]

In 2012, Austin Brown was working on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship as a featured singer in their production shows. When Home Free joined the cruise as a guest performing group, they met and became close. Brown, who was born in Tifton, Georgia, let Home Free know that he would be interested in joining the group if they ever had an opening. At the end of 2012 lead singer Matt Atwood and his wife, who had married the previous year, were expecting their first child. Finding the group's touring schedule incompatible with family life, and having an opportunity to take over his family's real estate business in Mankato, Atwood made the decision to retire from the group. Home Free then invited Brown to join as lead tenor. He sang his first show with the group in October 2012, and became full-time in January 2013.[8]

The group, made up of Chris and Adam Rupp, Lundquist, Foust and Brown, competed in the fourth season of The Sing-Off, recording their performances in September 2013.[9] During that time, the group arranged for substitute performers to fulfill their previously-scheduled concert commitments.[9] The series was televised in December 2013, and the group headlined the Sing-Off tour across 32 cities in 2014.[9]

On March 18, 2016, it was announced that, after sixteen years of performing with the group, co-founder Chris Rupp would be leaving to pursue a solo career. He would be replaced after May 8 by Adam Chance, formerly of Street Corner Symphony.[10]

Home Free in 2015
Austin Brown
Rob Lundquist
Chris Rupp
Tim Foust
Adam Rupp

Reception[edit]

An update of Home Free's 2014 album Full of Cheer called Full Of (Even More) Cheer was released in November 2016 and debuted at number two on the Top Country Albums Chart with 13,000 sold - the band's best performance on the chart at the time.[11]

The band has been actively posting videos to their Youtube channel since 2009. In May 2020, they announced that they had reached 1 million subscribers to their channel.[12] Home Free was also an early adopter of Patreon, where they crowdfund to raise money to produce their videos.[13]

Musical background and style[edit]

All five of Home Free's singers have formal musical training. Lundquist and the Rupp brothers all have bachelor's degrees in music. Adam Rupp's primary instrument is trumpet, but he also plays drums, keyboard, and bass guitar. Since joining, Foust and Brown have also become very active in writing and arranging.

In terms of musical roles, Home Free includes a lead tenor (Lundquist), a high tenor (Brown), a baritone (Chance), a bass (Foust), and a beatboxer (Rupp), who provides percussion sounds. Lundquist and Chance sing traditional tenor and baritone harmony, respectively, and Foust sings bass with the range of a basso profundo. Occasionally, the latter two singers switch roles. All of the singers occasionally sing solos supported by the harmonies of the other singers.

Home Free's styling as a country group is relatively recent. Before Foust joined the group, Home Free was an all-purpose a cappella group, singing in a wide variety of styles, of which country was only a minor one. With the additions of Foust and Brown, the group moved more in the direction of country and found that audiences responded well to it. Home Free had auditioned three times for The Sing-Off (without Foust and Brown) and not been accepted. When auditioning for the fourth season, they made a conscious decision to style themselves as a country group. In an interview Brown said this identity is what grabbed the attention of The Sing-Off’s casting director, who said, “You guys really fit something we don’t have.”[8]

Collaborations[edit]

Home Free has collaborated with many notable artists. In 2015, they were featured on Kenny Rogers' final album Once Again It's Christmas, performing "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" with Rogers.[14] Also in 2015, the Oak Ridge Boys collaborated with Home Free in a fully a capella version of their song "Elvira".[15]

Don McLean invited them to collaborate on a 50th anniversary recording of his 1971 hit "American Pie".[16][17] The music video for this performance went on to win three Telly awards in 2021.[18] Home Free has collaborated on several occasions with fellow a capella artist Peter Hollens on "19 You + Me" in 2014 and the hymn "Amazing Grace" in 2016.[19] In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Hollens and Home Free collaborated on a cover of the U2 song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", incorporating a choir made up of over 200 members of their respective Patreon patrons; each performer or family group recorded their audio and video remotely.[20]

Also in 2020, Home Free collaborated with Lee Greenwood and the Singing Sergeants of the United States Air Force Band in a recording of Greenwood's hit song "God Bless the U.S.A.".[21] The song was released on June 30, 2020, and reached #1 in digital song sales as of July 18, 2020.[22]

Concert tours[edit]

Before their success on the Sing-Off, Home Free was touring at fairs and festivals across the US, as well as stints on cruise ships. Since then they have been part of the Sing-Off Tour, and headlined their own Crazy Life Tour (2014), Full of Cheer Tour (2014–15), Spring Tour (2015), Don't It Feel Good Tour (2015–16), A Country Christmas Tour (2016), Timeless World Tour (2017–18), and A Country Christmas Tour (2017). In January 2016 they embarked on their first tour outside North America with stops in Birmingham, UK; St. Andrews, Scotland; and London, UK (a planned stop in Dublin, Ireland was canceled due to weather).[23] In September 2016 they had their first concert in Central Europe at the "2nd European Country Festival" in Pertisau, Austria. In September 2019 they began their Dive Bar Saints World Tour, which was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2019 they began their Dive Bar Saints Christmas Tour in the US.

On October 8, 2020, the band announced an Indiegogo campaign to fund a virtual holiday concert called "Warmest Winter" to coincide with the release of a new CD of the same name. The campaign met its initial funding goal in nine hours and stretch goals were added for further funding.[24] The pre-filmed concert was streamed from December 2 to 5, 2020, and featured guest appearances by Alabama and The Oak Ridge Boys, among others.[25]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart
positions
Sales
US
Country

[26]
US
[27]
From the Top
  • Release date: July 17, 2007
  • Label: Home Free
  • Chris Rupp, Adam Rupp, Matt Atwood, Joe Fine
Kickin It Old School
  • Release date: March 30, 2009
  • Label: Home Free
  • C. Rupp, A. Rupp, Atwood, Rob Lundquist, Elliott Robinson
Christmas Vol 1
  • Release date: January 18, 2010
  • Label: Home Free
  • C. Rupp, A. Rupp, Atwood, Lundquist, Robinson
Christmas Vol 2
  • Release date: March 30, 2010
  • Label: Home Free
  • C. Rupp, A. Rupp, Atwood, Lundquist, Robinson
Live from the Road
  • Release date: July 17, 2012
  • Label: Home Free Studios
  • C. Rupp, A. Rupp, Atwood, Lundquist, Tim Foust
Crazy Life
  • Release date: January 13, 2014
  • Label: Columbia Records
  • C. Rupp, A. Rupp, Austin Brown, Lundquist, Foust
8 40
Full of Cheer
  • Release date: October 27, 2014
  • Label: Sony
  • C. Rupp, A. Rupp, Brown, Lundquist, Foust
12 65
Country Evolution
  • Release date: September 18, 2015
  • Label: Columbia
  • C. Rupp, A. Rupp, Brown, Lundquist, Foust
4 46
Full of (Even More) Cheer
  • Release date: November 11, 2016
  • Label: Columbia
  • A. Rupp, Adam Chance, Brown, Lundquist, Foust
2 36
Timeless
  • Release date: September 22, 2017
  • Label: Columbia
  • A. Rupp, Chance, Brown, Lundquist, Foust
3 28
Dive Bar Saints
  • Release date: September 6, 2019[33]
  • Label: Home Free
  • A. Rupp, Chance, Brown, Lundquist, Foust
4 44
Warmest Winter
  • Release date: November 6, 2020
  • Label: Home Free
  • A. Rupp, Chance, Brown, Lundquist, Foust
37
Land of the Free
  • Release date: June 25, 2021
  • Label: Home Free
  • A. Rupp, Chance, Brown, Lundquist, Foust
40
The Sounds of Lockdown
  • Release date: June 17, 2022
  • Label: Home Free
  • A. Rupp, Chance, Brown, Lundquist, Foust
So Long Dixie
  • Release date: November 4, 2022
  • Label: Home Free
  • A. Rupp, Chance, Brown, Lundquist, Foust
17 132
[35]
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US Country US
2014 "Angels We Have Heard on High" 30 118 Full of Cheer

Original songs[edit]

Year Single Writers Album
2014 "Champagne Taste (On a Beer Budget)"[a] Tim Foust & Joe Bilotta Crazy Life
"I've Seen"[a] Tim Foust, Joe Bilotta and Henry O'Neill
"Everything Will Be Ok"[a] Tim Foust & Dave Guisti
"Any Way The Wind Blows" Mark Nesler, Jennifer Hanson, and Marty Dodson
"Crazy Life" Kevin Fisher
"Full of Cheer" Tim Foust Full of Cheer
2015 "Summer in The Country" Mark Nesler and George Teren Country Evolution
"Don't It Feel Good" Tim Foust and Darren Rust
"Serenity" Tim Foust
"California Country" Austin Brown, Darren Rust, Melissa Polinar
"Good Ol' Country Harmony" Tim Foust and Darren Rust
2017 "Timeless" Mark Nesler, Lizzy McAvoy, and Eric Arjes Timeless
"Good Ol' Boy Good Time" Mark Nesler and Jim McCormick
"It Looks Good" Tim Foust, Mike Luginbill, & Darren Rust
"When You Walk in" Arlis Albritton
2019 "Remember This" Tim Foust, Arlis Albritton, Donnie Reis, Chris Chatham Dive Bar Saints
"Leave This Town" Chris Gelbuda, Chase McGill, Brett Tyler
"Dive Bar Saints" Brandon Chase, Arlis Albritton, Justin Morgan
"Catch Me If You Can" Keelan Donovan, Louis Johnson, and Anna Rose Menken
"Lonely Girl's World" Austin Brown, Steven Martinez, Ava Suppelsa
"Cross That Bridge" Keelan Donovan and Matthew McVaney
"Dreamer" Dustin Christensen, Ross Ellis, Dan Fernandez
"What's The World Coming To" Tim Foust, Eric Arjes, and Mark Nesler
"Why Not" Jeffrey Joseph East and Patrick Dodge
"Love Me Like That" Jeffrey Joseph East, Steven Martinez, and Austin Brown
2020 "Warmest Winter" Austin Brown, Emma Brooke and Steven Martinez Warmest Winter
"Snow Globe" Tim Foust and Keelan Donovan
"Christmas Ain't For The Lonely" Tim Foust, Chris Chatham and Darren Rust
"Cold Hard Cash" Austin Brown, Annika Bennett and Andrew Tufano
"What We Need is Love" Tim Foust, Ernie Halter
2021 "Land of The Free" Tim Foust and Chris Chatham Land of The Free

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Originally performed by Tim Foust on his solo album The Best That I Could Do in 2011

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The History of Home Free - Episode 1 (ft Adam, Chris and Matt), archived from the original on December 3, 2021, retrieved December 3, 2021
  2. ^ Gim, Esther (December 9, 2013). "'The Sing-Off' Season 4 Premiere Recap: 10 Groups Hit All the Right Notes". Archived from the original on October 29, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  3. ^ Thompson, Erik (December 26, 2013). "Minneapolis group Home Free wins NBC's The Sing-Off". Archived from the original on December 28, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  4. ^ Ellen Kan (January 20, 2014). "A capella country band releases stunning debut album". TJ Today Online. Archived from the original on September 29, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  5. ^ Dyslin, Amanda (December 8, 2013). "Local a cappella group competes on NBC 'Sing-Off'". Archived from the original on January 18, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  6. ^ "R/Music - [AMA] Hi, We're country vocal band Home Free. Ask us anything!". Archived from the original on May 30, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Vitug, Joseph (December 29, 2013). "Country-Tonix, Part 1, Evolution". Archived from the original on January 28, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  8. ^ a b T-Time with Ginger (interview with Austin Brown). December 23, 2013. Archived from the original on January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Bream, Jon (March 16, 2014). "Harmonic convergence: Minnesota vocal group Home Free makes bid for national stardom". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  10. ^ "Home Free". Facebook. Archived from the original on May 30, 2022. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  11. ^ Asker, Jim (November 22, 2016). "Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood Celebrate 'Christmas' at No. 1 on Top Country Albums Chart". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  12. ^ "Thanks A Million." - Home Free on YouTube
  13. ^ Home Free - Now On Patreon! on YouTube
  14. ^ Dauphin, Chuck (November 16, 2015). "Watch Kenny Rogers and Home Free Collaborate on Classic 'Children, Go Where I Send Thee': Exclusive". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  15. ^ Hudak, Joseph (August 26, 2015). "Hear the Oak Ridge Boys and Home Free Reimagine 'Elvira'". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  16. ^ "Don McLean releases new a cappella version of "American Pie" featuring country vocal group Home Free". abcnewsradioonline.com. January 29, 2021.
  17. ^ Dowling, Marcus. "Don McLean Joins Forces With Home Free For a New Cover of "American Pie"". CMT. CMT. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  18. ^ "Don McLean + Home Free Win Three Telly Awards For Special Collaboration Of "American Pie"". Enigma Online. Enigma Online. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  19. ^ Reuter, Annie (November 28, 2016). "Home Free Offers Stunning Rendition of 'Amazing Grace' [WATCH]". A Taste of Country. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For" (U2 Cover) Peter Hollens feat. Home Free on YouTube
  21. ^ Beviglia, Jim (July 2020). "Lee Greenwood Collaborates With Home Free And The US Air Force For Stirring New Version Of "God Bless The USA"". American Songwriter.
  22. ^ "Digital Song Sales Chart". Billboard. July 18, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  23. ^ "Interview". Music-News. January 26, 2016. Archived from the original on January 27, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  24. ^ @HomeFreeGuys (October 8, 2020). "CANNNOT BELIEVE IT. 9 hours. Y'all are amazing. We are OVERHWHELMED by the support. Working on some words for you all tonight. But for now we'll just say two: Thank You" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  25. ^ "How to Watch Home Free's 'Warmest Winter' Christmas Special". Everything Nash. November 11, 2020. Archived from the original on August 30, 2022. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  26. ^ "Home Free: Top Country Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 30, 2022. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  27. ^ "Home Free: Billboard 200". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 30, 2022. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  28. ^ Matt Bjorke (May 20, 2015). "Country Album Chart Report For May 20, 2015". Roughstock. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015. Sales figure given here Archived May 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Bjorke, Matt (December 14, 2016). "*Special Report*: Country Catalog Chart for December 14, 2016". Roughstock. Archived from the original on August 11, 2018. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  30. ^ Bjorke, Matt (April 18, 2017). "Top Country Catalog Album Sales Chart: April 18, 2017". Roughstock. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  31. ^ Bjorke, Matt (January 3, 2017). "Top 10 Country Albums Sales Chart: January 3, 2017". Roughstock. Archived from the original on January 4, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  32. ^ Bjorke, Matt (April 8, 2019). "Top 10 Country Albums: April 8, 2019". Roughstock. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  33. ^ Holland, Tim (August 27, 2019). "The 8 best country covers from a cappella country group Home Free". Tone Deaf. Archived from the original on September 6, 2019. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  34. ^ Bjorke, Matt (March 3, 2020). "Top 10 Country Albums In Pure Sales: March 2, 2020". Roughstock. Archived from the original on March 22, 2020. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  35. ^ @billboardcharts (November 14, 2022). "Debuts on this week's #Billboard200 (2/2)..." (Tweet). Retrieved November 15, 2022 – via Twitter.

External links[edit]