As you might know I am doing a mini-series about the members of Home Free, a country a cappella band that is in the process of taking the world by storm, step by step are they building up to full strength. Today’s post is about Chris Rupp; the group baritone, the lead arranger and the glue. Chris is together with his brother Adam Rupp, the beatboxer, the founder of Home Free.
Chris doesn't stand out as much as the rest of the guys in the group, at least not at first listen, but without Chris and his extremely smooth voice Home Free’s music would sound quite empty. Chris is the one that in most songs holds it all together, he’s the glue that connects the beatboxing to the tenor, and the bass to the high tenor, and he does it brilliantly without having the need to stand out on his own. But when singing on his own, you realize he's just as talented and great as the rest of them are. When I listen to Chris singing it feels like perfect temperature air touching my skin, or like drinking freshly squeezed mango juice on a hot summer's day. Smooth, and clean. Perfection.
Chris might not be the one that stands out in the songs, but he stands out outside of the singing in the way he interacts with the fans of the group. All of the guys are pretty active on different social media sights, but Chris takes it a step further. Not only does he post daily thoughts called Thinkin' on both Facebook and Twitter, allowing his fans to see a bit of who he is (some of these thoughts have stirred up some interesting discussions), but he is also a member of most of the fan groups on Facebook, where he from time to time will answer questions, or just leave a comment to someone’s post. And that is quite amazing. Not many artists will take the time to do that.
As I mentioned above Chris is also the lead arranger in the band and I love his arrangements, not that I don’t love the other guy’s ones, but Chris’ often have a smoothness to them, kind of like his voice. But they can also be surprising, and that is a trademark with these guys. They always seem to surprise.
Chris studied at Gustavus Adolphus College for 3 years before getting his degrees at Minnesota State in his hometown of Mankato, in music performance with emphasis on vocal and piano. He had his first paying gig at a wedding at age 16.
This first video is of Chris singing A Little Bit of Everything, a Keith Urban cover with a Home Free arrangement, at the same show as the live videos I shared of Adam and Tim Foust, the bass singer. It is too filmed by HeidiRancour, check out her YouTube channel for more live videos. But before any song there has to be a proper intro, here's a derailment of it;
And here is the actual song;
The second video is one of Home Free’s most recent videos, it is a mash up about butt songs, done in a very tasteful way making sure not to exploit the female behind. They do, however, share their own butts in a humorous way. These guys know how to not take themselves too seriously. I’m sharing this video because it was arranged by Chris together with Layne Stein and Adam Rupp. This is different from what Home Free normally does, but still, they keep stepping out of the box.
And here is a different type of arrangement by Chris, it is a Christmas song, and it is absolutely beautiful. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Chris is known as the "Home Free Hat Guy", as he's always wearing a hat. This video caused quite a lot of attention because of it.
Can you see the diversity of Chris and Home Free? These are all reasons why I love them, and why I love being a huge fan of theirs.
Thanks again to Heidi for allowing me use her awesome concert clips, and thank you to Home Free for encouraging their audience to film them and put it up on social media.