Technically Rob is the 2nd tenor of the group, providing harmonies along with baritone Chris Rupp when lead tenor Austin Brown sings, but honestly, Rob is so much more than that. From what I have heard and seen Rob can do most anything. He can sing like an angel, rap like a true rapper, whistle like a bird and he can even do some beat boxing. He is funny and entertaining, and, yes, he does have a beard like a real man.
Rob graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a B.A. in Music, and a minor in Political Science. During his years at the University he was a member of the vocal jazz ensemble Lake Effect, where his professor had him learning "some wicked hard" tracks. Before University Rob had only been singing for a little over a year, and his vocal instructor at Duluth, Rachel Inselman, more or less taught him how to sing. Rachel has said about Rob that "he was a natural with quite a varied repertoire. He was equally talented in singing opera, musical theatre, and jazz, and that is quite rare." Rob says that they both helped him prepare for what was to come with the crazy hours rehearsing for the Sing Off years later.
According to Rob the whole growing a beard thing also started while attending Duluth, as a way to stay warm during the cold winters. Well, at least I think it looks good on him, and we know Shawn Stockman, Boys2Men, does too after he said to Rob on the Sing Off that "you should never lose that beard".
After University Rob joined the well-known a cappella group Four Shadow during the last year of their existence, and when Home Free heard they were calling it quits they reached out to Rob offering him the part as 2nd tenor with them. That was in 2008, and we are all very happy he took their offer and stayed with them.
I've been trying to find words to describe how it makes me feel when Rob sings, whistles or goof around, and the one emotion that stands out is happy, he makes me feel happy. I mean, they all do in their different ways, and together, but Rob always looks so happy with that big smile on his face, and it shines through in everything he does with Home Free. When he whistles it makes me smile, when he sings like an angel it makes me smile, and when he's being silly it makes me smile. And smiling makes me happy.
Deciding which videos to share with you has not been an easy task, as there are so many to choose from, but here you go. This first one is live from a show, because I want you all to see that his whistling really is crazy good; here's the good old Rockin' Robin;
This next video always makes me smile and dance. The song is a cover on Honey, I'm Good by Andy Grammer, and the video is based upon the film Groundhog Day. The combination of Rob's voice, the song and the fun video is hard to beat!
Next up is the Butts Medley, or the Butts Remix, live. This song will show you Rob's rapping skills. And it will give you a good laugh; remember, these guys don't take themselves too seriously, and neither should you. At least not with songs like this.
I'll finish this up with one of the newer videos of Home Free; the Wagon Wheel/ Song of The South Medley. Again, this makes me smile, and you can check it out live on Heidi Rancour's YouTube channel, that is where I get the live videos from. Thanks again, Heidi, for sharing them!
Don't you just love Rob and his crazy all-around talent? I know I do!
Oh, and did he make you smile too?
Oh, and did he make you smile too?