Nick Lachey Checks Out an A Capella Concert

Friday December 16, 2011

Nick and Drew Lachey brought their wives to a SNC show in Cincinnati and talked to the guys backstage!

Read more from Cara Lynn Shultz and check out the fantastic photo on,,20554232,00.html

Hat Tip:

Straight No Chaser Brings Christmas Cheer to a Sold-Out Crowd

By Shaina Eng
Neon Tommy
December 13, 2011
As a whole, the show was more than just a concert; it was a production.  With an elaborate setup of risers, incredible lighting design which added to the changing mood and atmosphere of each song, and witty banter between songs, Straight No Chaser showed that they are more than just a bunch of choir geeks; they are true performers who are making a cappella cool again.
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Hat Tip: @ShainaEng

Concert Review: Straight No Chaser arranges and performs a 'brilliant' show

I was there! I was there! My very first SNC concert!!!


By Andrew Bain
Published December 10, 2011 in A&E: Spotlight
Updated: December 12, 2011, 12:11 AM

Straight No Chaser
Dec. 9
The Wiltern
It’s one thing to feel your seat rumble while you’re listening to
heavy bass in hip-hop or electronic music. It’s another thing entirely
to almost feel the same thing when that bass is coming from one

That is exactly what happened during “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,”
one of the highlights of a cappella group Straight No Chaser’s
outstanding sold-out show at The Wiltern Friday night.
Also impressive was the vocal range of Tyler Trepp, whose ability to
sing into the stratosphere (completely on pitch) was stunning.

Read more:

Hat Tip: @betty897x and @dottkov

A cappella group Straight No Chaser takes another shot at music by reuniting for new EP and album (Walter)

By Andrew Bain
The Daily Bruin
December 8, 2011
DB: How long does it typically take until a song is ready to be performed live?

WC: It’s different for every song. It can be as quick as a day or two. We were in Tennessee … about a month ago, and we decided we wanted to do a version of “Rocky Top” while we were in Tennessee. Literally, the guys arranged it one day, we learned it the next and performed (it) the following day. So that’s one example. Other songs, like the song “Let’s Get It On,” which is a track off our new EP … we had recorded that in the studio back in January of 2009, and it actually did not get performed by us until this past summer. So, (there) was almost two and a half years of it sitting on the shelf … getting reworked … and then it made it on the album, the EP that we just released. So, that was almost three years from when that song first started. And, for some songs we’ll do an original arrangement of and want to tweak it or add something to it, and it goes away for a little bit. Or, it will take a week to arrange the song and then it gets brought back and … we have a choreographer (who) comes in and sometimes adds movements. So, a song can take anywhere from a couple of days, to a couple of weeks, to, in extreme circumstances, a couple of years.
Read more:

Hat Tip: @betty897x

Straight No Chaser brings its a cappella magic to L.A., S.B. (Dave)

By Bill Locey
Ventura County Star
December 8, 2011
What's the strangest gig you guys have had so far?
Oh, we've had a couple of strange ones, particularly when we were in college. Anytime anyone wanted us to sing, we'd do it. But since we've turned pro, the stranger gigs have been when we were starting up and we'd be doing a 100-seat bar venue in Pittsburgh with a stage that was for a small band and not for 10 guys. We'd be crowded on the stage trying to figure out how to make a show work.
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How to survive holiday singalongs

This article might take a bit to load, but it's a fun angle.


By Judy Hevrdejs, Tribune reporter
December 6, 2011
Soon you may gather with family and friends, at a piano or near a fireplace. Then, maybe with "Let It Snow!" or "Jingle Bells," someone will start a singalong.

Want to harmonize? We asked Randy Stine, a bass with Straight No Chaser, the men's a cappella group — with shows Dec. 3 in Chicago and Dec. 4 in Rosemont — for guidance.
"A key part of singing, especially during the holidays, is making yourself feel comfortable enough to enjoy it."
Read more:,0,883566.story

Hat Tip: @dottkov

A Conversation with Straight No Chaser's Charlie Mechling

By Mike Ragogna
Radio Personality on Solar Powered KRUU-FM, Music Biz Vet
Posted: 12/5/11 12:42 AM ET
MR: Whose idea was it to combine Michael Jackson with Bell Biv DeVoe on "Billie Jean/Poison"?

CM: The arrangement was done by a guy who used to be in the group by the name of Dan Ponce, but the idea came from Randy Stine, who is, incidentally, also the guy who posted the video to YouTube that then went viral. He had the thoughts and merged them together using Garage Band or some something. He sent that file around to everyone, which got the idea swimming around in Dan's head and he put it to paper.

Read More: 

Hat Tip:


Edit 12/17/11: The audio to this interview is now available online:

Found via Google Alerts

Interview: Straight No Chaser's Randy Stine

This one ran a couple of facts together; they think that the 12 Days video that went viral was from a 10 year reunion concert. Actually, the video was uploaded for the SNC 10 year reunion, but it's from a December 7, 1998 concert. It's part of a limited edition DVD edited and produced by Randy, "Straight No Chaser: Live at the Musical Arts Center." These days it's a collector's item that shows up every now and then on and Ebay.

SNC Fun Fact: December 7th is also Dan Ponce's birthday, and he says he never remembers that that concert was on his birthday. lol 

By Chuck Sudo
The Chicagoist
December 2, 2011
C: How does the group determine its song selection? One of the notable aspects of SNC is that you don't do standard a cappella like madrigals or hymnals.

RS:We never were traditional. We've always done pop. We've used arrangements from songs we did in high school. In college, we marketed ourselves as a band without instruments. I think a cappella is a different genre than rock. Rock fans tend to be more open-minded about what they'll listen to. With a cappella fans, they tend to stick to what they like: barbershop quartets, madrigals, classical. Some will come to our shows and tell us after "what you're doing is not what we expect."
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Playful purists: A cappella group has a sense of humor, but is clearly serious about its sound

Published: Friday, November 18, 2011, 11:15 AM
Nottingham first sang with Straight No Chaser in its original incarnation in the late ’90s as a student at Indiana University. He went on to law school at the University of Colorado, where as a guitarist, he also joined a band. He then put his music aside to become deputy district attorney of Jefferson Country, Colo.

About 15 months ago, Nottingham, who is married with two young children, received a call from a friend in the group. One of the members had quit — would he be interested in rejoining?
Read more:

Hat Tip: @dottkov

Q&A with Straight No Chaser’s Randy Stine

By Kelly Blithe
Your State Theater Magazine
November 14, 2011
KB: The story of how Straight No Chaser rose to fame and was eventually signed to Atlantic Records sounds like a dream come true. Between the rising number of YouTube views to that call from Atlantic Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman, what was going through your head during that crazy time?

Randy Stine: Watching the view count increase from roughly 100,000 to nearly 7,000,000 was thrilling in itself. I received many inquiries about us releasing our music through online companies, but they all seemed a bit untrustworthy.  When Craig Kallman called me, it also seemed  too good to be true, until I flew to LA and had dinner with him in person.  The highest hopes I really had at the time were to shoot a onetime reunion special for television or a DVD.
Read more:

(Edit: The link is no longer active, so the full text appears below.)

Every year the State Theatre presents a wide variety of holiday shows
from a jazzy Christmas (Dave Koz & Friends) to a big band (The Jimmy
Dorsey Orchestra & The Pied Pipers) celebration to seasonal traditions
like The Nutcracker and Salute to Vienna. Kicking off that holiday
season cheer and making theirState Theatre debut is the a cappella
sensation Straight No Chaser (SNC).

Originally a group at Indiana University, SNC became a YouTube
sensation after founding singer Randy Stine posted some clips from a
past concert on YouTube. The videos went on to score millions of hits,
landing SNC with a recording contract.

Stine, who continues to perform and tour as an original member of the
group, took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to talk about SNC’s
rise to fame and what we can expect from SNC’s November 23rd concert
here at the State Theatre.

KB: The story of how Straight No Chaser rose to fame and was
eventually signed to Atlantic Records sounds like a dream come true.
Between the rising number of YouTube views to that call from Atlantic
Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman, what was going through your head during
that crazy time?

Randy Stine: Watching the view count increase from roughly 100,000 to
nearly 7,000,000 was thrilling in itself. I received many inquiries
about us releasing our music through online companies, but they all
seemed a bit untrustworthy. When Craig Kallman called me, it also
seemed too good to be true, until I flew to LA and had dinner with
him in person. The highest hopes I really had at the time were to
shoot a onetime reunion special for television or a DVD.

KB: SNC’s latest album, With A Twist, is a great mix of songs ranging
from Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under the Bridge” to a wonderful fusion of
Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” and Israel Kamakawiwoole’s version of
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” How did you decide what songs to put on
this album? Also, are there any songs that didn’t make the cut?

Randy Stine: With 10 guys in the group, we have a very wide variety of
musical tastes and backgrounds. Our song selections come from all 10
of us which helps us have diversity in our song choices. There are
sometimes songs that don’t make the cut, whether we were unhappy with
the way they turned out in the studio, or we didn’t have room for them
on this album. Some of those songs may surface again in the future.

KB: You have been doing this for a while, is there a particular song
or moment in your performances that you enjoy the most?

Randy Stine: There’re many different moments during the live show that
I enjoy; particularly moments when we surprise the audience with a
song choice or twist on a song they weren’t expecting.

KB: SNC has a large fan base, what would you say is the most memorable
fan moment for you so far?

Randy Stine: It’s difficult to narrow down just one single fan moment,
there are so many that stand out to me. In general, my favorite
memories are made in towns we play that we weren’t expecting to sell
out. It’s so humbling to play a city you’ve never been to before, and
walk out on stage to see that every seat is taken.

KB: What can we expect from this performance on November 23 at the
State Theatre?

Randy Stine: We’re really excited to play the State Theatre, and the
show will be a good mix of oldies, contemporary pop, as well as
holiday tunes.

KB: What can we expect from SNC in the future?

Randy Stine: Looking towards the future, we plan to continue touring
and releasing new music as long as there are fans who support what we

Straight No Chaser tries to give songs new identity (Walter)

By Julia Hatmaker, The Patriot-News
Published: Monday, November 14, 2011, 5:30 PM  
Updated: Monday, November 14, 2011, 5:46 PM
With voices that blend together in perfect harmony and cheeky onstage
banter, Internet sensations Straight No Chaser will be performing to
two sold-out crowds at Hershey Theatre on Saturday.

Walter Chase, who doubles as the group’s musical director and one its
tenors, took time before Straight No Chaser’s Gettysburg performance
in June to give a glimpse at what it’s like to be a member of the a
cappella group.
Can you just describe Straight No Chaser for a moment?
What is your favorite song to perform?
How do you make your songs?
How do you pick the songs?
What role has the Internet played in your career?
What were you doing before Straight No Chaser?
How has the TV show “Glee” impacted the a capella genre?
What’s the best part of being part of Straight No Chaser?
Read more:

Found via Google

Straight No Chaser popularity unwaning

By Mary Ellen Wright
Correspondent, Sunday News
Nov 13, 2011 00:06
SNC performs songs ranging from Madonna's "Like a Prayer" to Christmas classics like "Carol of the Bells," and from Toto's "Africa" to Beyonce's "Put a Ring on It."

Chase particularly enjoys performing SNC versions of the standard "Me and My Shadow," the Temptations' "Get Ready" and Coldplay's "Fix You."

"Our goal in arranging isn't necessarily trying to do an exact cover of a song," Chase said. "We try to put a twist on everything."

Hat Tip:  @betty897x

Straight No Chaser Captivates Audiences, Both Young And Old

Wow, it's a nice review, but I also just love the wording in this one! Kudos to Ms. Farrar for some excellent writing.


By Jennifer Farrar
Brite Revolution
November 11, 2011
The remarkable vocal range of the group truly captivated the audience for hours. There was not a single instrument on stage to mask an off-key note, but these guys did not need any instruments to disguise imperfections.

Every song was drenched in the group’s unique take on the song, but was also reminiscent enough of the original that two fascinating worlds collided.
Read more:

Straight talk

By Ray Routhier
November 10, 2011 
"I like the harmonies, always singing something with another person in the group," said Trepp. "You can be creative with arrangements in ways you can't with instruments. Even though we're a cover band, we do songs in ways you haven't heard before."
Read more:

Found via Google

CCBF Breakthrough Ball Gala Honored Leyla Aliyeva, Muffie Potter Aston, and Buddy Valastro

By NY PR Web
November 8, 2011
"The evening concluded with a spectacular performance by Atlantic Recording Artists Straight No Chaser. Guests sang along as Straight No Chaser sang their take on the classic songs: Bridge Over Troubled Water, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Billie Jean." 
Read post: 

Photos (2)

Your parish lectors NEED this book!

By Austin Fleming
A Concord Pastor Comments (blog)
November 8, 2011
I'm not sure what the connection might be but I note that the Marcheschi's have dedicated this year's Workbook to the men's a cappella group from Indiana University: Straight No Chaser - one of my favorites!
Read post:

A cappella sensation Straight No Chaser coming to CenterStage

By Joan Tupponce
Richmond-Times Dispatch
November 6, 2011
"It's always amazing when you see all the people who have come out (for the show)," (Tyler) said. "It's great because more and more people know what a cappella is now."
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Vocal group brings a little Christmas to Covelli

A few typos on this make me twitch, but he kept his facts straight and spelled their names correctly.  So anyway...

Don's SNCmusic blog post:   

I've also seen the Chaser's "Fix You" performance and it brought me to tears, it's just beautiful. I'm not surprised Don and Ryan have both mentioned it.

By Andy Gray
Tribune Chronicle
November 3, 2011

''I know the exact night,'' (Ryan) said. ''It was at the Murat Theatre in Indianapolis, James Taylor, November 2006.  I was kind of on the verge of saying 'I don't know if I want to do music full throttle.' It was big soul searching period for me. I left that concert and, 'That's what I want to do,' not necessary play acoustic songs, but to be a performer on stage. It was as clear as a bell.''

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Straight No Chaser A cappella, all the time

By John Benson
November 3, 2011
 “There’s a phrase we toss around about particular songs, ‘Are they a cappella friendly?’” said singer Dave Roberts, calling from Wichita, Kan. “The issue with heavy metal is that the distorted guitar doesn’t lend itself to a cappella very well. The songs tend to be beat heavy and guitar driven, and that can be tough to arrange for a cappella. In fact, we did a hair-band medley last summer in Atlantic City, and it kind of fell flat. It was just tough to reproduce that full sound with just 10 voices.”
Read more:

10-man group Straight No Chaser unleashes vocal treats from Elvis to Lady Gaga

Published: Thursday, November 03, 2011, 2:00 AM
All the convolutions and hilarity covered an uncommon mastery of the vocal arts delivered with pinpoint timing, merciless key changes and tempo variations that proved Straight No Chaser is just that — pure, undiluted pleasure.

Straight No Chaser proves a cappella is cool

Love this! “People often ask how long we’re going to do this,” (Seggie) said. “My answer is always, ‘I’m going to do this until people stop coming to the show.’”


By John Phipps
The Grand Rapids Press
Published: Saturday, October 29, 2011, 11:00 AM
“A woman in Kansas City said the show was the first time in 15 years her three kids and family had all been in the same place. Another woman said she has terminal cancer and hadn’t smiled as much as she did in our show for a very long time. How blessed we are to be able to do that for people."

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Straight No Chaser review: Make mine a double

I agree that the original songs they do have are fantastic and I would LOVE to see more!


by Lindsay Christians
Thursday, October 27, 2011 6:30 am
SNC’s many-layered version of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” was better than the original, perfectly plush — if the texture of velvet became music, that’s what it would sound like.
I found myself wishing for something I didn’t know — an original, non-holiday number on the level of the fantastic “Who Spiked the Egg Nog?” or the group’s peppy theme song.
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Straight No Chaser to gambol at Overture performance

tee hee "gambol"? Also, "Walter Collins." #oops Still a nice write up, though.

By Amanda Connors
The Badger Herald
October 25, 2011

“We were No. 29 on billboards for our last non-holiday album [With a Twist], which is kind of an award within itself. I was pretty surprised about that. That was pretty cool,” Trepp said.

Read more:

Straight No Chaser returns with bigger show

By Howard Dukes
South Bend Tribune
October 23, 2011
"I was in a musical off campus and a friend of mine said he had heard about this really great group on campus and I should check them out," Isho says. "So I went out and gave it a shot and ended up making the group."
Read more:

Straight No Chaser takes a cappella off campus

Crooning and swooning
By Rich Albertoni
The Daily Page
October 20, 2011
Last August, Straight No Chaser singer Dave Roberts got a note from a female fan who'd been wowed by his stage presence at an Atlantic City show. "I was lucky enough to sit near the front and really got to experience the eye contact and famous Dave Roberts smiles that everyone is talking about," she wrote. "I love your baritone voice."
Read more:

Before 'The Sing-Off,' Straight No Chaser put a twist on pop

by Lindsay Christians 
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 7:00 am
(Randy) “So it’s great when people hear us and they’re like, ‘I never knew you could mash two songs together!’ Or, ‘I loved it because I never missed the instruments.’ … That’s the stuff I love hearing from people who haven’t heard us. It can break the mold of what they think (the music) is.”
Read more:

Straight No Chaser to perform in Tulsa

Published: 10/15/2011 1:52 AM
Last Modified: 10/15/2011 5:27 AM

The manner of travel has changed in a big way over a handful of years. The first tours in 2008 had the guys crammed into minivans and cheap airplane flights, (Dave) said.

By 2009, they'd graduated to a full tour bus. "At the beginning of the tour is was the greatest thing ever, all of us on this huge bus. Not so after three months," Roberts said, then laughed.

Last year, the tour setup grew to two full-size tour busses, plus assistants. This year, it's "two tour buses, another truck, crew ... and it keeps growing," he said. "It's been fun to watch the small business grow and develop." 

Read More:

Hat Tip: Google Alerts

Darlene Hunt on "Crossing the Line"

Blog post mentions why SNC's "Auld Lang Syne" was chosen for the season 2 finale of The Big C.

Read more:

Hat Tip: @SNCWalt

Also at

Sweet Sounds of Success

Thanks to a viral video, Straight No Chaser evolves from college hobby to sizzling success
By Emily Brill
At The Shore
Friday August 19, 2011
Wearing the label "Chasers" with pride, Straight No Chaser's fans communicate on message boards and post concert videos to the group's official website. (Straight No Chaser encourages fans to shoot photos and video during its shows.)
Many of Straight No Chaser's members, in turn, communicate with fans via Twitter and their profiles on
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Straight No Chaser's show at Musikfest makes the wait seem worth it

By John J. Moser
Lehigh Valley Music
August 12, 2011
...what a triumphant return: headlining Musikfest’s Steel Stage with a show lasting nearly two hours, covering 22 full songs (or mash-ups of songs) and three medleys that included parts of 26 others, running a broad variety of styles and ranging from good to stunning.

The audience was so enthusiastic that it created perhaps the largest gathering directly in front of the stage so far, with members of the group calling it Straight No Chaser’s first mosh pit.
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What Straight No Chaser's Jerome Collins misses about the Lehigh Valley

By John J. Moser
Lehigh Valley Music
August 12, 2011
Here’s what Collins says he misses about the Lehigh Valley and enjoys about his frequent trips here to see his family.
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The voices of Straight No Chaser: Hot a cappella group's local members talk about future, Musikfest

By John J. Moser
Lehigh Valley Music
August 7, 2011 was in January that musical director Walter Chase and lead singer Jerome Collins say they discovered they would be playing the show they look forward to more than any in their career so far — its Aug. 11 date on the new Sands Steel Stage at Musikfest.
Chase, a Forks Township native, and Collins, originally from Allentown, grew up with Musikfest being a significant annual event in their lives, and this will be their first hometown show.
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Gettysburg Festival highlights: Straight No Chaser, artist colony and more

By Julia Hatmaker
The Patriot-News
Thursday, June 09, 2011, 10:39 AM
The group is coming to Gettysburg for the first time, even though it considers Pennsylvania a second home, Chase said.

“We’ve done more concerts in the state of Pennsylvania last year than we did in any other state.  And I believe they were all sold out, too, which is a testament to our fan base in Pennsylvania,” he said. 
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Straight No Chaser: The Biggest Band You've Never Heard Of

Saving particularly memorable articles like this is one of the reasons I wanted to start an SNC archive site, both to reread and to make sure they're not lost to new Chasers. This interview with Charlie, Ryan and Don in London is one of my favorites - completely quotable right from the very first line.


By Carol Driver
London Editor | JustLuxe
Posted: Apr. 5th, 2011
Straight No Chaser looks like the type of men your mother could only dream you would take home.

(Ryan) "What’s our favorite what? I’ve never heard that before in my life. Tipple [puts on British accent]. What’s my favourite tipple?" [Laughter]
Read more:

Hat Tip: @dottkov

Q to the A with R to the A

Great Q & A with Ryan as only Megan & Amanda can do it! If you haven't yet read through their blog of Chaser adventures, do yourself a favor - make some popcorn and M&Ms and settle in for a while! (That's a lot of ampersands...)
If you had to rewrite the song “Windows Down”, how would you change the lyrics so it reflects your life as it is now?
 Haha! I always feel like I'm lying whenever I perform that song (which, granted, hasn't been for awhile) because I've since been to Texas, South Carolina, and Montana. I'm still holding out for Hawaii!
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hope all is well

There are a lot of great reasons to follow the SNC guys on Twitter, but this is one of my favorites - the conversations, such as this one from the afternoon of March 11, 2011. I don't normally screencap them, but this one just needed to be. lol By the time Walt said, "...and kittens!" I was cry-laughing, and Randy's calm tweets in the middle of it all makes it that much funnier. And yes, Walt really does say "hope all is well." :o)

Read this from bottom to top, like Twitter:

What's on your iPod? Straight No Chaser (Randy)

By Bernard Perusse
The Gazette
February 8, 2011

(Edit: The link is no longer active, so the full text appears below.)

Straight No Chaser, which started at Indiana University in 1996, got a second life when one of its early live performances of The 12 Days of Christmas became a YouTube smash in 2006. A deal with Atlantic Records, relentless touring and more hits on YouTube -their clips have been seen by 25 million people -have made them the highest-profile a cappella group we can think of. As they make their way to Montreal for two shows here Saturday, founding member Randy Stine sent us a list of his iPod favourites.

"Roda" CeU

"If I Ever Feel Better" Phoenix

"Lebanese Blonde" Thievery Corporation

"Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" Angelique Kidjo

"Pride and Joy" Stevie Ray Vaughan

"White Knuckle Ride" Jamiroquai

"Caughtup Musiq" Soulchild

"Mess" Ben Folds Five

"Stay or Leave" Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

"How You Like Me Now" The Heavy

Hat Tip: @ShainaEng

A Twist On The Traditional Choir

WO: Anything else you’d like fans to know?

(Seggie): If people have any questions, they can find us on We’re very active with social media—Facebook, Twitter—we reach out to our fans all the time. People think it’s weird we make ourselves so available to the fans but if it weren’t for the fans there would be no us.
Read more:
Edit: The link doesn't work anymore, so the full text of the interview appears below:


Straight No Chaser, an all-male a capella group, scored a five-record deal with Atlantic Records after becoming a You Tube sensation with a quirky version of the “12 Days of Christmas” that quickly went viral. Now, Straight No Chaser is touring the country, with a stop at Paris Las Vegas Nov. 7. Formed more than a dozen years ago by students at Indiana University, the group’s albums have included two holiday releases, 2008’s Holiday Spirits and 2009’s Christmas Cheers. So much more than a really big boy band, the 10 men of Straight No Chaser show off vocal talent as well as wit and an infectious energy. The band’s newest album is With a Twist, which features familiar standards like “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and a collaboration with Barry Manilow on his famous song, “One Voice.” We spoke with baritone and vocal percussionist Seggie Isho about his experience with the group.

What’s On: How did you get started with Straight No Chaser?

Seggie Isho: Early last year two of the original members left the group. They had small children so they didn’t want to be on the road 10, 11 months out of the year. So, the original guys got together and held auditions in Chicago. I flew out and auditioned. A couple of weeks later I got a phone call saying, “Hey, would you like to be a part of Straight No Chaser?” So, obviously, someone calls and asks if you want a record deal with Atlantic Records and the opportunity to pursue your true passion, you don’t very often say “no.” I literally dropped everything and joined Straight No Chaser.

WO: When did you first start singing?

I: It sounds cliché, but I was in the first grade and my music teacher pulled my parents aside and said, “Listen, your son has a good ear, he has good pitch and can carry a tune, which is not that common for first graders.” Ever since then I’ve been working to perfect this instrument to be able to sing better. I actually went to school for trumpet performance; I was an instrumental major, classical trumpet. I joined Straight No Chaser [at Indiana University] because instrumental and vocal is 50/50 for me…I wanted to be involved with both somehow in college.

WO: What can you tell us about a Straight No Chaser concert?

I: I like to say that we put on a show, it’s not just a concert. When audiences come to see us, they feel like they’re part of the experience. It’s a lot different listening to our albums than seeing us live. A lot of what we do [comes from] our chemistry onstage. We’re really just 10 regular guys from the Midwest who got incredibly lucky, so when we’re onstage we’re always having just the most ridiculous time because it could all be done tomorrow or it could last forever. So, we treat it as the greatest thing ever. We get onstage, have a great time, clown around, make fun of each other—the banter is hilarious. We take songs that the audience is going to know, but they haven’t heard them the way we do them. We don’t just cover songs. We take a song and make it our own, give it our Straight No Chaser twist.

WO: Do you have a favorite song that’s performed during your show?

I: This tour we’ve added a couple new tunes. A couple of my favorites: we do an awesome mashup of “Billie Jean” and Bel Biv DeVoe’s “Poison,” which kind of blindsides you as a listener. You hear the bass line for “Billie Jean” come in, it’s so recognizable and then the solo comes in and he’s singing “Poison,” so that’s really fun to see the audience’s reaction on that. And we do a real cool version of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” that sounds nothing like the original. Mike Luginbill sings a solo on it and he absolutely kills it.

WO: Are you featured in a particular song?

I: I sing solo on a couple of tunes, and I do vocal percussion as well…The first time I tried [vocal percussion], it sounded awful [laughs]. It’s just something you’re constantly getting better at it the more you do it.

WO: What is the rehearsal process like with 10 guys?

I: Well, we have a musical director, but he definitely takes input from all 10 of us. Sometimes there are too many cooks in the kitchen, but for the most part, we sit down at rehearsals, we usually get together about two weeks before a tour and in a central location somewhere since we’re all scattered across the country, and we start putting together this music. Sometimes we don’t have physical sheet music to learn songs off of, we just kind of make it up as we go. If we feel a certain vibe or a certain melody, we’ll build off of that and it’s really fun to see the creative process within this group because you’ve got 10 guys with 10 different opinions, 10 different musical tastes and when we’re able to blend them all together we hit the jackpot and get just a killer song.

WO: How do you personally prepare for a show?

I: Today [for example], I’m going to go for a three mile run, then come back, have lunch, shower, then we’ll have sound check and usually we don’t do a lot of talking on show days to rest the voice. And then probably about an hour before the show usually have hot tea with some whiskey in it just to loosen up the vocal cords a bit.

WO: Since you live here, what are some of your favorite things to do in Vegas?

I: I’m a nightlife guy. I was always out in the bars and clubs in Vegas. I’ve got a lot of friends that work in the industry. So anytime I’m home, I’m always out. I love going to Vanity and XS—the hot spots.

WO: What was the experience like meeting and recording with Barry Manilow?

I: It’s funny because we opened for him last fall at the Hollywood Bowl and we didn’t get a chance to meet him. We were in and out so quickly and with all the commotion, we didn’t get to meet him. Then he took a liking to us and reached out to our manager and said, “Hey, I’ve got this song; it’s my favorite song that I’ve ever written. I would really love the guys to back me up on it.” So, obviously, he’s a living legend, we were all ecstatic, like, ”Yeah, let’s do it.” And the entire process, we recorded our tracks in Bloomington, Indiana and he recorded his solo track in his studio in California so we never got to meet him throughout the whole process. But, this summer we opened for him and did the same track, “One Voice” with him in Atlantic City, and we got to meet him and spend some time with him. He’s such a down to earth, humble guy for someone with that kind of stature.

WO: Anything else you’d like fans to know?

I: If people have any questions, they can find us on We’re very active with social media—Facebook, Twitter—we reach out to our fans all the time. People think it’s weird we make ourselves so available to the fans but if it weren’t for the fans there would be no us.

Randy Stine of Straight No Chaser Talks Playing Live, Surprises, and Christmas in The Spring

lol This is the same writer who called the guys "artisans of a cappella awesomeness" in another article. This time it's "the modern maestros of a cappella." Love it!

By Rick Florino
Artist Direct
January 4, 2011

The questions asked are:
What was the initial impetus behind All I Want For Christmas?

Straight No Chaser has become so entwined with the thought of 21st century Christmas too.

Do the songs change or evolve when you're performing them on stage?

Is it weird recording Christmas music at other times of year?

What's your favorite Christmas movie?
Read more: