Friday, March 20, 2015

The Northwests Harmony Sweepstakes Champs: Straighter Road

Being a student of Jazz and voice, I am intensely in love with great vocal ensemble music.  I'm admittedly pretty picky when it comes to listening to ensembles.  There are some truly great acapella groups out there right now, and I guess it's pretty cool that they can imitate exactly what today's top 40 pop and dance songs are doing.  But I don't really want to listen to a vocal copy of those songs.  My pallet craves new flavors of those tunes.  The Sing Off is a fantastic show that has showcased some great examples of vocal ensembles taking those songs and actually doing something creative with them.

Ok, all I'm really trying to say is that I know a good vocal group when I hear one.  So, right now, before you do anything else, you NEED to stop EVERYTHING and go listen to Straighter Road.  These guys are this years Harmony Sweepstakes Acapella Festival winners and will be traveling to San Fransisco in May to compete in the national competition.  Straighter Road, has a genuine, buttery sound that's infused with a passion to worship God.  Their songs and arrangements are truly creative and have never failed to make me stop and listen.

I'm honored, and elated, to let you all know that my mom sings in this group!  She's been one of, if not the biggest, influences in my life.  She's introduced me to countless styles of music and always encouraged me to pursue my dreams.  I am SO proud of you madre!

The groups founder, Kevin Kunz, also happens to be a good friend of mine and produced my single, What You Do To My Heart.  The guy's ability to write, arrange, and produce is just ridiculous!  Beyond his skill as a musician Kevin is a man that carries himself with humility and a heart that's hungry for the things of God.  He's said from the beginning that Straighter Road is for God, bent on praising Him, and loving people through the gifts they've all been given.

Via the Harmony Sweepstakes Website: Singing is one of the purest art forms. Nothing man made between the artist and the audience. Straighter Road was formed as a Gospel vocal group first, with a band back-up, and recently has ventured down the Acapella Road. The challenge of acapella sing is without edges and joined with the charge of spreading the Good News of the Gospel, keeps Straighter Road striving for excellence.