Straight No Chaser – A Capella Group

    Straight No ChaserI sang in the Jubilate Children’s Choir when I was younger; I sang with the chorus in junior high, and I sang with a show choir in high school. I’ve always loved singing. When I was a student at Indiana University in Bloomington, I sang with the Singing Hoosiers, “America’s Premiere Collegiate Concert Show Choir.” I never thought I was anything special, but man did I love to sing. Well shit happened and I fell out of practice, started smoking and don’t really have a voice at all anymore. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t enjoy singing and miss it.

    While perusing through the new releases on iTunes this evening, I was happily surprised to find a new album by Straight No Chaser, this BEYOND fantastic men’s a capella group from Indiana. I saw a few shows when I was a student and knew some guys in the group who were also in the Singing Hoosiers but seeing them on iTunes was so exciting! Holiday Spirits is their first album of a 5 record deal with Atlantic Records (AMAZING!), and even though it’s Holiday music, something I have mixed feelings about, I instantly downloaded it (with the bonus tracks) and am SO glad I did.

    These guys can SING. There’s just something about QUALITY MALE VOCALISTS that makes me melt. Their voices are just so crystal clear and their diction so precise. The percussive elements the guys add to each song is amazing to listen to (and even more amazing to see live). The studio quality of this album is clearly top-notch but I highly recommend seeing them live. I can’t wait to hear more from them and will DEFINITELY be purchasing future albums. I’m so excited about this record deal! HUGE DEAL here people. Well deserved.

    Here’s a little bit about them from the Atlantic Records official website:

    “In April 2006, the unexpected happened – Indiana University decided to host a reunion concert for the original members. In honor of the event, Randy [Stine] produced a DVD of one of their 1998 concerts, and he posted clips from it on YouTube to share with the other founding members. Suddenly, concert footage that was nearly a decade old was available to be seen by millions of people worldwide… and see it they did, in mind-blowing numbers. With no promotion, Straight No Chaser’s version of “The 12 Days Of Christmas” (interpolating Toto’s “Africa”) received more than 7 million views in December of 2007 alone, becoming the hottest viral video of the season….In a turn of events that the spiritually inclined might describe as a “higher power” moment, Atlantic Records Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman happened to be among those millions of viewers. So [he] emailed Randy right away. Randy and Dan [Ponce] soon found themselves having dinner with Craig in L.A. Within a few days, the entire group flew to Atlantic’s offices in New York, and a deal was in the works.”

    The Group consists of:

    Ryan Ahlwardt
    Jerome Collins
    Walter Chase
    Michael Itkoff
    Michael Luginbill
    Charlie Mechling
    Steve Morgan
    Dan Ponce
    David Roberts
    Randy Stine

    • Their official website is at, come check it out if you want to learn more about the signing of the band and what they’re up to. Thanks for the review!

    • Geraldine! Thanks for adding a link for the website! I have so many links in this post, I forgot the one to their official site!