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Almost Home...

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  • Dec 18, 2010
    Almost Home...

    Hi from Raleigh, everyone.  We're in between shows (had a matinee at 2 PM today that went very well) and I'm hanging out in my hotel room at the moment.  As our year is rapidly coming to an end, I wanted to take some time while we're still on the road to give you a glimpse into how we've been doing lately.  "Exhausted" probably sums it up, but who knows, maybe another adjective will come forth by the time I'm done writing...

     

    With home so close on the horizon, it can be easy at this point in the tour to lose sight of the impact and importance of the work we have left to do.  Someone said backstage the other day - I can't remember if it was Randawg or DR - that we still have 12,000 people to sing for before going home.  12,000!  That's a lot of people to say the least, many of whom will be seeing us live for the first time.  Every night we are reminded - in spite of the collective road-induced weariness we feel - how special each concert may be for our audiences (e.g. the young man who told us proudly this afternoon that we were his first concert ever, the family who drove 3 hours to catch the concert because our concert is their new Christmas tradition, the Mom who took her two (musically-inclined) sons to see us for their Christmas present, the proud grandmother who sat next to her daughter and granddaughter in the audience...the list goes on and on and on).

     

    At a certain point on every long tour, the different cities and venues we visit begin to blur into one general experience.  I just read that and it sounds a little blunt, but it's true.  You get off the bus, instinctively find your way to the dressing rooms (and catering...), throw your bag down, go to sound check, do your own thing for awhile, and then sing the same songs you've sung a hundred times over.  The monotony of this schedule - coupled with the amount of time spent away from our loved ones and comforts of our own homes - can truly tax the soul, let alone the body.  Plainly put, touring's tough on all of us.

     

    BUT, once we're onstage - like we'll be again in an hour or so from now - that fades away for two hours.  At this point on tour, believe it or not, the show keeps us sane.  The laughs we share onstage (often at each other's expense) keep us energized, as do the smiles that we see in the audience.  At risk of sounding overly philosophical, our show is just as much as an escape for us from the monotony of the road and constant dull sense of homesickness (to me, at least) as it is a fun retreat from the craziness of the Holidays for the hundreds of families, new friends, old friends, couples on their first date, couples on their 25th anniversary, etc. who call themselves our fans.  The fact that we get to call this our job continues to amaze me.

     

    Furthermore, it boggles my mind that we've sung for over a hundred thousand people in the past three months!  I don't even know how many people we sang for in Atlantic City or on tour in the Spring, but I'm sure it's a fair amount.  Three years ago, I was substitute teaching with a hazy idea of what I really wanted to do professionally floating in my head (it wasn't that fun, in retrospect), teaching the occasional guitar or voice lesson (that was!), getting emails from Randy about the exponential amount of hits the 12 Days video was getting on YouTube.  Frankly, I was growing weary of the updates after the fifth email from The Randawg.  Until, that is, I got a message from him telling me that I had to call him back "right away" (something about the group getting back together...).  Flash forward three years and here we are.  Time flies when you're doing what you love, I guess. 

     

    Doing what we love comes with a cost for each of us, though (emotionally speaking, that is).  It's always hard to be away from home; for everyone involved, not just us.  I'm always reminded, though, that we don't have it that tough at all in comparison to many folks out there who are out of work, have family members serving overseas for months on end, or are fighting private battles of their own of health issues and hardship.  Tonight, 45 minutes before our show, I'm grateful for this opportunity, for the finish line that is being home with our loved ones being well in sight, and for how sweet it will be to wrap this tour up with my 9 closest guys over the next week.  Wish us luck, continue to send your prayers and encouragement for safe travels and healthy voices, and feel free to sing along if you're at a show.  

     

    Just not too loud ;)

     

    Time for me to get back to the venue!  Thanks for stopping by.

     

    Ryan

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Ryan_5's picture
on 18 December 2010 - 7:22pm

Hi from Raleigh, everyone.  We're in between shows (had a matinee at 2 PM today that went very well) and I'm hanging out in my hotel room at the moment.  As our year is rapidly coming to an end, I wanted to take some time while we're still on the road to give you a glimpse into how we've been doing lately.  "Exhausted" probably sums it up, but who knows, maybe another adjective will come forth by the time I'm done writing...

 

With home so close on the horizon, it can be easy at this point in the tour to lose sight of the impact and importance of the work we have left to do.  Someone said backstage the other day - I can't remember if it was Randawg or DR - that we still have 12,000 people to sing for before going home.  12,000!  That's a lot of people to say the least, many of whom will be seeing us live for the first time.  Every night we are reminded - in spite of the collective road-induced weariness we feel - how special each concert may be for our audiences (e.g. the young man who told us proudly this afternoon that we were his first concert ever, the family who drove 3 hours to catch the concert because our concert is their new Christmas tradition, the Mom who took her two (musically-inclined) sons to see us for their Christmas present, the proud grandmother who sat next to her daughter and granddaughter in the audience...the list goes on and on and on).

 

At a certain point on every long tour, the different cities and venues we visit begin to blur into one general experience.  I just read that and it sounds a little blunt, but it's true.  You get off the bus, instinctively find your way to the dressing rooms (and catering...), throw your bag down, go to sound check, do your own thing for awhile, and then sing the same songs you've sung a hundred times over.  The monotony of this schedule - coupled with the amount of time spent away from our loved ones and comforts of our own homes - can truly tax the soul, let alone the body.  Plainly put, touring's tough on all of us.

 

BUT, once we're onstage - like we'll be again in an hour or so from now - that fades away for two hours.  At this point on tour, believe it or not, the show keeps us sane.  The laughs we share onstage (often at each other's expense) keep us energized, as do the smiles that we see in the audience.  At risk of sounding overly philosophical, our show is just as much as an escape for us from the monotony of the road and constant dull sense of homesickness (to me, at least) as it is a fun retreat from the craziness of the Holidays for the hundreds of families, new friends, old friends, couples on their first date, couples on their 25th anniversary, etc. who call themselves our fans.  The fact that we get to call this our job continues to amaze me.

 

Furthermore, it boggles my mind that we've sung for over a hundred thousand people in the past three months!  I don't even know how many people we sang for in Atlantic City or on tour in the Spring, but I'm sure it's a fair amount.  Three years ago, I was substitute teaching with a hazy idea of what I really wanted to do professionally floating in my head (it wasn't that fun, in retrospect), teaching the occasional guitar or voice lesson (that was!), getting emails from Randy about the exponential amount of hits the 12 Days video was getting on YouTube.  Frankly, I was growing weary of the updates after the fifth email from The Randawg.  Until, that is, I got a message from him telling me that I had to call him back "right away" (something about the group getting back together...).  Flash forward three years and here we are.  Time flies when you're doing what you love, I guess. 

 

Doing what we love comes with a cost for each of us, though (emotionally speaking, that is).  It's always hard to be away from home; for everyone involved, not just us.  I'm always reminded, though, that we don't have it that tough at all in comparison to many folks out there who are out of work, have family members serving overseas for months on end, or are fighting private battles of their own of health issues and hardship.  Tonight, 45 minutes before our show, I'm grateful for this opportunity, for the finish line that is being home with our loved ones being well in sight, and for how sweet it will be to wrap this tour up with my 9 closest guys over the next week.  Wish us luck, continue to send your prayers and encouragement for safe travels and healthy voices, and feel free to sing along if you're at a show.  

 

Just not too loud ;)

 

Time for me to get back to the venue!  Thanks for stopping by.

 

Ryan

Comments

MAC_3's picture

Ryan, Thank you for posting your comments! I first heard of SNC while listening to the radio in December 2009; I've been a fan ever since and spread the news about how great you guys are to my friends, family and colleagues at work. Many thanks to you and all the members of SNC for the entertainment you provide to all of us and for being the sincere, down-to-earth guys that you are. It was a privilege for my husband and I to attend two of your concerts in 2010 (Omaha & Des Moines) and we're hoping you'll return to the midwest in 2011! Happy New Year!
DiAnn's picture

Dear Ryan, I can remember about 4 years ago my daughter-in-law told me about SNC. She attended IU at Bloomington and was there when the group was first formed. I had forgot about it until I saw the group on the WTTW fund raiser earlier this year. Then I remembered where I had first heard about the group. I called my daughter-in-law and told her I had seen you on TV and she looked up your tour schedule and said that you would be in Indy the night before Thanksgiving. I told her to get tickets as I wanted to see you in person. We went to dinner across the street at the Ratzskeller and then attended the 6 p.m. show. I had purchased your "All I want for Christmas" CD's and DVD and watched it so many times I knew your names by heart. She laughed as I told her your names at the concert. I love your group and of all the acapella groups I have heard, you are the BEST! My husband died 2 1/2 years ago at the age of 64 and seeing you made me smile for the first time since then. Will you ever do another DVD? It is the only way I get to see you guys up close and personal.Where we sat at the concert was not the best seats and hard to see but I loved it anyway. Will look for your 2011 schedule and hope you will be in Indy again real soon. I WILL BE THERE!! Thank you for the sacrifice you all make to entertain us the way you do. Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas with your families and God bless you all!! May 2011 be the best year for SNC ever!! ~DiAnn
Janine's picture

That was a really nice post. All I can say is that we do really appreciate the work you're doing bringing your music to us. I just managed to get tickets to what I thought was a sold out show in Toronto and my husband and I are so exicted. We recorded the PBS special that was aired a year or so ago and we have been watching it tonight - I think he replayed the Christmas Can Can about 5 times already. :) Looking forward to seeing you all in Feb - take good care.
KathWoody's picture

You really do deserve a break. A Facebook friend of my husband went to the Melbourne concert tonight and was blown away. My husband chatted about how his wife (me) has seen you guys twice and listens to your CDs all the time and feels like she knows you all (well she has met you all twice and had a Meet and Greet). I was thinking about the 100,000 people you touched. And the one thing I hear about you guys is how great you all are as individuals.....good human beings. What a tribute that is. You have a gift and have shared it. I am so proud of you specials Hoosiers! Blessings for a very restful and family-time holiday season. See you in 2011 somewhere. Thanks for sharing.
a capella fan's picture

Ryan, Glad you realize the special moments you create for your fans. We truly appreciate all the sacrifice by the group and your families. My special moment was being able to take my mother to see you on Dec. 11th in Chicago, for her 80th birthday present. The entire family attended (7). Our youngest was 12 yrs, and two were in their early 20s. We all enjoyed the concert and you made an 80 year old woman very happy to be able to share your talent with her family for her birthday. Hope you all have a very happy and relaxing holiday break. You deserve it! We will be looking forward to seeing you on the road again in 2011!! You are destined for great things!!!
Candy Tippetts's picture

I just barely saw your current videos....are you planning a tour out west somewhere.....I live in Utah and we need you!
pettybabies2002's picture

Wish we had known you were in Raleigh! My husband and I discovered your group this time last year and we love your voices! You guys are great! We celebrate 15 years of marriage next week and we would have loved to have been among the listeners in the audience. Keep Raleigh on your list of tour cities and hopefully we can be there next year!! Merry Christmas to you and yours!
S. Brandon's picture

"Tour less. Stay home more. Take longer breaks." YES!!!
Maras's picture

Tour less. Stay home more. Take longer breaks. Guys, ever since Dan left, I've wondered "who's next?" I've seen you twice in Houston but will stay home if I know it's hard on you.
nikki24's picture

Hope you guys have the most wonderful Christmas and may your time off creep by so slowly! Saw you guys in October, and it was amazing! Although I wish I could've seen your Christmas show! You're all so awesome and all your hard work is greatly adored!
laura_9's picture

Ryan, Thank you so much for posting such honest and open thoughts. You all, i am sure, are exhausted, yet the fact that you know that some members of the audience are going through rough times and NEED the concert as an escape shows that you are truly still well grounded. i think that is one reason your popularity is growing. People need beauty right now. Your music is sheer beauty and it fills up one's soul and gives joy and hope. i mean your meet/greets alone show that you care, in some way, about each person that attends your concerts. i am sure it is completely taxing on you all...after singing night after night..meeting people, signing things. hugging...smiling...pictures..giving, giving, giving... Yet you do it. And do it well. And give and give and give. Amazing. Thank you. i hope that over your Christmas break and beyond, you find time to be filled up...to heal your voices...rest your bodies...relax...laugh..love.. and know that your fans truly, truly appreciate everything you and your families sacrifice. i pray for you all daily, that God keeps you safe and healthy. Merry Christmas Men of Straight No Chaser...Thank you for everything. laura
Linda_11's picture

I have been lucky enough to see you perform four times this year and love how your shows have been fresh every time. I cannot imagine how hard it is for you to be on the road this long missing so many special moments in your family's lives. Your family and friends are making the ultimate sacrifice by supporting your decision to do this for us, your fans. I thank them very much for sharing you with us and wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. I do have the solution for your 2011 touring schedule... I believe you should stay put for an extended period of time on the East Coast, like "down the shore" and let us come to you. hint-hint Again thank you for putting yourselves out there for us and giving up your family time for us.... Hope to see you again next year.
Delaney's picture

I'll be in the audience in Jacksonville Wednesday night, along with my aunt and uncle. It'll be the second time this year that I get to see you guys perform, and I am looking forward to it. I can certainly understand that touring has to be hard on all of you, and perhaps doubly so at this time of year, but it is certainly good to know that you're still having fun onstage. To borrow a little of your candor, however, it's going to be terribly bittersweet for me Wednesday night. I mentioned this is my second Straight No Chaser concert of 2010. The first one was when my mom and I went to Mobile in early May and attended your show there. It was a mini-vacation for us, and one that was thoroughly enjoyed. The Jacksonville trip was supposed to be a reprise for both of us, with the added bonus of having family along whom we wanted to introduce to your music. The last touch was that the Jacksonville show would be on my mom's sixth-fifth birthday. She was looking forward to spending it with family, her brother in particular, and having all of us get to enjoy watching you perform. Instead, my mom passed away unexpectedly in August. After thinking about it for these past few months and debating about what we all wanted to do, my aunt, uncle,and I decided that we still wanted to attend the show. Mom will definitely be with me in my heart, and I am still eager to see Straight No Chaser live once more. At the meet and greet, though, seriously don't be too surprised if there's a person trying to get a copy of 'All I Want for Christmas' autographed who looks like she is trying not to burst into tears. It'll be me thinking of Mom (and not someone having a bad reaction to the show. )
Haley_4's picture

This is deffenitly why you guys are sooo great! Even though touring may be tough, you are always finding the positive outlook on things! Also, while you are getting famous you still have time to do meet-and-greets after/before the shows, tweet or facebook us, and all of the other little things that make my (and I'm sure tons of other people's) day! So Thank you to you too!! We really do appreciate you guys, and of course your songs and side jokes are also appreciated! :)
Brianna's picture

I really wish Could have gone to a Raleigh show but my brother came in from Fort Eustis to spend Christmas with the family. He is in the Army. We had been planning on buying tickets but we didn't know for sure when he was coming home and when we could leave to get him. Sorry guys but If I had to choose between SNC or my brother, it would be my brother :) Hope to see you guys next year when you come to Raleigh!!! God Bless!
Tasha's picture

I attended the Friday night Raleigh, NC show. This concert was amazing! I have had my tickets since they went on sale back in the summer and have been looking forward to this since I could not attend the concert last year. My husband enjoyed this as much as I did and we agree this will be out new Christmas/ Anniversary (5 yrs this year) tradition! We cannot wait to bring our daughters when they are a little older. You guys do an amazing concert. Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas and Happy/ Safe New year! We look forward to the show next year!
Lindsay_2's picture

Saw you last night at the maxed out Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta. I was thinking as I watched you that it must be really tough being on the road and away from family, but just remember how much joy you gave to all of us last night. I have never seen an audience on the edge of their seat at the end of a concert so quiet you literally could have heard a pin drop. Your "unplugged" O Holy Night was really amazing. And what a diverse audience...from 5 to 95, all kinds of folks just enjoyed music together. Hope you can get recharged over the holidays and enjoy that well deserved break. Thanks for being such an incredible group of guys!
Keri_2's picture

Have a wonderful and well-earned rest! I saw you in Chicago on the 11th for my 3rd show this year, and loved seeing you sell out the Chicago Theatre twice in one day. My favorite concerts are those where the musicians clearly enjoy what they do (rather than look bored on stage), and you can see it all over you guys! Merry Christmas to you, and thanks for all the joy and laughter SNC has brought to me and so many others.
linda_5's picture

I so wish you guys would guest appear on "The Sing-Off!"
Jim Thompson's picture

To Lauren and all the significant others, thanks for sharing the guys with us. They have made a difference in our lives and we are greatful. To all the guys thanks for a great ride and hopefully you will continue to bring new and exciting things for us to listen to. Merry Christmas to all Christian or not and may the new year bring you much prosperity, peace and happiness.
Lori Overcash's picture

Last nights concert in Atlanta was amazing... and my entire family from my 6 year old niece Bethanie to my 73 year old dad, thoroughly enjoyed it. A gift from my sister Deanna, who is a huge fan, all 16 of us were given a great night of incredible music and great entertainment. While we have enjoyed your youtube videos and your Christmas CDs, last night was our first time seeing you live... and it only made us bigger fans. Take care and may your holidays be blessed! We will give a heads up to our family in Toronto and Quebec to be on the lookout for concert tickets! Thanks again for an amazing show!
SingForMe's picture

Hey Ryan, First of all, thanks for the blog! It's great to *hear* your voice again! Second, thanks for all the hard work. We Chasers really appreciate it and love you all for it! I can't imagine being away from home for as long as you have and doing it graciously. Third, please know that you all are always in my prayers, as I'm sure in other's prayers too! Lastly, enjoy these last concerts knowing that finishing each one brings you closer to home! Merry Christmas, Ryan! Thank you for everything! Cheers, Alex
EileenR's picture

Thanks for the blog, Ryan. Like S. and others have said, I too am hoping 2011 brings a little more balance to SNC's schedule. I'm glad you all are literally in the home stretch of this extensive tour. I wish you a very blessed and happy Christmas, with plenty of time to relax and renew.
Jordan Jo Jo Boaglio's picture

I pray for you guys and your families every night! Thank you for being a HUGH inspration in my life and may god bless you guys in the years to come.
gonecoastal_00's picture

I am so excited to see you (for the first time) on Wed. in Jacksonville! I was going to bring my Mom, but she is not feeling well.. I will have friends with me instead. They have never heard you guys, and I'm excited to introduce them to you! I know you won't dissappoint, and I'm sure that right after the show, you will all be heading home, which makes me feel great just thinking about it! Good luck, safe travels, and we'll see you on Wednesday!!!
Donna49ER's picture

Ryan, You guys are soooo awesome for what you do! We love and enjoy every minute of you guys! You guys go above and beyond the call of duty! Thank you so much. God Bless all of you and your families for sharing what you love to do with all of us! I hope to see you again in the Spring! Thanks again and enjoy your time off with your families! You all deserve the rest and time!
Stefanie M's picture

You guys are such an incredible gift to the world - thank you for sharing your talent, passion and incredible music with us. Merry Christmas to you and your families!
Kim_9's picture

Haven't seen you live yet, can't wait though! Looking forward to the day you come back to Denver. Your singing makes me cry happy tears.
Kathy Mendoza's picture

Thanks Ryan, as always, for your wonderful posts. You can always make me laugh and cry. We all love and appreciate you guys so much. Enjoy your time and home!
Lauren Ahlwardt's picture

I love and miss you so much Ryan. I can't wait for you to be home. I am very proud of you!

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