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Interview:
Straight No Chaser at the Fox, 5 Things To Know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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If it's the holidays, it's time for Straight No Chaser.

And this season it's even more special.

The a capella group is celebrating the 20th anniversary since it formed at Indiana University, subsequently becoming a worldwide sensation when a video of the troupe performing "The 12 Days of Christmas" went viral in 2007. Since then the group has blended covers and originals on six albums and three EPs, four of them Christmas titles including "I'll Have Another...Christmas Album," which came out during October.

Seggie Isho, a Rochester High School graduate, joined SNC in 2009 and moved back to Michigan last year -- to Chesterfield Township -- though the group keeps him away more than at home. But he still gets to be home for the holidays -- even for just one night only...

"I'll Have Another..." is a sly jab at the preponderance of holiday material in SNC's catalog, but Isho, 33, says the group makes no apologies for that. "The fabric of this group was created on that, and we were discovered because of that '12 Days...' video," he explains by phone from Pittsburgh. "When people think about us they associate us with Christmas. This is our eighth year of touring the holidays, so this has become a real family tradition for a lot of people. It's really special to be part of that. It's a big deal."

Over the years Isho says SNC has been able to keep tabs on some of those fans, particularly those who do make seeing the group an annual occasion. "We've been able to see these kids who come through the autograph line after the show, we met them when they were babies or one or two or three, and we've gotten to see them grow. There's one in particular, this little girl who came through the line the very first tour and had this little stuffed bunny rabbit she had us sign. The new year she saw us again and brought the same toy 'cause our signatures had worn off. Flash to last year, she's 16 years old now, driving. It's strange to see such a big change."

Doing "Another" Christmas album was "a lot easier," according to Isho, "'cause I think we've done every other holiday song, so we just took what ever was left -- In fact, we had to write three to fill out the album. We wanted a good mix of some modern stuff and some older stuff that people may not have heard of, older, classic songs like 'Coventry Carol,' 'Sing Me Now At Christmas' and balance that with 'All I Want For Christmas Is You.'

One of the originals, "Feels Like Christmas," features country singer Jana Kramer, who like Isho hails from Rochester. "We've never spoken, actually; I wasn't in the studio the day she did it," Isho notes, "but she went to my rival high school (Rochester Adams). So maybe I'll go and paint 'RHS' on her parents' house."

Even though he wasn't in SNC during 1996, Isho says he feels the excitement of the group's 20th anniversary as much as any of the founding members. "It's hard to describe; It's just whole bunch of stuff wrapped into this little a capella group that's been able to make this a career," he says. "Twenty years of friendship, first, is the amazing thing. I think the most impressive thing about this group is we've been able to remain this close for so long, the original guys especially. That's the most special thing is that the bond between us has only gotten stronger. It seems like just yesterday we were rehearsing for our first PBS special and here we are, still doing it."

Straight No Chaser

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.

The Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Tickets are $29.50-$59.50.

Call 313-471-6611 or visit olympiaentertainment.com
.



Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

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