Adam Chance, Home Free Vocal Band Interview
by Big Al Weekley for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show
Home Free was originally formed in January 2001 by Chris Rupp in Mankato, Minnesota, when some of its members were still in their teens. The five founding members were brothers Chris and Adam Rupp, Matt Atwood, Darren Scruggs, and Dan Lemke. They took their name from a boat owned by Atwood’s grandfather who helped support the group financially in their early years. The group began as a hobby for the singers, but they gradually grew in experience and popularity. By 2007 they had enough of a following to pursue music full-time. During this period, the Rupp brothers and Atwood formed the core of the group, with Atwood singing lead tenor. Other members of the group came and went. Current member Rob Lundquist, another Minnesotan, joined in 2008.
For much of the group’s history they worked with many talented bass singers, but did not have a full-time committed bass voice. In 2007 Chris Foss sang with them. Elliott Robinson was added as bass in September 2008, and was replaced in June 2009 by Troy Horne. Later that year, Horne left to rejoin the House Jacks. To replace Horne they turned to Tim Foust, who first sang with them as a guest on their 2010 tour. A Texas native, Foust was then pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter of country music and had recently released a solo album, but was not ready to sign on full-time. Matthew Tuey sang with the group in the interim of 2011, until Foust joined them full-time in January 2012.
In 2012, Austin Brown was working on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship as a featured singer in their production shows. When Home Free joined the cruise as a guest performing group, they met and became close. Brown, who was born in Tifton, Georgia, let Home Free know that he would be interested in joining the group if they ever had an opening. At the end of 2012 lead singer Matt Atwood and his wife, who had married the previous year, were expecting their first child. Finding the group’s touring schedule incompatible with family life, and having an opportunity to take over his family’s real estate business in Mankato, Atwood made the decision to retire from the group. Home Free then invited Brown to join as lead tenor. He sang his first show with the group in October 2012, and became full-time in January 2013.
The group, made up of Chris and Adam Rupp, Lundquist, Foust and Brown, competed in the fourth season of The Sing-Off, recording their performances in September 2013. During that time, the group arranged for substitute performers to fulfill their previously-scheduled concert commitments. The series was televised in December 2013, and the group headlined the Sing-Off tour across 32 cities in 2014.
On March 18, 2016, it was announced that, after sixteen years of performing with the group, co-founder Chris Rupp would be leaving to pursue a solo career. He would be replaced after May 8 by Adam Chance, formerly of Street Corner Symphony.