A cappella group Straight No Chaser performs Saturday at the Rose



Even during its early days as a student a cappella group at Indiana University in the mid-1990s, Straight No Chaser was exploring the vast diversity of contemporary pop music. The group, performing at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Saturday, July 1, has done vocal updates of songs by acts as disparate as Radiohead, Boyz II Men, Queen and Dolly Parton.

For the new studio album, “Yacht On the Rocks,” released on June 23, the members of Straight No Chaser put their unique spin on soft rock hits of the 1970s and 1980s. The material was produced by Nicholas Niespodziani, singer, guitarist and spiritual leader of Yacht Rock Revue.

“Our tour manager has been on us to start thinking about the summer as a whole different Straight No Chaser experience,” said baritone vocalist Seggie Isho, who joined Straight No Chaser in 2009. “We’ve got several guys in the band that are really big into yacht rock as well as our tour manager and it just kind of evolved. It’s going to be a different show. Our wardrobe is going to be different. The whole vibe is going to be different. It’s going to be the perfect show to kick back with a glass of rosé and enjoy the smooth harmonies of yacht rock.”



Summer vibes

“Yacht On the Rocks” features Straight No Chaser’s take on hits like “Sailing” by Christopher Cross, Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” and “Heart to Heart” by Kenny Loggins. Many of these songs were hits before Isho was born in 1983 but he knew the material well before entering the recording studio.

“It’s definitely before my time but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it,” he said. “We’re always kind of rocking out to yacht rock, whether we’re backstage or on the bus. This project has been a long time coming. We’re excited to finally get it out there and see what people think. It’s going to be a whole new side of Straight No Chaser.”

Watch the lyric video for Straight No Chaser’s cover of Kenny Loggins’ “Heart to Heart”

A cappella remakes

Like past albums, Straight No Chaser brought freshness and different dynamics to these well-known songs.

“The music is kind of super-tailormade for a cappella,” Isho said. “It’s basically teed up for us with these beautiful rich harmonies we can expand on. When we’re covering a song, it’s really a delicate dance to remain respectful of the original song and also be respectful of our art and our audience. We don’t want to do a total lift of a song with no thought or effort put into it. We want to make sure we’re respecting the originality of the songs while also respecting our audience enough to make it different, make it our own Straight No Chaser version.”

Chart-topping support

Isho and his bandmates will be joined by special guests Ambrosia on a handful of dates on the current Yacht Rock Tour, including the stop at Rose Music Center. The group is known for soft rock favorites like “How Much I Feel,” “Biggest Part of Me” and “You’re the Only Woman.”

“We’re really excited,” Isho said. “We recorded one of their tracks for the album. They liked it so we’re hopefully going to figure out some way to do some sort of onstage collaboration. I can’t guarantee it but it’s on the wish list for the summer tour that’s for sure.”



Midwest connection

Rose Music Center is the only Ohio stop on the summer tour, but Ohio is a big market for Straight No Chaser, which has roots in Indiana. The group’s recently announced Sleighin’ It Christmas tour includes stops in Athens, Toledo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron and Columbus.

“Ohio has been so supportive from the jump,” Isho said. “We just have this incredible support there, whether it’s Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton or Akron. Everywhere in Ohio has been so great. We’re thrilled to be coming back to give people another slice of Straight No Chaser.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or donthrasher100@gmail.com.


What: Straight No Chaser’s Yacht Rock Tour with special guests Ambrosia

Where: Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 1; doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $33.50-$76.50

More info: 513-232-6220 or www.rosemusiccenter.com

Artist info: sncmusic.com

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