Pitch perfect

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lottie native Adam Chance, far right, and Street Corner Symphony band mates John Martin, Jeremy Lister, Mark McLemore, Jonathan Lister, Richie Lister and Kurt Zimmerman.

Lottie native Adam Chance, third from left, and Street Corner Symphony band mates John Martin, Jeremy Lister, Mark McLemore, Jonathan Lister, Richie Lister and Kurt Zimmerman.

Lottie native Adam Chance is a long way from the loft in his parents’ house where he held band practice as a high school student.

Then again that loft came in handy for the a cappella bass singer and his band mates in Street Corner Symphony when they were developing songs for the new album “Southern Autumn Nostalgia.”

“To prepare for this album we went down to Lottie for a week to work on the arrangement,” he said. “We spent our days in that loft working on the songs.”

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The album, SAN, as the band has nicknamed it, is the latest offering from the five member a cappella group that got its start after a second place finish in the 2010 second season of NBC’s the Sing-Off, a reality competition for all-vocal groups. It’s the band’s second album and the first to offer all original songs.

Chance said all five group members are songwriters and the intention was to add two songs each to the new album and fill the gaps with covers of classic songs.

“We looked at each guy’s catalogue and voted,” Chance said. “All the cover songs got voted to the bottom.”

The end result, he said, is an album that each member is very proud of.

“We’re really happy with the way it turned out,” Chance said.

Chance said the band kept the sound in the new album mostly natural and describes the genre as singer-songwriter, rock, or indie pop, except for the last song on the album, “Dragon Rider,” which has more of a metal sound.

“We had some fun with it in the studio,” he said. “In post production, we made it sound heavy.”

Chance started writing songs and performing with instrumental bands and said the transition to the all-vocal group wasn’t an easy one. For one, writing songs for an a cappella group is tougher.

“A lot of songs we do are arranged for instruments first,” he said. “I’m still someone who’ll sit down with a guitar and write a song even if it’s for an a cappella group.”

Chance admitted that singing bass with an all-vocal band wasn’t how he pictured life as a professional musician and when he was first asked to join the group to audition for the show he was “terrified.”

Mark McLemore, whom he met at The University of Alabama, was the only band member he knew at the time and he had no experience as an a cappella singer.

“I was a little bit terrified,” Chance said. “I was there with guys who’d done it their entire lives.”

Two years later Chance said he’s learned a lot and the experience is starting to feel “comfortable.”

The son of Glenn and Kristy Ray said he’s living a “dream come true” in the music business and the job has afforded him opportunities to meet and interact with all kinds of fellow musicians and celebrities.

The Nashville-based group, which also includes John Martin, Jeremy Lister, Jonathan Lister, Kurt Zimmerman and Richie Lister has worked with Ben Folds, opened for acts like Darius Rucker and Clint Black.

Street Corner Symphony even played Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wedding, which Chance reflected upon.

“He watched the Sing-Off and was a big fan,” Chance said. “We got to hang out with he and his wife and they asked us questions.”

He added that some of the Cowboys’ players sang along during their performance.
“That experience was surreal,” Chance said.

Southern Autumn Nostalgia dropped last Tuesday.