This Black Friday evening, November 28 — even as the Santa train pulls into town, and Holiday Express flips the switch on a singalong season of carols ranging from sacred to silly — the stage of the Count Basie Theatre will ring out with the sounds of a vocal organization that bridges the gap between the secular and the seasonal, in the days before the Basie becomes the area’s unofficial capital of Christmas.
Making their Red Bank bow — and continuing the Happy Hour Tour that takes them from coast to coast (and from Honolulu to Helsinki in the months ahead), the 10-piece, all-male a cappella group Straight No Chaser arrives on the momentum of their fourth studio release Under the Influence, and its special “Holiday Edition” that includes the novelty collaboration with Kristen Bell, “Text Me Merry Christmas.”
The crowdpleasing live performers who emerged from Indiana University are no strangers to the holiday music genre, of course — in fact, they turned the usual career-arc on its ear by debuting with a pair of seasonal albums, Holiday Spirits (2008) and Christmas Cheers (2009). Expect a punchbowl of favorites from those releases, as well as from With a Twist and Under the Influence, a work that boasts the contributions of guest singers Jason Mraz, Rob Thomas, Phil Collins, and Dolly Parton. It’s all part of an easygoing world-domination strategy by a choral crew that’s described as “the real deal…ten unadulterated human voices coming together to make extraordinary music that is moving people in a fundamental sense — and with a sense of humor.”
Tickets for Friday’s 8 pm performance by Straight No Chaser ($29.50 – $55) are available right here.