Straight No Chaser Delivers the "Holiday Spirits"

Okay folks, normally I’m one of those people who gets frustrated when retail stores cram the last holidays of the year together and rush into the Christmas holidays right along with Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I’ve got to make and exception though now because I’ve got to tell you about a new Christmas album by some guys you may know. They’re a 10-man vocal group formed at Indiana University in the mid 90’s and have just been “found”.


Straight No Chaser was a group of friends at Indiana University and formed the group in the fall of 1996. In 2006 the original members reunited for a concert an clips of their performance made it to YouTube, which ended up getting viewed by Craig Kallman, Chairman of Atlantic Records.

Continue reading to hear how you can win a copy of this album and concert tickets to see them perform live!

Here’s the story of what events came to pass after Craig Kallman saw the group on YouTube.

In a turn of events that the spiritually inclined might describe as a “higher power” moment, Atlantic Records Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman happened to be among those millions of viewers.  “It was completely random and totally unexpected,” says Kallman.  “I was surfing YouTube to check out what was new, when I saw this brilliant, fresh, and totally compelling performance.  And then I saw how many hits they were getting, and I had something of an epiphany.  So I emailed Randy right away.”  Randy, not surprisingly, thought it was some kind of prank.  “The head of Atlantic Records emailing me at 8 a.m. New Year’s Day and saying he was interested in our group?  I thought, ‘yeah, right.’”  Fortunately, Randy decided to check it out anyway, and he and Dan soon found themselves having dinner with Craig in L.A.  Within a few days, the entire group flew to Atlantic’s offices in New York, and a deal was in the works.

Straight No Chaser released their holiday album “Holiday Spirits” on October 28, 2008 and have been getting great reviews.

I received copies of the album to review last night in the mail. I popped it into the stereo and thought I’d listen to it as I got some other things done around the house. The album didn’t stop playing until we’d circled through every song about 5 times. These guys are TREMENDOUSLY talented and deliver the goods on bringing in in the “Holiday Spirits” and hits we all have come to love.

They’re one of the few groups I’ve heard re-do “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys, but I think they sound better than the Boys themselves, and I love The Beach Boys. The group gives a little hometown love with “Indiana Christmas” which is a beautiful ballad that really showcases their harmony and talent.

Here’s the full track listing of “Holiday Spirits”:

  1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  2. Jingle Bell Rock
  3. The Christmas Song
  4. This Christmas
  5. Christmas Wish
  6. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/Angels We Have Heard On High
  7. Little Saint Nick
  8. The 12 Days of Christmas (LIVE)
  9. Indiana Christmas
  10. Sweet Little Jesus Boy
  11. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
  12. Carol of the Bells
  13. Silent Night
  14. Auld Lang Syne

Without saying much more, this album has risen to the top of my holiday album favorites, replacing the likes of Russ Taff’s “A Christmas Song”, Harry Connick, Jr., Trans Siberian Orchestra and “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. This is good stuff!

Win a Free Copy of “Holiday Spirits” Album by Straight No Chaser

I’ve got a couple copies of this album to give away to anyone that’s interested. All you have to do is go visit the Straight No Chaser website, MySpace, Facebook or YouTube pages and listen or watch them perform a song. Then come back here and leave a comment about what you thought. I’ll randomly select from those commenting and give them a copy of the “Holiday Spirits” album.

Win Tickets to See Straight No Chaser Perform in Person

If you write a blog yourself and would like to write-up your own review of their music and link back to this post I’ve got some free tickets for you to see Straight No Chaser perform in concert at the Madame Walker Theater on December 20th. Just be sure to link back to this post with your review and email me to let me know it’s up, the free tickets will go to those with their posts up first until I run out of tickets.


  1. Chris Edscorn says:

    These guys are great, innovative, superb performers and wonderful to listen to.

    I am so enjoying their music.

  2. Finally, a fresh voice for the holidays.

  3. Linda says:

    Talent and personality combined! You can't help but love these guys…I saw them this morning on Fox News and was so impressed! I've been talking them up all day with everyone I met, finally made it home to check out what else they've done…and here I am. Even if I don't win the CD, I'll own one soon!

  4. Glynn says:

    They are a great inspiration to those of us in acapella groups! The human voice is a great instrument!!!!!!

    I am part of a women's acapella group and one of our members saw the video Nov/Dec 2007. We were inspired but not up to the challenge of doing their version of 12 Days. In February the current SNC group from Indiana Univ performed in Denver. I drove 200 miles just to hear them and it was a great concert. The audio system in the auditorium was inadequate but I was on the 3 row. Fortunately, these guys know how to project and their voices filled the room!

    Long live the acapella tradition!

  5. Janice says:

    So refreshing- just their voices a capella… it's like chocolate for my ears- delicious. It is for all ages. I want to find it for my parents. Of course, 12 Days of Christmas makes me laugh every time I listen. But Hark the Herald Angels sing/Angels we have heard on high is another favorite. This album will be listened to for infinite years!

  6. What a unique and uplifting way to share the holiday spirit. It is so refreshing to listen to a medley of Christmas/Holiday classics rife with rampant humor and decadent blended tones. Bravissima!

  7. Fabulous! I am so glad I happened upon your site and went to listen to them. What a talented and charming group of men. Carol the Bells was impressive, but the way they kept up with the 12 Days was incredible. I love their energy and their harmonies. Bravo! I clapped sitting at my computer!

  8. Michelle says:

    I love these guys! I am so hooked-I have everyone loving and listening to them. BUT I can't find a copy of it anywhere. Can I only get this online? I added to my ipod songs but really want the CD for work and travel.
    Thanks for sharing them with us!

  9. I heard the Twleve Days of Christmas on the radio and couldn't wait to track down the group . . . . I love their name to begin with , but! their talent is fantastic. I have done a lot of choral singing as well as Cabaret theater performances and I KNOW the effort and camaraderie it takes to put out a performance like theirs! Can't praise them enough! I'm going to give this CD as Cristmas presents to many of my friends and family who will appreciate not only the musical talent but the fun they obviously share together.

  10. Wonderful. Genius. Just beautiful! SNC's performance of the Twelve Days of Christmas not only re-ignites the passion for really good music but also gives us hope for better times especially during today's uncertainties. I live in the Philippines where I'm spreading the word about them.

  11. Mary thanks for finding us and reading about Straight No Chaser. We've already awarded the free CD's so we don't have anymore to give away. Wish we did!

  12. Mary March says:

    I saw the original SNC crew perform at University of Michigan Ann Arbor at a joint acappella concert in 1998 while I was a junior at UMich. I had been apart of an acappella group my first two years of college. When I heard SNC, I thought to myself, "Hands down, this is the most amazing acappella group I have heard yet." Today I just happened to find their utube videos and I have been watching the videos for the past two hours. Man, they are still amazing. If you are still giving out free cds, I am all about promoting them!

  13. Suzy, you can see their listed events on their website here

  14. OK – I am hooked on Straight No Chaser !! I've ordered the CD and want to get info on their upcoming concerts…any info, anyone?! Happy Holidays to the guys from IU and everybody else !!!

  15. I work with Jerome Collins' Mother who is very proud of her son and say it is such a whirlwind of excitement !! We all Love their music so much and are very proud of them as well!!!

  16. Kathy says:

    I have the CD Love the Indiana Christmas song.
    Let's hear this on the radio, please.

  17. Lorene says:

    I love the songs, I wish they were on the radio. It's great that they had a start in the Hoosier state!

  18. Diana says:

    I have listened to the 12 Days song and the interview on WDOK, Cleveland, this morning…….now I listen for your song all of the time and tell my friends about it. You are all so talented!

  19. Melissa says:

    I LOVED IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Carol says:

    These songs are preformed amazing – such fun! Just from listening you know they are having a good time – thanks for sharing, the joy.

  21. Doug Ellis says:

    A for Singing Hoosier myself, I cant say enough about what these guys have put together. An awesome group with a new look at some old standards. Excellent

  22. I just noticed that I have "Africa" by Toto on my myspace playlist. (Yes, I'm stuck in a timewarp.) I'll never be able to listen to it without thinking of SNC and their 12 Days of Christmas now! =) I went to my page, and there it was. I had to laugh.

  23. Just heard these guys on our local radio today and had to check them out online. LOVE THEM!!!!!!! So much fun. I wish them much success. They deserve it. My kids and I played their songs over and over. Hope you still have copies of that cd and can send one my way! =) The kids and I would wear it out, I'm sure!

  24. alane says:

    So happy that Straight No Chaser has come this far! They're the best – And, looking as good as ever in their promo photos!

    Love 12 Days of Christmas!

  25. Just heard 12 Days of Christmas on iTunes radio (while wrapping pressies) and had to stop to do a search to learn about these guys – WONDERFUL STUFF!!! Tomorrow is my birthday – I hope I win a copy!

  26. Have only heard "12 Days" on the radio, but this group is great!! They have it all-pitch,musicianship,humor,excellent complexity, and great arrangements and blend. I'm a retired choral director, and I know whereof I speak. What a treat!

  27. Thank you all for all your kind words! We had a great time at the Jingle Jam in Indy last night, and we can't wait to come back for our December 20th show at the Madame C.J. Walker Theater!

  28. aimee coia says:

    This is great. These guys are great! Very talented singers with a fun sense of humor. My sister buys every Christmas CD there is and I've never seen the poitn, but I'd really love this to be my first ever Christmas CD.

  29. Debra says:

    Once I heard this group the first time I've searched high and low to see everything they've done. They are just the most fantastic musicians and look like they realy enjoy everything they are doing. I'd love to be able to see them in person. Thank you for working so hard to give the world something so beautiful!

  30. Jordan says:

    I would like to say for 1 you guys are amazing and that is without a doubt.. The 12 days of Christmas was my personal favorite. You mastered that song and obviously put alot of work into it… Geat job!!! The first time I heard it i was at work and it came on the radio so I turned it up. The whole office was listening by the end and we laughed and sang the whole time . The talent of your group is amazing and PLEASE keep up the good work!!!

  31. Those guys are amazing. I found the 12 Days video on YouTube a long time ago, and when I was browsing iTunes earlier, I saw they had released a CD!! All of their holiday stuff is great! I definitely loved their classic remakes like "Lion Sleeps Tonight" and "This is how we do it." It makes me wish I went to IU back during their original performance of 12 Days

  32. Cheryl says:

    WOW! These guys are fabulous. They combine so many things that I enjoy – harmony, comedy, upbeat music…… I happened to hear them on the radio after dropping my kids off at school and when they went into "Africa" I was smiling and laughing out loud driving down the highway. I googled them when I got home and the video was even better. I sent the link to all of my friends. This is all I want for Christmas!!!!!!! Thanks for getting the word out on this talented group.

  33. Glad you liked them Betsy. I'm not sure when their next album will be out but I know they've got a 5 album deal so we should have plenty to hear from them between the holidays.

  34. Thanks for tell me about Straight No Chaser! I just bought a couple copies – one for myself and others for gifts. Perfect stocking stuffers!

    Now, when are they going to have a non-holiday album so I can listen to them ALL YEAR long! 🙂

  35. First I thought " How can 10 guys with NO instruments sound? " After listening to them for an HOUR.. I could not believe the songs I was hearing. Every song made me want to hear more.. And with the stress of Holiday shopping, you need something like this to put you back in the Christmas mood… I just can't believe it took 12 years to find these guys… They are Great!!!

  36. My wife and I started watching them sing on YOU TUBE and we haven't been able to stop. I think weve watched 15 so far and still looking. I just can't believe the harmony that they produce.

  37. Great great great album to have warming your walls during the winter season! You really couldn't pack much more charisma into a CD. (Well, you could, but it would require a second layer of Saran Wrap) On top of it all, I hear they are great guys too. Good album to have if you're wanting to spice up the holidays a bit. I'd love a copy!

  38. Shawn says:

    My wife has already gotten her one per year Christmas music CD, but I may have to allow an exception for these guys. Good, fun music is hard to come by, and these guys deliver.

  39. […] what i'll be listening to while decorating everything in sight – Straight No Chaser. These guys are amazing – they harmonize and humorize and all sorts of other things just through their singing. Their talent is off the charts, and the guys all make a great group […]

  40. […] I found out they made a cd!! OH MY! I’m thrilled! After listening to it, I can’t wait to get myself a copy of it! It will definitely be on the top of my Christmas play list! I can’t rave enough about it! It’s very likely that I’ll be singing with them at the top of my lungs […]

  41. OK – I'm in love! Thank you for posting this! I listened to Africa, Christmas Wish and The 12 Days of Christmas on their website over and over. 🙂

  42. My favorites are The 12 Days of Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming To Town, and Auld Lang Syne. I've never heard Auld Lang Syne arranged like that before. My 70-year-old dad is an alumnus and long-time supporter of I.U. He would love this album!

  43. […] Jason Bean, recently wrote a blog post titled Straight No Chaser Delivers the "Holiday Spirits" which caught my attention. Straight No Chaser is a local [Indianapolis] 10-man vocal group […]

  44. "Africa" and "12 Days," definitely my faves.

  45. Really great stuff! 12 Days of Christmas is really good. I often find a cappella music to sound dated or show-off-y – too doo-wop or too Bobby McFerrin. These guys have contemporized vocal music, with a sense of humor, yet still respecting the street corner, chanting monk roots. Thanks for the heads-up. And also – I can now finally understand the words to "Africa"…

  46. I just listened to them do Toto’s “Africa”. Very cool indeed…especially since they are fellow Hoosier alums!

  47. Haha, I love the 12 Days of Christmas medley!


  1. […] Bean is running a contest over at and you could win the new CD from Straight No Chaser. Holiday Spirits is a Christmas collection by […]

  2. […] I’ve got a couple of copies to give away, along with some free tickets to go see them perform live here in Indianapolis at Madame Walker Theater on December 20th. For my full review and details on how to win, go check out my post at I Choose Indy. […]