Back in 2010, I got caught up watching the second season of NBC’s The Sing Off—the American Idol for a cappella groups. Not really one for shows of this type, I got hooked by seeing Ben Folds serve as one of the judges and Nashville singer-songwriter Jeremy Lister front Street Corner Symphony. Street Corner wound up as the season’s runner up. Shortly thereafter, I saw them do a celebratory homecoming show at the Exit/In featuring guest spots from Folds, Alison Kraus, and Huntsville-based Sing-Off winners, Committed. Having enjoyed that show, I jumped at the chance to see Street Corner again, this time in a sold-out Christmastime show at the lovely Franklin Theatre.
Street Corner’s main voice comes from the golden throat of lead vocalist, Jeremy Lister, an accomplished singer-songwriter in his own right. The group includes two of his brothers, Jonathan and Richie, as baritones; Mark McLemore as tenor setting the key for each song by banging a small tuning fork on his head; Adam Chance holding down the bottom end as bass; and young Kurt Zimmerman as vocal percussionist who was on loan from another band while original Street Corner member John Martin finished a degree
Street Corner’s set included all of the fan favorites from their television days. To add the holiday flavor, they mixed in a trio of traditional Christmas songs. They also sang three originals from their 2013 Southern Autumn Nostalgia release. The songs were interspersed with the guys showing off their vocal skills by producing various sound effects. Jonathan and Mark played a game of “sound ping-pong,” and Zimmerman, who went unacknowledged until late in the show, beat boxed some sounds.
The show offered a few fun moments: Mark gave my table mate his phone to film him singing his Mom’s favorite Elvis song (“I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”). And, there was a segment where a few audience members joined the lads on stage to solo during “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” All this and lots of crowd sing-alongs helped keep us all engaged and entertained throughout the night.
Street Corner doesn’t play the local area often enough, but next time they are in town, I strongly encourage you to check them out for an evening of solid vocal entertainment. It’s fun to hear these familiar songs stripped down to only human voice. Hearing Jeremy Lister singing Radiohead’s “Creep” is worth the price if admission—his version is so “very” special!
- Hard to Handle (Otis Redding / The Black Crowes)
- Hey, Soul Sister (Train)
- Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash)
- Voodoo (original)
- Frozen in Time (original)
- (various sounds)
- Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Withers)
- Come On Eileen (Dexy’s Midnight Runners)
- Eleanor Rigby / Help! / Hey Jude (The Beatles)
- Viva Las Vegas (Elvis Presley)
- I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You (Elvis Presley)
- Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
- Little Drummer Boy
- Up on the Roof (Goffin-King / The Drifters)
- Yes Sir That’s My Baby (Eddie Cantor)
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight (The Tokens)
- It’s Alright (The Impressions)
- Loves a Loser (original)
- (beat box sounds)
- Creep (Radiohead)
- Down On the Corner (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
- Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
- Silent Night
Kurt Zimmerman—Vocal Percussion