BALL IN THE HOUSE (BitH) is a soul-pop/R&B vocal band based out of their hometown of Boston, Mass. With their extensive tour schedule (averaging 250 shows a year), Ball in the House reaches thousands. From theaters to performing arts centers, fairs & festivals to opening for some of the biggest acts in the world, Ball in the House hosts a very diverse calendar. They have opened for and performed with such artists as The Beach Boys, Fantasia, The Jonas Brothers, Gladys Knight, Lionel Richie, Jessica Simpson, Blondie, The Temptations, Smoky Robinson, KC & The Sunshine Band, and numerous others. For six years, Ball in the House were voices behind the Kraft Cool Whip commercials. Ball in the House has appeared on The TODAY Show, America's Got Talent, The Daily Buzz, and the Philadelphia 4th of July Parade. The Boston Globe says of the group, "Ball in the House has everything you would expect to find in a successful pop/R&B band...the one thing it doesn't have is instruments."
"Who is JON TROAST" by Jon Troast: I’m a singer-songwriter. I grew up in the Midwest, and now I live in Nashville, TN. Here’s my story – I love music, but there was one song I really didn’t care for as a kid – “I Like to Take My Time” by Mr. Rogers (yes, the one from the “Neighborhood”). Nothing against Mr. Rogers. Actually, I thought he was great. He even taught me how to snap. However, my brother used that song to tease me (bound to happen when you grow up with six siblings). He’d sing it if I was taking a little longer to get something done. I didn’t enjoy it. My mom would remind me that the song says “I like to take my time…to do it right”, but that didn’t matter much at the time.
Now that I’m not quite as vulnerable to my brother’s teasing, I’m actually thinking about making it my theme song. As funny as it might sound, Mr. Rogers’ message is found in a lot of my songwriting- taking time to notice what’s going on around you, taking time to think about what’s important in life, taking time to enjoy what you have, taking time to “do it right.”
It’s been my motto since becoming a full time musician six years ago. I started out playing coffee shops, bars, churches, etc. in the Midwest, slowly building my repertoire. I did some recording on my own, but wanting to “do it right”, I saved up enough to work with a producer in Nashville (Mitch Dane). I’ve since released four full length projects- “Second Story”, “A Person and a Heart”, “With, To, From”, and “Living Room”.
Trying to get to the essence of my work as a songwriter, I also started doing house concerts a couple years ago. You connect with your audience a lot more when you’re singing in front of their fireplace and sleeping on their couch! The idea took off, and I’ve since played in hundreds of homes all over the country including one extended coast to coast tour of 100 concerts in 100 days.
There have been other highlights- a chance to perform on NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion”, something I won’t soon forget. But even those opportunities, the ones that seem too come out of the blue, are usually the result of something you’ve been slowly and carefully building over time. I think it’s a pretty good philosophy. It’s kind of like learning how to snap. You work at it and work at it, and then suddenly… I’m so grateful for the loyal and supportive people I’ve met along the way thus far. People who listen to and appreciate the songs, but also people who’ve given a lot back to me. As a musician, I’m pretty sure this is “doing it right.”
In conclusion, Mr. Rogers was brilliant, and I’m bigger than my brother now.
Concert proceeds benefit Holy Family Memorial, to ensure healthcare is available to the disadvantaged in Manitowoc Count. For more information, please visit www.terrystevenson.com