By Bruce Karnick [email protected] With Rivertown Live approaching quickly, the Hastings Area Rotary Club is working feverishly to put on the finishing touches. But all work and no play makes …
By Bruce Karnick
With Rivertown Live approaching quickly, the Hastings Area Rotary Club is working feverishly to put on the finishing touches. But all work and no play makes for a dull life, right? That is why, a few months ago, Craig Beissel sent out a message to Chris Kroeze’s social media asking if he would like to call into a Rotary meeting.
A few days went by and Beissel completely forgot he had sent the message until… ‘DING!’ his messenger went off. It was Kroeze’s manager. YES! Chris would love to do that, name the time and place!
August 19th 8:00 a.m. Rotary meeting. The meeting starts and all the technical stuff is setup, ready to go. 7:59 hits and there is the call. By the way, the name is pronounced crew-zee, just so you are reading it correctly the rest of the way. Kroeze is there, outdoors, and then he is not… mild panic sets in for the technical person at Green Mill… *cough* me *cough* and after a few checks, we realize, Kroeze was on the golf course and had poor reception. He rushed to get by the club house to acquire a proper signal and things were golden.
First, let me say, the general feeling in the room was, what a genuinely nice dude. He was extremely personable, very kind, and quite funny. It’s clear why he is rising through the county charts. What else did we learn?
Kroeze went through the basics; He was born and raised in Barron, Wisconsin, got his first guitar at age six and started singing at 13. A few years later, he was playing in bars to make a little cash. The cool part was his resolve. He explained that he had to get a big list together of bars all over Wisconsin and he personally called each of them one by one to get them to book him. He had a calendar in front of him the whole time and after hours of calling, he had his year booked. He put in the leg work to get his name out there.
That helped him make the decision to go to music production school in Minneapolis where he met many great musicians. In 2018 he earned an audition for the talent show The Voice where he ended up on Blake Shelton’s team. Kroeze finished season 15 as the runner up. On the show, Kroeze sang a beautiful rendition of the Beatles ‘Let it be’. Prior to singing it, he dedicated the song to Barron because it was right in the heart of the Jayme Closs kidnapping.
Kroeze has a smooth, tenor voice with a wonderful range, and he really enjoys touring the Midwest. More importantly for us here, he cannot wait to get here and see Hastings. He is your typical midwestern, down to earth guy and he loves this country. As of 2020, Kroeze had made 10 trips overseas to entertain the troops, a honor that means a lot to him.
Kroeze started to become a star in the Midwest, so much so, a bride reached out to his manager to ask that he surprise her veteran husband on their wedding day. It is a video worth watching and when done, you can’t help but cheer for Kroeze to succeed in the music industry.
After 20 minutes went by, the call ended, and everyone was talking about ‘what a nice/cool guy’ and they are right. A nice guy that does things for the right reason, and I cannot wait for him to come to Hastings. To get tickets to see Kroeze, Gabby Barrett, Sara Evans and the other wonderful artists on September 11th, visit www.RivertownLive.com.
Chris Kroeze joined the Hastings Area Rotary Club by video conference at their meeting on Thursday to give everyone a quick introduction to his journey in music and to earn 25 new friends with his charm and wit. Photo by Bruce Karnick