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Close To You coming to Ashwaubenon PAC

By Ben Rodgers
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – The music of The Carpenters will be coming to the Ashwaubenon PAC on March 10.

Close To You: The Music of The Carpenters has preformed 220 shows in 36 states since starting in 2010.

Lisa Rock, founder and lead singer of the show, grew up on music from that era.

She learned from her father that great music still stands out even decades after it’s released.

As for The Carpenters, well she said it was never about an image, like other bands from that time. The Carpenters were just about the music, which is why she does these shows.

“I’m just a musician and this music, nobody else is doing it, and I can sing, and I know I can sing it well, and I love the music,” Rock said. “But it was just a band, it wasn’t about an image.”

Rock said The Carpenters was a duo known for its compelling vocals and deep instrumental arrangements.

One of the seven people backing her will be 2008 Bay Port High School graduate Brad Kemp.

Brad Kemp

Kemp met Rock at a church in 2010 while he was at Columbia College in Chicago.

Since then he has done backing vocals and keyboards for Close To You.

“That was definitely one of my favorite things about this band, was all the songs I didn’t realize I knew,” Kemp said.
Although he is a freelance musician, Kemp is also a composer.

He composed a choral arrangement that the combined choirs of the Howard-Suamico School District sing at their year end concert.

When the district asked for a new piece he happily obliged.

Kemp said he isn’t the only one excited to return to the area as a performer.

“It’s the first time we’ve been close for a while, because my mom has been asking for years,” he said.

Kemp is part of a large backing of instruments considering The Carpenters were a duo.

“There music is so filled out, that era was full of full bands and orchestration and strings and horns,” Rock said. “We create that in such a fun way.”

The reaction from fans over the years of Close To You has been positive as well.

“Standing ovations from little kids to 90 years old,” Rock said. “We have the gamut of age range in our audience.”

The show is also unique because of Close To You’s knowledge and history of the original duo and how they interact with fans.

“It’s a very interactive show,” Rock said. “We’re playing and it’s not passive. They’re talking back, it’s a dialogue we have with the audience.”

Close To You: The Music of The Carpenters is at 7:30 p.m., March 10 at the Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center.
All tickets are $39 and available through Ticketstar.

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