Twenty-five years ago, four college guys were held hostage on a Greyhound bus and were coerced into forming a band for a national youth conference to be held in Thunder Bay the following year.
They thought it was a one-year gig. They were wrong.
The CREW have been together ever since, sharing their distinctive blend of humour, harmonies, haircuts, and a message of hope.
They will be in the Okanagan this week to celebrate their 25th anniversary for shows in Kelowna and Vernon.
The CREW includes a familiar face.
Joel Haberstock, program services manager at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Vernon, joins his CREW-mates, Paul Mercier of Edmonton, Gary Brucker of Kelowna, and David Lieffertz of Chemainus to perform unique mind-cramping originals, from campfire-style sing-a-longs to intricate four-part a cappella harmonies to something called parody polka.
Said to be a mix of the Barenaked Ladies, The Nylons and Weird Al Yankovic, The CREW have sung the national anthem at major sporting events and have travelled and performed concerts and entertained at conferences across Canada, the U.S., Guatemala and Ukraine.
With nine recording projects to their credit, the four gents have a newly released and long-awaited, mostly a cappella Christmas project entitled Consider Well…A Christmas Journey with The CREW.
In 2010, their a cappella project, Sans Doigts, was nominated for the compilation album of the year by the Gospel Music Association of Canada.
The CREW perform at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 5151 Alain Rd., in Vernon Thursday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.