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Right out of High School, Spencer had a band. One day that band was complaining about a lack of gigs. Fed up, Spencer made an announcement:
“Ok, you want gigs? We need a girl singer.”
Spencer called up Lisa, the best singer from their high school. She joined the band, and they’ve been partners in music and life ever since.
“Gather in the Rambler” is Lisa and Spencer harmonizing to Spencer’s songs and a few select covers. They sing about relationships, lessons learned, and faith in the middle of life’s dust and dirt. Musically, they live somewhere between folk and country. Their chemistry onstage always makes for a fun and entertaining night out.
Lisa and Spencer have been musical and life partners for a long time. Their first performance as a duo was at the Minnesota State Fair talent contest in 1981. Lisa sang one of Spencer’s songs, and they won their night, splitting the $100 prize.
They performed in various bands in the 80’s, sometimes separately and sometimes together. In 1986, they caught the ear of producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Spencer was signed as a writer and placed a song on Janet Jackson’s multi platinum “Control” album. Lisa sang background vocals on many of their recordings during the 80’s and early 90’s.
In 1993, Lisa released a pop album with Spencer helping with production. She scored the top ten hit “Better Than You” and the two traveled promoting her record “Walking in the Sun”. Here they are on the Jay Leno show:
Here they are performing together on “Friday Night Videos.”
As Lisa’s career gained momentum, she contracted a case of viral hepatitis, sidelining her for several months. It was a challenging time because they had to cancel many appearances and TV shows. When she regained her health, they decided it was time to move forward.
Spencer and Lisa loved country and folk music, so in 1996, they moved to Nashville. Spencer emerged himself in the songwriting community and Lisa worked as a background singer. Spencer co-wrote “Ooh Aah Crazy Love Thing” (with Tim Norton) and it found a home on the Kinleys debut album. Lisa sang on albums by Michael Bolton, Amy Grant, and others. They also became regular performers at the Bluebird Cafe, performing Spencer’s country-folk songs.
In 1996, they were featured on the “Best of the Nest” feature on Nashville TV:
In 1998, they decided it was time to back away from their music careers and focus on raising their kids. They returned home to Minneapolis to be near friends and family. Lisa devoted herself to homeschooling their two kids, and Spencer became music director and pastor at Evergreen church in Bloomington.
Recently Spencer has started writing again, and they’re performing his new songs as “Gather in the Rambler”. The twist is they are singing together as duet partners.
Today Lisa directs homeschool choirs and teaches voice lessons. Spencer is a pastor at Evergreen church and teaches guitar lessons.
Where does the name “Gather in the Rambler” come from? The phrase is from their song “Traditions”. “Gather in the Rambler” captures the balance between the ordinary and the extraordinary. It balances what’s important (relationship) and the common (suburban rambler houses). Plus, they both grew up in rambler homes.
They still live in one of those ramblers. And that’s where they gather.
So there ya go.