THE SIBLING vocal group Girl Named Tom is no stranger to touring. A couple of years ago, before COVID-19 shut them down, the trio of Bekah, Josh, and Caleb Liechty crisscrossed the country in an old van, playing one small concert after another. “A lot of times, we would be playing in people’s backyards or their basements,” says Bekah. “Sometimes, 12 people would show up, and we were more than happy with that.”
The scale of their performances has changed radically since last October, when they were crowned champion of the 21st season of the NBC talent show The Voice. Now the Goshen College alumni and South Bend residents have an agent, a backup band, and a long list of gigs at venues that accommodate thousands of fans. Which has taken some getting used to.
“It was definitely a jump in size,” Josh says. “But we were really looking forward to playing for a live audience in a room again, without the extra stress of being on TV. Honestly, getting back to playing venues was like taking a deep breath and remembering, ‘Ah yes, this is what we’re really doing this for.’”
Their post-Voice strategy is to play lots of gigs across the country, to build a grassroots following among the folks who only know them from television. Oh, and since their victory also earned them a recording contract, they need to carve out some time to record an album.
“We sat down with our team to try to figure out how we can play as many shows as possible, but also get out a record by the end of the year,” Caleb says. “It’s going to be a trick because our schedule is really busy.”
It’s definitely not like the old days, when the siblings could huddle in the back of their van and work on original music.
“We still write music individually, but we just haven’t had much time together to put that into our performances,” Josh says.
But such issues are only minor distractions compared to dealing with the death of their father, who passed away from cancer shortly after their Voice win. Bekah says the siblings were able to spend their father’s last month and a half with him.
“One place that we all really connect with our dad is on stage,” she says. “When we hear our voices blend, we can see his smile through the crowd and hear him applauding us. He’s everywhere.”
Over the next few years, they would like to record two or three albums of original music, hone their stage presence, maybe do an international tour, and also get back on something approaching a normal schedule.
“I don’t want to be living quite the crazy life we’re living right now,” Caleb says. “But I understand that we’re building a framework for the future, because we want to still be performing in five years.”
Instead of driving to shows in an old van, these days, Girl Named Tom typically travels by plane—but not in a private jet. Usually, they fly commercial, and they sit in coach. But that’s just part of the process of getting famous.
“Whatever gets us there,” Bekah says.