Merely a year ago, Ryan Knott had plans to sign a professional baseball contract.
The 23-year-old from Huntley hurt his knee, picked up a guitar and started making music with his best friend, 23-year-old Sarah Lendy of Chicago.
Now, as the duo Acoustic Truth, their album, “Time,” landed for a few days in iTune’s Top 100 Pop Albums upon its release earlier this week. They’ve met with managers and labels in California and received an invite to private audition for “America’s Got Talent.”
To officially launch the album, they’re performing Feb. 17 at Lincoln Hall in Chicago as part of a benefit for The People’s Music School, a non-profit group that provides free after-school music education to children throughout Chicago.
“Things are taking off. Our fan base grew,” Knott said. “It’s crazy. We weren’t expecting any of this stuff. It’s been very surreal, especially because we’re so new at it.”
With their single “Time” already released, the duo also plans to release another single, “Be My Valentine,” this week. They describe themselves as a “country pop and blue-eyed soul duo,” comparing their music to The Civil Wars, Lady Antebellum, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.
Though he’s been told not to reveal any more information about the results of the “America’s Got Talent,” audition until at least late March or early April, Knott said, “Things are looking good.”
The invite came in January after Knott submitted one of their YouTube music videos online. A friend helps the duo with filming, while Knott does much of the editing.
A former baseball star from Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, Knott graduated from Duke University and is close to completing a master’s degree in the law program at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. Once that degree is complete, Knott said he plans to pursue music full-time.
Injured just before the baseball draft while at Duke, Knott said he began writing songs during his rehabilitation. He met Lendy during an internship at Camp Star, a camp for children with special needs. Both were camp counselors.
The two became friends first, then best friends and since have become a couple. Before they met, both would write songs and keep the songs to themselves.
“We weren’t really that close until we wrote a song (‘A New Me’) together, and it kind of went from there,” Knott said.
The two first performed for friends and audiences in hospitals and rehabilitation centers.
“If you would have asked me a year ago if I was doing music I would have laughed,” Knott said. “It was honestly the most random thing ever. . . I was planning on rehabilitating and coming back and playing ball. There’s something about music that keeps me going.”
PEOPLE’S MUSIC BENEFIT CONCERT WITH ACOUSTIC TRUTH
WHEN: 3 p.m. Feb. 17
WHERE: Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
COST: Tickets cost $15 and benefit The People’s Music School (www.peoplesmusicchool.org), a non-profit group that provides free after-school music education to children throughout Chicago.
INFO: www.facebook.com/acoustictruth, www.acoustictruthmusic.com. or YouTube. Their album “Time” can be purchased at iTunes.