I thought about this for a bit, and made a connection. Rock Band is basically karaoke, but with instruments as well as singing. I asked him if he wanted to practice singing along while I played the drums. I figured it would get him rolling.
And so, tonight, the Rock Band group the Swim Buddies (oh, yeah, he'll bitch about that name) started playing. For a looooooong time. We stopped because my ass was crying out for mercy and I could feel blisters forming on my fingers from the drumsticks.
He's certainly a better singer than me. What I heard made me think that his problem was simple -- he hadn't sung in two years, so his vocal range had reduced. I'm sure, with some more practice, he's going to be just fine and in shape for karaoke in no time.
Yup. He'll go solo, busting up the band. God, lead singers are such a pain in the ass....