Home of: Saddle Creek Records, Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, Azure Ray, Bright Eyes, Tilly and the Wall, Smashmouth, The Faint, 311, Cursive
Fun Facts: State flower; goldenrod, state song; “Beautiful Nebraska,” state beverage; milk
While you may not think of Omaha, Nebraska when you think of jazz and R&B, the city actually has quite the history. Home to Wynonie Harris, Preston Love and Buddy Miles, the city was a regular stop for many Kansas City jazz musicians. For the past 6 years, Omaha has celebrated its musical heritage with the Omaha Blues, Jazz & Gospel Festival. This year’s festival included Everette Harp, Kelly Hunt and Little Brian and the Zydeco Travelers.
The biggest new development in indie rock in Omaha is Slowdown, a new all ages venue owned by Robb Nansel and Jason Kulbel, the duo behind Saddle Creek Records. Opened in 2007, Slowdown is part of a building complex (also owned by Nansel and Kulbel) that houses Saddle Creek Records, a coffee shop, retail stores (including an Urban Outfitters) and a movie theater. The venue was named after Omaha band Slowdown Virginia, which later went on to become the much loved indie band Cursive.
The Beat Seakers – The broad appeal of The Beat Seekers straight up powerpop will have both teenagers and parents tapping their feet. The rock radio nostalgia track “Dead Air Radio” sounds like it could be an outtake from an early Sugarcult album. If you like what you hear, the band is offering their full-length Dead Air Radio for free here.
Lucas Hitch – Growing up in a musical family, pop singer-songwriter Lucas Hitch started playing shows when he was ten year old. In the last ten years, he has played 1500 concerts to over a half a million people. This August, Lucas released his first full-length album Fade. Because of his musical background, Lucas played almost all of the instruments on the album. Check out standout track “Wander On.”
Bombs Blast- The Bombs Blast press kit describes the band’s music as “Spit in your face Punk Rock,” and it’s obvious from the first chords of “Treachery” that they mean business. The band has been spreading the punk gospel, playing shows everywhere from backyards to dive bars for the past two years.
Check out these acts and other great Nebraskan artists in the playlist below! Who are your favorite OurStage Nebraskans? Where do you like to see live music in Nebraska? Let us know in the comments!