photo by Bridget McQuillan
words by Chance Solem-Pfeifer
"Kill County sounds like what I imagine Nebraska soil sounding like, if it could somehow make noise."
Hear Nebraska's executive director, Andrew Norman, foreshadows what everyone inside the Holland Center's 1200 Club is about to find out: this isn't music written with the magestic royal blue behind the band in mind.
From their song "Hard Times," we touch on bitter days eased by the relief of pills, the plight of "hard-handed men." Presumably, none of the "men of iron" to which the song is initially addressed were in the audience on June 7, 2013.
But the transplant process doesn't catch a seam. The vocal harmonies of Josh James and Ringo, one soaring and other shuffling, are as textured here as they would be on a porch made rustic by splintering, worn wood and rusty nails. On that summer night last year, Kill County converged from its separate corners of the country, Ringo from Michigan, James from Texas, Jon Augustine (bass), Joe Salvati (dobro) and temporary drummer Günter Voelker (Jack Hotel) from Lincoln.
Kill County's full 1200 Club performance airs tonight (Sunday, May 4) at 10 p.m. The subsequent 30-minute specials from Big Harp and Digital Leather will air on May 11 and May 18, respectively, at the same time. The full 60-minute, Austin City Limits-style special will air on NET on May 20. "Live at the 1200 Club" was made possible via a partnership between NET Television, Omaha Performing Arts and Hear Nebraska.
Below, watch Kill County's single ("Hard Times") and their full 1200 Club performance:
Chance Solem-Pfeifer is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. Reach him at email@example.com.