by Hilary Stohs-Krause
The Betties had a busy weekend.
Singer/guitarist/songwriter Heather Berney and viola player/back-up vocalist Jordan Ellis joined me Thursday in the 89.3FM KZUM studio in Lincoln for a live performance, and to talk about the "bloody and visceral" nature of some of their newer music. That night, they played at the Zoo Bar, 136 N. 14th St., while Friday night found them entertaining the First Friday crowd at The Black Market, 1033 O St., and Sunday saw them performing at Duffy's Tavern, 1412 O St., all in Lincoln.
One of the most-talked-about new Lincoln acts, the Betties began as Ellis and Berney, but now include Nick Svoboda on upright bass, Jonathan Egan on drums and Spencer Powell on banjo, harmonica and back-up vocals. When I first saw them as a duo, I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed. I commented to friends that I thought they had potential, but that a lot of their songs ... well, that a lot of them sounded the same, to be honest. And it was obvious that the two hadn't played the material live very often.
That being said, I'm surprised and delighted by how much the band has grown in the last few months. Berney keeps chugging out new songs to fill their repertoire, and those songs are getting better and better. The Betties are definitely a group to watch.
Listen to the podcast below to hear about the, in their words, "cute, sweet, dreamy, melancholy, rollicking, jaunty, pretty and rural" band.
Technical note: I'm still figuring out this mixing/recording thing, so bear with me — specifically, my mike was off for about, oh, 15 minutes, and the first song is a bit too loud, but overall I think it turned out fine.
(Photo taken by Hilary Stohs-Krause at Duffy's Tavern, 1412 O St., on Sunday, March 6)
Podcast song order:
"Pretty Little Ditty"
"Carry Me Away"
"San Francisco 1862"
The Betties recommend:
Nationally: Agent Ribbon, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Esperanza Spalding
Locally: All Young Girls Are Machine Guns, The Amalgamators
Connect with The Betties:
For more, tune into the X-Rated: Women in Music radio show every Thursday from 1:05 to 3 p.m. CST at 89.3FM KZUM in Lincoln or streaming live at http://kzum.org. Or, if tumblr is more your style, check out xmusic.tumblr.com, or via Facebook at facebook.com/xmusicnebraska.