KZUM’s Soup & Songs returns to Ferguson House for third season
by Andrew Stellmon
Lincoln’s community radio station is bringing back its winter warmer for a third year in one of the city’s historic locations.
KZUM’s has announced its third-annual Soup & Songs concert series inside Ferguson House, 700 S 16th St. Once a month from November through March, the nonprofit station will stage five cozy, intimate shows by local artists while Open Harvest serves up delicious soup.
The unique setting and one-act format allows for unconventional and sometimes special performances. For instance, FREAKABOUT and Lloyd McCarter will play stripped-down acoustic sets.
“In its third year, we are looking forward to bringing you some artists you might have hoped for as well as some artists you might not expect,” said KZUM Development Director Shannon Claire.
All Soup & Songs shows run 5-7 p.m., with entry, soup and refreshments included in the $10 ticket price. RSVP to the first concert here. Find the full schedule, as well as a video from last year’s Root Marm Chicken Farm Jug Band performance, below.
November 19, 2017 — The Lightning Bugs (Trio)
December 17, 2017 — Lloyd McCarter (Honky Tonk/Country – Lincoln)
January 21, 2016 — Freakabout (Rock- Lincoln)
February 25, 2016 — Aunt Bunnie’s Parlor (Folk/Blues – Lincoln)
March 25, 2017 — SAS & Friends (Folk – Lincoln)
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Q&A: Carrie Ann Buchanan and the Exercise in Letting Go
By MarQ Manner
Carrie Ann Buchanan released her first EP, Bones, on November 4th at the Down Under Lounge. Buchanan recorded the album in Austin at Rubicon Studio with her mentor and producer Daniel Barrett.
As a member of The Shineys with Tica Perri, Buchanan has earned two Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards nominations and a supportive following among the Omaha music secne. The Shineys are a powerhouse vocal duo focusing on singer-songwriter material, folk and Americana. Buchanan’s EP follows along in the folk and Americana vein with deeply personal songs about some of the heavier subjects in life along with redemption and growth.
I recently met up with Carrie Ann to talk about the recording of the EP, her songwriting process and The Shineys.
MarQ Manner: How early did you start playing?
Carrie Ann Buchanan: I started playing guitar at nine. I took some lessons that really didn’t stick because I didn’t want to practice. I started playing in the church band in high-school.
MM: Was that here in Omaha?
CB: I am from Alliance, Nebraska. I always liked writing songs and playing piano. I have been writing since I was about nine. Just the church choir and the regular stuff all through college. Moved to Houston and discovered the whole open mic thing and singer-songwriter circles and all that. That is when I started playing music for real.
MM: Were you always more of a singer-songwriter or did you play with a rock band or something else?
CB: It’s always been the singer songwriter thing. I was married to a guy named Opie Hendrix and I would always tour with him and he was more rock and roll. As far as my music it was always more Americana or singer-songwriter.
MM: So what was the Houston scene like?
CB: The Houston scene is really cool. I always say that anyone that calls Austin the live music capitol, has not been to Houston. It’s a lot grittier and there is a real blues scene there. It was a great place to cut my teeth. I am sure you have heard of Carolyn Wonderland, she was a huge presence there. It is a cool scene, and a lot of it is underground. Houston people are fiercely loyal to Houston.
MM: Do you feel like your formative years as a songwriter came out of that scene?
CB: For sure. I wrote through high-school, but it was really that teenage girl angst. I got broken up with stuff. Houston and playing with my now ex-husband and hitting those open mic and songwriting circles along with my first experience with the blues.
MM: Who were some of your younger influences?
CB: Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstatd, John Denver-all of my dad’s record collection. Then when I started on my own it was Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge.
MM: How long have you been back in Nebraska?
CB: Since 2014.
MM: How long until you jumped in the music scene here?
CB: I didn’t do anything for about year at least. Then Tica [Felise, of The Shineys] encouraged me to get back out again.
MM: Did you know her before?
CB: Yes, we went to Doane college together. We were friends and kept in moderate touch through life. And then Facebook of course. She moved here a year after I did.
MM: So did you guys just say, ‘hey lets jam together’?
CB: We both had gotten divorced so we were both a bit of a mess. She knew that I played and I knew that she played. She had a band in Denver for like 14 years. Before this happened we had talked about recording, as she was thinking about doing a CD of lullabies. So we were just back and forth. Then she moved back and it started out with us playing together and it worked out really well for us. We had our first gig in the summer of 2015.
MM: Where did the seeds for a solo album come from?
CB: I recorded at Rubicon Studios in Austin. I worked there for two years. Best job ever. It was so awesome. The guy that runs it did a lot of regional stuff around Austin. Kind of regional stuff, but some larger stuff. He is the best boss ever. We would have meditation days or just hike and talk about business. When I worked there I was in-between bands. I moved to Wimberley and so I really wasn’t playing out. I was still writing. The whole time I worked there I was dying to play music with Dan (Barrett) because he was so good. I saw what came into the studio and what came out of the studio. He just worked magic on this stuff, and I wanted him to do it on my songs.
MM: So you went down there to record with him?
CB: When I moved back, I still worked for him a little bit until things didn’t work as it is hard to do long distance. One of the things he did at the studio was called the Rubicon Mentor. He did do one-off’s, but he also had students working and he mentored them for a year. It was life coaching and business development and all of those things. So when I got up here and was trying to get back to my creativity, he offered me that. So we did that long distance and over Thanksgiving break 2015 I went down and recorded. It took about four days. I went down with four songs and then we wrote one together and we took a day to do that.
MM: What brings you around to releasing it now?
CB: Well, I needed to for a long time. I bit of more than I can chew financially with it. It was the most expensive thing I have done in my life, but I wanted to do it so bad, because it was so good. Tica and I want to record and I felt like energetically, this has to be released and be out there first for us to move onto the next step.
MM: What were the four songs you went in with?
CB: I went in with “Lightness”, which I wrote when I first moved to Wimberley. It is an hour south of Austin and it’s right at the cusp of the hill country. We moved to middle of nowhere and it’s really gorgeous and that is one of the first songs I wrote there. Then I wrote “River” as it was flooding. It was after Katrina, and it was working it’s way down to New Orleans. Started seeing my friends start posting ‘it’s coming again’, ‘here we go again’ and I read an article about how they release the water along the way and they had to choose where they did it and wipe out homes. So that came from that. “Bones” I actually wrote here. It’s a hugely important song. It was the first good song I wrote after a long dry spell of not writing. I was also coming off the divorce and all of the stuff that comes with that. So really the whole thing is about starting completely over. I used to have this compulsive thought, especially as a young mother. When I would mess up, and never as a suicidal thought or self harm, but just the idea of cutting out my bones when I would get upset.
MM: You wrote a song with Dan. What was the difference between those two songwriting processes?
CB: I had not done much co-writing at all. Not that I am opposed to it.
MM: Were there things that were brought out in your songwriting that you did not know were there?
CB: I could not have written this song on my own. There is so much musically that he did that is not in my wheelhouse. And it was scary as hell, because he was like “We are going to write this today, hope you are ready, you have studio time and you paid a lot of money for this.” When I went down there I stayed at a little Airbnb at like a little hippie commune. I did have a car, but not a lot of money so I walked each day to the studio. It was a couple of miles. So I found this quote: “The most important conversation you will ever have is your fingers on someone’s skin.” That is a mutated version of it. I was like “That is what we are going to do.” I told him I wanted a sexy scorcher. That is what I want. So I came with that quote and on my way walking there I came up with the melody and a couple of lines.
It was pretty much instantaneous. We just started on the piano and picked up that melody and kept going. Most of our recording was kind of one takes. He kind of tricked me with the vocals he was like “These are just throw aways.” I didn’t even stand for some of them. It was smart as I didn’t overthink or over sing or get choked up. At the time I didn’t have a guitar so I just played a studio guitar. He did bring in a cello player and everything else is him. It really was an exercise in letting go. I didn’t try to produce it. Especially “Ashes”, when I play it live it is almost bluegrassy and upbeat and a completely different tempo than what we recorded. He was like ‘we are going to do it this way’ and my instinct was ‘no’, but OK. And that is what I did with pretty much everything. Of course I had idea’s, but for the most part I said here are these songs and you do what you think is right.
MM: Were there other songs that had a particular meaning or story behind them?
CB: “Lightness”, which is the opening track, is just a lot about depression and working your way out of it. Again the theme of kind of losing myself and trying to remember who I was. “Ashes” is about dying, so there is that. I kind of go for the heavy!
MM: When you completed it what were you feeling?
CB: It was so exciting listening to it. We had a ball. Then I got home and it was utter panic and anxiety. I did Indie-Go Go and that funded a lot of it and funded my travel, but it didn’t bridge the gap. I was like “What have I done? How am I going to finish this?” I am a mom, so then the guilt comes in. I went through a lot of roller coasters with it. Because of the anxiety of the other people who have paid money for this, I have to get it out. I am also a bit of a perfectionist so I got frozen because I couldn’t do everything the way I wanted to do it. Even now, I’m like going to send out the CD and then send out the other perks they got. I want them all wrapped up in a bow.
MM: How did you feel about the crowd-funding process?
CB: It was really nerve wracking. I am getting the CD’s [soon] and I got my shipping notice. It’s been tough. It will be a huge weight off my shoulders. I had to set this date, otherwise there will be things that come up. Like “oh the car just died.” I don’t know that I would do it again. I don’t want to do it with the Shineys. What I really want to do is win the lottery and write songs and have Dan record them.
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Concert Round-Up: Weekend Edition
It’s cold out, the Football Team sucks and there are plenty of great shows this weekend. You know what to do. Find our picks below and a fuller concert listing via our statewide calendar here. Submit your own using the contribute feature here and email news, story ideas and song submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kishi Bashi with Tall Tall Trees at Slowdown – Composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Kaoru Ishibashi brings an acclaimed live show to Omaha. The Seattle-born artist has released three full-length solo albums since recording on his own in 2012. Ishibashi has toured with the likes of Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche and of Montreal and, on his own, uses a complex arrangement of loops to recreate his compositions live. New York folk songwriter Tall Tall Trees (Mike Savino) opens the show. Before that, Slowdown facilitates a complementary screening of Ishibashi’s documentary film Project 9066, about his musical quest, search for identity and lessons from Japanese internment. Doors at 8 p.m., $17 advance, $20 day-of, all-ages. RSVP here.
The Sunks, Those Far Out Arrows, Megan Siebe & Sean Pratt, Practices at O’Leaver’s – Four Omaha acts join forces to support Nebraska Appleseed and, specifically, its focus on the DREAM Act, which would provide permanent citizen solutions for child with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status. Learn more about Nebraska Appleseed here. 10 p.m. show, $5-10 suggested donation, RSVP here.
Cuddlebone album release show at Duffy’s Tavern – Lincoln rock band Cuddlebone releases new full-length album The Aviary Friday in Lincoln. Hear the first two tracks from the album in advance here. The Dancing Dead plays in support. 8 p.m. show, 21-plus, donations encouraged. RSVP here.
Southside Music Festival at Gillie’s Bar – Kearney’s independent music hub throws its first two-stage music festival Saturday, with 13 bands including Super Moon, Mad Dog & the 20/20s, Stonebelly, J Rod String Band and more. Music starts at Noon and will happen both inside and in a heated outdoor tent area. There will be food, vendors and art as well. $15 entry. RSVP here.
Celebrating 13 years of HLN at Slowdown – High Lucy Nation and founder Dustin Dohrman celebrate 13 years of EDM and jam-band concert booking Saturday at Slowdown. Under the HLN banner, Dohrman has continually curated some of the best EDM and electronica shows in both Lincoln and Omaha. Minneapolis band Wookiefoot and hip-hop/soul collective Satsang headline, with support from Ro Hempel Music, Dr. Webb, Bentone and more. Doors at 6 p.m., all-ages, $22 tickets, RSVP here.
Bud Bronson & the Good Timers with The Beat Seekers, Mint Wad Willy at O’Leaver’s – Denver rock band Bud Bronson & the Good Timers bring its arena-ready rock to The Club Saturday with support from Omaha bands The Beat Seekers and Mint Wad Willy. 9 p.m. show, $8, 21-plus, RSVP here.