Local Lincoln, Nebraska Music Scene
Lincoln has importance to Nebraska as the state capital as well as the home of University of Nebraska. The city's population is over 250,000, according to the 2010 census. The Lincoln metropolitan area sits in the middle of Lancaster County and Seward County. The city is not surrounded by suburbs or other development. It is also a city with over 125 parks, including Wilderness Park. The city's economy relies on service industries. In 2013 the city made the list Best Places for Business and Careers in Forbes, ranked at number four in America.
While many of the big names in music from Nebraska have come from Omaha, Lincoln has also spawned some notable music acts. Matthew Sweet was born in Lincoln and later moved to Athens before finding national airplay for several alternative rock songs in the early to mid 1990s. Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine was born in Lincoln in 1978. Neil Hefti, who composed the TV theme Batman in the sixties, was born in Hastings, a little over 100 miles west of Lincoln.
Lincoln Music Acts
BZZZ * Daniel Christian * The Crayons * The Future Was Then * JaySay * Mount Zenith * Noise Flower * Paisty Jenny * Ruby * Transformula * Arthur Trexler
Lincoln Local Music Scene History
Local music scene notable Andrew Howard Fairbairn died from a heart attack on July 4, 2020 at the age of 47. He had been music director at University of Nebraska radio station KRNU in the early 90s. He hosted music and sports programs on the station and conducted interviews. He was known as "the band guy" when he became entertainment director of Duffy's Tavern in 1995 and booked local acts.
The Lincoln Exposed Festival marked its 13th year in 2018. The February 8-11 event featured over 100 local bands at five Downtown venues: The Zoo Bar, Duffy's Tavern, Bourbon Theatre, Bodega's Alley and 1867 Bar. Bands included Mad Dog & The 20/20s, Universe Contest, Mesonjixx and A Ferocious Jungle Cat.
In early 2016 HearNebraska.org published a wish-list from contributors for local music scene development. Some of the contibutors included Marq Manner, Rebecca Lowry, Jeremy Wurst, Sean Paul, Kait Berreckman, Ian Aeillo, Dan McCarthy and Bill Sharp. Events of the past year that were mentioned included the Good Living Tour and Benson Femme Fest.
StarCityScene.com is all about the Lincoln music scene. The site was launched by local artist Tery Daly in March 2003. The site interviews local bands, reviews shows and album releases and includes a calendar of events. Star City Scene invites readers to contribute reviews. It is also involved with local shows such as Scenefest and Powerless.
Lincoln, Nebraska is a haven for rootsy folk, bluegrass, and Americana music and has been for 40 years with the likes of such acts as Dr. John Walker, The Toasted Ponies, and The Resonators. A new label, however, arose in late 2013 inspired by these rootsy styles is Sower Records, launched by the team of Mike Semrad, Gunter Vöelker and Max Morrissey. Semrad, born in Blair, Nebraska, grew up in Lincoln and spent most of his adolescence inspired by his Father's and Uncle's music. He spent 10 years as a working musician in the Chicago, IL, while also teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Some of the acts signed to Sower Records include Jack Hotel, The Bottle Tops, Little Marais and Bonehart Flannigan.
The top artist in Lincoln is pop singer Daniel Christian, according to ReverbNation. Other notable local music talent includes hip hop artist JaySay, pop act BZZZ, rock singer Arthur Trexler, R&B singer Ruby, rock band Paisty Jenny and country band Cactus Hill. Creative acts who craft their own style include alternative band Eyes for Higher, electronica band Noise Flower and experimental act Mount Zenith. One of the most futuristic electronic groups is The Future Was Then, whose song "Being a Kid" sounds like time travel though the history of the computer revolution.