Rootstime Review

Rootstime Review

(translated)…Nick is the blues in a nutshell and in his songs… he says by screaming guitar licks musical sadness that often represents the blues.
– Eric Schuurmans, Rootstime

Professor Johnny P’s Review – Live in Kansas City

It’s been many years since I was in Kansas City, and I’ve never been to Knuckleheads, although one of my oldest friends practically lives there. I get reports from musician friends who live in the area, and of course I check out who is playing there from time to time. It’s on my bucket list if anyone wants to send me an all-expenses paid trip and toss in some barbecue with it…

Full Review

Nick Schnebelen Band review…June 6, 2016….





Many fans may remember Nick Schnebelen as the founding family member of Trampled Under Foot, a critically-acclaimed group that consisted of Nick and his siblings.  Those youngsters are all grown up now, and Nick is fronting his own band, and takes full advantage of the home court for his debut release  for Vizztone, “Live At Knuckleheads, Volume 1.”  Along with Nick on guitar and vocals, we have Cliff Moore on bass, and Joe Voye on drums.  Also, making her dazzling debut herein is guitarist/vocalist Heather Newman.  She brings another soulful dimension to an already-powerful lineup, with a vocal style that will bring to mind Susan Tedeschi.

Nick’s family was always immersed in all types of music, and the band brings a sampling of this to the table on this set.  He kicks off with a little bit of KC swing with the jumpin’ “I’m Goin’, but I don’t know where I’m going!”  Heather comes out next, preachin’ the blues about “goin’ down to Alabama to see ol’ Willie James!”  “Break Of Day” rides a “walkin’ blues” groove as Nick goes “lookin’ for that little woman that kept my soul.”  Heather sings a sweet boogie in the double-entendre’-filled tale of youthful lusts, “Tailgate Swing,” then goes right down to the Crossroads and gets down on her knees, preachin’ a story of her “weary soul,” and asks, “Oh Lord, Who Will Comfort Me.”

The set closes with four really nice covers.  Mick takes the lead vocal and Heather adds the backup on a primal, raw, sparsely-arranged “Spoonful.”  Santo And Johnny’s iconic “Sleep Walk” is a time-honored instrumental, and Heather follows with our favorite.  She brings that tortured lover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” to life, pleading “please don’t take him just because you can.”  The whole shootin’ match winds up with a slide-driven ride “down the Mississippoi, down ta New Orleans!”

This is a fantastic way for the Nick Schnebelen Band to kick off their career, and Heather Newman makes a fine addition.  Certainly, “Live At Knuckleheads, Volume 1,” begs for a Volume 2!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Full of Heart

Blues shows coming to The 21st Saloon include the return of a former BluesEd kid who is now part of Kansas City’s Nick Schnebelen Band. All grown up, Heather Newman has been singing with Schnebelen, one of the founders of the popular band Trampled Under Foot, for over a year. Catch The Nick Schnebelen Band featuring Heather Newman Thursday, Feb. 4, at The 21st. Another regional crowd pleaser, Kansas City’s Kelley Hunt returns to the venue Thursday, Feb. 11. Hunt’s soul-and-gospel-infused blues is always a big draw with fans. Hoodoo favorite and Chicago blues mainstay Studebaker John is a quadruple threat: an innovative songwriter, blistering slide guitarist, fine vocalist and excellent harmonica player. Make a point to catch Studebaker John & The Hawks Thursday, Feb. 18. Randy McAllister brings his big-voiced, blues-Americana back Thursday, Feb. 25. Popular blues-rock guitarist Chris Duarte returns Thursday, March 3. Thursday shows are 6-9 p.m.

Lincoln blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Tim Budig steps out front with his new Tim Budig Band focused on scorching, classic blues sounds. They have a CD release party Saturday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m. at The 21st.

BluesEd Auditions 

Speaking of the Blues Society of Omaha’s BluesEd youth performance program, the auditions for their 2016 program will be held Feb. 21. Audition registrations close Feb. 18. The program is entering its 15th year and is open to students 12-18 years old currently in middle school or high school. Find all the information at

Zoo Bar 

Lincoln’s Zoo Bar also presents The Nick Schnebelen Band featuring former Omahan and BluesEd program alum Heather Newman Wednesday, Feb. 3, 6-9 p.m. Other notable shows coming up at The Zoo include Steepwater Band Saturday, Feb. 6, 6 p.m., The Bel Airs Wednesday, Feb. 17, 6-9 p.m., Moreland & Arbuckle Friday, Feb. 19, 5-7 p.m., Hector Anchondo Band Saturday, Feb. 20, 9:30 p.m. following guitarist Michael Charles who performs at 6 p.m. Earl & Them featuring Earl Cate and Baby Jason Davis are back Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. & 27 at 6 p.m. Don’t forget the Zoo Bar House Band, featuring some of the best local players, takes the stage Mondays, 7 p.m.

Alvin Brothers on the Horizon 

Americana icons Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin are touring in support of their second recording together since Dave left The Blasters some 30 years ago (aside from some recordings around The Blasters’ reunion gigs in the early 2000s). The CD is Lost Timeon YepRoc. Dave, Phil and The Blasters were at the epicenter of the American roots music revival that happened in Southern California in the late 1970s. See

They are making their first trip to Nebraska since The Blasters days with Dave’s band The Guilty Ones. They perform Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. in a Sunday Roadhouse show at The Waiting Room. Tickets are on sale now at They hit Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Thursday, March 3, 6-9 p.m.  I’m telling you now because these are don’t-miss gigs and by the time the March Readercomes out, tickets may be gone for these rare shows.

Hot Notes 

The Harney Street Tavern mixes it up with a variety of music but often puts a spotlight on local roots, Americana and soul. Catch Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal at Harney Street Tavern Friday, Feb. 5, 9 p.m. See

The Omaha Lounge features a focus on smooth jazz and solo-duo blues, 7:30-10:30 Sunday through Thursday and 8-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Check out their schedule at

Legendary songwriter and guitarist Peter Case plays a Sunday Roadhouse show Sunday, Feb. 14, 5 p.m. at Reverb Lounge. Case is a Grammy-nominated artist whose work has been covered by everyone from Dave Alvin and Alejandro Escovedo to The Go-Go’s. See and