Sat May 11, 2013
marc on the blues

Kris Lager Band Doing Double Duty At The Greeley Blues Jam

Most of us tend to identify the Blues with the rural Deep South and urban centers like Chicago and Memphis. The powerful form of self expression we call the Blues has penetrated every corner of America and continues to spread around the World.

Marc Applegate talks to Kris Lager, meet him in his own words this week on The Nine O’clock Blues

If you should find yourself jonesin’ for the Blues in eastern Nebraska you should look up Kris Lager Band. The band’s story reflects a later day scenario of Blues success that is very different from the big bad city or dirt poor country mold we're used to.

Kris Lager Band is based in eastern Nebraska where they came up through the music world on their own terms and with some interesting twists on the way. They have spent ten years honing their craft including a couple of years spent backing Native American Mato Nanji in a group called Indigenous and it had a major impact on Kris Lager Band’s own sound.

Upon returning to the Lincoln and Omaha, Nebrasha, area the band became the de facto house band at The Zoo Bar in Lincoln and also played many other clubs and venues in the region. The band promotes a “celebrate life mantra” while keeping a distinctive funkiness through their Thrift Store Junkies concept. The stage look of the band stems from their frequenting of thrift stores while out on the road and wearing the funky fashions they find in those stores on stage.

At a rehearsal keyboard player Jeremiah Weir said that the guys had to keep the song they were working on “Swagadocious.” The word caught on with the band and they used the name for their latest album. And the fact that Jeremiah’s last name is the same as Bobby Weir of the Grateful Dead has led to Deadheads frequenting Kris Lager Band show, which they welcome because Deadheads fit well into the “Celebrate life mantra” and “Thrift store funk” as well.

One more catch phrase associated with Kris Lager Band is “Boogie trance.” Kris evokes John Lee Hooker as one of the inspirations for the band’s sound that, blended with “Thrift store funk” and a “Swagadocious” attitude leads to a very good time when you go to party with the band. Kris says that he’s learned that it’s not how great he makes people think he is, but how good he makes them feel. A pretty darned good attitude, I’d say.

Last year The Greeley Blues Jam brought Kris Lager Band to play at the 9th Street Plaza on Friday night at the start of the 2012 Jam and the reaction was so good that this year the Jam has asked the band to do double duty starting at the 9th Street Plaza on Friday, June 7th and then playing at Island Grove Arena the next day.

Tune in this week to catch Kris Lager Band on The Nine O'clock Blues.


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