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OEAA Nominees put on winter showcase in Benson

Contributor

Published: Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Updated: Sunday, January 26, 2014 15:01

OEAA

Photo by J.Christoffersen/ The Gateway

Star Deli transformed into a gallery for OEAA Showcase on Friday

Spiraling temperatures and cold winds met the sounds of local music stretching across Maple Street on Dec. 6. Six venues in Benson hosted more than 50 local bands and artists, which were scheduled to perform from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. that evening. The Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards teamed up with Benson First Friday to put on its winter showcase of the nominees. Along with music, Benson also lent itself to have window showcases of OEAA visual artist nominees.

At almost 11 p.m. local R&B artist Dominique Morgan, who was nominated for Best Artist, Best Soul/R&B, and Album of the Year, performed at The Pizza Shoppe Collective. He said he was the first to get nominated for Album of the Year as an R&B artist.

“I’m excited for R&B to be recognized and embraced,” Morgan said.

The local artist had said earlier in the week that he doesn’t believe in rehearsing the day of a performance. Instead, he planned on checking out other label mates and acts on Friday.

“That’s the great thing about the showcase, it’s a time to see different types of artists,” Morgan said.

His last album, “Love Chronicles,” released last year, is soon to be accompanied by a new album in March. Morgan said that his new album would have a variety of love songs and ballads, which contradicts the tone of Morgan’s last album.

Around midnight that evening, up one block at Burke’s Pub, local band nominated for Best Country/Americana Artist, Traveling Mercies took the stage. Band member Jeremy Holan said their sound on the album was completely different from their live sound. He said the set for Friday would be different compared to others since they only had 35 minutes to play and the band wanted the performance to be more representative of their work.

“When we play live shows we want the energy to be high rather then making them [the audience] wait through slow songs,” Holan said.  
Their last album “Motel” was a metaphor “for a transient nature of life in that it is a temporary stop,” he said. Holan said he wrote all the songs on the album and considers himself more of a songwriter than musician. As far as the band’s nomination, Holan said it felt good to know people were paying attention to them.

“We need their support as local musicians,” Morgan said. “The fact that people come out and sit through our sets means a lot.”

Dominique Morgan can be followed on Twitter at @DomMorganMusic and Traveling Mercies can be found on Facebook.

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