One of the fun things about having interviewed about 150 musicians since the start of COVID is that we have a long list of bands we can’t wait to see. Rachel Kurtz and Maybe Nebraska (Kelley Larson and Mikaela Jensen) were at the top of our list. So imagine the delight to find out that they were playing together at the Icehouse on August 11, 2021. The show was rocking and funny, irreverent and spiritual; it raised the roof and the people underneath it.
Maybe Nebraska started out the night. They play the songs we want to hear. People sing along and laugh along. One awesome surprise – they snuck in at least one original song. I hope that becomes a regular thing. Both have such amazing voices and while it’s always fun to hear the songs we know, it’s a joy to receive a new song too. Watching them on stage feels like being part of a slumber party – except where everyone can sing.
Rachel Kurtz took the stage soon after. I don’t know a lot of singers who made their mark singing for churches and church groups but Rachel both embodies and defies every preconceived notion. She shows the love, especially with a song going out to all of the gay/trans/questioning kids. It’s so supportive and rocking. She has a voice that could fill a cathedral and shoot right up to God. It is amazing. And then she has some very funny stories about vibrators.
The night was filled with blues, gospel, show tunes and a very young, yet impressive beatboxer. Songs were that make remember your worst romance and songs that make you remember being hugged by life. Rachel brought up so many collaborators, including the Holy Rollers, which include Kelly and Mikaela. It felt like a family had adopted us for a nightlong celebration – but again with better voices.