Hear Nebraska: Small Houses’ new album inspired by travels

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November 5th, 2012

Omaha, NE – A Michigan songwriter is releasing a new album this week that Nebraska music fans might feel a connection to. As Michael Todd from HearNebraska reports, the music of Small Houses is partly inspired by the band’s travels across the state and the rest of the country.

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Jeremy Quentin appreciates every couch and floor he’s come to know over the years as a traveling musician. In the liner notes for his seven-inch record released Monday, he thanks every friend who introduced him to a good spot to lay his head.

As a Michigan native, slowly but surely becoming a Nebraskan through his many stops here, it’s fitting that Quentin’s music goes by Small Houses. In the song Oh, Hiding Out, Quentin sings of one house out in Boulder, Colorado down on 20th Street. “And that was just the story of my life,” Quentin said in a recent interview. “I was always staying with a friend somewhere.”

“The chorus always keeps repeating, ‘I’ve got a year to miss with every town I’m in.’ There was just so much time that could go by,” he said.

Jeremy Quentin performing Oh, Hiding Out

Throughout the record, Small Houses remembers specific places along the road, from St. Louis to Illinois. Quentin said writing these places and friends in to songs is an ode and a thank you to them.

Nebraska makes its way into his music more clearly through the band he’s assembled for this tour. Omaha’s Andrew Hathaway, of the band Field Club, joins Small Houses on bass, bringing Nebraska with him. “All the places I mention in those songs I hold very dear to me,” Quentin said. “In the same way I hold a lot of parts of Nebraska, and same reason I asked Andrew Hathaway to come on this tour with me is just that I feel a lot of endearment from these places.”

Nebraska also provided a record label at just the right time when Quentin came through Lincoln in May. Josh Tobey, who runs Fresh Ink Records, saw Small Houses at Cultiva Coffee and offered his services, which Quentin later called on for this album.

“He’s a good character,” Quentin said. “He’s a shy guy, and he’s definitely not trying to hustle anybody.”

“No matter what level of music you’re at,” he said, “even if you’ve just written your first song, people try to hustle you, and Josh isn’t trying to hustle anyone. He just has a real, genuine love for this type of music.”

When Small Houses plays Slowdown this Thursday night at 9 with Field Club and Great American Desert, perhaps a new song will be in the works. Even if Quentin doesn’t know it, he might be writing a song inspired by the places and people of Nebraska.

After all, as he said, “It’s often just love letters and thank yous to these towns and places.”

Hear Nebraska is a nonprofit cultural organization that cultivates the state’s vibrant, fertile music and arts community.

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