HARTINGTON — Hartington showed off its homegrown talent over Thanksgiving weekend.
It was slim pickings for parking spots on Broadway Avenue Friday evening, as Casey Rossiter played in The Taproom at the Historic Hartington Hotel and The 95s played in the Ten Pin Lounge at Broadway Lanes.
Two neighbors with two local musical acts and both venues featured plenty of customers to take in the live music.
Rossiter and The 95s were followed on Saturday night with three bands playing at the Bow Valley Dance Hall. The 95s opened on Saturday night, and were followed by The Hipsters before Paul Collins closed out the night with The Hipster filling in as his band.
The Hipsters came onto the scene in the early 1980s, catching an underground rock n’ roll wave that carried them into the 90s.
The group had a reunion at the turn of the century, and have recently played at the Bow Valley Dance Hall twice in 2018.
The Hipsters are composed of a trio of Kathol cousins. Vern is the guitarist and lead singer, his brother Gary, a.k.a Gizmo, plays the drums, and their cousin Kevin is the bassist.
“We have played these holiday homecoming gigs for a number of years and they are the most fun because everyone is coming home, they want to go out, they want to have a good time,” said Vern Kathol. “I was so impressed on Friday because there were so many people out having a good time at the Hartington Hotel and at the bowling alley, and tonight we have a great crowd here.”
Kathol is also known for his acoustic solo performances that he has played at Broadway Lanes, the Hartington Golf Course, and down in Omaha.
As for who Vern Kathol credits for bringing out-of-town musical acts to Northeast Nebraska, he said the answer with relative ease and a smile.
“Carly Christensen finds it like a challenge to get some of those folks back to Hartington,” Kathol said regarding how a musician from New York like Paul Collins started performing in the area.
Kathol also performed a song after Rossiter’s set concluded on Friday night. While The Hipsters have more of an alternative rock feel, Rossiter was found playing an array of genre’s on Friday night.
“I’m a bar cover guy so I play country, rock, folk, blues, I even have some hip hop songs,” said Rossiter. “Whatever they want to hear.”
He went on to say he plays shows anywhere from four to eight times a month in the Northeast Nebraska, South Dakota, and Iowa area. He says he learns between 20-30 new songs every six months or so.
Rossiter is a 1997 graduate of Hartington High, and lives in Wausa currently. He says he started playing almost a decade ago when he was living in Portland, Oregon and that he started to perform once he moved back to the area and a friend said she would sing with him.
Rossiter has played at the Historic Hartington Hotel, the Hartington Golf Course, Marcy’s Main Street, as well as private parties in the area. He says he has a show at Broadway Lanes scheduled on Christmas Day evening, and that he is playing at the Skylon in February - a place he credits a lot for the plethora of local musicians that are from the Hartington area, listing The Outlaws, Quazy, The Hipsters, now The 95s, and many more.
“I think the Skylon was a large part of that history. I wish that could keep going because when we were kids we had bands just about every week in the summertime that all ages could go watch. Then kids would get inspired and start their own bands.”
The 95s are the newest band of the three local performers this weekend. The band started performing last year as a duo of guitarist and vocalist Cole Corkery from Yankton and drummer Ethan Kleinschmit from Crofton.
At this time last year, the duo added a third, bassist Colby Wieseler from Hartington.
“The music we play I would say has rock n’ roll roots with obviously a lot of punk influences mixed with some classic sounds like Chuck Berry, and Eric Clapton,” said Wieseler. “We try to mix all of that into our covers and original music as well.”
The band played two different sets on Friday and Saturday, performing a total of four hours on the weekend. Wieseler said playing in front of many friends and family members was a memorable experience.
“It feels pretty good because I don’t think a lot of people realize we have this band,” said Wieseler. “Especially if it is the first time they hear us people are typically surprised of our sound and it feels good to get compliments from them after the show.”
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, and sometime it can be a struggle to think of ways to spend quality time outside of the house on these cozy weekends. Having the option to hear quality hometown acts can definitely make that decision easier.
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