OEA Award nominations announced; and who is Daniel Christian?

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:55 pm October 19, 2010

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, despite my stepping down as an Academy Member (see why here), the OEAAs continues to function. The list of nominees was announced on their website yesterday, here. As always, there are lots of surprises. Among them: Who is Best Roots/Americana/Country/Bluegrass nominee Lymphnode Maniacs? Who is Best New Artist nominee Hello From Ghost Valley?

But the biggest question of all: Who is the multiple category nominee (including for Artist of the Year, and Best Alternative/Indie) Daniel Christian? How has this maverick, who apparently is better than Tim Kasher, Conor Oberst, most of the Slumber Party roster (congrats, Noah’s Ark) and Speed! Nebraska artists, and acts like Box Elders and Digital Leather (currently touring in Europe) managed to escape my ever-inquisitive ears?

I did a little research on Christian’s Myspace page and here’s what I found: “Out of Nebraska comes a singer-songwriter who blends pop/rock sensibilities with country/folk roots. He weaves hooky, stick-in-your-head melodies backed by big harmonies with thought-provoking lyrical content. The result is a style of art and entertainment that audiences have dubbed organic ‘thought rock,’ which, according to fans, ‘sounds like cinnamon rolls taste!

The entry goes on to say that Christian has won two National Country Music Festival awards. His debut album, I Am Merely Sand, was released in 2007. “The collection of critically acclaimed songs features such notable talent as Grammy®-winning bassist Charlie Chadwick (Pam Tillis, Steve Earle, Peter Frampton) and guitarist Pat Bergeson (Chet Atkins, Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett).” Impressive.

In addition, Christian is a “member of the American Federation of Musicians, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and the Nebraska Arts Council. He is also a founding member of Nebraska’s chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), and in 2008, composed the school song for Johnson County Central High School in his hometown of Tecumseh, NE.

So there you have it. I may never have heard of him, but obviously someone has or else he wouldn’t be nominated for an award that honors the best musician/performer in the Omaha/Lincoln area for the past year. I listened to a few of the songs while on Christian’s Myspace, which I would describe as middle-of-the-road James Taylor. Well recorded, if not boring. But I figured the best way to really check out Christian’s music is to see him perform live, but according to his gig schedule it looks like he’s currently on some sort of regional pumpkin-patch tour, as he has a slew of gigs slated for Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, followed by a dining hall performance at Central Community College in Columbus. He is, however, playing at Myth in the Old Market Oct. 28 (no cover!), but that’s it for Omaha/Lincoln gigs. So… How did he manage to get nominated for Artist of the Year? It’s just one of the many mysteries that surrounds the OEAAs.

Regardless, good luck to all the contestants.

* * *

Tonight at The Barley Street Tavern, All Young Girls Are Machine Guns (an OEAA nominee for Best Adult Alternative/Singer-Songwriter) performs with The Migrant, Tenderness Wilderness, and Chad Wallin. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

Tomorrow: Reviews of last Friday night’s Conduits/Dim Light show (w/pics).

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.