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Noah Sterba Is a Loner Songwriter Surrounded By a Wealth Of Talent

Listen to a track from the Omaha songwriter's new album that distills folk, punk, rock, country, and poetry.

by Tim Scott
23 July 2017, 2:08am

2017 is turning out to be a strong year for Omaha songwriters and following David Nance's, twisted brilliance on Do the Negative Boogie, Noah Sterba is set to release 13-Bar Blues, a collection of six years work and life experience that distills folk, punk, rock, country, and poetry.

Sterba and Nance are long time friends and collaborators, having spent time in The Prairies and both have worked alongside local legend Simon Joyner in his band Ghosts. Though small, the Omaha music scene is strong and Sterba is appreciative of the support it offers. "Some of the world's most beautiful, creative, and supportive people live in Omaha. I am blessed to know so many of them and Dave Nance is up at the top of the list," he told NOISEY via email.

Released on Joyner's Grapefruit Records label, Sterba's new album is a re-working of the 12-Bar Blues tape that was released in 2015 on Unread Records, and looks to a time when AM stations played broken blues and diners served pork chop plates for under three dollars.

Sterba also helped form punk band Yuppies who released their 2012 eponymous debut on Dull Tools, the label co-operated by Parquet Courts' Andrew Savage, who on their initial press release likened them to "loner-poet" forefathers like William Burroughs. Some of the "loner-poet" and punk influence can be heard on 13-Bar Blues and though Sterba says that he no longer misses the music of the punk scene he does misses some of the freedom that comes with being in a punk band.

Sterba tells us that some of his heroes include Alice and John Coltrane, Carl Sagan, Pablo Neruda, Walt Whitman, and American mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell. Though he doesn't reference them directly their spirit lives on the track "Dead Hero Blues" that you can stream below.

'13 Bar Blues' is available July 28 on Grapefruit Records.