Closer to the music
Nic Stevens was in the right place at the right time.
The singer-songwriter was performing at a benefit concert last March at his alma mater, Wartburg College, when fellow alum Chris Roberts, of Rochester, heard him play. A few phone calls later and Stevens was booked as the second performer at The Jive Mill. The OK Factor performed there in August.
Stevens will play music from his three albums at 7 p.m. Nov. 9. The upstart concert series currently has its acts perform in homes. Stevens' show will take in place at Roberts' residence, 501 18th Ave. S.W.
"I think the intimacy of venues and our intention to encourage and support a variety of arts is something worth noting," said Roberts, who co-hosts the concerts with his wife, Noelle. "It's going to be different from a lot of the stuff you might find in a bar around town or at the civic center, and will hopefully be much broader than music."
Stevens said he is looking forward to the intimate setting.
"You can get really up close with the artist," he said. "You can relax in the living room, have drinks, eat appetizers. It's a great opportunity to listen to the songs and talk to the artist about the music. We can go a lot more in-depth than at a larger live show."
For Stevens, who performs with friend and co-producer Ryan Demlow, the timing of the concert is perfect. Stevens recently released his third album, "A Season Bound for Change." He said his music is independent Christian, and he has been compared to major acts such as Jars of Clay and Coldplay.
"I play vocaldriven, dynamic music," Stevens said of his original material.
While he sings Christian music, he would not call it worship music.
"My songs would not be played in a church, but there are undertones of Jesus in all of my music," he said. "I see traces of Jesus in all aspects of my life, but my music is a little bit different than what you would find in the (Christian) genre."
Along with singing all of his songs, Stevens also plays guitar. Demlow, whom Stevens calls a utility musician, will play piano, accordion and ukulele.
Stevens' music is available on iTunes and at noisetrade.com/NicStevens .
According to its website , The Jive Mill was created in 2012 with the hopes of building a community and venue for artists. In addition, The Jive Mill hopes to encourage a partnership between creatives and patrons and facilitate the necessity for art in the Midwest. This is done through education, support of community events, and developing performance venues.
Tickets for the show are $10 and available at www.thejivemill.com .