LOOMIS — Josh Hoyer usually performs with the support of his group, Soul Colossal. Based in Lincoln, Hoyer wanted to show audiences in central Nebraska a different side of his talents.
Hoyer will perform a solo, listening-room type show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday as part of the Rehmsworld Concert Series at The Balcony in Loomis. Tickets for the concert are $20 in advance or $23 at the door.
“A solo show allows me to pick songs from my entire catalog,” Hoyer said in an interview from Lincoln. “I wrote a lot of music before starting the Soul Colossal band. A lot of those songs are some of my favorites to play. They’re almost folk-like in their nature, you know, with storytelling and more topical themes.”
Playing those songs, alone at the piano, gives Hoyer a chance to connect with his audience in a different way than playing with his high-energy soul band.
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“I can take my time and tell the audience where the song came from and set it up with a story,” he said. “It’s been fun doing that, versus the full-on, full energy show of the Soul Colossal.”
Even though Hoyer will be on stage alone, the essence of Soul Colossal will stay with him.
“I’ll do a number of songs from Soul Colossal,” he said. “When you hear them, just how I wrote them in the basement of my home, there’s a different feel to the music. Sure, it’s just the bare bones, when you strip it down you can prove the merits of the song. There it is.”
Tim Rehm, who founded Rehmsworld Concert Series with his wife, Bev, extended an invitation to Hoyer as a way to introduce the singer.
Tim wrote in an email interview, “A few different factors went in the decision to have Josh solo this first time. I decided to go with the more intimate show as to get my audience acquainted with Josh and hear the ‘why and how’ of some of his music, as it came into being.”
Hoyer appeared on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2017. Also during that year the band toured Europe with stops in Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain and Slovakia.
Tim continued, “Even though I rarely watch the reality music shows on TV, many of our guests do and are well versed in Josh — and I think they would relate to his acoustic show.”
Rehmsworld Concert Series mostly features Americana music but Tim hopes to include the funky, blues-based music of Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal next season.
For Hoyer, the aspect of storytelling adds a greater dimension to his music.
“The storytelling is usually something about my personal life or about someone I’ve met,” he said. “Some of the songs are based in history, the history of Nebraska. So I’ll talk about some of the historical things I was thinking about before I wrote the songs. I’m not getting up there to lecture but I always think it is interesting, at least to myself, when I go to a show and see the thought process and the writer’s mindset.”
Last year, Hoyer played 240 shows. While performing solo allows him to try something new, it also presents a few challenges.
“This will be my fifth or sixth listening room experience where I’m on my own,” he said. “The first couple ones were pretty nerve racking. I just wasn’t used to having so much intense focus on just me. It’s a bit of a learning process but I think I’m getting more comfortable with it now.”