KEARNEY — Nathan Richardson and Salt Creek wanted to return to Kearney to play for everybody.
“We haven’t been able to play any all-ages shows in Kearney in a long time,” he said. “We just felt like we needed to do that for this release.”
The band members, originally from Kearney, now live in Lincoln. Richardson paused to talk about Salt Creek’s latest recording while preparing to travel to a show in Des Moines, Iowa, .
“Currently we’ve been prepping for this release,” he said. “We’ve been all over the U.S. We do about 75 dates a year. In February we were out on the East Coast.”
Before that Salt Creek toured in Arizona and Utah.
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“We’re traveling and still trying to do it,” Richardson noted. “It’s a constant grind but it’s gotten more streamlined. When we talked last, we were on a 30-day tour with an old van with no AC. We’ve graduated to a van with air conditioning. That makes us more apt to tour in the summer.”
Salt Creek will perform in the eighth annual Crankin’ Up for Cruise Night at 7 p.m. today at The Other Side. Additional bands include Author, Fascinus Rex, Deadend, Exit Sanity, TenDead and Slantpiece. On Saturday, Salt Creek and Author, a band from Minneapolis, will perform at 1 p.m. at Buffalo Records.
For Richardson, 28, success means his music is self-sustaining.
“Mainly we just want to write good music,” he said. “We also want to share that good music. Sometimes we play shows and only 30 to 50 people show up. Occasionally it’s 200 or more people. Some people might consider that a little crazy, to drive to the East Coast to play at a small bar with about 30 people.”
Richardson recognizes that those fans are there to support his music.
“Honestly, we’re just glad we can do it and keep doing it,” he said. “Sometimes the context of the song translates differently. Just the fact that people connect with our music, honestly, that’s a good feeling in general.”
Salt Creek features Chase Thompson, Nate Skinner, Richardson, Cam Penner and Zach Chrastil.
Richardson began his musical career in Kearney.
“We still have a lot of friends that live there,” he said. “I really enjoy coming back. I really enjoy Kearney as a community. It’s weird when people call Nebraska the Flyover State because there’s always so much to do. I enjoy coming back; especially getting back into the all-ages community. That’s where I got my start. I love playing shows that everybody can go to, regardless of age.”
As a teenager, Richardson started his musical career at all-ages shows.
“If musicians hadn’t come to my small town back in the day, I don’t know if I would be involved in this music scene,” he said. “And there are incredible Kearney bands along with great musicians in Kearney. But it’s really cool to have people traveling back and forth. I remember seeing one of my first regional touring bands from Chicago. They had really expensive gear. I didn’t know why they sounded so good.”
The band, The Forecast, originated in Peoria, Ill., but eventually moved to Chicago.
Now living in Lincoln, Richardson and his band want to pay it forward by bringing their music back to Kearney in hopes of inspiring younger musicians.