Artists on Trial: She's A Keeper

She's A Keeper is one of Kansas City's youngest and quickly growing bands in the scene. The five-piece group has found some far-reaching success, most recently opening up for Josh Ritter at Crossroads on July 19. Today, guitarist/vocalist Zac Jurden visits with us.

The Deli: Gun to your head: one sentence to describe your music.  What is it?

Zac Jurden: Our music defies an easy description; in the same song, we’ll go from dynamic acoustic instrumentation to full-on folk rock. We like to mix it up.

The Deli:  Let’s talk about your latest release or upcoming shows. What can we expect?
ZJ:  We have our EP release show at Czar on August 4. We recorded a live set in January at Midwestern Musical Co and released it a few months ago. This show is the belated, official release of that project. We will be sharing the stage with The Natural State, which has all female members and a male cellist – the ironic opposite of us – as well as the Lawrence band Olassa. We are really looking forward to the show and it promises to be a great evening… so come. On another note, be on the lookout for our next full-length album! We just booked some time in a studio and we literally can’t wait to crank out another project. We like to think that we’ve matured, both personally and musically, since the release of our first album. This next project, I hope, will back that up.

The Deli:  What does “supporting local music” mean to you?

ZJ: A couple weeks ago, Chris Haghirian was talking about how everyone in Midtown is sharing the same 5-dollar bill. I thought that was a really great way to depict the support and mutually beneficial nature of supporting local music in KC. The way I see it, supporting local bands is a way for us to reciprocate the support that we have received thus far. We are still relatively new members of the music scene here but we already feel very much at ease within this community because everyone is so nice. There are some really great bands here and a very diverse collection of different styles and I think it’s important to bring attention to all of these different bands because they deserve it. It is my hope that, as a community, we are capable of putting KC on the musical map. It’s kind of like our shared mission and by supporting each other we can actualize that goal in the very near future. 
The Deli:  Who are your favorite “local” musicians right now?

ZJ: Favorite local musicians frequently shift with who we share bills with, but Making Movies has been high on our list lately. The Hearts of Darkness is also a static favorite. We were happy to see both of these bands, as well as our friends Quiet Corral, as nominations for the Pitch Music Awards this year.
The Deli:  Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?
ZJ: My favorite bands and musicians change on a monthly basis but right now I’d have to show some love to The Tallest Man on Earth, Radical Face, Glen Hansard and Fleet Foxes.

The Deli:  What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

ZJ: My dream show would be opening up for The Avett Brothers for a couple reasons. First, those guys put on a seriously kickass show and they are definitely a source of inspiration for us in the writing process and how we go about playing live. Second, I really want to know how their cello player manages to run around the stage with his cello, which seemingly levitates in front of his body.
The Deli:  Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
ZJ: I know that Kate would say the recording studio, but I think that the rest of us would choose playing shows. It’s just way too much fun. I can honestly say that playing music for people has to be one of my favorite things about being a human being. In this upcoming year I’m really excited to hit the road and start playing shows for strangers to see how well we are received outside of KC. Besides, you always meet a lot of great people at shows and get the chance to connect with other bands.

The Deli:
  A music-themed Mount Rushmore.  What four faces are you putting up there and why?
ZJ: I’ve put a lot of thought into this one but it’s still a tough decision. Since I have to choose though, I’d chisel out the faces of Glen Hansard, Robin Pecknold, Paul Simon, and Isaac Brock.
The Deli:  All right, give us the rundown.  Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?
ZJ: Hop on the information superhighway and go to! Our page is the most frequently updated site and it has all the information you need to keep up with shows and find our music. While you’re at it, hit that Like button!
The Deli:  Always go out on a high note.  Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?

ZJ: I’ll do my best to seem wise. If you’re reading this I’m sure you’re already on the right track. Sites like this that promote both local and national music are a fantastic place to find good music. Take some time to find local bands that you like and tell them that you like what they do, it really does make a difference on our end of it and it offers bands like us the motivation to keep going. On that note, if you’ve heard our music and like what you hear, come out and see us. I personally think that our live performance has a lot more to offer than our recordings and it would be a good way to determine for yourself what we are really about. Lastly, I’d like to show some love to everyone that has been so kind to us. We really appreciate the support and can’t wait to continue to make music, not only for our own satisfaction, but for your listening pleasure too.

Come see Zac and She's A Keeper as they celebrate the release of their Live at Midwestern EP this Saturday, August 4 at Czar.

--Zach Hodson

Zach is a lifetime Kansas City resident who plays multiple instruments and sings in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black and Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to many other Kansas City music, art, and comedy projects.  He is very fond of edamame, treats his cat Wiley better than he treats himself, and doesn't want to see pictures of your newborn child (seriously, it looks like a potato).

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