Musician opens home to bands, gives back to music community

Story, photo and audio by Morgan Spiehs, NewsNetNebraska

Abbie Lewis says she’s sometimes blunt when trying to get musicians to come perform in her living room.

“(I say) I have a place where people play in my living room. Wanna do that? And usually they’re pretty receptive.”

Abbie Lewis poses in her home for a portrait on Nov. 18, 2014. The 27-year-old  recently moved into a house in the Everett neighborhood known for hosting bands for shows – and she plans to keep up the custom.

After all, house shows are a tradition for her. The York, Nebraska, native, went to her first house show when she was 14 or 15.

There weren’t any music venues in York, she said.

“Unless you can manage to play at the county fair or rent a room in the auditorium, house shows are the only way to go,” she said.

That first show — her friend’s college-age brother’s band was performing — didn’t
impress Lewis, but the atmosphere did.

“It was enjoyable knowing that even a band that wasn’t particularly good could get a
show and have an audience that’s excited.”

A musician herself, Lewis plays the guitar, saxophone, harmonica, mandolin, banjo and piano. She currently works as the night shift baker at Coffee House and is a member in two local Americana and southern rock bands.

Without house shows, a few of her bands would have never played in front of an audience, Lewis said. House shows help local bands by giving them some exposure.

Between her current and past residence she’s hosted about 25 shows.

One of the goals when throwing house shows is to have as little neighborhood impact as
possible, Lewis said. She’s aware of how loud shows can get and that families live next

“Usually you try to minimize your impact so (the neighbors) put up with you and they don’t call the cops.”

Recently, Lewis has been booking relaxed genres like folk and Americana bands, which cuts down on noise and mess.

Lewis used to live in a house in the North Bottoms that had house shows every weekend for months, many of the bands being punk and hardcore. The walls were moist with the sweat of partygoers the next morning, Lewis said.

Although she’s planning on having more house shows in Everett, she said, there won’t be
any punk bands booked soon.

Abbie Lewis talks about the Everett neighborhood:

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