Nervous but Excited
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Nervous but Excited

Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Duo Americana Singer/Songwriter

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“Kate and Sarah deliver high-quality, intelligent tunes with the skill and passion of legendary folksingers in the making.” - Off Our Backs Feminist News Journal, Angie Young


“Kate and Sarah deliver high-quality, intelligent tunes with the skill and passion of legendary folksingers in the making.” - Off Our Backs Feminist News Journal, Angie Young


Ypsilanti-based duo Nervous But Excited, featuring Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver bring forceful lyrics via easy harmonies to create their own brand of folk sound.

A contradiction of terms. This seems to be the mantra of selfclaimed “pleasantly aggressive” folk duo Nervous But Excited, a.k.a. Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver.

The group known for their sometimes politically-driven, impactful lyrics yet alwayspresent stage humor will perform in Northern Michigan this weekend at Short’s Brewery, in Bellaire, on Oct. 1; and at the InsideOut Gallery, in Traverse City, on Oct. 2.

With a little over 32,000 Facebook fans, NBE’s latest album, You Are Here, comes quietly bursting onto the music scene this week.

A DIFFERENT HARMONY

While both are now experienced songwriters, Peterson and Cleaver have had no formal vocal training. Instead, they use time, intuition and chemistry to let them explore harmonies.

A mutual friend introduced the two as friends, but the songwriters soon realized they could create a harmony never heard before, according to their listeners.

“We have extremely different voices and tones and it just works out in this beautiful way,” says Peterson. “There’s this asymmetric compliment and I think that’s where the magic comes from.”

Listen to songs like “Said and Done”— from their anchor EP—and you could almost swear you hear the same grainy whispers as Ray LaMontagne (think “Three More Days”), thanks to Peterson’s vocal flexibilities.

Sarah, with a voice similar to Natalie Merchant, can go from wavering pitch to soft and steady. Throw in a combination of guitar, violin, ukulele, mandolin and glockenspiel, and NBE breathes new life into a traditional genre.

HEART-STOPPING WORDS

If the sound of NBE is the driving force behind the group’s success, their lyrics would be the vehicle.

The LGTB Chicago Free Press once wrote, “Kate and Sarah’s blend of fluid vocals and real-life lyrics are so compelling that I couldn’t stop listening. The first time I heard them, they stopped my heart.”

Love, heartbreak, progressive politics, loss and natural wonder are all themes that appear in this duo’s songbook.

The natural landscape and seasons of Michigan also make regular appearances – descriptions like “my heart’s as empty as a long Lake Michigan cold spell” and “you packed up your car, you said goodbye to Michigan.”

Aside from regular stops throughout the state, NBE is a touring machine, making appearances in Vermont, North Carolina, Wisconsin, New York, Florida and everywhere in between.

“My family lives in the south, so we were able to create a quick fan base,” said Cleaver. “People just accepted us and we gained this pocket of fans. It just keeps building and building.”

They have played with artists such as Ani Difranco, Ember Swift, Utah Phillips, Bitch and Catie Curtis.

While playing the larger venues, such as the East Lansing Women in the Arts Festival, Peterson and Cleaver enlist the help of fellow musicians Murray-Stewart Jones and Susie Gange to handle the percussion, bass and banjo portions.

“They won’t be able to make it up there with us this weekend,” said Cleaver, noting although there will be less instrumentation happening at once on stage, the driving force of their performance—vocals, harmony and songwriting—will still be present. - Northern Express


Ypsilanti-based duo Nervous But Excited, featuring Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver bring forceful lyrics via easy harmonies to create their own brand of folk sound.

A contradiction of terms. This seems to be the mantra of selfclaimed “pleasantly aggressive” folk duo Nervous But Excited, a.k.a. Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver.

The group known for their sometimes politically-driven, impactful lyrics yet alwayspresent stage humor will perform in Northern Michigan this weekend at Short’s Brewery, in Bellaire, on Oct. 1; and at the InsideOut Gallery, in Traverse City, on Oct. 2.

With a little over 32,000 Facebook fans, NBE’s latest album, You Are Here, comes quietly bursting onto the music scene this week.

A DIFFERENT HARMONY

While both are now experienced songwriters, Peterson and Cleaver have had no formal vocal training. Instead, they use time, intuition and chemistry to let them explore harmonies.

A mutual friend introduced the two as friends, but the songwriters soon realized they could create a harmony never heard before, according to their listeners.

“We have extremely different voices and tones and it just works out in this beautiful way,” says Peterson. “There’s this asymmetric compliment and I think that’s where the magic comes from.”

Listen to songs like “Said and Done”— from their anchor EP—and you could almost swear you hear the same grainy whispers as Ray LaMontagne (think “Three More Days”), thanks to Peterson’s vocal flexibilities.

Sarah, with a voice similar to Natalie Merchant, can go from wavering pitch to soft and steady. Throw in a combination of guitar, violin, ukulele, mandolin and glockenspiel, and NBE breathes new life into a traditional genre.

HEART-STOPPING WORDS

If the sound of NBE is the driving force behind the group’s success, their lyrics would be the vehicle.

The LGTB Chicago Free Press once wrote, “Kate and Sarah’s blend of fluid vocals and real-life lyrics are so compelling that I couldn’t stop listening. The first time I heard them, they stopped my heart.”

Love, heartbreak, progressive politics, loss and natural wonder are all themes that appear in this duo’s songbook.

The natural landscape and seasons of Michigan also make regular appearances – descriptions like “my heart’s as empty as a long Lake Michigan cold spell” and “you packed up your car, you said goodbye to Michigan.”

Aside from regular stops throughout the state, NBE is a touring machine, making appearances in Vermont, North Carolina, Wisconsin, New York, Florida and everywhere in between.

“My family lives in the south, so we were able to create a quick fan base,” said Cleaver. “People just accepted us and we gained this pocket of fans. It just keeps building and building.”

They have played with artists such as Ani Difranco, Ember Swift, Utah Phillips, Bitch and Catie Curtis.

While playing the larger venues, such as the East Lansing Women in the Arts Festival, Peterson and Cleaver enlist the help of fellow musicians Murray-Stewart Jones and Susie Gange to handle the percussion, bass and banjo portions.

“They won’t be able to make it up there with us this weekend,” said Cleaver, noting although there will be less instrumentation happening at once on stage, the driving force of their performance—vocals, harmony and songwriting—will still be present. - Northern Express


"Kate and Sarah's blend of fluid vocals and real-life lyrics are so compelling that I couldn't stop listening. The first time I heard them, they stopped my heart." - Chicago Free Press


"Kate and Sarah's blend of fluid vocals and real-life lyrics are so compelling that I couldn't stop listening. The first time I heard them, they stopped my heart." - Chicago Free Press


"NBE’s presence was humble and the music filled with a powerfully bittersweet honesty of love lost and distance felt, their intertwining harmonies were wound together as tightly as a rope, strengthening each melody in an incredible way." - 1000x/minute


"NBE’s presence was humble and the music filled with a powerfully bittersweet honesty of love lost and distance felt, their intertwining harmonies were wound together as tightly as a rope, strengthening each melody in an incredible way." - 1000x/minute


"...harmonies that would make Dolly Parton swoon." - afterellen / MTV / Logo


"...harmonies that would make Dolly Parton swoon." - afterellen / MTV / Logo


This latest “green”album—100 percent carbon-free in the making and 100 percent recycled
packaging—is also their most ambitious. With familiar names
like Girlyman, Lyndell Montgomery and Katie Sawicki helping out, this duo really pulls it together in a way they haven’t before.
A shining example of their mastery of melody, harmony and heartwrenching lyrics.
- Curve Magazine


This latest “green”album—100 percent carbon-free in the making and 100 percent recycled
packaging—is also their most ambitious. With familiar names
like Girlyman, Lyndell Montgomery and Katie Sawicki helping out, this duo really pulls it together in a way they haven’t before.
A shining example of their mastery of melody, harmony and heartwrenching lyrics.
- Curve Magazine


Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver are accomplished singer-
songwriters
in their own rights, and now they’ve teamed up
together
as Nervous but Excited, briefly known as Kate & Sarah.
The Michigan-based duo play “pleasantly aggressive” (their
own term, hence the name of their label) acoustic folk music,
blending progressive politics, sharp wit, and deep introspection
with nuanced harmonies and a bevy of stringed instruments on
their debut 11-track release. The album opener, “Lansing,” is a
sweet folk-pop love letter to their hometown and one of the
strongest cuts on the disc, while “Slow and Steady” is a sparse
banjo-mandolin-accordion love song, and “Living Room, Early
AM” is a beautiful, moody acoustic guitar instrumental featuring
upright bass and tablas. It’s hard for me to put my finger on
exactly what makes Nervous but Excited stand out among the
neverending stack of singer-songwriter acoustic folk CDs that
cross my desk, but they definitely got my attention. (nervous
butexcited.com) - Curve Magazine


Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver are accomplished singer-
songwriters
in their own rights, and now they’ve teamed up
together
as Nervous but Excited, briefly known as Kate & Sarah.
The Michigan-based duo play “pleasantly aggressive” (their
own term, hence the name of their label) acoustic folk music,
blending progressive politics, sharp wit, and deep introspection
with nuanced harmonies and a bevy of stringed instruments on
their debut 11-track release. The album opener, “Lansing,” is a
sweet folk-pop love letter to their hometown and one of the
strongest cuts on the disc, while “Slow and Steady” is a sparse
banjo-mandolin-accordion love song, and “Living Room, Early
AM” is a beautiful, moody acoustic guitar instrumental featuring
upright bass and tablas. It’s hard for me to put my finger on
exactly what makes Nervous but Excited stand out among the
neverending stack of singer-songwriter acoustic folk CDs that
cross my desk, but they definitely got my attention. (nervous
butexcited.com) - Curve Magazine


Ask singer and guitarist Kate Peterson “what’s in a name?” and she will respond with one word: “Character.” The Ann Arbor-by-way-of Lansing musician (and former City Pulse Web mistress) makes up one half of the up-and-coming folk duo Nervous But Excited along with co-vocalist and guitarist Sarah Cleaver.
“Our name pretty much captures our live performance and the way we interact,” Peterson says. “We like to have fun, and whether we’re ready or not, we’re just taking things head on as they come our way.”
A good deal of opportunity has recently found its way to the unassuming duo. The group has been generating something of a buzz on the festival scene since releasing its first studio album, “Once More … With Feeling,” in September.

"Pleasantly aggressive": Nervous But Excited are (from left) Sarah Cleaver and Kate Peterson. (Courtesy photo)

“It’s given us a lot of exposure and helped us get offers for some big festivals this summer,” Peterson says.
The two have been offered spots on the Virginia Women’s Music Festival, the Woodstock Folk Festival, Motor City Pride Festival, Alabama Pride Festival and Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.
Peterson grew up near Detroit before meeting Pennsylvania-native Cleaver while both were living in Lansing and playing solo. Peterson had already established herself as a singer/songwriter in the Lansing area for several years prior to meeting Cleaver.
“We started out just playing on the same shows from time to time, then eventually guesting on each others’ songs” Peterson says. “The shows went so well that we decided to start writing and playing together regularly.”
The women will return to Lansing June 1 for a show at Magdalena’s Tea House (see box).
“Lansing is a really important place for both of us,” Peterson says. “The first track on ‘One More Time … With Feeling’ is called ‘Lansing’ and is sort of our ode to where we still consider home.”
The duo’s self-described “pleasantly aggressive” sound can be difficult to pigeonhole. While the songs consist of only vocals and acoustic guitars, the songs vary between nimble and upbeat to slow and introspective. Topically, Peterson and Cleaver leave no stone unturned.
“We offset each other very nicely,” Peterson says. “Sarah has more of a political lean than me, but we both delve into and out of personal territory for inspiration. We write about a little of everything — friendships, world politics, spirituality. We certainly don’t limit ourselves.”
But what sets Nervous But Excited apart from many of its contemporaries in the singer/songwriter genre are the unique vocal harmonies.
“We both have very unique voices individually, and when they come together, it creates a very interesting sort of third sound,” Peterson says. “Beyond that, I think that people enjoy our fun, sometimes funny, interactions and the way we flow back and forth.”
As for the future, Nervous But Excited plans on taking it one day at a time.
“We’re still feeling out everything that’s happening for us,” Peterson says of the accolades the duo’s work ethic and constant touring have earned them. “Any success has come together so naturally that we’re really just letting it play out. Good things are happening for us, and we love what we’re doing. We just want to keep spreading our energy and sending out messages of positivity and hope.”
- City Pulse, Lansing, MI


Ask singer and guitarist Kate Peterson “what’s in a name?” and she will respond with one word: “Character.” The Ann Arbor-by-way-of Lansing musician (and former City Pulse Web mistress) makes up one half of the up-and-coming folk duo Nervous But Excited along with co-vocalist and guitarist Sarah Cleaver.
“Our name pretty much captures our live performance and the way we interact,” Peterson says. “We like to have fun, and whether we’re ready or not, we’re just taking things head on as they come our way.”
A good deal of opportunity has recently found its way to the unassuming duo. The group has been generating something of a buzz on the festival scene since releasing its first studio album, “Once More … With Feeling,” in September.

"Pleasantly aggressive": Nervous But Excited are (from left) Sarah Cleaver and Kate Peterson. (Courtesy photo)

“It’s given us a lot of exposure and helped us get offers for some big festivals this summer,” Peterson says.
The two have been offered spots on the Virginia Women’s Music Festival, the Woodstock Folk Festival, Motor City Pride Festival, Alabama Pride Festival and Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.
Peterson grew up near Detroit before meeting Pennsylvania-native Cleaver while both were living in Lansing and playing solo. Peterson had already established herself as a singer/songwriter in the Lansing area for several years prior to meeting Cleaver.
“We started out just playing on the same shows from time to time, then eventually guesting on each others’ songs” Peterson says. “The shows went so well that we decided to start writing and playing together regularly.”
The women will return to Lansing June 1 for a show at Magdalena’s Tea House (see box).
“Lansing is a really important place for both of us,” Peterson says. “The first track on ‘One More Time … With Feeling’ is called ‘Lansing’ and is sort of our ode to where we still consider home.”
The duo’s self-described “pleasantly aggressive” sound can be difficult to pigeonhole. While the songs consist of only vocals and acoustic guitars, the songs vary between nimble and upbeat to slow and introspective. Topically, Peterson and Cleaver leave no stone unturned.
“We offset each other very nicely,” Peterson says. “Sarah has more of a political lean than me, but we both delve into and out of personal territory for inspiration. We write about a little of everything — friendships, world politics, spirituality. We certainly don’t limit ourselves.”
But what sets Nervous But Excited apart from many of its contemporaries in the singer/songwriter genre are the unique vocal harmonies.
“We both have very unique voices individually, and when they come together, it creates a very interesting sort of third sound,” Peterson says. “Beyond that, I think that people enjoy our fun, sometimes funny, interactions and the way we flow back and forth.”
As for the future, Nervous But Excited plans on taking it one day at a time.
“We’re still feeling out everything that’s happening for us,” Peterson says of the accolades the duo’s work ethic and constant touring have earned them. “Any success has come together so naturally that we’re really just letting it play out. Good things are happening for us, and we love what we’re doing. We just want to keep spreading our energy and sending out messages of positivity and hope.”
- City Pulse, Lansing, MI


Nervous But Excited sound neither nervous nor excited on Once More… With Feeling, but they had to have been excited upon finishing this album. Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver, with voices that hold hands in the dark, called upon a small group of friends to flesh out their modern folk sound and the result is captivating. With what at first sounds like traces of the 60s folk movement, they move through the eleven originals with ease and slowly leave the traces in the dust and leave you wanting more… with feeling.
The songs reflect a variety of tones and moods, but they overwhelm with their softer love ballads. Unfinished Song uses a beautiful finger-picked base with single lonely plucks on mandolin to set the mood as voice laments "some days I hear you say things you've never said like how it was all worth it in the end/and most days you are an unfinished song/you come line by line as my days move along", a musical deep sigh if ever there was one. The mandolin strums chords over distant accordion and banjo and upright bass on Slow and Steady while the upfront, mildly brassy voice is made softer by other, round and mellow. Sunspot is moody as well and though Blessing is of the same tone, it stands a bit above thanks to the super tremolo guitar which weaves itself throughout.
These ladies can rock as well. Wishlist is upbeat and uses what sounds like bowed bass and mild choppy violin or viola to set the pace and even throws in some Eleanor Rigby sounding strings for good measure. A bit softer but still upbeat, "Lansing" is a head nodder. A light choogling rhythm at the beginning of Mighty Ocean picks up steam and then slows and fades as does the musical dreamscape.
Peterson and Cleaver save the instrumental Living Room, Early AM to maybe make a point: they can play as well as they can sing. Indeed, their instrumental prowess is the bedrock of every song, especially their work on guitar and mandolin, but it takes center stage here and is a great way to end the album, bowed bass and acoustic guitar riding into the sunset.
A pat on the back should be accorded Nicholas Koby here. In addition to co-producing with Peterson and Cleaver, he adds real depth with his first-rate effort on the upright bass.
Bottom line is, this is one pretty fine album, but Nervous But Excited are just good enough to make you wonder what they can really do. Well, if you're ever in Michigan, ask around. With music this good on CD, odds are that they have offers for live gigs on a regular basis. They are more than likely even better on stage.
- Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange, Frank Gutch Jr.


Nervous But Excited sound neither nervous nor excited on Once More… With Feeling, but they had to have been excited upon finishing this album. Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver, with voices that hold hands in the dark, called upon a small group of friends to flesh out their modern folk sound and the result is captivating. With what at first sounds like traces of the 60s folk movement, they move through the eleven originals with ease and slowly leave the traces in the dust and leave you wanting more… with feeling.
The songs reflect a variety of tones and moods, but they overwhelm with their softer love ballads. Unfinished Song uses a beautiful finger-picked base with single lonely plucks on mandolin to set the mood as voice laments "some days I hear you say things you've never said like how it was all worth it in the end/and most days you are an unfinished song/you come line by line as my days move along", a musical deep sigh if ever there was one. The mandolin strums chords over distant accordion and banjo and upright bass on Slow and Steady while the upfront, mildly brassy voice is made softer by other, round and mellow. Sunspot is moody as well and though Blessing is of the same tone, it stands a bit above thanks to the super tremolo guitar which weaves itself throughout.
These ladies can rock as well. Wishlist is upbeat and uses what sounds like bowed bass and mild choppy violin or viola to set the pace and even throws in some Eleanor Rigby sounding strings for good measure. A bit softer but still upbeat, "Lansing" is a head nodder. A light choogling rhythm at the beginning of Mighty Ocean picks up steam and then slows and fades as does the musical dreamscape.
Peterson and Cleaver save the instrumental Living Room, Early AM to maybe make a point: they can play as well as they can sing. Indeed, their instrumental prowess is the bedrock of every song, especially their work on guitar and mandolin, but it takes center stage here and is a great way to end the album, bowed bass and acoustic guitar riding into the sunset.
A pat on the back should be accorded Nicholas Koby here. In addition to co-producing with Peterson and Cleaver, he adds real depth with his first-rate effort on the upright bass.
Bottom line is, this is one pretty fine album, but Nervous But Excited are just good enough to make you wonder what they can really do. Well, if you're ever in Michigan, ask around. With music this good on CD, odds are that they have offers for live gigs on a regular basis. They are more than likely even better on stage.
- Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange, Frank Gutch Jr.


A pair of women, a pair of voices, a pair of acoustic guitars. It's hardly a unique musical mix. But with Once More ... with Feeling Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver, the particular pair of women who make up Nervous But Excited, have produced an album that is rather more than the sum of those parts.
There are a number of qualities that help keep Nervous But Excited from blurring into the background noise of similar duos. Kate and Sarah have quite different voices, Kate the smoother textured croon on the album's opening track "Lansing," Sarah the more twangy, gruffer warble on "Echo." The combination of vocals revealing a third musical personality, one that helps keep things fresh as the listener travels through the 11 tracks featured on Nervous But Excited's first full-length album.
The songs themselves tend to break from a standard verse-chorus, verse-chorus architecture. This makes them less immediately memorable, but the tracks hold up to repeated listening in a way that more predictably structured songs frequently do not. The group's lyrics tend to be somewhat adventurous, but the melodies are rather understated and might well blend into one another were it not for the vocal differentiation and some nice production choices. The judicious use of mandolin, banjo, accordion and violin helps to individualize the tracks.
Perhaps the most challenging song here is "200 Years," a song written and primarily sung by Sarah, whose vocals I like less than Kate's. Cleaver launches into the opening line, "My boy's got a gun," with as much twang as she can muster, but in this tale of a young black man "fighting for freedom like his great grandpa did," this abrasive vocal texture works tremendously well.
The other stand-out tracks are the Peterson compositions "Lansing," a haunting tribute to the band's hometown -- "I watch my rearview down oneway streets just to get a perspective unfamiliar to me" -- and "Wishlist," the album's most musically aggressive track.

Once More ... with Feeling is the kind of album that's not going to take the music world by storm. But it has strengths enough to satisfy Nervous But Excited's existing fan base and it should help build their audience and reputation considerably.
- Rambles.net


A pair of women, a pair of voices, a pair of acoustic guitars. It's hardly a unique musical mix. But with Once More ... with Feeling Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver, the particular pair of women who make up Nervous But Excited, have produced an album that is rather more than the sum of those parts.
There are a number of qualities that help keep Nervous But Excited from blurring into the background noise of similar duos. Kate and Sarah have quite different voices, Kate the smoother textured croon on the album's opening track "Lansing," Sarah the more twangy, gruffer warble on "Echo." The combination of vocals revealing a third musical personality, one that helps keep things fresh as the listener travels through the 11 tracks featured on Nervous But Excited's first full-length album.
The songs themselves tend to break from a standard verse-chorus, verse-chorus architecture. This makes them less immediately memorable, but the tracks hold up to repeated listening in a way that more predictably structured songs frequently do not. The group's lyrics tend to be somewhat adventurous, but the melodies are rather understated and might well blend into one another were it not for the vocal differentiation and some nice production choices. The judicious use of mandolin, banjo, accordion and violin helps to individualize the tracks.
Perhaps the most challenging song here is "200 Years," a song written and primarily sung by Sarah, whose vocals I like less than Kate's. Cleaver launches into the opening line, "My boy's got a gun," with as much twang as she can muster, but in this tale of a young black man "fighting for freedom like his great grandpa did," this abrasive vocal texture works tremendously well.
The other stand-out tracks are the Peterson compositions "Lansing," a haunting tribute to the band's hometown -- "I watch my rearview down oneway streets just to get a perspective unfamiliar to me" -- and "Wishlist," the album's most musically aggressive track.

Once More ... with Feeling is the kind of album that's not going to take the music world by storm. But it has strengths enough to satisfy Nervous But Excited's existing fan base and it should help build their audience and reputation considerably.
- Rambles.net


Discography

You are Here, LP, 2011
Just the Two of Us (Our Duo doing Duos) Cover EP, 2010
Anchors {the green album}, LP, 2009
{Home} Spun, Live LP, 2008
Bootleg from the Basement, EP, 2008
Once More... With Feeling, LP, 2006
Eight Live Songs, Live EP, 2005
Torch Song Evolution, EP, 2004

independent albums
Kate Peterson - Undone, 2005 / More to Me, 2001
Sarah Cleaver - From Where I Stand, 2004

Nervous but Excited has radio play in many markets thoughout the Eastern Half of the country, including: 90.1FM KKFI, Kansas City,MO; WPKN 89.5, Bridgeport,CT; Radio Crystal Blue Podcast, Brooklyn,NY; 88.9 FM WDBM, East Lansing, MI; 89.7 FM WLNZ, Lansing, MI; WKQL 107.1, Ann Arbor, MI; WLUW Radio, Chicago, IL; 91.9 WNRN, Charlottesvile, VA; Rubyfruit Radio Podcast; kfmg 99.1, Des Moines, IA; WORT 89.9, Madison, WI

Photos

Bio

The Michigan-based duo Nervous but Excited combines genuinely crafted stories and an extremely unique harmony to create what they call Pleasantly Aggressive Folk. The two quirky singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists, Kate Peterson & Sarah Cleaver, switch up acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, glockenspiel, bass and harmonica - and work in a whole lot of laughter in between. The laughter is where the “pleasant” comes in. The “aggressive” you will find weaving in and out of their hauntingly swelling harmonies and mindful lyrics. Their original repertoire ranges in topic from smart, introspective narratives to the tactfully political, interspersed with patient songs of love and loss that will undoubtedly tug on your heart.

Road warriors to the core touring nearly half the year since 2004, their endless passion has landed them on stages with folks like Ani Difranco, Iron and Wine, Utah Phillips, Ben Gibbard, Lucy Kaplansky, Cheryl Wheeler, Toshi Reagon, Catie Curtis and Girlyman to name a few.

They have criss-crossed the country from Colorado to Florida to Maine, making friends all along the way. There is no doubt that Kate and Sarah’s live show is where all of the important parts of their music making comes together and creates an experience that evokes all the most sincere kinds of feelings: introspection. love. heartache. healing. happiness.

The prolific NBE has kept busy in the studio as well, releasing 3 full-length studio records, 1 live album and 3 EPs. Their latest release is their most exploratory volume of work to date. “You Are Here” combines song writing finesse with a lush, yet edgy aesthetic. True to form, the songs are infused with an earthly charm and a genuine sense of locality and experience, full of the kind of rawness and sincerity that most bands don’t dare attempt. Riding the same lines as Kate and Sarah’s vibrant personalities, “You Are Here” hosts are variety of styles throughout it, from the traditional Americana to Pop-Folk to Indie-Folk to Soul, there is something on this disc for everyone. NBE has even tossed in a humorous song, crowd favorite Happiest We’ve Ever Been, about the stereotypes of a certain sub-culture.

“You Are Here” features instrumentation by some of the best Michigan talent including Chris Bathgate, Frontier Ruckus, Theo Katzman, Erin Zindle (The Ragbirds), Mike Lynch (Kid Rock) Kaylan Mitchell (The Juliettes), Susie Giang and Murray Stewart-Jones.

NBE’s other recent releases include the 2010 project, a 6 song EP of covers entitled “Just the Two of Us (Our Duo Doing Duos)” that captured Kate and Sarah alone in the studio conquering the challenge of interpreting soul, r&b, indie pop-rock and 80’s rock into their pleasantly aggressive style. In 2009, they released “Anchors,” a 100% carbon neutral CD project. On Anchors, Kate and Sarah’s unique vocal harmonies are enhanced by many talented players including Girlyman, among others, who joined them to color in the lines of the songs with a sweet-tasting assortment of warming-your-feet-by-the-fire-in-the-wintertime kind of instrumentation.

In July 2009, NBE’s song Said and Done from “Anchors” was chosen out of more than 500 entries to be part of the award winning, Michigan made movie Annabelle & Bear. With the help of NBE’s strong and loyal fan community (over 30,000 Facebook fans), Kate and Sarah won a music competition to film a cameo and sing live in the movie.

NBE is represented by New York label, Riot Grrrl Ink.