Nervous but Excited

Nervous but Excited

 Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
DuoAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

"organic and rich like good soil." - amy ray"

This Michigan-based pleasantly aggressive folk duo is dead-on harmonies built upon two songwriters, two singers, two guitars, a mandolin, a banjo, a ukulele, a harmonica, genuinely crafted stories, vaguely choreographed dancing and a lot of laughter.

Biography

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.

Lyrics

Lansing

Written By: Kate Peterson

these sliding sounds make me want to write down
all the things i love about this town
like the way october leaves line my street
like a bed of rose pedals under my feet

and this city seems so small
cause i know faces everywhere i go
and i feel so full with my friends surrounding me
just cross the street you know where to find me

i watch my rearview down one way streets
just to get a perspective unfamiliar to me
i sit by the river in the heart of the city
just to feel its beat inside of me
that’s why i love this city
and all its simple beauty

as i slow to a stop
on the these streets i stroll like sidewalks
i feel safe in this steady home
it makes me think
its time to roam

i watch my rearview down one way streets
just to get a perspective unfamiliar to me
now when i spend each night inside a different city
i know exactly what home means
that’s why i must be leaving
its time to travel on with my sights ahead of me

these sliding sounds make me want to write down
all the things i love about this town

Slow and Steady

Written By: Sarah Cleaver

i woke up early with dreams in my head
words in my bones and an ache in my chest
sound travels far in these woods full of women
and you rock me something slow and steady
you rock me slow

flatbeds and big skies and stars fall around us
a beer made for two and mouths made for laughing
and breath comes from deeper inside me
and you rock me something slow and steady
you rock me slow

you rock me something slow and steady
you rock me slow

there’s a comfort in missing everything that’s familiar
a solace in beauty too deep to explain
feelings without words, thoughts without answers
finding the ground and not being afraid to fly

you rock me something slow and steady
you rock me slow
you rock me something slow and steady
you rock me slow.

Coffee Stained

Written By: Kate Peterson

my memory fails me
was it yesterday or the day before
that you sunk your pen into the slate of my soul to scribble me that note?
all i know is that something changed that moment
it was new and you knew it too
yeah cause change happens every day,
today, and yesterday too

and all the things I've loved before are scattered around me on the floor
in two dimensional shades of gray, blue and black and
coffee stained

so i've come to the realization that the grace that flows from these pages
is no where to be found these days
but that's okay cause
loving is learning and growing is changing
and change happens every day,
today, and yesterday too

and all the things I've loved before are scattered around me on the floor
in two dimensional shades of gray, blue and black and
coffee stained
and all the things I've left behind are roaming the rooms of my mind
creaking doors and cracking tiles
oh the miles
oh the miles
i have yet to drive

so lets go for a ride
i'll try to explain to you the depths of my silence
my answers come slow when i'm so over occupied when i'm alone
and you see the difference between you and me
is our entire history
our entire lives...

and all the things I've loved before are scattered around me on the floor
and all the things I've left behind are roaming the rooms of my mind
and all the things that i have today are the things that i'm trying to explain

yeah change happens everyday...today, and yesterday too

Blessing

Written By: Sarah Cleaver

Blessing

Spent a week just south of leaving
North of checking out
West of believing, that this is how it will always be
You the man in the hat
Me the girl with the hair
Scattered conversations, just trying to get somewhere
You have the eyes of a giant
Losing his armor
Casting off this shield of regret
Cautiously shifting, one foot to another
Anxiously waiting for a change in the weather

So, I’ll be the teacher and you’ll be the lesson
You’ll be the teacher and I’ll be your blessing
We’ll throw out the books, and write our own pages
And find a safe place
To be open

We are the people in this snow globe of time
Stuck to the bottom while the world spins around
We are all waiting for a crack in the bubble
To loosen our grip and make us
Go flying…

Every familys got secrets
Thought better left unsaid
Cause the letting go of words, could lead to trouble
And the lonely could just start
Spillin all over and maybe there’d be
No one left to hold us

So, I’ll be the teacher and you’ll be the lesson
You’ll be the teacher and I’ll be your blessing
We’ll throw out the books, and write our own pages
And find a safe place
To be open

Sunspot

Written By: Kate Peterson

sunspot (04/06)

i wake up in the morning
let the light fall in on me
just stay warm for a moment
in my own company

dismiss all the questions
ominous and heavy
there’s no time to fall apart now
there are so many places to be

but as i step outside myself
i can see my losses making sense
we are living what we love
regardless of consequence
and we all wake up in the morning
for the very same reason
to make sounds that say something
like we have no other option

if you ask me the question
what feeds you every day
i’d say i work for my passions
my song my friends my family
yes the are the things that fuel me
but my pockets are empty
now i’ve learned to live simply
just for the sake of singing

i’ll just dismiss all the questions
ominous and heavy
theres no time to hide away now
there are so many songs to sing

Ohio to Michigan

Written By: Sarah Cleaver

once upon a time this dirt road was an island
sequestered off its life to all time and space
and all the people comfortable in their unknowing
we’re all too comfortable not knowing

you and me got everything, everything we need

rose comes to my door selling jesus
like clockwork every month on monday afternoons
gives me pamphlets and tells me to pray
says this god of hers gonna save me someday

you and me got everything, everything we need
this ain’t no life for the faint of hearted
this is a lesson, a lesson in letting go
we are busting out of this here stereo

we come from somewhere living off each other’s dreams
with our blood carrying our memories
from ohio to michigan
and the miles and miles of compromises

you and me got everything, everything we need
this aint no life for the faint of hearted
this is a lesson, a lesson in letting go
we are busting out of this here stereo

Said and Done

Written By: Kate Peterson

how do i miss you so well
my heart’s as empty as a windy lake michigan cold spell
didn’t i love you so well
we’d wake up singing like summertime even when the snow fell
babe did i ask for too much
were you sitting at home waitin for phone

chorus:
if there’s a place then there’s a way you could come back home
try to forgive all the rights that i made wrong
just settle in and remember when it was our simple love
when all we had was what we had and it was always enough

you were the one
it was said and done it was said and done it was said and done
and the same way winter takes me by surprise every time
you looked me in the eye
you said I tried
you said I tried

chorus

you left me high
I still close my eyes to the sight of you laughin in the sunlight
Wont you just give me one more try
We can get by I think we’ll get by or I’ll die trying

chorus

Scars and Anchors

Written By: Sarah Cleaver

I’m feeling worn through
bones bare from the cold of old souls
touching earth and…knowing.
That growing old means feeling less and taking life lost
to learn to live sometimes….
Sometimes it all feels hard.

chorus
We all have scars and anchors and sandbars
Just below the surface
hidden from the shoreline
deeper than what you and I can see
Lies a steady place
to rest your bones
a constant in the sea of change
a place where only love prevails
Love prevails

This Letting go is growing old
I’ve been holding onto knowing hope will…die last
It’s the waiting here that seems unclear
long after your story has been told and retold…
It’s the sad songs that come out slow

chorus

All these feelings are lonely…and hard to deal with
All these feelings are making me…hard to deal with
Hard, hard, hard

chorus

Puppeteer

Written By: Kate Peterson

this crazy’s creeping in
its wrapping slowly limb by limb
string so thin its diggin diggin diggin in
i can’t remember ever wanting just to disappear
oh my puppeteer

it’s got me bending at the knees
dancing in circles
359 degrees of second chances
pulling harder at the strings
oh how high they go oh oh

i don’t know i don’t know if im losing control losing or letting go, letting go

it’s plain to see the surprise in all your eyes
imagine how i don’t recognize mine
im squinting watching the mirror
spiral into spot light

i don’t know i don’t know if im losing control losing or letting go, letting go

feet cant find the ground
head is whipping around
its shaking side to side saying
you don’t know
you don’t know
you don’t know
i don’t know i don’t know if im losing control losing or letting go, letting go

Blank Pages

Written By: Kate Peterson

i owe you a phone call
that doesn’t seem so hard
but these feelings are not small
they’re tuggin pushin on my heart

but i miss you

i could write you a letter
spell it out piece by piece
cause it always always goes better
when you can’t talk back to me

but i miss you

and the road keeps rolling by
pop songs and neon signs
and this story keeps aging
leaving nothing but blank pages

i miss you, i do

i could write some kind of friendly little love song
sing the words i fail to speak
glue some pictures on a small brown paper package
and address it to you
from me

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

Set List

A typical set is 50 min - 1hr 15 min, can fill 2 1 hr sets.

Most Common songs:

Ohio To Michigan
Puppeteer
Blank Pages
OneFourThree
Away, Awake.
Happiest We've Ever Been
The Leaving
Said and Done
Dear John
Scars and Anchors
Lansing
Slow and Steady
Coffee Stained

Substitutes:
Ashes
Sunspot
Echo
Solid Side
Unfinished Song
Mighy Ocean
Blessing
Pockets of Light

Covers:
You've Lost That Lovin Feeling, Righteous Brothers
Cecelia, Simon and Garfunkel
Sweetest Girl, Wycelf Jean
Ship Out on the Sea - Be Good Tanyas
I am Open (a capella) - Holly Near
Cryin - Libby KirkPatrick
Moonshiner - Traditional
Long Ride Home - Patty Griffin
Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
Untitled - Lori McKenna
Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show