Gig Seeker Pro


Lincoln, Nebraska, United States | INDIE

Lincoln, Nebraska, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Q & A with four Lincoln drummers"

Kevin Korus


Daily Nebraskan: When did you start playing?

Kevin Korus: I was about 12 years old. I never had a lesson before. My older brother played guitar and my older sisters really liked rock ‘n roll music and I wanted to be a part of it. My older brother got me involved and I bought a drum set.

DN: What do you like about playing in Stonebelly?

KK: Stonebelly is amazing. I've played with a lot of musicians before; it's hard to describe what happens when you find somebody you can communicate with so easily. Mike (Hollon) and Scott (Dworak) are the perfect complement to what I want to do on the drums. The music they create in their heads is the same I create in mine.

DN: Who are some drummers you look up to?

KK: I would probably have to say Levon Helm from "The Band" and then Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden. He taught me many things about the double bass pedal.

DN: If you didn't have your drum set with you, what materials would you use to play percussion?

KK: I would just use my hands and my body. I could just stomp on the ground or use whatever I see. I get quite annoying because I'm always making instruments out of everything I see. - The Daily Nebraskan - January 23rd, 2012

"Review: Stonebelly offers strong tunes on 'Free Spirit: Lost Soul'"

Stonebelly is a classic power trio -- guitar, bass and drums. But in a welcome departure from the norm, the Lincoln group doesn't just play overamped blues rock. Rather, it adds reggae and roots rock to the mix, creating a groove-oriented, propulsive sound.

That can be heard on "Free Spirit: Lost Soul," the CD the band is releasing Saturday night at the Zoo Bar. Cut at Fuse Recording with Tim Kechely and Charlie Johnson producing along with the band, the disc captures Stonebelly's barroom jam rock with brightness and a solid sense of dynamics.

To my ears, the best song on the record is "Go," which rolls and rumbles around a strong hook. But there's plenty to recommend, from the one-two-three punch of the funky "Stiletto" to the driving "Fool No More" and reggae-tinged "Can't Wait."

With 14 songs clocking in at more than an hour, the disc is plenty long, especially when many of the songs lock into the mid-tempo jam groove. That, however, is just what Stonebelly fans likely want to hear from the band.

"Free Spirit: Lost Soul" is one of the best packaged local releases in memory, with a superb cover design and a fold-out insert that includes all the songs' lyrics with a large picture of the trio. A very nice touch.

-- L. Kent Wolgamott - Lincoln Journal-Star - January 27th, 2012

"Stonebelly debut rocks long, loud"

The notion of the power trio in rock music is all about cutting away the fat (in a scenario where rhythm guitars and keyboards constitute fat). In a conceptual sense (though certainly not aesthetically), the power trio is a minimalist effort: How much can we do with limited man power?

Take a listen to Stonebelly's debut album "Free Spirit : Lost Soul," and you'll find that movement is the catalyst for the dynamism of each track and for the effort as a whole. Nothing is still. Nothing is wasted: not a Scott Dworak bass lick, not a Kevin Korus drum fill, not a Mike Hollon guitar riff.

The Lincoln rockers, whose blues and reggae influences may be just as potent for some listeners, will officially release their first record this Saturday night to Lincoln audiences, who can't have set foot downtown in the last year without catching a glimpse of the band's patented laughing Buddha logo.

There's a comforting uniformity to the trio's diverse influences once they come together to create Stonebelly songs. It's music that's built to be played live, music that's built to demand you spring for another beer and remember you're at a rock show with loud and long tracks like "Right Tonight," "Go" and "Crossed The Line."

"Stiletto" is the record's hidden gem, a stylistic departure from the guitar-heavy, six-minute tracks that help the album pack its central punch. But "Stilleto," with its serpentine guitar, Korus' bouncy voice (a significant change from Hollon's throaty, lulling vocals) and the rhythm section in the foreground, helps to break up a running time of nearly 70 minutes that could border on tedious if it wasn't clear that Stonebelly has a lot to say.

With an album title that isn't shy about the duality of being an artist in a broader society that values job security and steady paychecks, the lyrics of "Free Spirit : Lost Soul" take the listener on a journey characterized by the conflict between passion and uncertainty. The opening track, "Right Tonight," suggests that the present is a time for letting loose, but it is subverted by tracks like "New Lows" and "Go," which hint at alienation and a desire for autonomy.

Genre tastes aside, this is music for musicians and artists, heralding the idea that personal fulfillment comes in the form of rooty Lincoln rock and a free spirit. - The Daily Nebraskan - January 27th, 2012

"Local bassists discuss their passion for music"

Local bassists discuss their passion for music

By Matt Havelka

Published: Monday, January 16, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 00:01



Bethany Schmidt

Related Articles

The Black Keys’ memorable 'El Camino' blends early rock 'n' roll with original style
Lincoln couple leads 4-piece band through lifetime of emotions and stories
Lincoln band No Tide to debut new sound, member on Bourbon stage
Music students to unveil original jazz pieces, arrangements

Nick Svoboda — The Betties

DN: What kind of bass are you currently playing?

NS: I play an upright bass. It's big and awkward and beautiful and was made by someone in Germany, I think.

DN: How and when did you figure out the bass was the perfect instrument for you?

NS: Perfect instrument? Gosh ... I don't know about the how and when exactly, but I can say that the bass suits me well. Long before I ever picked it up, I told myself and others that I'd learn to play it one day. I'm into a lot of different styles of music, but it's always been the bass lines that catch my attention most.

DN: Who are some of your favorite bassists?

NS: Charles Mingus, Leonard Hubbard, Tina Weymouth and Twinkie Jiggles.

DN: How does the bass contribute to or change the mood of the songs you're playing?

NS: We don't have a drummer in The Betties, so that means that the bass alone has to provide the backbone for the song. Especially in old-timey music, the low end of the bass adds a lot, even though the parts tend to be simple. The bass line keeps the pace for the group but also adds structure, so as long as I'm not messing up, you can follow me to know where we're going and when to change.

Saber Blazek — The Machete Archive

DN: What kind of bass are you currently playing?

SB: I play a Jerry Jones Longhorn.

DN: How does a bassist contribute during the creative process?

SB: For our group, it has worked out that it's the beginning of our process. Usually I'll write the whole backbone of the song on bass and then we'll go through bit by bit, fill it out and tweak it until everyone is happy with the parts they are playing.

DN: How does the bass contribute to or change the mood of the songs you're playing?

SB: Well, since we are a power trio, each instrument has a lot of room to contribute to each song. We all work together to be appropriately dynamic. And being instrumental, it is very important to understand dynamics.

DN: How and when did you figure out the bass was the perfect instrument for you?

SB: My family has always encouraged me to play music, so when I decided to stop playing the saxophone, I had to choose a new instrument. I just kind of landed in the bass' lap, I guess. That happened in 2003.

Dustin Wilbourn — UUVVWWZ

DN: What kind of bass are you currently playing?

DW: My bass is a custom job of sorts. The body is a Japanese copy of an Ampeg Dan Armstrong bass. It's made of Lucite and is super heavy both physically and sonically. The neck is a solid piece of aluminum cast from the neck that came with the bass. A company out of Florida called Electrical Guitar Company hooked me up with the neck in 2006. It's unique due to the fact that it's the only neck they have ever made with the casting process. It's my 12-pound baby.

DN: How and when did you figure out the bass was the perfect instrument for you?

DW: I wouldn't say the bass is the perfect instrument for me. I'm a guitar player at heart, but I do love the bass a lot. There is something about the power of the low frequencies that is intoxicating for me, especially when I click on one of my fuzz boxes. fuzz boxes have become a huge part of my sound lately.

DN: How does a bassist contribute during the creative process?

DW: Jim (Schroeder, guitar) loosely chooses the notes. I choose how to play the notes. It's that simple.

Scott Dworak — Stonebelly

DN: How and when did you figure out the bass was the perfect instrument for you?

SD: I had been playing regular guitar since I was 17. After about eight years, I found myself wanting to play bass riffs more and more as I listened to music. I was always humming bass lines in my head, so I thought to myself, "Why not learn bass, too?" I also really like the drums and since bass can be kind of percussive, I thought bass, especially slap-bass, was a neat way to combine a string instrument with the percussiveness of drums. Finally, I felt bass allowed more freedom to dance around the melody.

DN: How does a bassist contribute during the creative process?

SD: In Stonebelly, it works two ways. If Mike (Hollon, guitar) came up with a cool riff or progression, then I would fill in the void, drive the beat and sync up with the percussion. Sometimes, even my bass lines act as the lead guitar, while Mike plays a more rhythmic feel. Other times I'll engineer the basic melody of a verse or chorus and we'll start adding from there. Either way, I try to throw in memorable melodies and fills that get stuck in your head. These are the things I would hum to myself before I picked up bass, and I hope to reciprocate that to my audiences.

DN: Who are some of your favorite bassists?

SD: I'd say Flea, from Red Hot Chili Peppers, P-Nut, from 311, and Tim Commerford of Rage Against the Machine.

- The Daily Nebraskan - January 17th, 2012

"Magnetic three-piece Stonebelly preps to release debut album"

I can't say I've seen a band loosen up quite as much as Stonebelly. Watching the Lincoln-based, three-piece rock outfit two weeks ago at Omaha's Side Door Lounge, I was privy to a dramatic transformation.

Taking the stage around 11 p.m., they looked tight, as though (if the simile isn't too heavy-handed), they had stones in their bellies. During the first chords Scott Dworak (bass) undulated like an inflexible pendulum, Kevin Korus (drums) bore a most peaceful expression as if trying to coax his hands into the same frame of mind andd Mike Hollon (guitar, vocals) was softly jumping as though anchored to the ground. They seemed somewhat small, tucked into the corner of a bar filled with would-be listeners, conferring quietly that they didn't feel like playing any of the songs on their set list.

Two hours later, Stonebelly was the bar: They were so magnetic that people who just stopped in for a drink were drawn attentively to the music, exuding both confidence and sweat and rolling through a brand new song ("Gun") as though it'd been committed to memory years before.

We find out later that the first song of the night was a difficult one and the band was on edge about accuracy. Beyond that, the reasons for the metamorphosis were simple enough and, perhaps to the men on stage, the progression didn't seem so profound.

"You get through that first song and you see that you haven't broken any strings," Hollon said after the show. "Then we just start clicking."

The rest of the group laughed quietly in agreement.

"You see that people's ears aren't bleeding and you think ‘OK, we can do this,'" Korus added.

As a three-piece, Stonebelly attempts to exist in the most productive, over-achieving sense, persistently honing a sound that relies heavily on spacing and balance. The drum fills, for one, are not so much a product of Rock Chemistry 101 as they are deliberate implementations in building, cutting and building the music once more.

"That's what's exciting about being a three-piece," Hollon said. "I'm really interested in the space of music and letting each instrument breathe on its own."

This brand of spatial musicality is likely something that listeners will find in spades on Stonebelly's forthcoming debut album, which is set to be released this fall. Although Scott, Kevin and Mike are all keenly anticipating the completion of the record, the recording process, which has taken much of 2011, has been quite the labor of love.

"I think the sheer amount of work that goes into it surprised us," Korus said. "But we think this record will be the key to getting us to some of the places we want to go."

The road is one of those places. Perhaps to Kansas City and hopefully beyond for the rock outfit that hasn't yet played farther from Lincoln than Omaha's Hullabaloo Music Festival in early August.

"It's important to us that we have a CD, something tangible that we can hand people when we go on the road," Hollon said. "This is still all new music and we want to promote it as best we can."

It's clear that Hollon is the overt perfectionist in the group. The band members laughed agreeably that Mike would be the first Stonebelly member to start critiquing the show on the early morning van ride back to Lincoln. For him, the recording experience at Fuse Studios has been a test of patience and pardon.

"You're really putting all your music in concrete," Hollon said. "When you do that you hope to get 90 percent of it like you want it, but you know there will be that 10 percent that in your ears is a mistake, so you have to learn to forgive and be honest with yourself."

It's that word "honest" that comes up a lot with these three fellows. One of their highest musical aspirations appears to be growing in scope while still performing and writing precisely what they feel is "honest." The word itself conjures up a few different definitions within the group.
"I just have fun when I play and that's my honesty coming through," Dworak said.

The guitarist drew inspiration from his surroundings on the patio of the Sidedoor Lounge.

"Al Green," exclaimed Hollon, as "Tired of Being Alone" slid through the house speakers. "That shit is beautiful and why has it stood the test of time? Because it's honest."

On the topic of the most elementary sort, the group's name, I learn my simile was inappropriate. "Stonebelly" (represented on band merchandise and on Korus' drum kit by a likeness of a laughing Buddha) was the product of a Hollon brainstorming session. Within the band, the name and the image serve as an homage to treating fans and contemporaries right and taking the blows that any year-old band faces with a grin and a strong stomach.

"If you've put in the time behind the scenes, it's not work anymore, it's play," Korus said. "We're willing to take some punches along the way." - The Daily Nebraskan - August 23rd, 2011


'Free Spirit : Lost Soul' - January 2012



Stonebelly is a Lincoln, NE based rock band - A classic power trio that combines Mike Hollon's (guitar/vocals) love of rock, blues, jazz, and reggae with Kevin Korus's unique, heavy, and progressive style of drumming. Add Scott Dworak's solid and groovin’ approach to bass. You get a sound that is rootsy, rockin’ and funky. It is easy to tell these guys just love music, have something to say, and are all about the song…….

Stonebelly is a hard working, promoting, and touring band - winning crowds over with their solid cross-genre blend of rock music. After performing for the first time in the Summer of 2010, they have quickly become a local favorite. Playing Lincoln Exposed, Lincoln Calling, and Hullabaloo Music Festivals as well as the club circuit in Lincoln and Omaha. Stonebelly will be touring regionally in the Midwest and beyond all of 2012.

Stonebelly's first CD "Free Spirit : Lost Soul" was released January 2012 and is quickly gaining attention - receiving radio play on both KZUM and KRNU (College Radio) and internet streaming.