After seven years, three albums and dozens of shows, Son of 76 is calling it quits.
The band, fronted by Josh Hoyer, will play its final show Friday at the Zoo Bar.
The end of Son of 76 began about seven months ago when guitarist Werner Althaus told Hoyer he was having some difficulty with arthritis in his hand. The band then cut back the number of shows it played.
“I got to thinking about it more,” Hoyer said. “A lot of the songs are hard for me to perform now. A lot of it was very personal stuff. It’s a different time now. It’s kind of run its course. I thought I’d start something new.”
Son of 76, which initially was called Son of 76 and the Watchmen, play a distinctive brand of roots music, blending R&B and New Orleans sounds with some Americana, with Hoyer’s saxophone and piano setting it apart from guitar-only outfits.
“It always had its own sound,” Hoyer said. “It wasn’t always focused though. If you were to sift through the last album, with an Irish sounding song, some countryish songs, New Orleans stuff and a seven-minute rock song, you’d ask, ‘What kind of band is this?’”
Hoyer shopped Son of 76 records to national labels, but had no luck.
“We fell short on that,” he said. “But we had a couple songs that touched people. So I guess we did our job.”
Hoyer’s already put together a new band, a dance outfit with horns that will make its debut in December.
“I want people to come out and have a good time and not be so serious about the music all the time,” he said of the new group.
Before that, Son of 76 has one more show to do.
“We had a rehearsal this week where we played a lot of the old songs,” Hoyer said. “It was really emotional. It was kind of a sad deal. But I feel like it was time to let it go.”
Friday’s show -- at 9 p.m. with an $8 cover -- should be more of a party than a wake.
“We’ll be doing songs from all three albums,” Hoyer said. “We did a Fat Tuesday show and worked up some New Orleans songs and we’ll do some of them. We’re going to have horns, some guest musicians. I just really want to have a good time with this, send it off the scene the right way.”
The Millions to regroup for December show
The Millions, the quartet that in 1991 became the first Lincoln band to be signed to a major label in more than two decades, is reuniting to perform one show at the Bourbon Theatre on Dec. 1.
Word about a Millions reunion had been circulating for several weeks before the band members made this announcement on their Facebook pages last week:
“The Millions will play Saturday, Dec. 1 at The Bourbon Theater in Lincoln, Neb. Lori Allison, Harry Dingman III, Marty Amsler and drummer Brandon McKenzie of the band ROck ROse have been rehearsing regularly for the show. Original Millions drummer Greg Hill has retired from the music business.
“The band is playing this one time only show to celebrate the release of 'Poison Fish,' a 21-song CD of rare and unreleased recordings from the earliest days of the band.
“More information about 'Poison Fish' and how to get advance tickets for the show is coming soon!”
The Millions, who had been signed to Smash Records, a subsidiary of Polygram, disbanded in 1995.