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Box Awesome series focuses on acoustic genre
Lincoln musician Manny Coon performs May 4 at Box Awesome for the first-ever Songwriter Power Ranger, a showcase of solo, acoustic acts. Songwriter Power Ranger will run from 6 to 9 p.m. every Monday at Box Awesome through the summer. (Micah Mertes)

The kernel of inspiration for Songwriter Power Ranger was simple enough.

"Acoustic music is one of the genres in Lincoln that doesn't get as much attention as the other genres," said Cory Kibler, a local singer-songwriter and cocreator of Songwriter Power Ranger. "There are a ton of rad singer-songwriter/acoustic acts in town, and we're trying to rally these folks together."

Much like how Power Rangers combine to form an even bigger, more powerful Power Ranger, individual singer-songwriter types are forming a bigger, more powerful force with Songwriter Power Ranger, a new weekly music series at Box Awesome.

The event, which showcases the acoustic, solo work of musicians from Lincoln and beyond, started May 4 and will run through the rest of the summer.

Songwriter Power Ranger's goal is not just to showcase the solo talent in town but also to battle the singer-songwriter stigma.

"It's easy for singer-songwriters to sound kind of generic," Kibler said, "to all play the really mellow, sad-bastard kind of stuff. But there are a lot of people in Lincoln with really unique and varied stuff."

Most of these artists will end up playing just at coffeeshops, though, said Ember Schrag, local singer-songwriter and the other mastermind behind Songwriter Power Ranger. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

"We just don't want it to be what people expect when they go to an open mic," she said.

There's an honesty to acoustic music, she said, a purity.

"With fewer instruments and a lower volume, your songs have to hold their own weight."

As an acoustic musician, you can't hide behind artifice or any pretty window dressing.

"In acoustic music," Kibler said, "if a song's not good, you'll know it."

Reach Micah Mertes at 473-7395 or mmertes@journalstar.com.

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