One of the coolest ongoing projects in town is Live at O’Leaver’s.
Sound engineer Ian Aeillo has been patiently recording bands playing at the tiny venue on Saddle Creek Road and then meticulously mixing the recordings.
And today, the project’s biggest (and some of its best) releases are out for the world to enjoy.
The first comes from Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club, a country covers band whose members include some of the biggest names in Omaha music. Most recognizable is Conor Oberst, but he was joined by Bright Eyes bandmate Mike Mogis, singer-songwriter Miwi Lalupa, Cursive’s Matt Maginn, The Good Life’s Roger Lewis, McCarthy Trenching’s Dan McCarthy and producer/engineer/guitarist/awesome person Ben Brodin. Oh, and Oberst’s wife, Corina Escamilla Figueroa, took on the titular role of Dolores Diaz.
“Honestly, I feel my mixes on the Dolores Diaz stuff could be the best work I’ve done for Live at O’Leaver’s,” Aeillo told me. “It’s pretty great.”
It really is. The 10-song set posted this week sounds incredible.
Oberst’s voice is crisp on the band’s cover of Randy Newman’s “Jolly Coppers on Parade,” and you can easily pick out each instrument in the mix. That’s really special considering some of the best players in town were sitting in.
Also being released are sets from local indie-soul group High Up and singer-songwriter Johnathan Rice.
High Up is one of the bands to see in Omaha right now, and this gives you a shot to hear them live without having to leave the house. (I still recommend actually catching them live.) I really love the band’s soulful cover of Bright Eyes’ “Make a Plan to Love Me.” Way better than the original.
That’s just some of the fun on Live at O’Leaver’s. Last week, the project released sets from Stephen Bartolomei, Shy Boys and Triathalon.
Live at O’Leaver’s is on fire.