Bridges & Brighter Days
Described as anything from Indie-Pop-Rock, to "...a refreshing break from the unfortunate fatal accident that contemporary music has had with itself," (Storm Lake Pilot Tribune), Ten O'Clock Scholars have been making a name for themselves in the renowned Omaha music scene. Formed back in the spring of 2000, the Scholars (Paul Gedbaw, Ryan Kosola, Taylor Stein, Derek Vanosdall) were together only a few months before they all went in different directions for college. Continuing to write songs and play shows when everyone was in town, things started to take shape in 2002 when Justin Connealy joined the band to replace Vanosdall on bass. Since then, the band has withstood the test of time and become a mainstay in both Omaha and Lincoln, gigging regularly in both cities. At times, it's hard to place Ten O'Clock Scholars into a certain category of music: there are times when they rock, times when they roll, and times when they'll ask you to sit down. Never is this more apparent than with their first full-length release, Bridges and Brighter Days (Onken-Stein Records, 2006). The album, which was recorded at Omaha's 843 Studios with Curt Grubb of Grasshopper Takeover, is a 10 track disc that showcases the Scholars wide range of musical influences. This disc allowed the Scholars to really analyze their songs and fine tune their sound. Much of the Scholars' song writing growth can be attributed to the classically trained Kosola and the self-taught Gedbaw. As the two main songwriters, the two draw from various genres, including indie-rock, folk, pop, classical, emo, and plain old rock 'n' roll. And in Connealy's ear for music and Stein's solid beat, and you have Ten O'Clock Scholars. During the course of their existence, they have shared the stage with acts such as Marty Casey and The Lovehammers, Jeffrey Gaines, The Alternate Routes, Zack Hexum, Sarah Benck and the Robbers, The Feds, The Nadas, Anonymous American, Ten Cent Redemption, and Old Boy Network and shared festival stages with Sister Hazel, Saliva, Ingram Hill, Flickerstick, and Railbenders. In December of 2006, the band was one of 12 bands asked to play the 36 Hours of Keystone Festival, and was one of the only non-Colorado bands to play the show. Not long after that, the Scholars were invited to play the Northgate Music Festival in College Station, TX in March of 2007. They have also twice been asked to travel to Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA for campus events. Over the past three years, the Ten O'Clock Scholars have had six different songs played on local radio stations; "Indecision," "Take Me Back," and "Follow" from their first EP release, Leaving It Behind (Onken-Stein Records, 2004), and "Smile," "1:52" and "Don't" from their new CD, Bridges and Brighter Days. Local television station KXVO featured Ten O'Clock Scholars as their band of the week in May of 2006, prior to the release of their new CD, and again in April of 2007, making them the last Band of The Week in the program's history. KXVO's online radio station, The Source, has songs from the new disc in regular rotation. In September of 2006, the Scholars were the featured band on the Lincoln website StarCityScene.com. Local alternative newspaper, The Reader said of Ten O'Clock Scholars, "...the combination of the primary songwriters' styles makes for something truly unique."