Siouxland Public Media's Artist of the Month

Jeanne Emmons penned her first poem in kindergarten. Hand-drawn, Crayon colored flowers rimmed the edge of the page. Written to her mother, who kept the note, it said, “You are pretty. Deep, deep pretty.”


After winning her first poetry contest 26 years ago, Jeanne Emmons received the prize money and decided, “I’m going to use this $500 for something life-changing.”

GhostCat formed almost three years ago as a trio with Alex Erwin on vocals and guitar, Cody Garwood on bass and Steve Skog on drums, who all worked together at the Sioux City Conservatory of Music.

In 2014, the Sioux City-based indie-rock band released its first album, a seven-song EP, called “Useless Fairytales.” The band has evolved and matured in the last few years. Their new full-length album, called “How Infinite the Sky," reflects a more optimistic outlook on life.

Alex Erwin with GhostCat
Matt Downing

Last year, Alex Erwin, the frontman for GhostCat, demonstrated his commitment to his craft during a Battle of the Bands competition. He appeared on stage, sitting down to play his guitar, with his right leg wrapped in a walking boot and propped up on a wicker ottoman.

While the indie-rock band has won five of Battle of the Bands competitions, they're opting out of those events to focus on other musical endeavors.

Angst and young rockers go together like macaroni and cheese.

But instead of enjoying the gooey deliciousness, the musicians are smothered in sticky foreboding feelings of being fed up and betrayed by the world, figuring out life is harder than they thought it would be.

Suzanne Hendrix-Case grew up in Charles City, Iowa and traveled the world as a self-employed opera singer. She recently moved to Sioux City with her husband, a photographer and web designer.


What took her back the place where pigs outnumber people? Was it the “Field of Dreams” claim to fame? The promise of never being more than 20 miles from cattle and corn? Or perhaps, the reputation of a college in one corner of the state that offered the kind of educational environment she could thrive in?

Morningside College was where she wanted to work.

Cory Weaver


Globetrotting wasn’t the goal. Suzanne Hendrix-Case pursued a travel-intensive opera career to gain credibility as a vocal coach. She always wanted to teach.

By a fortuitous turn of events, that desire led the classically-trained singer to perform with the San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Oper Frankfurt in Germany, one of the leading opera houses in Europe.

Coming up this weekend, LAMB Arts Regional Theatre presents “Death of a Salesman,” a 1949 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Arthur Miller. In this drama, Willy Loman has spent his life following the American way, but somehow the riches and respect he covets have eluded him. He lives in a fragile world of excuses and daydreams. He desperately attempts to make sense of himself and of the world around him that once promised so much.

Siouxland Public Media’s Ally Karsyn talked with the lead of the show, who was, in fact, a salesman himself.

Ultra Violet
Ally Karsyn

Ultra Violet describes itself as an “ever-evolving project pushing the creative boundaries of self through musical expression.” It started out as a duo with Angie Lambrecht, a trained percussionist, and one of her best friends, Velvet Adams, on bass.

They were influenced by Shakey Graves, an Americana musician from Austin, Texas, who set out as a one-man band, playing his vintage guitar and a floor drum made out of suitcase.

Ultra Violet
Ally Karsyn

“I was the guy that left Sioux City and moved away to bigger cities, thinking that’s where all the answers are found. But you can hitch your buggy to somebody else’s horse or you can figure out what’s going to give yourself momentum and just take that. I think it’s harder to do in a small city. The people that are here doing it and choosing to do it – that’s where it’s at. There’s a lot of really amazing people in Sioux City that are making art and music. For our size, it’s really happenin’ here.” –Adrian Kolbo with Ultra Violet