The Cooperage hosted their Midwest Music Showcase on Thursday night, featuring funk-jazz bands Shutter Step and Smoke N’ Mirrors, indie rock singer-songwriter Hanna Simone, and Green Bay’s pop superstars 7000apart.

Hanna Simone’s style has shifted overtime. In the past, her music mixed folk with pop and country; now, she’s going in a funky blues rock direction with her new band. She’s got Elly Bird on guitar, Saul Dinauer on bass, Cameron Spann on drums, and Jack Koshkin on keys. Some of Simone’s biggest influences are Brandi Carlile and Jewel.

Simone lived in Nashville for two years and then returned to Milwaukee with the goal to get her project going.

“When I moved back from Nashville in 2020, I knew I wanted to play with a band; it didn’t feel right to just be by myself because I wanted my songs to really come to life. I reached out to Elly since we’re good friends, and she told me that she could make these songs into something big, and that’s what she did. We found some friends to jam out with and did a show with them but it wasn’t the vibe I was going for; we were like country pop but that wasn’t it for me. Then we got two new members and went with an indie type feel but that wasn’t the move either, so we just got this band together and we’re definitely rock but we’re still figuring it out.”

She shares a bit about her songs and upcoming album.

“Most of them I wrote two-three years ago, and Elly would listen to them and say “we can take this somewhere” and so we scrapped old recordings and pushed them into something bigger. The songs I write are from vulnerable places, like places I’ve been in or stories that I’ve lived through. The first time that we played “Spaceship” as a band I cried…I felt like all my insecurities and trauma was getting tied together into something so beautiful…and so I verbally said “thank you guys for making this song come to life.” All my bandmates enjoy the song as much as I do so it makes playing it even better. We’ve been working on our album for about a year now and it’s at the end of its road…we’re almost there. We just have to tie up some loose ends.”

Hanna Simone are working on lining up more gigs, including a potential summer tour.

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