Howie Howard and Scott Morris, Crete natives, have known each other for just about 40 years, since their childhood, and have been life long friends. The bond only increased when they started playing music together as howie&scott.
Howard was born and raised in Crete and moved away after graduating from Doane College in 2004. Morris moved to Crete when he was 2 years old.
They started playing together in the spring of 1999. Morris played the saxophone in the school band and Howie had been playing guitar covers of ‘90s songs at home.
One day a track meet got rained out so the friends and teammates hung out in Morris’ basement and started playing music together.
“We started playing at parties and at one point we played at a talent show and I remember someone saying to us, ‘Hey, you guys are alright. You should play coffee houses or something.’ That sounded fun so we started doing that, and here we are,” Howard said.
In Crete, they have played at Doane, 9th Street Bar and Grill, the old Millroad Coffee House which is no longer in business, Blue River Days, First Congregational United Church of Christ and at the country club for the Fourth of July.
They also played in coffee shops in Lincoln and Omaha between 2000 and 2004.
As howie&scott they have had around 123 gigs mostly in Nebraska and Kansas.
Howard and Morris moved away from each other 15 years ago, but that did not stop them from creating music together.
“We’d both been through a lot of life transitions and different things that kept us pretty busy,” Howard said.
Morris is entering his 12th year of teaching music. He is starting a new position in Millard teaching instrumental music to grades 5-8.
Howard is a data analyst and quality improvement specialist for a non-profit organization in Lawrence, Kansas, called DCCCA that provides substance use treatment, recruits and trains foster families and conducts public safety and health efforts.
Howard reached out to Morris five years ago and asked if he wanted to make another record. Between what he had been working on for his other band Mars Lights and electronic project Night Mode, he found some demo recordings and enough songs he thought would fit howie&scott’s new album.
“Some of the new ones (songs) were pretty different from our old ones, but I would sort of imagine the shape of a new record and how the songs might work together,“ Howard said.
The last four summers Howard and Morris have been working on their new album called “V for Voice” which released on Aug. 3. They performed for their hometown community of Crete on Aug. 9 at The Brew House.
“The record has been our thing for so long, but now we are handing it off to the people who will listen to it and react to it and make their own meaning with it,” Howard said.
“It’s a joy to reconnect with people here, and most of all share our music with our music teachers and teachers of all kinds.”
Howard gave a special shout-out to his music teacher Mrs. Pecka who was in the audience. She taught him music as far back as he can remember, and to him it was a special moment to “echo back to her own teaching.”
“The Crete community and other communities represented have invested so much into the town and us. The show was a celebration of many things, but it really was a celebration of community as well,” Morris said.