Freight Street uses music to bring the community together | New

Freight Street are a local indie band who have built their reputation on heartfelt lyrics, moving stories and an authentic sound that’s hard to replicate.

These multi-talented artists have worked hard to bring communities together around their music as COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and stage performances are back on track.

There are five musicians who make up the group. JP Stebal is on drums, Kathleen Schnerer plays violin, Devonte Stovall works with bass and cello, Tom Vasey – mentioned in his solo acts as Boo Lee Crosser – plays guitar, mandolin and mandocello along with vocals and songwriting, and Flannery Murnin covers vocals, songwriting and guitar.

The group originated from Bowling Green State University and continue to perform in the area as often as they can. Stebal remembers when everyone was reunited.

“Our close friend Mike Bryce started a student organization called Roots Music Club, where I met Tom and Flann. I had known Kathleen and Devonte since first grade. Kathleen and D had been string buddies in high school with the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra,” Stebal said.

The group released a self-titled album in 2020 along with several singles, the most recent being “Longshot” and “Drivin'”. Their sound is defined as an accumulation of blues, rock, folk, classical and more, depending on the desired tone of a song and the kind of story it tells.

For Murnin, writing songs can be a powerful and healing experience. They have found poetry and storytelling to be the perfect way to work through their feelings and be a voice for the LGBTQ+ community.

“It’s important to me that my audience really sees my heart when I perform my own lyrics because they come from a queer and trans background. My identities are spiritual for me – I feel deeply connected to my predecessors in being my true self despite being born into a society that often doesn’t see me as I see myself,” Murnin said.

Freight Street brings many instrumental elements to their performances that solidify the emotions behind the lyrics, through a variety of different sounds. As a result, performing as a band can be a very emotional experience for musicians and audiences. Stovall found this aspect of music incredibly rewarding.

“For me, music is the closest thing we have to touching the human soul. It’s a calming and uplifting experience that I believe can connect us all. I also enjoy camaraderie and collaboration; Each member brings so much to the band in terms of sound, influence, experience and skills that playing together is always a great adventure, with no clear destination except how we feel in the moment,” Stovall said.

There are exciting things in store for Freight Street as they have just released a music video for their new single “Longshot”. They also have two new singles to be announced soon and have a host of upcoming shows in the area.

  • Friday, October 21 – CODA in Cleveland, OH

  • Thursday, November 3 – Village Idiot in Maumee, OH

  • Friday November 11 – Ottawa Tavern in Toledo, OH

  • Saturday November 12 – Howards in Bowling Green, OH

  • Thursday, December 8 – Village Idiot in Maumee, OH

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