True emotion and honesty are palpable throughout the clean, pure sound of any full set played by Tsumi (formerly norm4eva), an acoustic rock band from Lincoln, Nebraska. It all began in October of 2003 when Heather Rupp (rhythm guitar, vocals, lyrics) was asked by Luke Sticka (lead guitar) if it would be all right if he sat in on a few songs at a local open stage. Instantly they both knew that this was something different. Neither Sticka nor Rupp had been in a band of any consequence before, and for some reason that made it more important that they start one now. They have been playing together ever since.
With the ""core"" of the group consisting of this couple they have played with many prominent Lincoln musicians and groups such as Jeremiah Moore (an original member), Alan Grow (Tsumi's first bassist), Nick Semrad (Electric Soul Method, The Funknasteez, The Foundayshun), Josh Hoyer (ESM, Magnificent 7, Son of '76), Laniece Micek (ESM), Brian ""Pickle"" Gerkensmier (too many projects to list here), Aaron Wright (Magnificent 7, The Kris Lager Band), Kyle Armes (Mag 7, Kris Lager Band, ESM), as well as many others. Being a versatile group with a hard to pin sound they have also opened for bands with many different genres like funk players Electric Soul Method, indie rockers Strawberry Burns and Once a Pawn, local blues greats The Kris Lager Band, irish folk rockers The Killigans, as well as the former bluegrass band The Amalgamators. Venues Tsumi has played at in Lincoln include The Meadowlark, Duggan's Pub, Duffy's, The Zoo Bar, The Chatterbox, The Royal Grove as well as Mick's in Omaha.
On June 7, 2005 Tsumi released their first full length album with great sucess and a huge party. It is available at cdbaby.com. Currently Tsumi is working on a live ep due to be released during the summer of 2006. Heather is also starting a record label for Lincoln artists (FireFish Records) with the launch party set for August.
[Tsumi]sounds like a folk-rock band featuring a female singer with a powerful voice like a river of molasses --deep, dark, slow and sweet, a skilled lead guitarist with quick fingers and a knack for nuanced harmonies... Together they produce an almost tangible chemistry. -Daily Nebraskan May 2004.
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