What Does Barb Do in Real Life?
Barb came out of full retirement in late March of 2023, and works part-time at UNL as Administrative Support for the Great Plains Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (GPCESU), providing office and web support for the group. She is based in the School of Natural Resources, and she considers it the absolutely perfect job for a nature nut and web geek.
She volunteers as a "Greyt Pals" resource with Heartland Greyhound Adoption. She is available to new adopters as a support and information aide with over 25 years experience as they navigate the wonderful world of greyhounds as family members.
Prior to working at UNL, she retired from her job with the State of Nebraska on April 1, 2014, where she spent 24 years as a Public Information Officer, Webmaster and Social Media Officer for the Department of Roads (15 years), and the Department of Banking & Finance (9 years). She also was the Administrative Assistant. to the President of Jacob North Printing Co.,Inc. for 10 years.
Additionally, as a local radio host at KZUM, she produced and hosted "Celtic Heartland" for 5 years. It was the first Celtic program on the station and led to the now popular "Celtic Thunder".
October 2023 to Present
First of All, Why did B-Cubed Music End?
Simply put...a bad back and neck called the shots. Mother Nature is very persuasive.
As 2023 began, Barb was looking at playing monthly at five different locations in Lincoln. That's 60 gigs a year, and it seemed perfect. However, her spine had different ideas. After MRI's confirmed the problems in her back and neck, she cut gigs to three a month in May, hoping that would help.
Didn't work. So then she cut back to two a month in June, and down to one a month after July. Still the act of loading and unloading for a gig was just too much stress and it was taking several days to recover, so she bit the proverbial bullet, and September was the end of the monthly gig music. The regular gigs and hauling amps, mics and instruments are over and done. But, true to form, Barb was not "done" yet. Hence, Heartland Tales & Tunes.
The Fun of B-CUBED MUSIC
Barb started B-Cubed Music in the fall of 2016, after husband, Don Bennett quit playing music in public due to rheumatoid arthritis. She rejigged her setlist for guitar and and banjo, got a small amp and a good mic and started booking gigs at places where she was already known and where she loved playing, such as retirement homes, assisted living and memory care. She was a hit, and the places she played wanted her back on a monthly basis.
Barb brought audiences an appealing variety of familiar and well-loved songs, played on guitar, banjo, washboard, bones and other intriguing instruments.
Folks were encouraged to sing along, and they usually did because the songs were so familiar to them. The repertoire included songs from the 1800's through modern day, with some originals thrown in for fun. Woven into the performances were lively, fun stories that resonated with the listeners, and recalled some of their own life experiences.
Each program was tailored to the specific audience and ran about 60 minutes, unless requested to be of longer or shorter duration. Programs with seasonal songs were also available.
Venues for B-Cubed Music: The Knolls, Country House (3 locations), Pemberly Place, Yankee Hill (formerly Clark Jeary), The Arbors, The Landing, Eastmont Towers, Windcrest, Madonna Rehabilitation, The Legacy (3 locations), K & B Stables, Northgate Gardens Estates, VA CoffeeHaus, Tabitha, High Plains Memory Care, Oak Pointe (Missouri), Ridgewood (Seward), Bickford House, Tabitha, St. Gianna's Annual Fundraiser at Deer Springs Winery, Grand Lodge at the Preserve, Area Agency on Aging Luncheons, Knights of Columbus Grands Group, and private gigs.
She had been playing music in the Lincoln area since early 2003. She was a former member of the Contra Dance band, Hot Rosin; a founding member of the duo, Wee Brazen Hussies (2004 through 2011); a founding member of the duo, Whoozon1st Band (mid-2011 through 2016); and then she was B-Cubed Music! Scroll down the page or click here for more info on these groups.
Before he crossed the Rainbow Bridge in December of 2022, she also accompanied her ex-racing greyhound and AKC certified Canine Good Citizen, Jack Moose, as he visited care facilities. RIP Jack Moose!
Mid 2011 through September 2016
Whoozon1st Band was the husband and wife duo of Don Bennett and Barb Biffle Bennett. They played about 40 gigs a year, mostly in the evenings, at coffeeshops, wineries, retirement homes and private parties.
They were known for their musicianship, harmonies, and humor, and their fans showed up to enjoy the fun every time they played.
Instruments used were banjo, resonator guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar, recorder, djembe, harmonica, strum stick, harp, electronic bagpipes, theremin, and more!
Don retired from music in late 2016 due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Barb regrouped and continues as a solo act as B-Cubed Music.
Early 2004 through End of 2011
Wee Brazen Hussies was the duo of Deb Davis and Barb Biffle
Averaging about 40 gigs a year, they played mostly in the evening, since they both had demanding day jobs. They played retirement homes, coffee houses, wineries, special events and private gigs in and around Lincoln, and also in neighboring states.
Using multiple instruments, they were known for their witty banter and delicate harmonies as well as their songwriting skills. They were much in demand and could always count on a crowd of engaged and sassy listeners wherever they played.
In 2005, they won the KZUM Listeners Choice Award for Folk Music. The ceremony was held at the Zoo Bar.
Deb retired from playing in public at the end of 2011.
She had announced in April of 2011, that it would be her last year, so Barb continued with Whoozon1st Band, which was formed in May of 2011, and played a couple of songs at some of the WBH gigs through the year so audiences could see what they were like.
NOTE: Some are available as FREE downloads on the DOWNLOADS page.
"YULE" is available for $7 as a download via the Bandcamp Site. All Album notes are included.
The Wee Brazen Hussies made three CD's..."Wee Bee Hussies - Sassy Sampler", 2007, 8 songs; "Yule", a 20 song Christmas CD, 2009; and "Alive, Alive O", a compilation of songs & fun from live gigs, 2011.
Hot Rosin was a fluid group of musicians who played for the monthly Contra Dances at Auld Pavilion in Lincoln, NE. The makeup of the group varied to include whoever was free to play at the time.
They would get together the week before the Dance and run through tunes to play. Barb played the Irish Drum...the Bodhran.
Shown here, Front row: Father James Dank, Kevin Fagerberg, Barb Biffle;
Back row: John Baylor, Pama Heikes Baylor, Charlie Horner, Mark Vanek, Brad Anderson