“I never thought I was qualified to become a singer-songwriter. I thought I was only qualified to be a fan,” said Craig Finn of The Hold Steady.
Elizabeth Moen can relate.
When Moen was studying language at the University of Iowa a half-decade ago, she envisioned being an English teacher in another country or a French or Spanish instructor in America.
“That was the plan,” Moen said by phone from Wyoming, while on tour out west. “I love language and I thought it would be a good career.”
Growing up in Vinton, Moen was a huge music fan who favored iconic songsmiths including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. However, she never thought she could become a singer-songwriter.
“It was a confidence thing,” she said. “It was an anxiety thing. I didn’t think I was equipped to be a songwriter. I questioned whether I had anything worthwhile to sing.”
Then her friends intervened. After singing some songs she wrote while working in a restaurant, they encouraged her to showcase her material, which she did during an open-mic night at The Mill in Iowa City.
“That was a little over four years ago that I took a chance as a songwriter and as a performer,” she said. “I got over my fears and anxiety and discovered something I would rather
do than teach language.”
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Moen, 25, quit her three part-time jobs to focus entirely on music. She released a self-titled EP in 2016. She wrote eight soulful rock songs for her following release, “A Million Miles Away,” which dropped in September. Moen has been touring behind that album and showcasing other songs while on the road.
The pragmatic entertainer left her Iowa City apartment about a year ago. “I’m on the road so much now that I really don’t need a place that is home base,” she said.
However, she views Saturday’s (4/6) Mission Creek date at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City as a homecoming show.
WHAT: Elizabeth Moen
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday (4/6)l; doors open 6 p.m.
WHERE: Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St., Iowa City
LINEUP: 7 p.m. Nadalands; 8 p.m. Moen; 9:15 p.m. Hurray for the Riff Raff
COST: $20 general admission or Mission Creek passes; Englert Box Office, (319) 688-2653 or Missioncreekfestival.com
ARTIST’S WEBSITE: Elizabethmoen.com