Songwriting and a folk jam; Twin Cities ‘messy folk orchestra’ coming to the bank

Published 10:15 am Monday, March 23, 2015

 Brian Laidlaw & the Family Trade.  Photo by Jeffrey Blaseg Photography

Brian Laidlaw & the Family Trade. Photo by Jeffrey Blaseg Photography

Music at the Bank has become one of my favorite parts about working with the Austin Area Commission for Arts.

There’s something about this space — the high ceilings and tall windows, the creaky wood floors — that’s made for music. Whether it’s a local musician like Jesse Smith or out-of-towners like Mischief, the space hums each time in a way you have to feel to believe. And your next chance to do just that is coming up on Saturday, March 28, with Brian Laidlaw & the Family Trade.

A “messy folk orchestra” based out of the Twin Cities, the group features cello, fiddle, ukelele, drums, and bass, and strives to combine the best traits of both a stadium rock show and campfire sing-along. Their bandleader, Laidlaw, is a member of the songwriting faculty at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul and is coming off of recent musical appearances in Nashville, New York, and Austin, Texas (or, the other Austin).

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Brian will also be teaching a free songwriting workshop prior to the show, from 6-7 p.m. This is an opportunity any aspiring songwriter shouldn’t miss — a troubadour-poet from San Francisco, Brian studied Creative Writing at Stanford before earning his MFA in Poetry at the University of Minnesota. His first full-length book of poems, “The Stuntman,” is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in April 2015. He’s been called “a poet of tremendous lyrics gifts…full of jubilance and unwavering freshness” by author Alex Lemon.

Our jam with The Family Trade starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28. Tickets for the event are just $5 at the door. Grab them early, as space is limited.