Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bartholomew and Geraldine - Music: Brian Laidlaw and the Family Trade

Two songs accompanying Bartholomew and Geraldine are by Brian Laidlaw and the Family Trade.

Brian Laidlaw is a poet and songwriter from San Francisco. He studied Creative Writing as an undergraduate at Stanford, at which point he began setting his own poems to music; after graduating in 2005 he toured and rambled throughout the country for several years as a solo folksinger.

In 2008, Brian moved to Minneapolis to earn an M.F.A. in poetry at the University of Minnesota. In the last year he has received awards and honors from the Loft Literary Center, the Weisman Art Museum, and the Jerome Foundation. His lyrics have been featured in American Songwriter Magazine and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in New American Writing, FIELD, VOLT, Quarter After Eight, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere.

Brian has released numerous full-length projects, most recently the CD No Horse Town and the hybrid book/album Wolf Wolf Wolf. A dedicated wordsmith and instrumentalist, he collaborates and co-writes with ensembles from coast to coast, and continues to perform regularly in the Twin Cities and greater Midwest. He also teaches songwriting at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, and poetics at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

Brian and The Family Trade are members of the Yes!Let's Collective, a cohort of Twin Cities musicians, artists and organizers. With an ethos of unwavering enthusiasm, they seek to unite ‘performer’ and ‘audience’ through events based on community building and collaborative art-making.

The words to so many of the songs by Brian Laidlaw remind me of my musings while writing Bartholomew stories.  I try to think of large world experiences and universal feelings that can be encapsulated in a moment or in a snapshot of a person.  Brian does this often in his work.  As my old art history teacher might say, "his phrases are pregnant with meaning."  An odd phrase, but it fits.

And here is a great article about the band in Paper Darts.  If you don't know Paper Darts, you should.  It's a great online magazine.  One of the founders, Meghan Murphy, is an illustrator for The Book of Bartholomew.  Unfortunately, her story won't be out until next spring.  

I have to especially thank Ashley Hanson for introducing me to this band and getting the songs for me.

Bartholomew and Geraldine is published tomorrow at The Book of Bartholomew.

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