Minneapolis based singer/songwriter Peter Miller brings his indie rock band We Are the Willows to the Chalberg stage on October 15 for a 7 p.m. concert. As part of the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center’s Cultural Arts Series, the band brings a unique sound and an innovative approach to music.
Series producer Patrick Spradlin described the group as an intriguing mix of instruments and voices. “Miller has a countertenor voice, which is such in interesting sound,” said Spradlin. “It’s not a common voice in folk rock music. Coupled with instrumentation like cello, violin, guitars and drums, this will be a terrific concert for music lovers of all kinds.”
We Are The Willows has been releasing music since 2007. It was in that year that Miller’s grandmother gifted him over 350 letters written by his grandfather while stationed in the South West Pacific during WWII. On tour, Miller would read the letters, take notes, and eventually songs started to form. Over the next 3 years, Miller wrote songs cataloguing his grandparents’ courtship during WWII.
Picture (Portrait), an album of songs based on those letters, was released in two parts, in 2014 and 2016 respectively. The album garnered praise from NPR, the BBC, NOISEY, PASTE magazine, Buzzfeed, The Brooklyn Vegan, and USA Today. The band toured a great deal following the album’s release, including showcasing at SXSW, Treefort Music Fest, and Summerfest.
The band’s appearance in Brainerd was to take place in 2020 as part of a Minnesota State Arts Board Touring Grant. The COVID epidemic put that tour on hold, and Spradlin was able to re-schedule for this current season. “I really like having bands like We Are The Willows come on tour,” said Spradlin. “As part of the grant they will be conducting an entire week of outreach activities. They’ll visit area schools, senior centers and long-term care facilities and hold workshops and perform drop-in concerts. It’s a marvelous way to connect artists with the community.”
In addition to Miller, We Are The Willows consists of Jeremiah Satterthwaite (guitar), Travis Collins (bass/ voice), Hilary James (cello/ voice), and Josh McKay (drums).
Tickets for the concert are available from the CLC Theatre box office at (218) 855-8199 or online at www.clcperformingarts.com