I was having lunch with my brother back home in North Dakota when i decided to get checked my email and I’m glad I did! Sitting in my inbox was one of the loveliest folks bands, The Lowland Lakers. For me, I have barely scratched the surface of folk music, having just been introduced to Trampled By Turtles earlier this year. With this Twin Cities trio celebrating the release of their sophomore album Lost In The Move, the five hour car ride back to Saint Paul flew by.
Opening the night’s festivities was Gaelynn Lea. Gaelynn has been taking the breath from people’s lungs for some time now. Lea fuses bluegrass and Celtic folk music with modern styles to create a sounds all her own. Each piece tells a story from start to end, pulling you in and engulfs you completely. While playing some song solo, Gaelynn was joined on stage by Dave Mehling who was accompanied by his guitar. Lea’s remarkable fiddle playing and melodic singing was definitely the center of the show and the added guitar gave her set just the sparkle it needed.
After a quick stage turn over, The Lowland Lakers took to the Turf Club’s stage with a thunderous applause from the audience. The Lowland Lakers consists of Haley Rydell, from North Dakota as well (guitar, violin, vocals), Nate Case (guitar, banjo, vocals), and Taylor Donskey (bass and vocals). Lost In The Move is an album unlike their others. Filled with heartbreak, hopes, dreams, fears and loss, The Lowland Lakers venture out of their bluegrass roots but continue with the simplicity of a guitar, fiddle and a banjo.
Sunday night was a night of firsts for the trio as they had yet to perform a few of their new songs live. One of those is “The Way You’ll Run” which is one of my personal favorites. Nate and Haley sing about facing an almost impossible decision, where either way you choose you will have consequences. It’s the kind of situation everyone finds themselves in at some point. The lyrics “but we push on and on anyways” is how we have to live life. You have to deal with what life throws at you and push on to continue.
The Lowland Lakers’ sophomore album is a book and each song a chapter of life that tells a story. The trio made their way through that book, as the spoke about the process it took to finish it. Each member of the band had a part in the writing process, each having a very personal song on the album. For bass player Taylor Donskey that was “He Doesn’t Waltz”, a song about his grandfather’s passing. Donskey sings about his grandfather’s dancing or lack there of when it come to a three-step. This track opens with light keys and guitar but the harmonies really stand out above all else. It’s an absolutely beautiful tribute.
Opening up to write about some of the hardest subjects is daunting, but it really paid off for The Lowland Lakers. Lost In The Move is a timeless album with haunting harmonies and the sincerest of lyrics. You will find yourself coming back to The Lowland Lakers time and time again.
Set List: High Horses, No One Can Say We Didn’t Try, Let The Light Through, The Way You’ll Run, He Doesn’t Waltz, Coffee Stained and Heartbroken, All I’m Good For, Bad Habits, Long Time Gone (Dixie Chicks Cover), Time To Move Along, Plant A Garden, Country Line, To Be Young