First Post – There is so much ground to cover!
The Brianna Rae Band started as a family project.
Just over five years ago, my dad and I were in the process of repairing our relationship. I was 26, and I was just rounding the corner between, “I know everything,” and, “maybe my parents weren’t wrong all the time.” He was a career musician, complete with all of the good, bad, and ugly that comes along with the lifestyle. From a child’s perspective, I watched my dad live it. His life was all about “gigging.” Late nights were part of the average routine. It wasn’t uncommon to spend the weekend at festivals and outdoor shows as a child in the 90’s. With that preface, it probably didn’t shock him when I approached him at his computer desk in my parents’ home in Houston, Minnesota sometime during the summer of 2018. The first thing he asked me is if I was sure, and if I was, if I was committed. Full transparency: I couldn’t even play the guitar when we started, let alone make it through an average of 4 hours for a show. I vividly remember telling him that I would deeply regret never trying if I didn’t do this. He agreed to help me assemble a band, and the rest is history.
I have a special place in my heart for each of the six other members that were the original iteration of The Brianna Rae Band. Shawn Martin on bass, Shelby Martin on keys (mom and dad), Will Powers on rhythm guitar, Jim Lanzel on lead guitar, Dave Burch on utility, and myself on lead vocals. What we had at that time in the band’s life was magical, and thinking back on the absolute sense of optimism and excitement that surrounded the beginning of a new venture. For two solid years, we worked that lineup, played our tails off, and worked really hard to become the best version of whatever it was that we were trying to do at the time.
As time progressed, Will Powers stepped into the lead guitar position, and has flourished with every year that passes. We worked as a
The photos above are from Holmen Kornfest 2022 (small) and Ashley for the Arts 2022 (large).
So what are we all about?
We’re about the music at the end of the day. We love it all, and each member brings different tastes and influences into the collective. We started as a cover band, and we’re still going strong in that vein. Playing covers has created opportunities that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. There’s nothing better than looking out at a crowd of people that is genuinely having a good time. Everybody has something that they’d like to unplug from, even for just a few hours. Being a part of that is a feeling that is hard to describe, but a blessing to be able to experience.
We have recently expanded to songwriting.
One of our biggest achievements as a band so far has been having the opportunity to record in a studio recently. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I would write poetry and stories that I would then share with anyone who would listen. Having the chance to take some of those stories and turn them into musical works have been a lifelong dream. At the time of my writing this, we have one single currently released. Tumbleweed was our debut track. You can find it on a variety of platforms such as Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, Bandcamp, and just about anywhere else that you get your music. There will absolutely be more, releasing one has been a big step for us as a band, and we could not be more excited about what we’ve been working on. The first release was funded solely on tip money that we have received from our live shows, and I think that says a lot about the incredible people that have been supporting us along the way. Music might be in our blood, but it means the world to us to be releasing music that our fans have helped bring to fruition.
“Music might be in our blood, but it means the world to us to be releasing music that our fans have helped bring to fruition.”
Maintaining a band is a labor of love.
Every member of this band works hard to keep the dream going.
It’s no question that being in a band is a huge time commitment. Whether it’s practicing, long days and nights on the road, scheduling, and everything in between that goes on being the scenes – there is no doubt that this takes work to keep going.
At the end of the day, we do all of that work because we love this crazy ride. We might not be the perfect band. We might not be best band, but we’re out there trying to make ourselves better every single day.
The band bears my name, but this has been a team effort since the beginning. And I can’t put into words how grateful it makes me feel to know that the members of this band have rallied around a common goal. The level of support that I feel from anybody that has ever had a hand in making the conversation that I had with my dad five years ago a reality is beyond any words that I can come up.
There is so much more work to be done. There are more songs to write. There is more practice to be done. I look forward to the future knowing that there are more good times to come, and great people to enjoy them with.