Jillian Rae
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Jillian Rae

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Country Alternative




"Weekend Checklist"

Jillian Rae CD Release with The Honeydogs and Gallupstar
Cedar Cultural Center
Fiery Strings
All Ages with $12/$15, 7 PM - City Pages

"Big Gigs: The best Twin Cities concerts Dec. 13-19"

An in-demand violinist who co-founded the Music Lab school and has played around town with the Blackberry Brandy Boys, Brian Just Band, Brass Kings and Killer Hayseeds, Jillian Rae finally takes a bow — get it? — as a singer/songwriter and frontwoman. Her solo debut, “Heartbeat,” features jangly folk-pop tunes laden with bouncy piano and twangy guitar, and some impressively rocky ballads that show off her vocal talents. Adam Levy’s Honeydogs and one-man band Gallupstar support Rae’s release party. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, $12-$15, all ages.) - Star Tribune


"Wholesome” isn’t a word often associated with musicians these days. In the case of Jillian Rae, a 28-year-old violinist/singer-songwriter, the adjective applies.

Rae grew up on the Iron Range and divided her time between her divorced parents’ homes. Her father introduced her to ’70s power-rock, while her mother — who sang in a duo with Rae’s aunt — preferred classic ’50s and ’60s tunes. During her youth, she was exposed to everything from Led Zeppelin to Fleetwood Mac to Michael Jackson.

At age 6, Rae attended her first violin performance. She was mesmerized, begging her parents to let her play for a full year before she was allowed to begin taking lessons.
“My first love in life was the violin,” Rae said ahead of her release show Saturday at the Cedar Cultural Center. She initially learned classical and folk songs, but it wasn’t long before she attempted rock ’n’ roll lead lines on the violin.

“I remember the first time I showed my dad, like, ‘Hey, I’m going to play this Hendrix song on the violin. What do you make of this?’ and he thought it was so awesome,” Rae remembered. “It kind of gave me the confidence to do it all the time.”

The St. Cloud State grad has since gained experience playing violin in “a bajillion bands,” including the Brass Kings, the Brian Just Band and Corpse Reviver. She went solo this year and recorded her debut LP, “Heartbeat,” a rollicking mix of folk, rock and bluegrass issued last week. With a soulful voice and spirited energy, she delves deep into romantic tumult on “Heartbeat.”

Rae admitted that she “genre-hopped a lot” on the album, but kept the theme of love threaded throughout. From falling head-over-heels, to searing heartbreak, to gathering strength to love again, she lays her emotions bare.

“I’m an old-fashioned romantic,” Rae said, describing herself as a “fan of love.” “Whether you’re going through an awesome time or a horrible time, you’re getting something out of life that’s more than a stagnant, straight line.”

While the violin is “like an appendage of my body,” Rae has also taught herself piano, guitar and banjo. She said learning to play new instruments is an uncomfortable process, but one that contributes to the stylistic breadth of her music.

Rae shares her talents offstage as a co-owner and teacher at the Music Lab in south Minneapolis.
The idea for the business was hatched between Rae and friend Josie Just when the two met teaching at a chain music store. After scouting out sites and crunching numbers, Rae and Just realized that opening a community-driven school wasn’t a pipe dream. The Music Lab opened in 2011 and currently has five studios and up to 15 teachers specializing in more than 20 instruments.

“Every teacher we have is a gigging musician in town and we’re all masters of our instruments,” Rae said. The curriculum is focused on providing students — most of whom are high-school age or younger — as many performing opportunities as possible. The Music Lab acquired additional space this year and now offers dance and fitness classes.

“Even when the workload gets to be overwhelming, it’s such a good thing to be doing for other people,” Rae said. “You forget that it’s work.”

Work and play intermingle in another important way in Rae’s life: She’s been married to her lead guitarist, Eric Martin, for three years.

“I’m lucky that I’m not alone in this whole band endeavor,” Rae said, noting that Martin handles the promotion and marketing side of their careers.
“He really is the perfect partner for me,” she gushed. “There are so many husband-wife duos or husbands and wives in bands. It’s not something I noticed until I got married, but I’m thinking, ‘Aha! That makes a lot of sense.’ Because it’s a life thing.”

Jillian Rae
With: The Honeydogs and Gallupstar.
When: 8 p.m. Sat.
Where: Cedar Cultural Center.
Tickets: $12-$15. - Vita.mn

"Jillian Rae: Punching in on recording is like getting a nose job"

While the name Jillian Rae is new to the dividers at the record store, the fiery violinist has built up quite the résumé over the years. Currently, she is working with local acts such as Brian Just Band, Corpse Reviver, the Blackberry Brandy Boys, and even a project featuring Ryan Young (Trampled By Turtles) and Nate Sipe (Pert Near Sandstone). While narrowing down the multitude of bands with whom she appears with on stage and on recordings, Jillian has been working on a debut of her own.
While taking some time to thaw from the frigid Minnesota weather, Jillian sat down to talk with Gimme Noise about her upcoming release show at the Cedar.

Gimme Noise: It looks like you have an exciting lineup, which includes playing with the Honeydogs.

Jillian Rae: Yeah. I'm still kind of starstruck that they're playing/opening for me. It's ridiculous if you think about it. When we set the show up and [Adam Levy] said he wanted to do it, I was just so excited. Everyone was asking if they were going to headline and it would just be our CD release show and that's what I assumed. So I started talking to Adam a little more in depth he was like, "No, we're opening for you! I'd figure we'd have an opener (Gallupstar), then we'd play and then you'd play." And I was just like, "Shut the front door!" I'm going to be dorking out about it until Saturday.

You're a pretty in-demand violin player. How many bands are you currently working with? How are you able to fit your solo project in between these?

About a year ago, I was in nine bands at the same time. That's when I really started to evaluating them [so I could] start my own stuff. I narrowed it down to about six. I'm having a hard time with [fitting everything] right now, but I'm thinking once the CD release dies down it will get better. This is my first time ever doing my own thing, but I've been playing out for a really long time. Some of these songs are really old and they've kind of happened over time; one of these songs on the record, I wrote like two weeks before we went into the studio. It was a nice difference between the areas in my life. A lot of the songs sound different, it genre hops, but I think it's totally me. If it's a reflection on who I am as a person into who I am as a musician, that's exactly it. I listen to a lot of music and I like to play a lot of different music. So mixed with super old and super new songs, that's how it all ended up coming together.

With all your other gigging and recording how long did it take you to get everything for your own project ready?

It's like going into [the Terrarium], I was pretty prepared from experience: good times to schedule, how long is it going to take to mix,when do I get my final CD. I actually thought I would release my album in October. A lot of people were asking why I waited so long when I had my CDs in hand the first week of August. I thought I didn't want to even book the show until I had them. I've experienced that [not working out]. I also wanted to hold out for the Cedar, which was just a silly thing on my part.

Recording at the Terrarium, did the environment of the studio effect your creativeness? Did you track everything live or seperate?

If I had never recorded a day in my life and just walked into the Terrarium, I would be beside myself. And I already was, it's such a beautiful space. It's awesome! Terrarium is pretty big, especially their main room, but the way they everything set up for that Allison Scott video, that was my first impression, it made it look like there were all sorts of different rooms. But it was just that main room with different dividers.

Going into the studio for this record, everyone in the band has their opinion. It was really important to me to try to get as much of a live sound as we could even though we're not going to be in the same room. We had some iso's and the guitar amps were out in a different room. We were all kind of in the same room and we tracked everything live for two days. It was ten tracks, but those two days went by really fast because we were playing the whole time. Every single song on the record, there was nothing that I had to overdub or fix because even though there were a couple little quirky flaws, that to me makes it more beautiful when you can tell it's real. The whole "Let's just punch in here and get one little thing"? Ah! It's like getting a nose job.

I think you're right, there is a certain sound to a lot of modern music that sometimes get's a little too digitized and overly polished.

I think that's what sets apart a certain era. I'm obviously a fan of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Hendrix. That stuff sounds to me, I don't want to say so much better, but yeah better than a lot of stuff. It's just raw and real. In order to do some of the effects we just easily do now, you'd have to press the tape and slow it down as you're recording live. I think that's incredible and it's such a cool art form that's getting a little bit lost. There's some people that realize that and can notice the difference and want that sound that isn't so grotesquely perfect.

Aside from it being the first song on your record, why did you choose to title the albumHeartbeat?

That was one thing when I was figuring out which groupings of songs to put together. I had no idea what I was doing. I want it to fit together somehow but it didn't really sonically. Some songs are really country, other really aren't. Lyrically I felt like they were all songs from the heart, good or bad. That's kind of another reason I went with the name "Heartbeat." I just loved that song. I was so proud of writing that song I was just thinking "That's got to be the one." It was funny because it that how I ended up figuring out what [songs] to put together. I didn't really figure it out until that song was finished. I had been working on it a long time, but there's that middle break down, I wasn't too sure how we should go about it. When I was making the song list that's when I realized that's what these are all about, that's how I'm going to tie these together. I was so worried about whether I should pick my country songs or my rock songs. They're just heartbeat-related songs.

Speaking of the opening song, where did you get the idea to do the slow Eastern-European style bridge in the track "Heartbeat"?

I've had it in my head, not with that specific song, but I've always wanted to do that with a rock song. I'm a violinist first and foremost so I love gypsy music and that Eastern-European kind of deal. It's just a different way of approaching a minor scale. So I knew I really wanted to do that someday, but I think when the song really started coming together, I really figured out the chord structure. I wrote that song in Loring Park, actually. It was one of those summer days when I had time to kill and I'm just sitting outside eating, writing, and people-watching. The melody was there but I just couldn't figure it out. Then a few days later I just wrote all the music. I think it just happend. I knew it was a song that could have the breakdown.
Do you draw a lot of inspiration from people-watching, then?

Oh my God, YES! It's one of my favorite parts about living in the city, it's unbelievable. It's kind of inspiring to see what people have going on, it can be hilarious, it can be sad. It's such an emotional experience. I do really love that whole [Loring Park] neighborhood. The park itself has such a diverse group of people that hang out or even just walk through it. You can tell who the tourists are, who actually lives in the area and who doesn't give a shit. I'm from a very small town called Eveleth so I feel like I just crave to see individuality.

Are all of your songs from personal experience?

They're all pretty personal. Some of the songs are from my perspective, but they're not about me at all. I kind of like doing that once in a while, just writing about somebody else, but it's easier to be emotional about something if you make it from your point of view. Most of them are circumstances or situations I've found myself in. Some of them are very much from that teenage perspective, we can all relate to it.

Is it therapeutic for you to write songs about heartbreak? Does writing make you feel better?

I think I write way better when I'm sad or pissed off, but that might be with most people really. Some of these songs when I wrote them, or when I worked them up, after a while I forget that they're relationship songs. They're just angsty, or like "I'm in love with you" or "I'm having a shit day and this is what's happening" but it really does boil down to relationships. Someone once said sex, love and death are the most commonly written about topics, but it's what we all can relate to. If I ever get that "All you write are love songs" ...everything kind of is, it's just how you are writing it. I could go on forever on that, we can all at some point agree on it. Do you ever write something, and if you don't write it all in one shot, you put it away and come back to it a few days later? Sometimes I'll have to read more of what I wrote. It's not a song, it's like a journal or something. It's like, "What was I thinking that day?" It might not mean [anything] at all to you when you read it three days later.

How did you write your lyrics for this album? Do you journal and pull out words or do you really try to make a melody fit first?

I think I can say that I have a very sporadic way. I think my personality is exactly how I write, I'm either like, "Yay!" or "Don't talk to me" or it depends how I'm feeling at the moment. The two best examples I can give, like "Hanging On" I wrote that all in one shot, like the music and the lyrics it just all came out. I didn't have to come back to it at all. "Heartbeat was like an idea with the drum sound first. Then I started writing lyrics with a melody in mind, but it wasn't like 100%, I didn't quite know. I think I maybe wrote less than half of it and kept coming back to it. It really depends on what frame of mind I'm in. What works for me is the sporadic nature. My whole life is sporadic. I play in all these bands, I'm a musician, I gig, I do recording work and I own a music school which is my main bread and butter. Running a business, which I'm a musician, I don't have a business degree, I'm just taking it as it comes. I used to be a lot more diligent and telling myself I was going to spend all this time either playing or writing or maybe both. Now it's like, "I have 20 minutes of my time to do this before I have to go."

Do you ever sit down and force yourself to write then?

Sometimes yes, other times I'm driving in the car and you get this amazing melody or idea and you try to voice it. If I were to say "I'm going to decide this is my songwriting time" I don't think it would work for me everyday. It really speaks for itself over the course of the record, just because the songs sound so different. If I sat down and listened to it, post production, I could tell you which songs just came together or this one I had to do this, this and this. I think that's why each one has its own personality.

How did you go about choosing the instrumentation?

To me, each song had a flavor. Like "Not That Simple" I wrote that on piano. Knowing I wanted some type of organ sound and that we'd figure it out as we go. My first show ever with my band was end of August 2012. So we had been playing these songs for a little less than a year because we went to the studio in April. After that, I started to avidly book and we were averaging 3 shows a month. I just love to play and I thought, "I'm just going to play everywhere and I'm not going to be picky". So being able to play these songs live really helped with that. As we played, we made changed along the way.

So "Heartbeat" I wrote on guitar; "Hanging On," that one is hilarious, I wrote it on mandolin and I am the worst mandolin player ever. [Because the tuning is the same as violin] I knew what I was doing, but initially, that song in my head was kind of like an Allison Krauss tune. It was a lot slower and more of a sweet country-sounding song. I brought it to the band and the first thing we did was turn it into a Rolling Stones-type country song. It was just so much better, but each one kind of stayed and embellished on that original idea, or else the band [added to it]. It's so great playing with other musicians that you love.

Catch Jillian Rae Saturday, December 14, at the Cedar with Gallupstar and the Honeydogs. All ages, $12 advance, $15 day of, 7 p.m. - City Pages

"Top 10 must-see Minnesota music videos this week"

Jillian Rae - "Heartbeat"
"Heartbeat" is the debut video from local singer/songwriter/violinist Jillian Rae, drawn from her recently released album, also titled Heartbeat. In addition to founding the Music Lab in 2011, Rae has lent her considerable talents to area groups like the Brian Just Band, the Blackberry Brandy Boys, Corpse Reviver, and other bands over the years, and now she is ready to step into the spotlight on her own as she leads her new group. The rousing number is carried forward by Rae's golden vocals, as well as the sprightly arrangements of her talented backing band -- as well as some lively violin solos by Rae herself. - City Pages

"Are You Local? posts 2014 music lineup"

The yearly Are You Local? concert has just taken shape with its initial its lineup for the 2014 affair. Held Thursday, March 6, at First Avenue and the 7th St. Entry, the show combines a solid bill of ferociously local talent who have already proven their staying power on stages in the region, and some baby bands -- now listed below -- hoping to make their mark.

Are You Local? 2014 lineup
The Cloak Ox
Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles
John Mark Nelson
Gramma's Boyfriend
Black Diet
Step Rockets
Jillian Rae

As the contest states, up to five finalists will be selected from the nominees found here. At the moment, there are 118 to choose from, but laggards can still get their band into the mix up until Monday, February 10. Past winners of the Are You Local? competition include Carroll, Prissy Clerks, the 4onthefloor, and Bight Club.

At the March 6 show, the nominated acts will compete for a chance to win a slot at the First Avenue day party -- cosponsored by Gimme Noise -- on March 14 at South by Southwest in Austin. - City Pages

"Mid West Music Fest unveils 2014 music lineup"

The yearly Mid West Music Fest that is taking over the streets of Winona for the fifth year has just posted its enormous 2014 lineup. The weekend of April 24-26, more than 100 bands will hit the southern Minnesota river community and perform in 13 venues.

Among this year's performers are Lizzo, Charlie Parr, Caroline Smith, the 4onthefloor, Mark Mallman, Dosh, John Mark Nelson, Enemy Planes, Carroll, Prissy Clerks, Sun Gods to Gamma Rays and the Cactus Blossoms. The rest of the lineup is a massive collection of regional acts boasting a wide range of disciplines.
Marking the fest's fifth year will be a pair of birthday parties at Ed's No Name Bar andBroken World Records on April 23. Added for the first time in 2014 are a polka dance with Karl and the Country Dutchmen and a barn dance with Pop Wagner and Bob Bovee.

The schedule for MWMF 2014 is still forthcoming, but tickets are on sale now. A three-day pass runs $50 until April 1 via online ticketing. - City Pages

"Vita.mn’s Are You Local? Showcase"

Nearly 200 greenhorn acts entered our fifth annual best-new band contest, and now just five remain. The finalists — soul-rockers Black Diet, darker-edged rapper Botzy, violin shredder Jillian Rae, glossy indie-poppers Step Rockets and electro-rockers Teammates — will duke it out in Entry, each competing for a $1,000 grand prize and the chance to perform in the Vita.mn and First Avenue showcase at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas (not to mention ironclad designation as “local”). But that’s not all, folks. We’re also taking over the Mainroom with a diverse cast of Twin Cities heavyweights, including scene supergroup the Cloak Ox, Trampled by Turtles’ frontman Dave Simonett, indie-folk youngster John Mark Nelson and Haley Bonar’s spaz-punk project, Gramma’s Boyfriend - Vita.mn


Asked about her instrument of choice, Jillian Rae smiled and pointed at her wrist, where the word “violin” is tattooed in loopy script.

“Omigod,” she whispered. “It’s like my first love.”

A violinist since age 7, Rae has been establishing herself lately as a self-described “violin Jimi Hendrix,” playing with just about any band that needs a fiddle. “I have a problem with saying no. If there’s music that I really, really love — no matter how busy I am, I just want to do it,” she said.
These days, Rae is more selective about who she fiddles with, spending more time on her own music. She also spends a lot of time working at the Music Lab, a music school in south Minneapolis that she started with her friend Josie Just in 2011.

Growing up on the Iron Range in Eveleth, Rae was raised on a healthy diet of the classics. She names Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton, along with some rockier stuff. “I’ve always been a rock ’n’ roll listener, like, I grew up with my dad listening to Zeppelin, the Beatles, he was a big Clapton person,” she said. “I learned Cream songs when I was a kid. Jimi Hendrix. All those things.” Through her violin training, Rae got accustomed to the folk tradition, learning how to play with the Eastern European and Scandinavian sounds that drift into her own performances.

Last year, she came out with her solo debut “Heartbeat,” an album that’s a sweet smoothie of all her parts. If Taylor Swift were a humble Minnesotan with a violin, her music might sound like this: a palatable mix of country, bluegrass and pop. Violin is at the fore, giving the album a surprising edge, while Rae’s powerhouse voice lends an observant eye toward the workings of the human heart. “You can call them love songs if you want, but I real¬ly think they’re all just songs of your heart,” she said. - Vita.mn

"Are You Local? at First Avenue, 3/6/14"

Are You Local? 2014
Featuring the Cloak Ox, Dave Simonett, John Mark Nelson, Gramma's Boyfriend, Black Diet, Step Rockets, Botzy, Teammates, and Jillian Rae
First Avenue & 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis
March 6, 2014

The fifth annual Are You Local? showcase was their biggest production yet, as the event returned to First Avenue's Mainroom and also filled the Entry with emerging acts the entire night. The five-hour show ended up providing a decent cross section of the current Twin Cities music scene, though hip-hop was woefully underrepresented -- with a brief 15-minute set by Botzy the only rap music offered up by any of the nine acts.
The lengthy evening was well-paced, with shows happening continuously in each room to keep music fans engaged and intrigued. But ultimately, there was a definite problem when the best band of the night (the Cloak Ox) performed at midnight to a mostly empty club after much of the crowd had already gone home.

The night started early in the Entry, as Jillian Rae brought her violin-laden alt-country to a very receptive crowd. With no music going on in the Mainroom, early arrivals packed into the Entry, and Rae and her talented four-piece backing band certainly rose to the occasion, delivering a 25-minute set packed with the spirited "Chains" as well as a fiddle-driven cover of Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean" that got the crowd singing and stomping along. - City Pages

"Pick Six"

Jillian Rae, “Heartbeat.” A triple threat on vocals, fiddle and composition, she also surprises by showcasing snarling guitars and rock ‘n’ roll rhythms, along with some country western seasoning. The songs are so bright, and Rae’s singing so hopeful, that it takes a few moments to realize her songs are mostly about the vicissitudes of love. It is, as a whole, a joyous expression of strength and resilience - Star Tribune (print)

"331 Club announces music lineup for Art-A-Whirl 2014"

It's somewhat difficult to envision an outdoor music festival in the Twin Cities while there is still substantial snow on the ground (and more in the forecast), that didn't stop the fine folks at the 331 Club from announcing their stellar lineup during this year's Art-A-Whirl.

Stretching between May 16-18, the 331 Club has a roster of 26 bands set to perform at their outdoor and indoor stages, along with other entertainment tied into Art-A-Whirl, including various Art Shanties featuring a Cult Cinema Teepee designed by the Sound Unseen Film Festival.

331's lineup of local talent spread throughout the three days is quite impressive, with Mark Mallman, Hastings 3000, the Cloak Ox, Field Trip (Lucy Michelle's new musical venture), BNLX, Black Diet, Tickle Torture, Davina & the Vagabonds, Crankshaft, BBGUN, and many others set to perform. The 331 Club's festivities during Art-A-Whirl are typically one of the best events of the year, and 2014's strong lineup continues that strong tradition.
Here's the day-by-day breakdown of performers and set times for this year's music events at the 331 Club during Art-A-Whirl:

Friday, May 16:
Mike Gunther
9:00pm - Mark Mallman
8:00pm - Red Daughters
7:00pm - Sam Cassidy
6:00pm – Tungsten

Saturday, May 17:
Tickle Torture
The Drug Budget
9:00pm - Hastings 3000
8:00pm - Metallagher
7:00pm - Juiceboxxx (MKE)
6:00pm - BNLX
5:00pm - Speed's The Name
4:00pm - Sun Gods to Gamma Rays
3:00pm - Jillian Rae
2:00pm - John Swardson & Bad Blood

Sunday, May 18:
8:30 - The Cloak Ox
7:30 - BBGun
6:30 - Field Trip (formerly Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles)
5:30 - Davina and the Vagabonds
4:30 - Black Diet
3:30- Pennyroyal
2:30 - Step Rockets
1:30 - Wild Goose Chase Cloggers
12:30 - Prairie Fire Lady Choir - City Pages

"Basilica Block Party 2014 lineup"

The 2014 Basilica Block Party lineup is now complete.

Cities 97's long-running two-day festival arrives Friday, July 11, and Saturday, July 12, near downtown Minneapolis at the Basilica of St. Mary. Headliners are Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Train. The lineup -- also including Delta Rae (above), and Caroline Smith -- is below.

Basilica Block Party 2014 lineup:
Friday, July 11
Main Stage:
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Airborne Toxic Event
Panic at the Disco
Church Stage:
Michael Franti and Spearhead
Delta Rae
Eric Hutchinson
The Weeks
Vita.mn Stage:
Black Diet
Stereo Confessions

Saturday, July 12
Main Stage:
Ingrid Michaelson
Caroline Smith
Alpha Rev
Church Stage:
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite
The Wild Feathers
Serena Ryder
Vita.mn Stage:
Jillian Rae
TBA - City Pages


Among the 20 acts are Ingrid Michaelson, Michael Franti and Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite.
The 20th annual Basilica Block Party will have two familiar headliners — one well-traveled and one rising.
BBP regulars Train, the veteran San Francisco band that has been chugging along with such recent hits as “Hey, Soul Sister” and “Drive By,” will return to the Basilica of St. Mary on July 12 whileEdward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, the Los Angeles hippie-ish indie rockers with a love for classic rock, will headline the main stage on July 11.

The two-day, three-stage, 20-act festival is a fundraiser for the Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis. In 19 years, the block party has raised $5.2 million for the basilica’s restoration and outreach program.
The headliners for the church stage this year are the spirited “Say Hey” hitmakers Michael Franti & Spearhead on opening night and respected roots rocker Ben Harper teaming with blues harmonica institution Charlie Musselwhite on Night 2.

Rounding out the July 11 lineup are Twin Cities radio favorite popster Eric Hutchinson, sibling-dominated folk-rockers Delta Rae and orchestral alt-rockers Airborne Toxic Event. The July 12 schedule will include Nashville Americana rockers the Wild Feathers, Texas alt-rockers Alpha Rev,promising Twin Cities soul-rocker Caroline Smith and pop singer Ingrid Michaelson, who is enjoying radio airplay with the current “Girls Chase Boys.”

On both days, there will be a third stage showcasing local bands, including Black Diet, Jillian Rae, BBGun and Carroll. - Vita.mn


All three of the popular block parties announced their lineups today with names including Sean Anonymous, Sonny Knight and GRRRL PRTY.

Three of the Twin Cities' biggest – and, in our very critical and picky minds, best – outdoor block parties announced their music lineups today. Here's a quick look at each of them.

STONE ARCH BRIDGE FESTIVAL (June 13-15, St. Anthony Main, downtown Minneapolis riverfront, free)

As usual, the artsy riverside shindig will be spread over three stages. Unlike most years, though, it won’t bump up against Rock the Garden (which falls a weekend later this year). Click here for the fest's site.

Friday, June 13: The Cactus Blossoms, Frankie Lee, Mike Munson.

Saturday, June 14: Sean Anonymous, Greg Grease, Unknown Prophets, Taj Raj, Two Harbors, Step Rockets, Tortuga!, Mother Banjo, Will Bauermeister, Andra Suchy, many more.

Sunday, June 15: Jillian Rae, Dan Israel, Ben Glaros, EMOT, Johnny Rey, Ruben, Courtney Yasmineh Band, Billy Johnson, Some Pulp, Street Hassle, Steve Noonan, more. - Vita.mn

"Stone Arch Bridge Festival unveils 2014 lineup"

The Stone Arch Bridge Festival returns to the scenic St. Anthony Main area on Father's Day weekend. In addition to the showcasing of over 250 visual artists, the three-day fest will feature more than 40 music acts near the Mississippi River on three stages.

Live music begins at Water Power Park on the evening of Friday, June 13. Then music and artist booths both run on Saturday, June 14, and Sunday, June 15. With the twang-infected folk of Frankie Lee, Two Harbors' bruising Brit-rock, the dextrous rhymes of Sean Anonymous, Jillian Rae's fiddle-fueled anthems, Some Pulp's garage-busting power pop, and countless others, the weekend is all the nudging a person needs to get outside. The lineup is below.

Stone Arch Bridge Festival 2014 Schedule:
Friday, June 13, 2014
Cities 97 Stage on Water Power Park
7 p.m. Mike Munson
7:30 p.m. Frankie Lee
8:30 p.m. Mike Munson
9 p.m. The Cactus Blossoms

Saturday, June 14, 2014
Star Tribune Stage in Father Hennepin Park
1:15 p.m. Sarah Morris
2:15 p.m. Swallows
3:15 p.m. Andra Suchy
4:15 p.m. Mother Banjo
5:15 p.m. Jessica Manning
6:15 p.m. Tortuga!

Cities 97 Stage on Water Power Park
12 p.m. Jill.
12:45 p.m. Danami and the Blue
1:45 p.m. Verskotzi
2:45 p.m. Vision the Kid & Tru
3:45 p.m. Step Rockets
4:45 p.m. Two Harbors
5:45 p.m. Taj Raj
6:45 p.m. Unknown Prophets
7:45 p.m. Greg Grease
9:00 p.m. Sean Anonymous

City Pages Stage Under the Central Avenue Bridge
11:15 a.m. Bob & Lynn Dixon
12:15 p.m. David Gerald Sutton
1:15 p.m. Walker Fields
2:15 p.m. Stephanie Says
3:15 p.m. Will Bauermeister
4:15 p.m. Mike Munson
5:15 p.m. Adam Svec
6:15 p.m. Kind Red Spirits

Sunday, June 15, 2014
Star Tribune Stage in Father Hennepin Park
12:15 p.m. Jillian Rae
1:15 p.m. Peter Lochner
2:15 p.m. Steve Noonan
3:15 p.m. Maple & Beech
4:15 p.m. Jake Ilika & the Heavy Set

Cities 97 Stage on Water Power Park
12:00 p.m. Street Hassle
1:00 p.m. Some Pulp
2:05 p.m. Johnny Rey
3:10 p.m. Courtney Yasmineh Band
4:15 p.m. Ruben

City Pages Stage Under the Central Avenue Bridge
12:15 p.m. EMOT
1:15 p.m. Billy Johnson
2:15 p.m. Dan Israel
3:15 p.m. Ben Glaros
4:15 p.m. Paul Seeba
Stone Arch Bridge Festival. Free. June 13-15 at Minneapolis Riverfront, Historic Main Street, and Father Hennepin Park, Minneapolis - City Pages

"Jillian Rae's songwriting and fiddling come from the heart"

"All of a sudden I'm just in this box with Taylor Swift, but then Jeremy Messersmith is one of my favorite local musicians," she explains. "I love him so much. Obviously he's an amazing songwriter. He writes a record that's all heart-related, and it's just this cool, nuanced pop record."

Looking back on Heartbeat, Rae is content with the body of work as a whole, despite what she refers to as its "genre-hopping" nature. The songs, sometimes hopeful, sometimes conflicted and sad, are an honest testament to her own experiences with love, including the dissolution of her first marriage to her high school sweetheart at the age of 19. The two-year marriage and year-long period spent embroiled in divorce proceedings spurred much welcomed self-discovery.

"My song content does come from sometimes a dark place, sometimes kind of a gutsy place," she says. "The fact that sometimes I'm able to write it down, let alone sing it in front of people, to me is a personal triumph."
Rae began begging her parents for a violin in first grade after seeing a group of young violinists perform at a summer camp. It took a year to convince her mom, who was a bit skeptical, but Rae eventually wound up a member of the very group that had inspired her to play in the first place. "I was just one of those dorky kids who would come home from school just wanting to play my violin and not do homework," she remembers.
After receiving a music performance degree from St. Cloud State, she strayed from her classical roots to join bands. The romance between Rae and her violin has remained, despite obvious challenges.

"I kind of look at it a little bit sadly right now," she says, eyes cast downward beneath the brim of her hat. "I wish I had more time to devote to playing whatever I want, or just playing at home. As a kid when you have no responsibilities you can just play for hours.... I kind of want to learn how to bring that back into my life a little bit as an adult."

She happily declares, though, that she's had a small-time management breakthrough for her new EP. "I've worked on a lot since the Heartbeat release show, but it's been sort of just fragments of things here and there," she says. "I haven't been devoting time to sit down alone and sit at the piano, or sit with my guitar and violin and write. Now that I'm settled into the house I just actually started doing that a few days ago — actually finishing a song for a change. Working up concepts."

She hopes to record the EP after a flurry of summer touring and slots at two of Minneapolis's biggest summer concert events, the Stone Arch Bridge Festival and the Basilica Block Party.

"The fact that I'm playing Stone Arch is so huge for me," she says. "I'm so excited about it." Rae played the festival once before with the Brian Just Band. "That was a show that really stuck out. When I started this project I was like, man, I really hope I can do that with my band!"

Jillian Rae has no problem with Taylor Swift, but she's tired of the comparisons. She and the country-bred pop-crossover darling both have a knack for writing catchy love songs, but that's right where it ends. "I craft my songs differently," the 29-year-old Rae insists. "I definitely want to give myself a little bit more credit than just writing Taylor Swift love songs." How about a lot more?

For instance, just watch her play the fiddle. Rae also co-owns Music Lab, a music school in the Nokomis neighborhood offering courses and private instrument lessons. She personally instructs over 40 students weekly. She is currently an active member of six bands, and often lends her fiddle expertise to other groups. Last December she released her first solo album, Heartbeat. Rae and her husband, Eric Martin, also the guitarist in her band, recently purchased a home.

Over a cold soda at Turtle Bread, just blocks from her school, she scoffs at the gender-based double standard in how female musicians are often regarded by the media.

Rae pulls her phone out to glance at the time. She has a lesson to teach this afternoon, a private session with one of her young students at the Music Lab. Just before she stands, a final thought forms. "I just never thought of doing anything else," she says. "I am music. That's what I do, and that's what my life is about." - City Pages


Still working on that hot first release.



Jillian Rae is a multi-talented violinist, lead vocalist, and songwriter whose creative and dynamic style of violin playing, along with her lifelong experience as a performer, lend her an assured stage presence. She has an innate ability to create hook-laden tunes affirming the positives of life in the face of struggle and disappointment.

Jillian has been a heavy hitter in the Minnesota music scene for years, playing with as many musicians as humanly possible. Jillian Rae released her first album in December 2013 and was named one of five finalists in Vita.mn's 2014 "Are You Local?" contest to find the best new Twin Cities band. This summer Jillian Rae is featured in some of the largest Minneapolis music festivals including Art-A-Whirl, Stonearch Bridge Festival and the Basilica Block Party.

Band Members