Anne sings and plays drums in the duo Brother Music, Sister Rhythm with guitarist Al Brentner. Anne and Al play Western swing and country classics at senior care centers and other community gatherings.
In the fourth grade, I started playing drums in my school band. I also sang in church and school choirs. I remember having such a feeling of accomplishment at my first solo singing experience. It was scary, but it was so much fun that the scary part wasn’t really an issue. I remember thinking, I love this!
2. Most listened to song in the last week?
“Powder Blue” written by The Cactus Blossoms. These are young guys, but they are writing and playing music that sounds like it is from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. They have such great harmonies – it’s almost like listening to The Everly Brothers.
3. Most memorable Rochester performance experience?
It would have to be those “a-ha” moments when we play at senior centers. One time a family member of one of the residents came up to us and said, “Mom hasn’t spoken for months, but she was singing along with your music today.” What we do is a ministry, too.
4. Top three artists at the moment?
The Cactus Blossoms. They write music that has an older sound, and they aren’t two chord songs, either. The songs are full.
Pokey LaFarge. I like his style of music. He is writing music that is different than the pop country music of today. It is refreshing.
Leonard Cohen. We don’t cover any of his songs yet, but I would love to.
5. Strangest thing you’ve ever seen an audience member do?
We play a song called “Canned Goods” by Greg Brown. When I first heard this song, I fell in love with it. I thought it was so wonderful that I bought the LP. Then I bought the cassette for my car. Then when cds came out, I bought that. So I have it in three forms.
This is a song that captures everyone’s attention. And we get the oddest requests for it. People cannot remember the exact words or the name of the song, so they ask us, “Can you play that sauerkraut song?” But there’s no sauerkraut mentioned in the song!
6. Kindest words from an audience member?
A senior told me, “I could understand every word.”
7. If you had to outlaw one song from ever being played again, which would it be and why?
I don’t love all songs, but I don’t turn off the radio because I don’t like a song. Songs that repeat the same words over and over again – those are the songs that are not interesting to me. I like songs that tell a story – something I can follow throughout the music.
8. What motivates you to keep playing music and keep performing?
The response from the audience keeps me performing.
9. What is enjoyable about interacting with your audience?
Some of the songs we do are so familiar that the audience will hear the first few notes and start clapping right away. They are so excited to hear the song that we’ve even had standing ovations.
10. What is your performance schedule like?
As of today, we have 275 shows for this year. Last year we finished the year with 375 shows, and the year before that it was close to 400. We perform six shows a week, sometimes within a 300 mile radius. I hope to be doing this for the next 20 years or longer.
IF YOU GO….
Brother Music, Sister Rhythm will be playing on Monday, August 15 at Lake Winona Manor, Winona; Tuesday, August 16 at the Wabasha Nursing Home, Wabasha; Sunday, August 21 at Pine Haven Care Center, Pine Island; Monday, August 22 at Watkins Manor, Winona. For a full schedule of performance dates, please visit their website at http://www.brothermusicsisterrhythm.com