As a Minnesota native with a singular voice and dynamic violin chops, Jillian Rae has made quite the impression in the Twin Cities music scene. She made a name for herself playing in a wide variety of bands before releasing her first solo album Heartbeat in 2013. When she’s not gigging live, she co-owns and teaches at Music Lab in south Minneapolis. Here she answers our eight random questions.
How do you usually describe your style of music to people that have never heard you?
Americana is usually the short answer. Indie-rock-with-rootsy-country is the long answer.
What are five records that you listen to regularly and/or inspire your music?
Oh man! Narrowing it down to specific records is tough. I listen to A LOT of Wilco. Jeff Tweedy is a pretty inspiring dude, to me. Butch Walker, Dolly Parton, Andrew Bird, Robert Plant, Harry Nilsson and Willie Nelson all get spun regularly at my humble abode. And Queen. Can’t forget Queen.
Since you teach music, what is the most important lesson that you can impart to aspiring young musicians?
Play lots. Dream big.
Do you collect anything? If so, what and why?
Hmmmm, I’m not sure if I’m really a “collector” of any one thing. I’m a pretty visual person and love to surround myself with vibrant colors and fun things to look at. One thing I really love lately is bones and horns. I have random deer antlers placed around the house, a massive cow skull, and a little dog skull. I would love to snag a pair of long horns someday.
If you could play music with anyone anywhere, with whom and where would you play?
If I could play with Wilco ANYWHERE I would be a pretty happy camper. A packed First Avenue or massive Carnegie Hall setting would be pretty, damn, cool.
What’s your favorite place in the Twin Cities to grab a drink and/or hang out?
Barbette is one of my go to places to grab a drink and soak in the atmosphere. Plus they have killer fries and mussels. You really can’t go wrong with Barbette. If I want to go listen to music and grab a cheap drink I head to the 331 Club. You don’t have to check out their schedule. One always knows that music is happening at the 331.
What are some of your favorite things about recording at Organica?
Hanging out with Andy is always a plus. He’s a great soul. Real chill and lots of positive energy. The microphone collection is something I always look forward to.
If you had a deli sandwich named after you, what would be on it and why?
Hmmmm, not a question I get every day. I’d have to go with bacon, avocado, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, mayo, and banana peppers. Because I can’t make food decisions and everything sounds good. So why not put it all on a sandwich? And everything should come with bacon.
Jillian will be playing this Saturday, April 11th in Lutsen, Minnesota and then back in Minneapolis at Mill City Nights on Monday, April, 13th.
Jillian’s latest single, “Heart In A Jar” was recorded at Organica, and is available here: