"These musicians love to play, and the joy they so clearly take from their art is contagious.' - MNartists.org "Laidlaw's lyrics lay out smooth against the background of so many strings, ebbing and flowing with each crescendo and diminuendo. Their folksy jams are songs you can sing along to after only one listen.' - Paper Darts Magazine About: The Family Trade is a folk orchestra fronted by Twin Cities based poet-songwriter Brian Laidlaw. Brian is a member of the Songwriting faculty at McNally Smith College of Music, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota MFA program in Poetry. In recent years, he has received awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Loft Literary Center, the Jerome Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation. Since it's birth in 2010, The Family Trade has performed extensively at festivals and venues around the state, building a loyal following on the strength of their live shows. Their lineup includes members of several other Twin Cities groups: Tim Harlan-Marks (Very Small Animal) on bass; Ashley Hanson (Dusty Porch Sisters) on ukulele; Greg Byers and Bex Gaunt (BGGBz) on cello and violin respectively; and Sean Geraty (Spark Fire, from Nashville) on drums. Their sound combines rock-show energy with campfire sincerity; The Family Trade's debut EP Whiskey With Goliath is out in January 2013.