Two folk bands entertain at The Cabin

Len Voy and The Be Stills made authentic sounds within a similar genre

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Photo by Hannah Pitzl

Len Voy interacted with the music as they played their instruments and the audience at The Cabin.

Len Voy and The Be Stills each morphed the folk genre to fit their own strengths and unique sounds as the two bands took the stage on Saturday night at The Cabin to perform for a crowd of about 50.

Len Voy kicked off the show with a soft acoustic number. Nick Lanser, lead singer and guitarist, used his deep voice to captivate the audience alongside Max Laughner on electric guitar, Jake Brunquell on violin and Ian Wetzel on drums.

Though Lanser explained he writes most of the lyrics, all of the members of Len Voy have something important to contribute to the music.

“They offer their suggestions and we just form a solid idea, and then our finished product when it finally feels right,” Lanser said.

All Len Voy band members attend UW-Eau Claire, and said they are trying to take all of the time they have to simply enjoy and perform their music.

“We always talk about having an emotional response to the music and feeling it for yourself,” Brunquell said, “and then illustrating that in your playing.”

Between songs the band used humor to interact with the audience, creating a much more casual and relaxed atmosphere as crowd members sipped their beverages.

The Len Voy band members moved with the beat of the music as they played each of their instruments with precision.

“Our sound is more organic than anything else,” Brunquell said. “There was one practice I remember where we just started playing, and we just sort of found the Len Voy sound, and ever since then it’s been definitely an indie folk vibe.”

After Len Voy’s relaxed set, The Be Stills, formally known as Tied House, took the stage to display more of a rock sound to compliment the folk music.

The Be Stills are based in Minneapolis and the band members said this performance was their first show outside of the Twin Cities.

The band first addressed the crowd with riddles and jokes scratched out on a napkin, causing chuckles to rise from several audience members.

The Be Stills then began their performance with a smooth pick of the electric guitar played by Braden Solum.

Solum was joined by his sister Renata Solum on the violin, Dan Schlesinger on bass guitar and Tony Cousins on drums. Two band members, Dylan Nesvig and Scott Van Zandt, did not attend.

Braden Solum said he began exploring folk music with his sister, and the band took off from there. The band’s style began as “folky,” but soon tones of rock and blues started to reveal themselves.

“We play almost like rock music with kind of a folk fiddle over it,” Solum said.

The band said they enjoy playing with their sound and are ready for whatever comes their way.

“We definitely don’t have a grand vision,” Renata Solum said. “It’s definitely dependent on who has come in and what they like to add.”

Both Len Voy and The Be Stills brought different sounds to the folk genre that kept The Cabin crowd swaying to the music and listening intently.