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December 13, 2014
by: Ted Hamm

The Étude Sessions Presents: We Are the Willows

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The Étude Sessions is proud to present, We are the Willows on January 13th, 2015 as they support their new album, Picture (Portrait). The album is based off of letters sent from lead singer Peter Miller's grandfather to his grandmother during World War II. Here are is a excerpt from a recent interview on NPR:

Peter Miller is the principal songwriter and lead singer of the Minneapolis band We Are the Willows. For the group's new album, Picture (Portrait), Miller wrote songs inspired by more than 350 letters sent to his grandmother, Verlie Miller, from his grandfather, Alvin Miller, during World War II.

In an interview with NPR, Peter Miller describes the moment his grandfather first saw Verlie Branstner. It was in November 1941 in rural Minnesota, and Alvin was 20.

"His siblings had told him about Verlie Branstner, that she was really beautiful and he had to meet her," Peter says. "And so he took a job splitting wood for Verlie's father. They called him in for lunch, and that's when he first saw my grandma."

Peter recounts this moment in "Turpentine to an Open Wound," a song he says contains lines that offer the most literal representation of his grandfather's written words. He says many of the letters his grandfather wrote to Verlie included memories of the first time he saw her.

"He's later talked about it like his heart fell to the floor and he was overwhelmed by her," Peter says.

For the full article, please read, "A Musician Writes Sound Track For His Grandparents' Love Story". 

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