Folk in the Flow is a folk group founded by multi-instrumentalists Buck Brandt and Holly Taylor. Their introspective music combines a variety of styles and influences, and they perform frequently throughout the Kansas City area. We spoke with Holly Taylor to learn more about Folk in the Flow's musical philosophy, how they create their songs, and, of course, what they recommend from our library collection. Follow Folk in the Flow on Facebook to stay informed about their upcoming shows!
Please introduce yourself and describe your music for new listeners.
Folk in the Flow was founded in 2017 by Buck Brandt and Holly Taylor. Both were lifelong musicians, songwriters, multi-instrumentalists, parents, and hopeful souls looking to share the gifts of music with others. They connected and easily enhanced each other's music, so soon they were sharing the flow as they performed from their hometown in Lawrence all the way out to the West Coast of Washington by 2018! Currently, Folk in the Flow has expanded into a full band formation and performs around the regional area on a regular basis. Being 'In The Flow' relates to the idea of synchronicity, and alignment with life purpose. Folk is a broad term, meaning 'we the people' as well as the genre of the people! Folk in the Flow covers a wide variety of musical genres that can be felt within their music. From Buck's soul, rock, country, bluegrass, Americana and folk songs to Holly's indie, classical, world, modern folk and spiritual influences, the pair can surprise and delight you with their musical diversity!
What is the songwriting process like for the pair of you?
Our songwriting processes have remained individual, as we have not yet written a song together, though we entertain the thought from time to time! We come together to craft our individual instrumental and harmony parts; the production element tends to get pretty exciting as the collaboration grows. Buck says that each song has a life of its own, and is constantly evolving, just like us. And so the music you hear online is simply one snapshot of a song in time. That's really the best part, the music continues to expand and develop more deeply. Every song has an essence. We write from our life experiences, and the music and words are often channeled through us from a very deep place of understanding. Sometimes my lyrics are encoded with messages that I know I will come to understand more and more. I like to incorporate many elements of my life as I'm writing a song, using a broad perspective; I weave memories, stories, key words/phrases and sometimes historical events together like a tapestry or collage. We never know when the songwriting process will overtake us. Buck often finds inspiration early in the morning, in his garden, in nature and often out on the open road. I find inspiration in nature, through my travels, spiritual learning and am often inspired by people and relationships.
The phrase "The Music of Life" comes up a lot for Folk in the Flow. What does this phrase mean to you?
"The Music of Life" is like the heartbeat of a songwriter. Each song comes from our life experiences, perspectives and snapshots in and out of time. If we take it a step further, music is the vessel, and we are happy to be channelers of art. I wrote these words years ago to capture our role in the folk tradition.
'We are keepers of the stories of life, holding a wealth of artistic understanding.
To create music & art is a sacred act, a reflecting pool for the soul.
In these days of transition, the arts shine brightly as a beacon of hope.'
Holly, you are a music therapist and sound healer. Can you tell us a little bit about this work? How does it influence your music?
As a music therapist, it's been an honor to assist people in personalizing the benefits of music in their lives. My mind has always looked towards the silver linings of life, and so using music as a healing salve was quite natural for me. Music therapy is the use of music as a tool to reach non-musical goals, and because of it's all encompassing effects in the brain, body and soul, there are many benefits for us all. Sound therapy is broader tool, which applies the use of vibration, rhythm, pitch and harmony onto the body and biofield. Our bodies innately recognize rhythm and tone, and are able to align and 'autocorrect' by entraining to with the vibrations present. I have always been interested in topics of holistic healing, psycho-immunology, spirituality, and quantum physics. It's fascinating to consider the positive impact that we can create as we contribute to the collective. Just as a musician creates an environmental atmosphere through song, we are all connected within that atmosphere not just through our emotions, and moving to the rhythm, but also through our physiology!
Folk in the Flow performs frequently around Lawrence and the KC metro. What do you like about playing shows in this area?
We regularly perform throughout the Kansas City region, from Topeka to Lee's Summit and beyond. We host a First Thursday Music event at Gaslight Gardens in Lawrence. We love the diversity of our audiences, you may catch us at a brewery, a winery, the pumpkin patch, a pizza place, or at a new thought church on a Sunday morning. We have been active in our communities , regularly playing for Kansas City's Make Music Day, Porchfest, Lenexa City Market, Tuesday Night Concert Series at Lawrence Arts Center, DeSoto Days, Unity & the like. We are thrilled when kids are dancing and folks are smiling to the music, It's medicine for us all!
Recommendations from the Johnson County Library
The Teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castenada: This book choice is near to Buck as he is of Native American heritage. It shares ancient Native American culture and shamanic teachings from the learning perspective of an anthropologist. It's about expanding your thought processes beyond everyday understanding.
Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza: I have followed Dr. Dispenza for many years with my interests in psycho-immunology and neurology in music therapy. This latest book of his brings together the spiritual impact of an individual. It was the topic of a book study at my Unity church recently. It is a perfect companion to practicing meditation.
Gene Clark, No Other: Gene Clark's musical works are more than an inspiration for Buck. With common threads of close ties to the family, and a deep feeling of understanding and admiration for Gene's music, this is an artist you could hear coming from our living room on a given Sunday afternoon.
Kasey Chambers, Campfire: Kasey Chambers has played a role in my musical influences of my adult life. I would call her Australian gold. I relate to her as her father was a huge musical influence in her life, he even plays on her albums and an occasional tour. I got to see them together in Nashville at the iconic little hall called The Station Inn. My kids have had fun learning her tunes on road trips as well! Her album Rattling Bones is one of my favorites, as it showcases her power partner duo years. I am curious to check out the albums listed here, because I haven't heard them yet! Campfire is said to be a nod to her outback roots, so I would start there.
John Craigie, Asterisk the Universe: John Craigie is truly a voice of reason in the sea of modern folk musicians. His lyrical ingenuity is undeniable, and he just has a way with words that is original, and authentically relatable. We recently had the pleasure of seeing him live with Langhorne Slim in Kansas City.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade: This is one of my favorite classical songs of all time. In high school I was a percussionist in the Youth Symphony of Kansas City and we performed this in concert. The depth of expression of each solo, the contrasting instrumentation as you travel through the movements, really paints a rich tapestry of culture and emotion that I can't help but gladly fall into. I love it when I'm able to collaborate with classical musicians in some of my songs, such as Coming Down, with a rich cello solo by local professional, Daniel Yung.
Cloud Atlas: If you haven't seen this one, it's quite the tapestry of souls intertwined. Which reminds me of my lyrics ...It's got quite the Star studded cast and amazing one liners to refresh you.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy: Classic JRR Tolkien, it's truly hard not to fall in love with these heartfelt characters upon their epic journey. This movie remains on the top of my favorites list.
Chocolat: Truly an indulgence for the senses, with Johnny Depp alongside a beautiful soul who crafts a specialty sweets shop in a small European town, just in time for Lent. If you watch you will know why I say, 'My favorite"!