News Column

For Homegrown performers, music runs in the family

May 5, 2013


May 05--Brad Fernholz's cure-all for fussy babies: A little time behind a drum kit. It worked with his son, Gavin, now 11 years old, and well enough with his daughter, Anika, age 8.

"When it wasn't hunger or a diaper, it wasn't anything, and nothing worked, I'd sit down with him on my knee and I'd start playing," the frontman for Bradical Boombox said. "That usually was what worked. It settled him down."

The siblings, who make up the band Taste the Feeling, play their second Homegrown Music Festival at noon today -- the final day of the annual event -- at Sacred Heart Music Center.

Expect vocals from Anika Fernholz, and for Gavin Fernholz to show his stuff on saxophone, with plenty in between.

The young musicians were en route to Duluth from an organic farm near Montevideo, Minn., and were not available for comment.

Emily Haavik & Friends and The Ever-Changing Grass Band also are on the bill.

Music is a Fernholz family tradition.

Back in the day, Brad Fernholz's father, Tom, was a drummer. First he played in a jazz band, then a cowboy band.

"Every once in a while he would have us up on his lap during a show," Fernholz said.

Brad Fernholz, once the drummer for Giljunko, also has sat in with The Tisdales, Aaron Gall & The Likely Story, Equal Xchange and more.

But he's not pushing the music thing on his kids, he said. Gavin has branched out to athletic pursuits and time with friends. Anika, a natural, seems more likely to follow the family tradition.

"I don't want to force it on them," he said. "That would ruin it, in my mind. I feel like I've given them the car and the keys to it. It's up to them: If they want to park it for a while, it's going to be there. At least I've given it to them. They can take it and drive it around."


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