Since Fiddlehead Coffee Co. has a musical instrument embedded in its name, it might not be surprising that it's hosting a weekly Saturday music series in Rochester.
Kaleb Braun-Schulz will bring his unique blend of music to Fiddlehead from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, as part of the coffee shop's ongoing brunchtime series.
Braun-Schulz is based in Mankato, where he's a barista and entertainment director — when he isn’t busy working toward a degree in social work at Minnesota State University, Mankato or flipping through a comic book. He describes his music as “pop-rock with folky and psychedelic elements.”
While this won’t be Braun-Schulz’s first show in Rochester, he hasn’t played here in more than a year.
“It’s always worth checking out new artists, as it is becoming exceedingly more difficult to get ahead and gain followers as an independent, unsigned, local musician and songwriter,” he said.
He answered some questions for 507 Magazine readers.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
My influences range from Bob Dylan to Courtney Barnett, from the Beatles to the National. I love lots of different kinds of music, and I like to think there are a lot of influences that come out in my music.
You've recently released a single called "Antique Furniture" — what can you tell me about this song?
"Antique Furniture" is a song about letting things go and figuring out what things from our pasts are worth bringing with us as we continue through life. Certain things are certainly easier to leave behind than others, so I was just kind of riffing on that idea, with the analogy of trying to sell antique furniture unsuccessfully, not being able to come to an agreement on what is worth taking and what’s worth leaving.
What details can you share about your new “Nightingale” record coming out on June 18?
"Nightingale" is something I’m really proud of. It features nine original songs that I wrote over quarantine. It features my core band and guest appearances from several of Mankato’s most talented musicians. Mankato has a vibrant music scene, and I am so fortunate to have been able to work with the folks that play on this album. There’s drums, bass, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, a steel guitar, a three-piece horn section, backing vocalists, piano, organ, melodica, violin and more.
We had to be careful while recording this album, because of the pandemic, so it was recorded in a variety of different ways. We ended up getting the whole thing recorded safely without anyone getting sick or testing positive for COVID. I’m just about as proud of that as I am the actual music. I wrote the songs, but to me, it’s the interpretations of those songs from the musicians on the album that truly bring them to life.
What's something most might find surprising to learn about you?
I have a rare genetic condition called albinism, which means I have no pigment in my skin, hair or eyes. I’ve been trying to open up about albinism, and let people know that they don’t have to be weirded out because I look different. I have been trying to take opportunities to inform people about the condition, because throughout my education, no class ever touched on albinism or being respectful to people with albinism. I was bullied a lot, and just want people to be a bit more aware of the condition and the people with the condition.
Why do you think making music is an important pursuit?
I think any artistic or creative pursuit is incredibly important. The world can be a real drag sometimes, and I think the artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, actors, poets, etc., oftentimes can bring perspectives and ideas to the surface that can make the world seem a lot more beautiful or less lonely or what have you.
If you go
What: Kaleb Braun-Schulz
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 15
Where: Fiddlehead Coffee Co., 412 3rd Ave. SE, Rochester