Sometimes music just runs in a family from generation to generation, and there have been many musical families over the years. Rock and Roll has family groups like the Allman Brothers, the Beach Boys and the Wilson sisters from Heart, country music has the Carter Family, and pop music has the Bee Gees and the Jackson 5, just to name a very few. You could make an argument here about whether it’s genetic or environmental, and truth be told it’s probably both.
There are many music families that have spanned generations so there is probably something in the DNA of those families that leaves them pre-disposed to music. And on the other hand, when you grow up in a musical family and are around it on a daily basis, you can definitely understand how the musical environment in these families is a major factor. And both of these factors are certainly at work in one of Northwest Indiana’s musical families, the High Street Band.
The High Street Band is composed of father Tom Lawrence (lead guitar and vocals), daughters Mindi (guitar and vocals) and Amber Lawrence (vocals), family cousin Danny Allen (bass) and friends Eric Wilson (keyboards and vocals) and Pat Carroll (drums and vocals). The name of the band is derived from the name of the street where the family lived, High Street in Hobart. But the current incarnation of the High Street Band is not the original version. The current version of the High Street Band came together in July, 2016. But when the Lawrence girls, Mindi and Amber were young, the family traveled as an evangelical gospel band that included their mother, JoAnne Lawrence.
“Growing up we traveled as a gospel band with my mom and my aunt and uncle through our church, Victory Christian,”
- Amber Lawrence.
“Danny and Eric were there too. It was a church thing and we traveled all over the USA doing shows. But that version of our family group ended in 2003 due to health issues.” But the Lawrence sisters tried their hand as a duo, performing on Tuesdays at acoustic night at Old Chicago in Merrillville as the High Street Sisters until disbanding in 2009. But the idea of the family band never really went away. “We’ve been playing with the idea of starting a band again for over two and a half years,” said Lawrence. “Finally in 2016 we started practicing again. And Mindi knew a drummer she had jammed with, so Pat started coming over. And then Danny’s friend Eric started in and by October 2016 we were a whole.”
The High Street Band features a little bit of everything, described by Lawrence as a “juke box band” playing tunes from just about every decade but playing a lot of songs by Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Jewel, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and The Beatles as well as a lot of 1990s stuff like Alanis Morrisette, Sublime, Thorn on Blondes and Melissa Etheridge.
The High Street Sisters have also begun to perform again as a duo and when you hear them sing you might think you were hearing Anne and Nancy Wilson of Heart. “Heart is definitely my biggest influence even though we grew up heavily influenced by classic rock,” said Lawrence. “We even got to meet the Wilson sisters last summer in Indianapolis at a meet and greet so that was really cool.” “I hadn’t really planned on doing the acoustic act again, but we did our first one since 2011 last month at the Bullpen in Winfield.”
But just to be performing again is what drives Lawrence. Whether is with her sister, or the entire band.
“It’s so much fun, we’re having a blast. It’s really a stress reliever,”
“We all get along so well which is surprising because we’re a family, but it’s really been a blast. So we’re rolling with the punches,” continued Lawrence. “We’ve had a great response from people who remember me and my sister. The next step is to start doing gigs in the city and writing our own material.”
To learn more about the High Street Band you can find updates about the group posted by their manager, Randy Anderson on the group’s Facebook page.
High Street Band is playing Saturday, 4/22 at Bull Pen!! See Details Here
Chris Lannin can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.