Music Family Life

FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC: Family Band Arrives to E.C. Music Scene

Gilmore Family Band combines love of family and music in relocation to the Chippewa Valley

Megan Pettys |

A FAMILY AFFAIR. The Gilmore Family Band moved from
A FAMILY AFFAIR. The Gilmore Family Band moved from Colorado to Eau Claire and are now performing locally. (Photos via Facebook)

When asked to describe the Gilmore Family Band in one word, the unanimous answer between musical partners and married couple Shannon and Jason Gilmore is, “eclectic.” With a few more words, Jason would describe their style as a little bit of everything – “folk, funkin’, reggae, rockin’, and blues-grass.” 

But if you ask their 9-year-old son Parker, he’d say, “amazing!”

In a chance encounter at an open mic in Colorado in the early 2000s, the band was born. “We were the people that nobody knew, so they put us on stage together,” said Jason. What ensued was an unyielding friendship that spanned years and states living apart, “always picking up right where it left off” as Shannon put it, and eventually, bloomed into not only a love and partnership through music but love for each other. They possessed a rare connection in music; where one person lacks a melody or line, the other fills in the blank space. “Our common ground comes from blues and soul music,” Jason said. “In our opinion, blues is the universal language of music.”

“We have this connection with music where we just get each other,” Shannon said. “The only issue we have is we don’t have enough time.”

However, the vision for their future in music became uncertain with the onslaught of the pandemic and a brand new baby, their now 4-year-old son, Graham. These unpredictable events led to their performances being halted, and was also where they found the inspiration for their first album, Mess That We Made, released in December of 2023 and featuring eleven songs. With cover art depicting their baby playing in a slew of toys and forest fires and floods, the album reflects all aspects of their life, namely their fear of bringing a baby into the state of the world. “It’s about how we made a mess of the world in society, but also there are underlying themes of taking ownership of our own messes and how we contributed to it,” Jason said.

“So, good, bad, and ugly, it’s the mess that we made,” Shannon said.

The very mess that inspired their album also inspired their move from Colorado to Wisconsin, where they could be closer to family and raise their children in a cozy family town. “We liked the Eau Claire area … it seemed to be up-and-coming and growing,” Shannon said. “You can get whatever you want out of Eau Claire.”

Having just moved to the area in September, they are still dipping their toes into the music scene of Eau Claire. So far, they have performed at the Mousetrap Tavern, the Lakely, and they will have their debut performance at Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery on April 13. 

While their time and energy they used to devote to music has now shifted to family and parenthood, Jason and Shannon remain steadfast in their passion. They hope to keep people connected to the music and know their music is authentic– doing what they love with the person they love. “Family is the heart of everything we do,” Shannon said. “We do it for the love of music.”

You can support the Gilmore Family Band by buying their album on Apple Music or through their website • Keep up with them on Facebook • The Gilmore Family Band's next performance will be at Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery on April 13 from 6-9pm