Thunder and Rain is Taking Colorado Music by Storm
Thunder and Rain is an innovative country band based in the foothills of Golden, Colorado. The group was founded by Erinn Peet-Lukes (vocals/ guitar) and Pete Weber (mandolin). The duo knew that Denver would be a good home for their “newgrass” style and, after making the move, they met Chris Herbst (dobro), a Vancouver, B.C. native, and Ian Haegele (bass), originally from Wisconsin. Today, Thunder and Rain is on the verge of releasing their second studio album “Start Believing.” We were lucky enough to talk with Peet-Lukes this past month about the group’s creative process, personality and dreams for the future.
Peet-Lukes began singing early on, inspired by a childhood love of Disney songs. “My sisters and I were really into Disney movies like Aladdin, Lion King, and Pocahontas,” Peet-Lukes remembers. In middle school, Peet-Lukes took up the guitar, a perfect companion to her vocals. “I had a friend who played the guitar, and I thought it was the coolest thing,” Peet-Lukes explains. “She taught me a song so I could prove to my parents that I deserved lessons. I played them the bass line from “7 Nation Army” by the White Stripes at the dinner table, and they agreed to fund some lessons for me.”
After Peet-Lukes and Weber had met, they began playing music together at Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. Eventually, the duo moved to Denver together and, soon after, they began hunting for a bass player. “We called Ian up, he played a gig with us, and that was it!” says Peet-Lukes. They then met Chris after playing with him at a bluegrass festival in Vancouver. “We thought he was the best musician at the festival and told him to let us know if he ever wanted to play with us in Colorado,” Peet-Lukes recollects. “He took us up on our offer this past October!”
“The first step to my songwriting process is that I write in a journal almost daily,” Peet-Lukes explains. “It’s never very good or poignant, and I don’t intend it to be. I just write it out to get it out. Eventually, I’ll start strumming chords and humming. 90% of the time nothing happens, but 10% of the time, melody and words sound catchy together, and I’ll dive into writing a song.”
When asked about the stories she hopes to tell with her music, Peet-Lukes simply says “My goal is to write songs that people will play over and over again because the songs talk about how they feel, but in a way, they couldn’t quite express.”
Thunder and Rain followed the release of their first studio album, “Holler Out,” in 2015 with the release of their EP “Run With You” in 2016, and they are on the brink of releasing their second full studio album, “Start Believing,” due this September. The album will be a continuation of the tone set by “Run With You,” a mix of country and bluegrass with pop overtones.