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May 2019 - Westrin & Mowry

From East Lansing to Westrin & Mowry

Story by LCC Radio Reporter Philippe Goudiaby

Westrin & MowryFirst meeting during a study break at Holmes Hall as MSU students in 2003, the duo of Westrin & Mowry have come a long way from their days in the dorms. Consisting of singer/songwriter Brian Westrin and producer/instrumentalist Peter Mowry, their story is one of persistence, perseverance, and love for the craft.

The East Lansing based folk rock group describes their sound as “observational and empathetic”. With Mowry drawing inspirations from the great guitarists of rock and Westrin being influenced by musical standards from the 40’s and 50’s, each use their background to bring their own flavor to the table.

“I think we both landed on the sweet spot to nod to our influences while creating something fairly unique,” said Westrin, “We tend to consider ourselves ‘Americana’ in that way, our albums hit on a wide-array of styles.”

Westrin & Mowry cut their musical chops playing covers in bars around East Lansing, but have transitioned into playing original works at venues across the country. This didn’t happen overnight of course. The group began by working their way into Lansing’s music scene.

Westrin spoke on the groups beginnings, “When we first started playing together, we were a little bit siloed off from all the players locally. A big part of that was simply because we weren’t plugged into the Lansing scene as much as the East Lansing bar scene. It didn’t take long for us to begin collaborating with some of the great local songwriting talent, starting with Carmen Paradise, John Peterson, Jen Sygit, Sam Corbin, Kyle Rasche, Andrew Lutes, Josh Hoisington, to name a few.”

Once established in Lansing, the group didn't stop there. In 2015 the pair were selected by the National Music Publishing Association as the performing songwriters for their annual event in New York City. There, they performed for an audience of industry professionals and Billy Joel as he received the songwriter icon award. The group accredits that event with doing a lot to help broaden their network and settle into their mode as performing songwriters. Their vivid lyricism coupled with the musicality place the listener right in the front row of a Westrin & Mowry performance.
Westrin & Mowry
“Making music for us has always been about how satisfying the creative process is,” said Westrin, “We love writing and recording as much, if not more, than performing. To the extent that we play live less and less, we’re extremely happy that we get to release music and have it reflect where we are in our lives.”

When they aren’t traveling, performing, or recording, the two stay occupied working and spending time with their families. Starting out as college students, the two have grown as people throughout the years and this growth is reflected in their music.

“We’ve moved from a fairly self-indulgent musical canvas to one that explores the wonder of family, friendships, love and loss” said Westrin, “I hope people find our music to be honest and thankful, even if it’s a dark song about loss, I hope they find the intended relief.”

To date, the group have released four albums and are currently in the midst of a two year singles project. They released eight singles in 2018 and their next release, “I’m Awake for Sure” is scheduled for release this month. With some much accomplished already and so much more to come, Westrin & Mowry are showing no signs of slowing as they enter their 16th year as a group.


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