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This filmed music series features local and nationally touring musicians performing in the Lake Effect Surf Shop in Shorewood. Live at Lake Effect is hosted by Lake Effect’s Audrey Nowakowski and Milwaukee musician Trapper Schoepp.

The Lemon Twigs: Live at Lake Effect

"Live at Lake Effect" is a new music series featuring local and nationally touring artists performing in the Lake Effect Surf Shop in Shorewood, Wis.

We brought the Lake Effects together, along with Visionary Studios, to showcase musicians once a month through an interview with the band exclusively on Lake Effect, plus filmed performances. Today we have The Lemon Twigs, made up of brothers Michael and Brian D’Addario.

The Lemon Twigs are known for their lush, pop, retro elements, but for "Live at Lake Effect" they stripped down their songs to a more folk-like acoustic set — hearkening back to the British folk music scene of the 60s & 70s they are often inspired by.

The D'Addario brothers have been playing music since they were young children, and were raised in a musical household. Their father Ronnie D'Addario played guitar with Tommy Makem & produced one of his live albums, and always had music like The Beatles and The Beach Boys playing.

"Our dad was a child of the 'British invasion,' and we became children of the British invasion as well," notes Brian.

The Lemon Twigs was officially formed when Michael was 14 and Brian 16, and the brothers have also been on stage acting since kindergarten and even performed on Broadway. The acting was their mom's influence, according to Michael. "We just did it for fun and got into it professionally by accident."

"It just wasn't what we were super into [as kids], I think I probably like it more now - I enjoyed it though," adds Brian.

While they were acting in theater growing up, they were also always playing music in bars or other venues as kids, so one never necessarily overshadowed the other. For Michael, he says the theater influence doesn't come in to play for their stage presence as musicians.

"There was so much music that we were exposed to in theater that was more [melodically] complex, so that kind of stuff [comes through] more on the recording side," he explains.

Musical inspirations for The Lemon Twigs include artists like Bob Dylan, Lenard Cohen, and Simon & Garfunkle. Michael says these artists in particular inspired him growing up to pay attention to lyrics a bit more. "Recently we've been writing songs that are pretty inspired by Roy Wood, which he has some of that more British folk flavor," he adds.

The Lemon Twigs released their first EP in 2017, and haven't slowed down since. They recently announced their latest album, A Dream Is All We Know (out May 3), which was finished months after the band completed Everything Harmony.

The Lemon Twigs are one of the few artists today that are almost constantly recording new music, and the D'Addario brothers say it's important to make sure the structure of their songs is solid in order to build upon the sound and make any changes needed. Typically, the brothers will individually write song lyrics and review them together acoustically, as well as working out a song on the drums.

"The whole kind of building a song during the recording process we don't typically do, but sometimes you might leave a verse undone," says Michael.

The Lemon Twigs have also built their reputation along with their discography, getting recognition from artists such as Elton John, Questlove, Iggy Pop and more. They also collaborated and performed with Todd Rundgren.

"[The recognition], that kind of thing is really amazing," says Michael. "For me personally, the biggest thing I've gotten from that is just being able to talk to [Todd] and learn about different things ... recording methods, songwriting stuff ... that only somebody who's really obsessed would ask."


  • Church Bells (0:15)
  • Corner of My Eye (2:20)
  • If You and I Are Not Wise (5:43)


  • Brian D'Addario: vocals & guitar
  • Michael D'Addario: vocals & guitar

Live at Lake Effect Team:

  • Executive Producers: Audrey Nowakowski & Trapper Schoepp
  • Audio Engineering: Jason Rieve
  • Location: Lake Effect Surf Shop in Milwaukee
  • Production Company: Visionary Studios
  • Camera Op: Kieran Walter Sundaram, Kelly Pudroski & Jessica Wolff
Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Trapper Schoepp is co-executive producer of Live at Lake Effect, a filmed music series from WUWM's Lake Effect.
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