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Meet Yam Haus: a Minneapolis pop band that is more committed to treating all people well than their own popularity. Their band name, Yam Haus, stands for “you are me.” Band member, Jake Felstow, explains the name and their purpose as this: “It’s our take on treating people well and with empathy.” Seth Blum adds that “Personally, we try to live by You are me . . . It informs so much of what we do as a band. We’re friends first and musicians second. We’ve worked really hard to support each other. That’s our biggest strength. Hopefully, it bleeds into how we support listeners and how they support one another.” This is what Yam Haus does: support each other and support people with their music.

Yam Haus consists of four members: Lawrence (Lars) Pruitt, Seth Blum, Zach Beinlich, and Jake Felstow. Although, Zach and Jake are just as great of people and special to the band, I want to speak about Lars and Seth because I knew them before Yam Haus gained popularity.

I remember when I first met Lars. I was sixteen or seventeen and playing in a youth worship band at my church, Shepherd of the Valley. My pastor brought in Lars and introduced us to him. At that time, we had no idea that Lars would be taking over leadership of our little band of aspiring musicians. Our pastor JP saw something in Lars that we did not see; he saw a heart for God, for people, and for music. He also saw Lars’ vocal and musical talent.

Lars led our little band with passion and commitment, and he taught us so much about what it meant to be part of a band and a leader. Lars would be at church early Sunday mornings and late week nights to teach us and invest in our lives. He was an outstanding role model for us all, and he taught me much about leading worship and respecting people. I am so grateful for the time Lars spent with us!

The first time I talked with Seth was during a youth retreat. I was sitting outside the worship center feeling alone and nervous. I was talked into playing guitar for an open-mic night, and I was absolutely not ready! Seth came over and introduced himself. He talked to me for a bit, complimented my Breedlove guitar, and even gave me some pointers. I will always remember that conversation because it changed my attitude that day and made me feel like I belonged there. As I got to know Seth more over the following years, I came to respect his dedication to loving people and his talent as a musician.

I have watched Yam Haus work tirelessly for their goals as a band, and they have accomplished things they considered only dreams years ago. Check out their website and their next concert in St. Paul below: