It was only Tuesday, and already one Duluth Homegrown Music Festival venue was at capacity with a short line to get in. It was a tight squeeze all over Canal Park for Day 3.
After an early-evening start in the West End with bellydancers and beer as Lady Slipper kicked off the night at Bent Paddle Brewing, the action slid downtown.
The punks took over Prøve Gallery for the night, playing to packed all ages crowds. Teenage singer/songwriter Maddy Siiter was spotted outside taking a break during the mohawk-sporting Pale in Comparison’s ear-bleeding set. “Watch out for the mosh pit,” advised the petite musician.
On the other end of the musical spectrum, Hannah Cesario sang jazz standards, accompanying herself on ukulele, to a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at new Homegrown venue Vikre. (She also joined us Live from Studio A earlier in the day; hear her session here.)
At Grandma’s Sports Garden, Leon Rohrbaugh of A Band Called Truman announced that his parents were
in the crowd, coming all the way from Mankato to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The band, which features a horn section and almost as many members as Red Mountain, performed an energetic string of originals before doubling up on Prince covers, ripping through “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” and “Let’s Go Crazy” to end their set.
Mary Bue played her last Homegrown before moving to the Twin Cities; she and the Holy Bones performed four songs from the EP they recently recorded in Nashville including the timely “All the Sh*t I left in Duluth.”
Bue, who injured her shoulder snowboarding earlier in the year, declared it a Homegrown Miracle that she got her sling off the day before, to the delight of the small contingent of local scenesters trying to get the hash tag #HomegrownMiracle off the ground this year. (Things that have been declared a Homegrown Miracle to date: That summer-like temperatures are forecast for Friday. That Thirsty Pagan was offering individual pizza slices for Homegrown. That Gaelynn Lea was able to get a loaner fiddle after breaking hers. Will this hash tag catch on? Only time will tell.)
Back downtown at Dubh Linn, Sheila Wonders’ bold voice and confident stage presence led Gold Star Junkies through a set of tunes with infectious girl group hooks and harmonies matched with bad girl lyrics. They added in a joyful, booty- shaking cover of Deee-lite’s “Groove is in the Heart” for good measure.
The Social Disaster capped off the night at Grandma’s Sports Garden with a rocking set that included a celebratory toast to Walt Dizzo, outgoing Homegrown Director who’s led the festival for the last several years, and a welcoming toast to incoming Director Melissa LaTour.
Tonight, the big names and early start time make Clyde Iron Works the obvious choice for folks not able to take Thursday off. If a late night out is no object, head farther West to catch Rick McLean’s raucous, satiric, acoustic punk at the Kom-on-Inn . Alt-country rockers Silverback Colony make a rare Duluth appearance at Mr. D’s Bar and Grill, and Superior native Erik Pearson, aka the Infamous Dr. Thunder, finally makes his Homegrown debut with his new band the Old Smugglers at the Gopher Lounge.
A full gallery of our Day 3 photos, here.
KUMD's Homegrown Music Festival coverage is made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.