Actual Wolf started the Friday morning of Homegrown as he had every other weekday, with a set at Duluth Coffee Company. This day's guest musician was dubmaster King J-Lar, aka Jake Larson.
Kudos to the Homegrown committee for scheduling Black Diary at the Sacred Heart Music Center. The group’s warm, three-part female harmonies, backed by hushed guitar and keyboard, reverberated through the space and captivated the audience. They rose to their feet in a spontaneous standing ovation after the band’s closing song, a spine-tingling version of “Copper Knife”.
Despite cool evening temperatures, bikes were a popular form of transportation for many Homegrown attendees on Friday night.
Duluth native Emily Haviik brought along a band of friends to perform tunes from her debut album at Sacred Heart Music Center.
Fresh from rocking out with Dirty Horse the night before, Nate Case took it down a notch for a set with his Americana trio the Lowland Lakers. He and bandmate Haley Rydell harmonized sweetly to an appreciative audience at Teatro Zuccone.
Friday's main attraction was Low at Sacred Heart, with a few fans being turned away at the over capacity venue. The band played old favorites from its catalog as well as more recent tunes including "Especially Me" and "Lies."
It seemed like Actual Wolf was everywhere during Homegrown leading up to his official set at the Red Herring Lounge. He was joined by Steve Garrington of Low and Retribution Gospel Choir on bass; the two wrapped up the set with a cover of the Replacements' "Alex Chilton."
Heaven's Gate Away Team made one of its infrequent appearances at the Rex Bar.
New Homegrown venue Blacklist Brewing hosted back-to-back hip-shaking acts, local veterans Boku Frequency followed by The Confused Brothers Band. The funky rockers are ten members strong, including members of Paper Parlor.
Heavy rock accompanying dark, offbeat lyrics characterize the sound of The Dark Underbelly, who played a set at the Blind Pig. Lead man Robert Petoletti (whose son, Nick, plays the drums) wore a top hat and 3-D glasses while keyboardist Armond Blackwater was clad in a black hooded robe.
Over at Pizza Luce, Ingeborg von Agassiz announced that she's launching a Kickstarter campaign to record her debut album. That's good news for fans who've been enjoying her electronic indie pop performances for the last couple of years.
Last year Mark Lindquist brought a solo acoustic version of Little Black Books material to Homegrown; this year he recruited former bandmates Bob Olson and Jim Hagstrom for a rocking performance at the Rex Bar. The many Homegrown veterans in the audience were thrilled when Rob May, formerly of Lindquist's locally legendary band Giljunko, jumped onstage to close the show with a version of the raucous "Mohawks." It led to a frenzy of dancing, bird flipping, and beer can tossing from amped up fans reliving memories of Friday night's at RT Quinlan's back in the '90s.
The Boomchucks had one of the latest slots of the night and sent fans home on a high note with a high-energy set of originals and danceable covers. Guest vocalist Maya Galvin came up for a version of Outkast's "Hey Ya," saying she'd been offered 20 bucks if she'd do it. It was hard to see the band, who were tucked against the wall, surrounded by throngs of sweaty, dancing fans who. After they closed the set with Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman," the crowd demanded, and got, an encore before heading into the night.
KUMD's Homegrown Music Festival coverage is made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.