Live Music

Man singing and playing guitar left handed
Quentin Stille for KUMD

This Minnesota singer/songwriter joined us on June 3, 2016 for his first-ever radio interview and performance.

We talked with Cook about re-discovering music after years as a hockey goalie left him too busy for it. He talked about being inspired to pick up a guitar again after hearing Haley Bonar's "Raggedy Man," and about working with Erik Koskinen, who produced and played on Cook's debut EP.

Drummer Brad Nelson (also of the Blackeyed Snakes) and singer/songwriter/guitarist Jamie Ness team up in this local rootsy rock project that's released two albums so far, including last year's Antidote.

They've been regular participants in Duluth Dylan Festival events, and this year they contribute a version of "Maggie's Farm" to the latest Duluth Does Dylan CD. They joined us in the studio on May 23, 2016 in advance of their performance the following night as part of the Bringing it All Back to Duluth Does Dylan CD release show happening at the Rex in Duluth at 7:30pm.

After Grand Marais singer/songwriter Barbara Jean moved to Minneapolis, she struck up a friendship with musician Molly Dean and the two discovered many commonalities, including a love of vocal harmony.

Recently they joined forces on this new project, backing those country-tinged vocals with guitar, fiddle, and banjo. Regular gigs have included an opening slot for Dave Simonett and Dave Carroll of Trampled by Turtles for a sold-out series of Colorado shows. They joined us in the studio on May 19, 2016.

Listen to our session with this local artist from May 9, 2016. After releasing her 2011 album Saturn Returns, Heckman took a break from music to focus on marriage and motherhood until she began to feel the pull to create music again.  

The result is her new album, Wanderess, which she describes as "a dreamy electronica project." She swung through our studios in advance of her show at the Red Herring later that week.

Singer/songwriter Laura Sellner has performed as Superior Siren since 2012; in 2015, she added a band to flesh out her indie folk sound. Citing Mason Jennings as a major influence, Sellner often performs an a cappella version of his song "Duluth" in her set. Sellner has released and EP of original songs and is currently working on a debut full-length with the band. She and the band joined us in the studio on Wednesday, May 4th at 6:15pm during a special, two-hour Homegrown edition of the Local. They perform at the Homegrown Music Festival on Saturday, May 7 at Spurs on First.

Chase Down Blue
Facebook // Chase Down Blue

We kicked off Homegrown Week with a session with three fourths of this Duluth band, whose sound combines soft-to-loud post-rock dynamics with indie folk harmonies.

Since releasing an EP last August, the group's been working on its first full-length release. They joined us on May 2, 2016.

A mutual love of Ska brought Veikko Lepisto and Jason Wussow together to form Woodblind over two years ago. They met at Wussow's coffee shop, Beaner's Central, when Lepisto returned to Duluth after more than twenty years in Los Angeles performing with musicians ranging from the Royal Crown Review to Bette Midler.

Wussow has been part of several bands including Flux Skapacitor and No Room to Pogo. The duo has gigged steadily and released singles and videos; they now have their first full-length album, Big Voice, coming out and dropped by our studios on April 29, 2016 to perform. They had shows throughout the town over the weekend, including participating in part of the Homegrown Music Festival.

This singer/songwriter from Portland, Maine, joins us on Wednesday, April 27 at 2pm. He's released six albums, won several songwriting competitions, and performs regularly at festivals around the country.

He performed the same night at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Proctor with local performer Rachael Kilgour.

Featuring members from the Wausau and Oshkosh areas of Wisconsin, this four-piece is less than a year old but brings together experienced players to play bluegrass–and jam–influenced rock. 

They joined us in the studio on April 21, 2016 for a preview of their show the same night at the Red Herring Lounge in Duluth.

Members of this Minneapolis-based old-time string band, made up of musicians from around the Upper Midwest, joined us in the studio on April 15, 2016. The group performs regularly at square dances, including those held by Duluth's Tamarack Dance Association. They were one of the acts performing at the annual Cabin Fever Festival in Duluth, which showcases bluegrass and old-time music.

Listen to our special edition of Live from Studio A- the first-ever on KUMD's the Basement- from March 31, 2016 with these local punk rockers. Their debut EP, Model Homes, hit the top of the Basement charts; Basement Music Director Quentin Stille sat down with the band to find out about how sandwiches, house sitting, and TV's Arrested Development fit into their music and they performed live for us.

The son of the late, renowned jazz drummer Stu Martin, Zeke, began his own on-stage drumming career at the age of 12. Born in Belgium and raised in Paris, he moved to the United States in the mid-'90s and has played with various projects that encompass Jazz, Funk, R & B, and Reggae. 

In 2000 he founded Zeke Martin and the Oracle; the group has released five albums including 2015's Say What. They perform the same night at Beaner's Central and the following night at Sir Benedict's Tavern in Duluth.

This Minneapolis trio joined us on February 26, 2016, a week before heading into the studio to work on a new album. Christine Dean chatted with guitarist Lee Henke, banjo player Ryan Acker, and bassist Vinnie Donatelle about how their bluegrass-influenced sound and songwriting has evolved since they last stopped by. The band also talked about their recent decision to quit their jobs, buy a van, and pursue music full time, and about their first visit to the Folk Alliance Conference. They performed a new tune, "Two Lines," the song "Iron & Ore" from their 2015 self-titled release, and "Lead Me Home"' from 2014's Uprooted.

When Duluth musician Gaelynn Lea joined us in Studio A on February 25, 2016, little did any of us know that the very next day she'd get the news that she'd won NPR's Tiny Desk contest. 

After 20 years of playing the violin and releasing albums with projects including Murder of Crows (with Al Sparhawk of Low), Snöbarn, and The Getarounds, Lea released her first solo album in November. All the Roads that Lead us Home features many of Lea's favorite fiddle standards re-worked with the help of a looping pedal into layered, atmospheric sonic pieces. She spoke with Christine Dean about her songwriting,  her recent decision to be more vocal on behalf of people with disabilities, and her plans to try touring for the first time.

"Blues music offers me a different kind of freedom that I'd never felt before," says Bridget Ideker in this interview from February 19, 2016. 

With a background in church singing and theater, Ideker had never considered fronting a band before encountering longtime Duluth musicians Vincent "Cadillac" Hladilek and Patrick McKinnon at a poetry open mic in 2014. Cadillac, who'd been performing his own blues compositions, jumped at the chance to focus on guitar and let the charismatic vocalist interpret his songs. The four-piece, which also includes drummer Nick Petoletti, bookended their session with two Cadillac originals, "Baby Blue" and "Right Through the Night," with a cover of "Big Boss Man" in between.