Live from Studio A

Man in Hawaiian shirt playing guitar and singing into a microphone in the KUMD studio
KUMD

Sleeping Jesus is the alter ego of Winona, Minnesota musician Nick Elstad, self-described as a "soft-spoken hopeless romantic."

We talked with Elstad about recording his first EP of melodic indie-pop, released earlier this year, on his own at his parents' house and his plans for a new recording with his full band. Elstad also shared how an obsession with Bob Dylan's music led to his own pursuit of songwriting and performing. He and his band joined us in the studio on July 1, 2016, to perform songs from the EP as well as unreleased material.

This Duluth native was the first graduate on the mandolin at Berklee College of Music in Boston (where he now teaches). A co-founder of the group Joy Kills Sorrow, he's gone on to work with bluegrass band the Gibson Brothers and folk icon Jonathan Edwards as well as releasing solo albums.

Kat Axtell is a North Shore native who crossed paths with Argentinian musician Julian Hernandez while studying biology in Buenos Aires. The pair began making music that blends pop, folk, and soul together, playing shows in Argentina and Uruguay.

They've just released a 6-song EP. We welcomed them to the studio on June 22, 2016; they were in the midst of their first-ever tour in the U.S.

As this Duluth four-piece's lineup has evolved through the years, so has their sound, from indie folk-rock to more progressive and guitar heavy.

Original members guitarist/lead vocalist Kirdan Wenger and bassist Wilson Johnson are now joined by Moriah Skye on guitar and Chad Hoffland on drums. The band recently won the regional round of the Hard Rock Cafe's Hard Rock Rising competition and will be moving to the next round. They joined us in the studio on June 17, 2016 before their show the same night at the Red Herring Lounge in Duluth.

This melodic indie-rock four-piece got its start in Duluth before relocating to Minneapolis. They recently put out the EP, Creatures, their third release.

We got to hear tunes from the new EP and chat with the band when they swung through the studios on June 10, 2016. Later that night they performed in Duluth as part of the Red Herring's 2nd Birthday Bash.

6/9 Live From Studio A: Pizzaghost

Jun 9, 2016

Groovy basslines, some steady drums, and an organ from hell makeup Duluth's own Pizzaghost. Still riding high off their 2015 self-titled debut, their show serves as an unofficial send off for frontman Jack Klander, who embarks on a cross country bike trip in three days. It's uncertain when this group will play again, making this show a can't miss opportunity! They joined us live in the studio for a special Basement edition of Live From Studio A on June 9, 2016.

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.


This eclectic Twin Cities performer is known for her work as backup vocalist for Dessa as well as her solo projects. Her latest release, Wolf Lords, is an electronic pop album done in collaboration with Brooklyn and Minneapolis producer Grant Cutler. We welcomed Aby to the studio on May 13, 2016 in advance of her show with local musicians Shaunna Heckman and Murder of Crows the same night at the Red Herring Lounge.


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.

HOMEGROWN WEEK ON KUMD.
In a special Homegrown week mash-up, we welcomed Nate Case of the Lowland Lakers and Dirty Horse along with Lee Martin and Sonja Bjordal of Feeding Leroy to our studios on May 6, 2016.

The Lowland Lakers is a folkier project for Case, who is now based in the Twin Cities. That trio released its debut album the same day and performed the same night at the Underground in Duluth. Feeding Leroy has also been working on a new album; their Homegrown set was part of Saturday's lineup at Pizza Luce.

HOMEGROWN WEEK ON KUMD.
Emma Rustan is a visual artist with who only recently realized her dream of becoming a performing musician.

In her short time on the local scene she's made a strong impression with her solo performances of original tunes featuring her distinctive voice accompanied by simple keyboard lines, loops, and effects. She joined us in the studio on May 5, 2016 to preview her performance at the Homegrown Music Festival.

Low
Adam Fleischhacker

HOMEGROWN WEEK ON KUMD.
Since we last had Low in our studio, they've released an album, Ones and Sixes, and toured the world, including a first-ever visit to China. We caught up with them and got a preview of their Homegrown show at Clyde Iron Works the same night May 4, 2016.

HOMEGROWN WEEK ON KUMD.
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.

Pages