Music

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.

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.


Max Macgruder

Bloody Marys and artisanal beers at Canal Park Brewing proved it didn’t have to be 5 o’clock anywhere to cheers the final day of the 18th Annual Duluth Homegrown Music Festival; it was Sunday after all.  A bustling crowd enjoyed the sunshine and patio whle mid-day sets ran the gamut from Red Pine’s singer-songwriter folk to keys-laden rock from Tallulah.  A scissors appeared at the venue, severing the rainbow of wristbands that had been adorning arms since last Sunday.  Walt Dizzo, longtime Homegrown Director, was there to oversee the last show of his tenure before passing the post to new D

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.

Max Macgruder

After rocking out with Retribution Gospel Choir until nearly 2am, Rock 'n' Run organizer Alan Sparhawk still managed to lead a small but hardy group of runners (including former Mayor Don Ness) through the trails of Chester Bowl at 11am as a precursor to the Homegrown Kickball Classic. Cheap beer and happy dogs were the unofficial mascots of the game, where according to Rick McLean, the "Fridays" were playing the "Saturdays," in the rare match where both squads were the home team.

 

Front of stage as Retribution Gospel Choir performs and fans look on
Maxwell McGruder

A freakishly hot day, a sudden, short downpour, and smoke from northern fires filling the air provided an unusual backdrop for Friday’s Duluth Homegrown Music Festival activities.

Early in the summer-like day, some hardy Homegrowners organized a Lake Superior dip in honor of the Festival.

Among several early-evening shows was the Lowland Lakers, whose new CD was released the same day. The band’s Nate Case invited “Picker Tim,” aka Tim Leutgeb, of Black River Revue on stage to play some banjo.

Allen Cragin and Ryan Rusch
reflectivore.bandcamp.com

The core of this experimental, atmospheric rock band is Superior native Allen Cragin and Ryan Rusch, owner of the Weight Room studio in Washburn, Wisconsin. That's where the duo recorded their self-titled EP, with Rusch on piano, vocals, organ and vibes and Cragin handling guitar, vocals, and bass. For their rare live performances, including their Homegrown set the same night at the Rex, they bring in a full band; they'll join us in the studio on Friday, May 6 at 2:30pm.

Max Macgruder

Soup Town Thursday truly made the Homegrown Music Festival a party for the entire Twin Ports as the center of the mayhem shifted to Superior.
 

First, though, the annual unofficial Homegrown SoupB4Supe afternoon gathering at 2104 in Duluth brought together soup aficionados and music fans alike, with a soup potluck and performances from Sarah Krueger (who’s not on the official schedule this year) and others.

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.

Group of eleven band members standing together
Maxwell McGruder

Social media clued people in to one of the Homegrown Music Festival’s many unofficial events, a Wednesday afternoon living room show at Washington Galleries with music from Superior Siren and others leading up to the main event, Westside Wednesday.

Homegrown’s official West End/West Duluth onslaught began at 6 with Mahtowa, Minnesota’s finest country gospel practitioners the Holy Hootenanners filling the upstairs stage at Clyde Iron Works. 

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.

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