I’ve been a fan and supporter of original music in the Twin Ports since the ‘90s when I hosted a weekly hour-long alternative show on Top 40 radio station KZIO. It gave me a chance to highlight cuts from the local bands like Puddle Wonderful and Giljunko that I loved seeing at RT Quinlans on weekends.
In the ‘00s the scene had moved on to the NorShor Theatre, and I moved on to serve as the Music Editor of alternative weekly The Ripsaw. We championed local, original music and covered a new event, started in 1999, called the Homegrown Music Festival.
For the past five years I’ve been the Music Director at KUMD, where we incorporate homegrown artists into our regular playlists and invite them into our studios to perform and talk about their work. We also devote an hour each week to strictly local and regional music on “The Local.”
Through it all one of the best part of my jobs has been having the chance to share the talents of local musicians with a broader audience.
When faced with the near-impossible task of picking a handful of favorites from the many talented performers I’ve known through the years, I decided on a collection consisting mostly of musicians not featured in previous Homegrown mixes. I present them in (roughly) chronological order because, for me, it’s a nice reminder of how Duluth’s music landscape has evolved. For every cherished band that broke up, or artist that moved away, new talent has emerged to fill the void and keep our scene as vital as it’s ever been.
A big thanks to everyone who makes Duluth’s original music scene happen. It’s an important part of why I call this town home.
released February 6, 2015
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