Homegrown Music Festival 2021: Day 2
The Monday of the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival traditionally features the Ancillary Arts: poetry, photography, and video.
Music was the main event, however, at the first event of the evening, another set of live-streamed performances from 2104. Grains of Stars opened the evening, with Kristy Marie and Charlie Parr seated barefoot on the floor, creating droning soundscapes on harmonium and steel guitar for a small in-person audience and the internet.
Singer/songwriter Cory Coffman was next, making his second Homegrown appearance of the week. He performed songs from his debut album Canvas and Color with playful banter from the audience between songs. One audience member was polling people in person and on the livestream as to what their one survival item would be if they were on TV's Naked and Afraid. "Naked and afraid?" quipped Coffman, "That's how I feel every single time I perform."
Feeding Leroy was next, opening their set with a tribute to Sonja and Lee Martin's beloved dog (and the band's namesake), who recently passed away. "This one's for Leroy," said Sonja, launching into "Long Gone." The band shared a set of countrified originals and covers with help from Nate Hynum of Black River Revue on mandolin and Clancy Ward of Sugar on the Roof on fiddle.
The official Homegrown events kicked off at 7 with the Poetry Showcase. This year's digital format allowed for a more concise event, with room for creative presentation. Poets contributed videos of poems read from home, or outdoors, or, like Stine Myrah, over footage of hammocking near Lake Superior. Tina Higgins Wussow’s reading of a poem about her dad and his motorcycles was punctuated with photos of him and his machines. Liz Minette contributed the timely “Pandemic Poem.”
Poetry was followed by This Feeling Will Be Over Soon, a short film by Joshua Priestly, a regular Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank collaborator. Starring Teague Alexy as an Atlantic City busker, the film is a wordless , atmospheric telling of his transformation after being attacked and robbed.
Next up, the Homegrown Photo Show featured past Homegrown photos from Ivy Vainio and a poignant series from Aaron Reichow called Through the Glass, his documentation of 2020's pandemic performances, taken outdoors or looking in through windows during that period of isolation.
Video by Matthew Moses of live performances from past festivals followed, including a selections from 2019, the last live festival. Watching the footage of bars full of people packed shoulder-to-shoulder with no masks in sight and no idea what the next year would bring is bittersweet.
The Music Video Showcase ended the evening, featuring a curated assortment of submissions from past Homegrowns. While part of the fun of the Showcase has always been seeing new creations, getting to revisit the cream-of-the-crop from past festivals is also enjoyable. Who wouldn't want to be reminded of the creepy perfection of Thomas Soderberg's interpretation of Benjamin Blood's "The Owls Have Their Eyes on You," or travel back in time to a sweaty night with the Black Labels during their residency at the now-defunct Red Lion bar?
Coming up today:
2pm KUMD Live from Studio A: Superior Siren (solo)-listen at 103.3fm or at kumd.org
Livestreams from 2104
6pm Lanue (rumor has it Alan Sparhawk will be sitting in)
8pm Father Hennepin
At 7pm The Embassy is hosting a night of local DJ sets featuring the Crunchy Bunch, among others
9-11pm Up from Below art installation at Zenith Bookstore in West Duluth