© 2024 The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation (WDSE)

The North 103.3 FM is licensed to The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation (WDSE)
Locally Curated. Community Owned.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Tune in as we celebrate the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival, happening April 30-May 7. We have you covered with daily Live From Studio A sessions featuring Homegrown rawk and/or rollers, festival highlights from local music experts, and daily photo and blog posts.Like and follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be in the know for Homegrown.This Homegrown Week on The North 103.3 is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Homegrown Music Festival 2023 Day 2

Side view of two guitarists on stage, both wearing aprons with no shirts underneath. The one farther away is singing into a microphone.
Stevie Twining
Cooking with Chef performs at the Caddy Shack

Day 2 of the 2023 Duluth Homegrown Music Festival began early as the Mahon brothers, Jacob and Owen, of New Salty Dog, hosted their first Mahon Morning at Duluth Coffee Company, an unofficial Homegrown event in the spirit of Actual Wolf’s morning Homegrown shows there the past few years. Marc Gartman was their first guest, with Sonofmel also joining in, and many Paul Simon covers were played. They’ll be there every morning at 11 through Friday, then Ross Thorn is there Saturday and Robin Hood was Right on Sunday.

Monday was Craft District Night, with all venues except Studio Four located in Lincoln Park. As mentioned yesterday, a film shoot was happening at and around Dovetail Café; while the street was blocked off, Homegrowners were still able to walk by on the sidewalk past white batting draped on everything to simulate snow, Christmas bows, and garland. Crew members rounded up plastic Santas and snowmen and packed away fake evergreens in the biting wind while music fans strolled by on their way to or from Bent Paddle. It was a weird and wonderful addition to the Homegrown fun.

The bottom of a lamp post wrapped in evergreen garland and with a red and gold bow with batting wrapped around the base to look like snow for a movie.
Christine Dean
Christmas decorations and "snow" for a movie being shot at Dovetail Cafe in Lincoln Park

Just on the outskirts of the Craft District, Studio Four, the MN Ballet space in the Depot formerly known as the Underground, hosted Slope City, the project of singer/songwriter Michael Smisek. He opened the night, accompanied by a cellist adding the perfect embellishment to his melodic folk-pop songs. He announced his new single, "Old Friend," released just in time for Homegrown.

A guitarist standing on a stage playing guitar and singing with a cellist sitting to his left and a light colored brick wall behind them.
Christine Dean
Slope City performs at Studio Four

Meanwhile, on the far side of Lincoln Park the old-timey trio Sugar on the Roof kicked things off at Wild State Cider, followed by the Rhizomes, who brought Eldri Snow up for guest vocals on the song “Ohio.”

A man playing fiddle, a woman playing guitar and singing, and a man playing trombone gathered around a microphone.
Stevie Twining
Sugar on the Roof at Wild State Cider for Homegrown 2023
A band performs with an adult and child seated on the floor and a woman seated in a chair looking on.
Christine Dean
The Rhizomes with guest vocalist Eldri Snow perform at Wild State Cider

Back at Studio Four, the sweet and sometimes cosmic sounds of Stardust Collective filled the second slot. The quartet sprinkled ornate harmonies into their easy-rocking sound all while the audience steadily grew to near capacity.

Ursa Minor was also filling up, although their additional outdoor seating, warmed on the chilly evening by overhead heaters, helped prevent overcrowding as Severio Mancieri took the stage. Along with his originals, the accomplished guitarist performed crowd-pleasing covers including Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” as well as giving a hometown nod to another excellent songwriter, Charlie Parr.

A man plays guitar and sings into a microphone in front of a wall with two artworks featuring bears.
Stevie Twining
Severio Mancieri performs at Ursa Minor

Meanwhile, back at Studio Four it was standing-room only for the ever-popular Homegrown Poetry Showcase. About two dozen poets took brief turns at the mic to share thoughts and stories of love, loss and aging, as well as those of trucks - both ice cream and garbage.

Side view of a woman reading poetry on a stage with a few audience members visible on the left side of the photo.
Stevie Twining
Homegrown Poetry Showcase at Studio Four

A different kind of poetry was happening simultaneously at Wild State Cider; Beyondbliss, aka David Kittelson, showcased his incredible skills as an emcee with rapid-fire and emotional rhymes and a tight DJ playing well-produced beats and accenting the set with expert scratches. By the end the enthusiastic crowd was calling out, “ONE MORE SONG!” He announced that his sixth and final album. Born Deaf. will be released May 30th and features Slug of Atmosphere. (Scanning his posted QR code yielded the information that Bliss was born partially deaf, which was later corrected by ear tubes and years of speech classes.) He gave a shoutout and a kiss to his wife who was in the crowd and expecting their first child.

Man rapping into a mic with a DJ behind him holding up a headphone to one ear.
Shane German
Beyondbliss at Wild State Cider

Back at Ursa Minor, NewBerrigan served up a tight set of rock originals, plus a cover of past Homegrown participant Mary Bue’s “Holy Bones," while down the street Polkarobics donned their lederhosen for a rousing set that got the crowd moving at Duluth Cider.

The night's dress-up theme was "Moody Monday;" one couple dressed as sunflowers in hopes of encouraging the sun and warm weather to return.

A smiling woman and man dressed as sunflowers.
Stevie Twining
A couple dressed as sunflowers in honor of Monday's dress-up theme

The much-anticipated debut of Berserk Blondes! at Bent Paddle lived up to the hype. Singer/songwriter Kaylee Matuszak and well-known Iron Range one-man-band performer Steve Solkela teamed up for a fun set of parodies and covers that showcased both of their vocal talents and showed a different side to Solkela beyond his joke-telling Finn persona. Solkela just moved to Duluth, so expect to see more from this duo, who were dressed to the nines for their set, Matuszak in a slinky silver gown and Solkela in a shiny gold suit.

A woman in a shiny tight-fitting dress with straps singing and smiling into a microphone in the foreground with a seated man playing the accordian in the background.
Stevie Twining
Berserk Blondes! perform at Bent Paddle

As was the case last year, the evening ended with harder rocking acts at the Caddy Shack. Sour Venom’s band mission statement can be summed up with a line from one of their songs: "I just wanna rock / with my friends," a catchy earworm that clearly reflects their '70s and '80s hard rock influences and had the audience singing and headbanging along.

A man with a pony tail in a sleeveless t-shirt sings into a microphone with his eyes closed while  leaning back with one hand on his thigh.
Christine Dean
Sour Venom performs at Caddy Shack

Cooking with Chef closed out the night, mixing hard rock, punk and just plain fun. All band members wore nothing on top but their signature "Cooking with Chef" aprons and entertained the crowd with sick guitar solos and rock star moves.

Two electric guitarists play to each other. Their hair is caught in mid-motion as they toss their heads.
Stevie Twining
Cooking with Chef at Caddy Shack

Coverage of the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival on the North 103.3 is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Christine is The North 103.3's Music Director, a host of Music Through the Day, and the producer of Live from Studio A. One of her favorite things about her job is the opportunity to share music from the Twin Ports’ many talented local artists. In her spare time she takes full of advantage of Duluth’s outdoors opportunities.
Shane German comes to the North 103.3 via community radio station WYCE in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was the Music Director for 6 years. He's excited to explore a new city, and new terrain - and to engage with a new community.
Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
Related Content