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Tune in as we celebrate the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival, happening April 28-May 5. 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 3

Three women onstage. The two on the left are singing into microphones, the one in the middle is also playing guitar, and the one on the right is playing fiddle.
Stevie Twining
Breanne Marie and the Front Porch Sinners perform at the DECC.

Day 3 of the 2023 Duluth Homegrown Music Festival started with a couple of unofficial events. Jacob and Owen Mahon of New Salty Dog continued their Mahon Monday series at Duluth Coffee Company, with special guest Teague and the Paddy Wagon, complete with a clogger. In the evening, the DECC's Syphony Hall mezzanine hosted a reception for local photographer Aaron Reichow's exhibit Dispatches from Homegrown 2022, with the Clancy Ward String Collective providing the soundtrack.

From left to right, a woman clogging on a board, a man in a beanie playing guitar, a man in sunglasses playing guitar, and man playing fiddle, and a man playing stand up bass in front of a grey wall with shelves full of coffee and other products.
Christine Dean
Jacob and Owen Mahon play at Duluth Coffee Company with Teague and the Paddy Wagon

Musically, day 3 both started and ended with some unexpected collaborations. The Trash Cats brought up rapper C-silence (who has his own Homegrown slot Wednesday, May 3 at Mr. D’s) to guest on their first song. “We just sent him the track four hours ago,” they said. They followed that up with a cover of Frightened Rabbit’s “Old Old Fashioned.” Matt Sjelin of the band was celebrating his birthday, and remarked that there’s nothing better than to “get to do what you love on your birthday.”

A man in a baby yoda Christmas sweater raps in the foreground while a man dressed in a white shirt and black tie and suspenders plays keyboards in the background.
Stevie Twining
C-silence performs with the Trash Cats at Vikre

It was Tacky Tuesday, and many folks were spotted in the crowd getting into the spirit of the theme.

A woman and two men posing with their arms around each other. The woman and man on the left are wearing colorful clothing with mismatched patterns, the man on the right is wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a chicken wrapped in an American flag.
Christine Dean
Tacky dressers at Vikre

Sir Ben's was already bustling when the night's first act, singer/songwriter Adam Moe, took the stage for a solo set that included a couple of trucking songs. “Truckers and musicians have a lot in common,” said Moe, “but truckers get paid better and it’s easier for musicians to back up.”

A man onstage playing a guitar and singing into a microphone
Christine Dean
Adam Moe at Sir Benedict's Tavern

The DECC arena was christened by the brash country tunes of Brianne Marie and the Front Porch Sinners who used all their gears. Their set ranged from raucous foot stompers to serpentine ballads and wrapped with a fully-realized cover of "Zombie" by the Cranberries.

Water Cat’s first-ever Homegrown performance was well-received back at an ever-more crowded Sir Ben’s. “This time last year we were in France,” remarked Henry Bullard, who skillfully played an array of guitars and a banjo during the duo’s set. Singer Emma Musto sang songs in French and Spanish as well as covers in English ranging from Gillian Welch’s “My First Lover” to Nirvana’s “Come as You Are.” The eclectic set was a fun introduction to these recent arrivals to Duluth.

A woman singing into a microphone with her eyes closed. The man to her right is playing guitar. There's a music stand that she's using that is obscuring his face.
Christine Dean
Water Cat performs at Sir Benedict's Tavern

Back at the DECC, it was an emotional moment as The Gemstones Honoring AfroGeode took the stage next, leaving an empty space front and center in remembrance of their frontwoman, AfroGeode, aka Diona Johnson, who died unexpectedly just weeks before. Although her absence was palpable, the band wasted no time getting funky with an inspired, passionate, and uplifting set to an audience that included Johnson’s husband and other family members. Of Johnson, the band said, "she would be very pissed if we decided not to play anymore." Before easing into their final song, they made it clear; "She's here tonight."

A woman in the foreground sings into a microphone while a man to the right in the background plays bass and in the center, even farther in the background, a man plays drums.
Stevie Twining
The Gemstones Honoring AfroGeode perform at the DECC

At Sir Ben’s, Tres Osos, dressed in matching track suits, kicked off their set with a version of the song made famous by David Allan Coe "You Never Even Call Me by My Name," peppering in local references: "You don't have to call me Al Sparhawk...you don't have to call me Charlie Parr..." It set the tone for the rest of their fun and engaging bluegrass and country-flavored set.

Three men in matching track suits onstage. The man on the left is playing bass and the two on the right are playing guitar.
Christine Dean
Tres Osos make their Homegrown debut at Sir Benedict's Tavern

At Dubh Linn, Hollow Profit was the first act, rapping to a backing track that smoothly segued from one song to the next in front of yet another good-sized crowd for the night. Meanwhile, Boss Mama and the Jebberhooch took over the stage set up on the floor of the DECC Arena; they and Fenestra Funk were the perfect, crowd-pleasing acts to keep people grooving along all the way to the end of the night on that big stage.

A band performing on stage.
Stevie Twining
Boss Mama and the Jebberhooch perform at the DECC

As mentioned earlier, the evening ended with another unexpected collaboration, one of the highlights of any Homegrown Music Festival. Mumblin' Drew assembled a trio for his enjoyable old-time string-band set at Dubh Linn. At the end, instead of leaving the stage to make way for the next act, free-form jazz duo Anderson Twuo, that act joined them onstage, backing up Mumblin' Drew's trio on drums and saxophone for a version of "If You Don't Want Me Please Don't Dog Me 'Round." Everyone stayed onstage, but the end of Mumblin' Drew's set turned into the beginning of the Anderson Twuo's set, with the duo taking the lead and the string trio joining in on some improvisational jazz before surrendering the stage to the new act.

A drummer plays to the left of a stage where a string band is performing. to the right of the stage a man plays bass saxophone.
Christine Dean
Mumblin' Drew and Anderson Twuo collaborate at Dubh Linn.

Coming up on Day 4, keep your ears open for some rumored secret shows. One not-so-secret show is happening at the new Northerly School of Music on 2nd Avenue East in downtown Duluth, featuring a performance by The Mr. So & So Ceremonial Crud Band at 8pm. We're not quite sure who's exactly in that band, but we're betting Kyle Orla will be involved. It's a long way from the main action happening in West Duluth, but might be worth a detour. Tonight's dress-up theme is Western Wednesday so dig out your cowboy hats and Wranglers if you want to take part.

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

Two men wearing white shirts with black ties and suspenders. The man on the right is holding a guitar, the man on the left has his arms spread to the front and back and is standing behind a keyboard.
Christine Dean
Matt Sjelin of the Trash Cats celebrates playing Homegrown on his birthday.
Four smiling women in orange Homegrown volunteer shirts sit behind and next to a hostess stand. The two volunteers on the right are wearing hats that look like chickens.
Stevie Twining
Homegrown volunteers at Dubh Linn

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.
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.
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