MPR’s The Current writer Andrea Swensson penned a review of Duluth’s 14th annual Homegrown Music Festival which wrapped up last weekend. She reviewed several of the bands here but also shared her impression of the whole local music scene. This paragraph caught my eye:
There’s an underlying seriousness and sadness to Duluth that has penetrated my psyche every time I’ve stepped foot in the city (and having grown up in a nearby town called Moose Lake, I’ve been there for non-musical purposes quite often over the past few decades). Even on sunny summer days there’s a cold breeze that sweeps up off the lake and sends a chill down the spine, and the winter nights can make the city seem downright uninhabitable. Much like how the constant grey skies and rain of Seattle lend the city a certain feeling, the bleakness of the Duluth weather, the ghosts of old shipyards and factories, and the never-ending grey waters give artists all the more reason to band together and pump a lifeline through the city. There is a defiance in the vocal delivery of Duluth singers and a communal nature to their songs and concerts that all feels quite poignant.
The whole post is actually a fun read. Living and working up the road on the Iron Range, all I can say is that the potential arts scene that could emerge from our post-industrial greyness staggers the mind.