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The BoDeans
The BoDeans

Six acts to see at Howling Moon

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Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

BoDeans 5:30 p.m. Saturday The truth is, BoDeans were part of that alt music wave that we all rode out of the 1980s, but when it comes to the mainstream scene they were the soundtrack to the tribulations of a bunch of orphans living in San Francisco.

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This is all just a fancy way of saying that its song “Closer to Free” was the theme song to “Party of Five.”

Since then, founding member Sam Llanas has left the band. The Midwest-bred band released “American Made,” its 11th studio album in 2012.

Brandi Carlile 10 p.m. Saturday Expect a little extra glow from alt-country singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile when she headlines Howling Moon on Saturday: Carlile’s wife, Catherine, gave birth to a baby girl in mid-June, which the former announced to fans via Twitter.

Carlile is a West Coast-bred musician best known for songs like “Heart’s Content” and “The Story,” which she sings with her signature rich vocals. The festival fave released “Bear Creek” in 2012. Carlile played Clyde Iron Works in 2011 and seems to make regular stops at Big Top Chautauqua.

The Guess Who 10 p.m. Friday The Canadian band behind “American Woman” strays a bit from the festival’s Americana-roots theme and gives the first-time festival a dose of classic rock.

The longtime band has had several extreme personnel makeovers over the years. The band is short Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, but maintains Garry Peterson and Jim Kale from way back.

Purists might say it’s not The Guess Who unless Cummings is singing. Others might just enjoy the sweet sounds of “These Eyes” live.

The Lowest Pair 3:30 p.m. Friday This banjo-playing twosome is a little bit Washington, a little bit Minneapolis, and has a spare sound that begs for an outdoor venue surrounded by amber waves of grain.

The Lowest Pair released its album “36¢” earlier this year, which was produced by Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles.

Jeremy Messersmith 3:45 p.m. Saturday Jeremy Messersmith is sort of like the Wil Wheaton of singing-songwriting: Hugely likeable, a solid brand of geeky and really good at Twitter.

Messersmith, of the Twin Cities area, recently released “Heart Murmurs,” love-themed pop songs designed for roller skating while holding hands. (Well, maybe not the song “I Want to Be Your One Night Stand.”)

Messersmith has been a regular in these parts, but it’s been a while since he’s brought his smooth, sincere and spare sound to a local stage.

Nicholas David 7:45 p.m. Saturday Long before Nicholas David was making spleens shake with the super-soulful sound he showed off in Season 3 of “The Voice,” the vintage-chic dresser was playing local stages.

His connection to Hobo Nephew Teague Alexy led to at least two Homegrown Music Festival gigs. This isn’t foreign territory to him anyway — his aunt and uncle Jaima and Tom Hanson own the Duluth Grill.

But back to TV: David was part of Team Cee Lo Green and made a mark with his deep, smooth voice and authenticity. He eventually finished third in the season won by Cassadee Pope.

David is the only Howling Moon musician to get this endorsement from Adam Levine:

“You’re one of the most soulful people,” the Maroon 5 singer and “The Voice” judge said on the show. “I like you, man.”

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