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Duluth Albums from the 1900s

Duluth East High School A Cappella Choir
Directed by Robert D. Mix; includes the “East High Alma Mater.”

The Duluth Accordionaires
Music to Eat Pizza By


Don Yoder
Because He Lives

Year not listed, Word Records

The Moose Wallow Ramblers
The Moose Wallow Ramblers

1976, Half Moon Records
Engineered by John Berquist.

Gene Hill
That’s Just His Way

Recorded and mastered at Sound 80 in Minneapolis; directed by C. Edward Thomas.

Various Artists
Trackin’ Up the North

1982, KQDS 95FM Radio
Features bands from the KQDS Miller High Life Rock to Riches Talent Search Contest.

Kim Solem & the Electric Spurs
In Just One Night

1993, Divine Bovine
Engineered by Jeff Nelson and Tom Heinonen.

I Could Live in Hope

1994, Vernon Yard Recordings
Produced by Kramer at Noise New Jersey. Assisted by Steve Watson.

Puddle Wonderful
Sweetly Unnecessary

Recorded by Tim Mac at Amphetamine Reptile in Minneapolis.

Long Division

1995, Vernon Yard Recordings
Produced and engineered by Kramer at Noise New Jersey. Assistant engineering by Jed Rothenberg.

Flux Skapacitor
Flux Skapacitor

Recorded at Wind Songs Studio in St. Louis Park; engineered by James Schmidt.

Charming Snakes
Charming Snakes

Recorded and mixed by Todd Behrens at Danger Studios in Minneapolis.

The Curtain Hits the Cast

1996, Vernon Yard Recordings
Produced by Steve Fisk and engineered by John Goodmanson. Recorded in Seattle.

The Busters North Coast Blues Band
Waiting for the Tide

Recorded and engineered at Inland Sea Studios by Dave Hill.


1997, Spinout Records
Produced by Bernie Larsen at Suburban Exchange Studio in Houghton, Mich.

Port Authority
Serving Up Stuff

1998, North Coast Records
Recorded and engineered at Inland Sea Studios by Dave Hill.

Jerree Small
Sleeping Giant

Engineered in Minneapolis by Kendall Karsh and at Doghouse Studios by Steve Bonkoski.

Stuart Davis
16 Nudes

1998, Panacea Records
Recorded by Rob Genedek and John Pemble at the Maintenance Shop and Brewhouse.

One More Reason to Forget

1998, BlueSanct Records
Live album recorded Nov. 6, 1997 at the Church of Phillip St. Neri in Louisville, Ky.

Various Artists
Random Acts of Radio

1998, Random Records
Produced by D.J. Starfire and recorded in his basement.

Paul Imholte
Red Wing

Recorded and engineered at Doghouse Studio by Steven Bonkoski.

Mel Sando
Walking Alone

Recorded in Sando’s dining room on a 4-track cassette recorder.

John Ward and Lori Hatten
Live at the Amazing Grace Bakery & Cafe

Circa 1998
Recorded at Amazing Grace and mixed at 58th Street Studio.

Delta Resonators
Juke Joint Junkie

Recorded and engineered at Inland Sea Studios by Dave Hill.

Secret Name

1999, Kranky Records
Produced by Steve Albini; recorded at Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago.

I’m a Pretty Ballerina

Recorded and engineered at 20 Below Studios by Alan Sparhawk.

Gaspump Graveyard

1999, Shaky Ray Records #006
Recorded at Flowerpot in Minneapolis by Rich Mattson and at Shaky Ray by Mark Lindquist.


1999, Chair Kickers’ Union
Recorded by Low at 20 Below Studios. Mastered with Tom Herbers at 3rd Ear.

Sara Thomsen
Fertile Ground


Help grow this list with notes in the comments or by e-mailing Paul at Perfect Duluth Day dot com.

Of course, every time we create a list on Perfect Duluth Day it always comes with a set of rules. So here we go:

  • What makes an album a “Duluth album” can be vague, so there is little choice but to determine it on a case-by-case basis. In general, if the band is from the Twin Cities and the bassist is from Duluth, for example, that doesn’t quite cut it. And we’re not counting Bob Dylan, but here’s a link to his discography.
  • Obviously nothing released in 2000 or later is meant for this list. Starting in 2000 pretty much every punk who could strum a cord or beat a stick on something had the means to record an album and did. That list would be too long.
  • We’re not including seven-inch records or other singles on the list. If you want to comment about your favorite 45, please do, but it won’t make the master list.
  • Even qualified albums won’t make the list until a suitable image of the cover art is available. We like things neat and pretty around here. So don’t pull a tiny graphic off the web and call it good. Scan your album covers or do whatever you have to do so the image is a decent size, like 900 pixels if you can manage that.

So here we go — start digging through your collection and help this list out!

37 Comment(s)

  1. Two I’m surprised I’m missing:

    Gild -- Moodring

    Somebody help me out with the art on these.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 25, 2012 | New Comment
  2. Some halfway decent cover art can be found online at

    Even the Duluth Accordionaires. (Bonus!)

    Barrett Chase | Jan 25, 2012 | New Comment
  3. Jump here for all Low albums. Most art is around 1400x1400.

    Les F | Jan 25, 2012 | New Comment
  4. The dream of the 1990s is alive in Duluth.

    Herzog | Jan 25, 2012 | New Comment
  5. Two more pieces of album art I’m missing are Kim Rose’s Lover’s Epitaph and Mel Sando’s Walking Alone. Here are small versions I nabbed online.

    I have both of these albums, but Kim Rose signed a message for me on her cover and Mel Sando scribbled “Promotional Copy” across the one he gave me.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 25, 2012 | New Comment
  6. I don’t have (all of) these in my personal collection, but here’s a few groups who did put out albums:

    Quickbreath, the Woodland Jr. High School Choirs dir. by Jim Sersha, and the Chmielewski Funtime Band.

    A few 45rpm singles I recall include:

    Tom Devine, M.A. Freepress, Little Joe and Famous Lashaway.

    OK, Famous Lashaway and the Chmielewskis are not from Duluth, but pretty close.

    TimK | Jan 25, 2012 | New Comment
  7. Let’s see if this works:

    Renata and Girls, Girls, Girls. I will try to hunt down a better cover image.

    waferdog | Jan 25, 2012 | New Comment
  8. I’m wondering what the art for a Harbormasters album would look like. | Jan 25, 2012 | New Comment
  9. Are we including albums that were recorded in Duluth but released by out-of-town bands?

    kyanize | Jan 25, 2012 | New Comment
  10. How much accordion is too much?

    Accordion Ambassadors
    From Sea to Shining Sea

    Circa 1991

    The Duluth Accordionaires
    On Tour Behind the Iron Curtain

    I can’t find a date on this but it looks to be from the ’70s.

    Zeito | Jan 25, 2012 | New Comment
  11. Answering a few issues that have come up:

    Yes, bands from Superior, the Iron Range and so on that played shows in Duluth should qualify.

    Tim, help us out with images of what you have, please.

    Out-of-town bands that recorded in Duluth deserve mention here in the comments, but I think we’ll leave them out of the main list.

    So, here’s mentioning Jessica Bailiff …

    Is it right to say that when Duluth’s Al Sparhawk records in Seattle it’s a Duluth record, but when Tuledo’s Jessica Bailiff records in Sparhawk’s Duluth basement it’s not a Duluth record? Well, maybe not, but that’s what we’re going with for the moment. Tell me I’m wrong — that’s what comment areas on the Internet are for.

    Zeito, thank you. There is never too much accordion. Is there anything from the liner notes you can pass along to fill out the info? Where the album was recorded … that kind of thing?

    Thanks to Nathan Amundson for pointing out Jessica Bailiff to me by e-mail, and also sending this Best Boy Electric album cover …

    Best Boy Electric featured Duluthian John Nichols — the original Low bassist. That qualifies for the list, but I’m holding out for an image that doesn’t have the jewel box reflecting the camera that’s photographing it. I know, picky picky.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 26, 2012 | New Comment
  12. I banged one of Renata’s girls back in the day.

    c-freak | Jan 26, 2012 | New Comment
  13. This post makes my heart sing. I’m pretty sure that I have one or two in the vault, I’ll check. This post is instantly a candidate for “best post ever.”

    wildgoose | Jan 26, 2012 | New Comment
  14. Paul, I’m sorry, but I don’t own those records anymore. I’ve been married 23 years and it was a girlfriend or two before that when I “lost” all of my records… A couple of others I just thought of are Craig Spates and Michael Monroe (from up the North Shore). Craig’s has a very outsider vibe — like the Shaggs.

    TimK | Jan 26, 2012 | New Comment
  15. Sometimes the back of an album cover tells the whole story.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 26, 2012 | New Comment
  16. This Fromundas demo has four tracks, which I guess falls a bit short of being an album, but it’s worth mentioning. (Thanks to Sherman for the artwork.)

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 26, 2012 | New Comment
  17. As for seven-inch singles, Thrust band’s “Children of the Sun” and “Lonely” from 1980 was mentioned on PDD once before, but deserves a tip of the hat here.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 26, 2012 | New Comment
  18. I think Swivelhead’s CD should be on the list as well, though I don’t know where the cover art is available.

    greg cougar conley | Jan 26, 2012 | New Comment
  19. I’m not at home, so I can’t check my CDs, but I’m pretty sure that if Gaspump Graveyard is SRR #006 and from 1999, then there are some other SRR albums of local stuff that came out before 2000. I think that first Shaky Ray compilation (Let’s Get Sloppy) came out in late spring 2000, which makes me think some of that stuff came from albums. I could be completely wrong.

    I don’t think he’s got complete albums, but I know that Patrick Nelson (who played on that Giljunko record) has been posting some obscure stuff on his Facebook, including The 2nd Thought and Deen Dodge, both from the Duluth area.

    cork1 | Jan 27, 2012 | New Comment
  20. Let’s Get Sloppy is a 2001 release. It came out between Father Hennepin’s Crooked With Gin and Both’s The Inevitable Phyllis.

    I’m not sure what the five previous releases on Shaky Ray were before Gaspump Graveyard, but I think they were seven-inch records and cassette demos. We’ll find out as this thread makes it through the grapevine.

    Patrick Nelson’s YouTube handle is EsotericArchives. I’m not sure which of the old 45s he’s putting up there are Duluth-related, but it’s a fun listen.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 27, 2012 | New Comment
  21. One of those Giljunko cassette demos is called “Giljunko Shits the Covers.” I don’t own it, but I saw it once about ten years ago.

    Barrett Chase | Jan 28, 2012 | New Comment
  22. This is just a guess, but didn’t ATF release an early SSR album? Or was that a split EP?

    Barrett Chase | Jan 28, 2012 | New Comment
  23. The ATF Plays Giljunko Plays the ATF came out right after Gaspump Graveyard. It was a split seven-inch.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 28, 2012 | New Comment
  24. The stories on the back of these accordion albums are really quite inspirational.

    Accordion Ambassadors

    The Duluth Accordionaires

    I wish I had the means to get better pictures of these.

    Zeito | Jan 28, 2012 | New Comment
  25. Here is a Shaky Ray Records discography from their old Angelfire site, which is sadly incomplete and without any dates.

    Barrett Chase | Jan 29, 2012 | New Comment
  26. Oh! I think the first Both album came out in 1999, but I don’t know if the cover art lives online or what.

    greg cougar conley | Jan 29, 2012 | New Comment
  27. Greg, I’m pretty sure that first Both album came out in 2000. I remember it coming out shortly after the Ripsaw went weekly. We used to listen to it in the office a lot.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 29, 2012 | New Comment
  28. You would know better than I, Paulie. I can’t even find a copy of it to confirm.

    greg cougar conley | Jan 30, 2012 | New Comment
  29. Oooh, I have an Accidental Porn CD, but I bet that’s 2000 something.

    c-freak | Jan 31, 2012 | New Comment
  30. Accidental Porn’s live album was recorded at Fitger’s Brewhouse in early 2000. I think it was released later that year. But speaking of the Brewhouse, The Best of the Brewhouse, Volume One is missing from this list.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 31, 2012 | New Comment
  31. Two more I’m looking for album art on:

    Easy Steam
    To Be Alive
    Released by Easy Steam Music of Duluth

    Clint Wait Jr.
    Lonely Like a Rose
    Released by Fond du Lac Records

    Paul Lundgren | Apr 26, 2012 | New Comment
  32. Atlantis II was pretty big in the 1970s and I think the band may have had an album. Most of the members went on to form the Centerville All Stars. I did find this single on YouTube.

    Chris | Jan 26, 2013 | New Comment
  33. John Ward and Lori Hatten -- Live at the Amazing Grace 1998

    SuperX | Jan 9, 2014 | New Comment
  34. Oops,wrong album cover pic.

    SuperX | Jan 9, 2014 | New Comment
  35. SuperX, this image is the album cover. The photo you posted is from the back sleeve.

    The reason I haven’t included this album is I haven’t been able to verify what year it was released. You noted 1998, but can I ask if you have a source on that besides memory? That year seems correct to me, but I can’t recall for certain. The CD booklet does not list a year, nor can I find anything on the Internet that narrows down the year of release.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 9, 2014 | New Comment
  36. I found it on the site for 58th Street Studio.

    SuperX | Jan 9, 2014 | New Comment
  37. That’s enough evidence to at least make us lean in the direction that the album came out prior to 2000. It’s on the list now. Thanks!

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 9, 2014 | New Comment

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