Local bands to compete in Yacht Club's Battle of the Bands


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"We're all from home." Well no, not literally, but this candid expression does reveal a lot about the 4 boys of local IC band "Home Grown" who are all from the midwest.

David Slater, the band's lead vocalist, and drummer Patrick McPartland, are local boys from Cedar Rapids and have been playing together since high school. Joseph Ewart, the band's lead guitarist and lyricist, came to UI from Des Moines and Timmy Hunziker, the bass player, hails from one of the many southern suburbs of Chicago.

After traveling eastern Iowa and playing gigs most of the summer, the band members said they are excited to be back at school. They are now preparing for a Battle of the Bands on Sept. 6 at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn — the place where they had their first real gig together and where the name "Home-Grown" was born. 

The Battle of the Bands event will be running throughout the month of September at the Yacht Club. Every Thursday night, 4 to 5 bands will be featured. Each night, a winner will be chosen to be sent to the final battle on October 13th. From that final group, an overall winner will be chosen.

Home Grown will perform the first Thursday of the event alongside a few other bands, including Iowa City's Gone South and Clinton's John June Year.

The grand prize this year will be 5 days worth of studio time with Earthtone Studio. The runner up will receive 1 to 2 days of studio time along with a pony keg of Fat Tire, provided by New Belgium, one of the competition's sponsors.

Home Grown's story goes like most. After having a different name and a few different band members, things just weren't working out. Needing a fresh start, they made some changes and played their first gig last February at the Yacht Club. 

The ensemble still didn't have a name when it came time to perform, so the boys hastily chose "Home-Grown" and have ran with it ever since.

"We have all had many terrible experiences in music to get to this point," said Ewart, while sitting in the "Home Grown House" where the band lives and will hopefully soon play their so-called "funky rock jams" together.

Slater and Ewart primarily write the original lyrics for the music which is composed by all the members working together.

"We all pull from a lot of different influences and backgrounds. It could be anything from jazz, to rock, to acoustic," Ewart said. 

One of their most evident influences and overall favorite artists is Dave Matthews. However they will admit, at least Slater will, that they seem to have a "psychedelic, Pink Floyd aspect" to their sound.

They all have lives outside of music as students and employees, but they said they find the most enjoyment out of performing.

"Practice is work," Slater said. "Finding gigs is work. But performing isn't work. It's the fun part." 

To check out Home Grown and their music, find them on Facebook or head over to Reverb Nation at www.reverbnation.com/homegrownic where all of the band's music is downloaded, along with pictures, profiles, and upcoming events.

Home Grown
See them in concert at Yacht Club's Battle of the Bands
When: Sept. 6 at 9 p.m.
Admission: $5

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