The Host Country was born while Ty Wistrand (guitar/vox) and Diana Garles (keys/vox) were both attending the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. Meeting through common circles, they found they shared a passion for similar artists and styles of writing that led them to begin collaborating together to see what kind of music they could create together. The result is a sound that is emotional and honest. Sparse, yet powerful.
Ty moved to Des Moines in 2011, at which time the duo began playing shows in Cedar Falls, Des Moines, and anywhere in between. They recorded a 5 song EP in the spring of 2011 that focused on the intimate nature of their duo performances, then they began working on their first full length record, Walk Away released in 2014. Walk Away expanded upon the folk duo sound they had built up to that point, incorporating bass, drums, organ, and more. To accommodate this new sound, the pair pulled in friends Tom Rue (bass) and Ethan Weishaar (drums) to serve as the rhythm section, and they are essential pieces of the band’s evolution as they begin their journey towards a 2nd album.
See The Host Country at Little BIG Fest on Saturday, November 5 at Wooly’s (504 E Locust St.) at 5:00pm
To learn more about The Host Country, check out their Facebook page
Little BIG Fest is an annual festival, featuring roots, country, singer-songwriter, bluegrass, jam, world, blues, jazz, and soul music. The festival traditionally takes place in November with the location changing from year to year. As with all DMMC events, local bands are heavily featured, though bands from around the U.S. also perform at the event. See the full line-up and details here.
Established in fall 2006, LBF has featured over a dozen bands each year, including Trampled by Turtles, Pieta Brown, The Soul Rebels, William Elliott Whitmore, Charlie Parr, and John Fullbright.
LBF is organized by the nonprofit the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC). Little BIG Fest 2016 is made possible with the support of Traveler Beer Company, Tallgrass Brewing Company, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Bravo Greater Des Moines, Hy-Vee, Saturday Mfg., VolunteerLocal, Wooly’s, Lefty’s Live Music, Iowa Public Radio, and KFMG 98.9 FM.