The Host Country
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The Host Country

Des Moines, IA | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Des Moines, IA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Folk




"Album Review: The Host Country"

The Host Country started as a Cedar Falls-based duo with Diana Weishaar and Ty Wistrand supplying tasteful piano and guitar settings to generous pop songs that they could really lay into hard in live settings. Since those early days the two have been vocal soul-mates with perfectly complementary timbres that make their songs ring.

The band has wisely maintained a vocal orientation while they’ve expanded into a road-ready folk-rock quartet that is out now with a debut self-titled LP. The expanded lineup features Tom Rue on bass and Ethan Weishaar on drums, an excellent rhythm section ready to either lay back or forge ahead as the song dictates. The album was recorded by Philip Young at Wabi Sound in Des Moines and is notable for a polished sheen that suits the band’s well-earned air of professionalism.

The Host Country builds on a solid foundation of songwriting craft with concise arrangements that go straight to the target, like the rolling guitar riff that serves as a tag to the chorus of “Wake Up, Hazy” or the chilling sneak-attack harmonies on “Mama.” The latter tune, which is one of the set’s best, is also a textbook instance of Diana Weishaar‘s sneaky-great piano performances: Listen in for how her keys add a needed new rhythmic and melodic texture to the song’s final verse, taking the track into hit-making territory.

Tracks like the finger-picking folk ballad “Fare Thee Well” and the slow-burn heart-tugger “May Song” thrive on the players’ enviable restraint, while the pop-inflected “Family” and the opening mid-tempo rocker “How the Four Winds Blow” show off the band’s comfort at the opposite end of the dynamic spectrum. But all throughout the highs and lows it is ultimately the strong vocal takes, song after song, that thread through the record — as they do through the band’s history — and make it whole. - Little Village Magazine

"The Host Country on Studio One Underground"

We're kicking off our third season of Studio One Underground on March 8th! We'll be joined by the Des Moines band The Host Country, founded by singer-songwriters Ty Wistrand and Diana Weishaar. Over the years, The Host Country has expanded to a five-piece band and become well-known for their honest, heartfelt lyrics, strong melodies and powerful vocals. - Iowa Public Radio

"80/35 Festival 2018 Recap"

Local band The Host Country just returned from touring. They sounded great. - QRO Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



The Host Country is a fusion of folk, rock, and blues. Dual songwriting and vocals from Ty Wistrand & Diana Weishaar put forth versatile songs that are evocative and intimate. Members Ty (guitar/vox), Diana (keys/vox), Tom Rue (bass), Ethan Weishaar (drums), and Michael Lovan (guitar) are musical storytellers and engaging performers on stage. The Host Country is based in Des Moines, IA but enjoy touring the country. Hear their music on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and Bandcamp.

Band Members