DL's 'singing policeman' to perform Thursday at Holmes
You may have seen him patrolling the streets of Detroit Lakes at night, singing along with the radio.
You may even have noticed that he sounds pretty good. But this Thursday, DL police department veteran Tim Eggebraaten will have the chance to really show you what he can do, with just his voice, a guitar and a drum machine.
Eggebraaten, who has been with the DLPD for 14 years, has been a singer for much longer than that.
"I've been singing since I could talk," he says, "and I've played guitar for 19 years. I love doing it."
For the past several years, he has been a regular on the local music scene, performing at Tuesdays in the Park, the Holmes-Spun Talent Show, area nursing homes, at various Holy Rosary Church functions and a plethora of other public events.
Eggebraaten doesn't have aspirations to make it big as a singer, however. If he got offered a recording contract, he probably wouldn't take it.
"It's totally a hobby," he says. "I love my job as a police officer."
He also loves the fact that music is something he does just for the sheer joy of it.
"I sing along with the music in my car," he says.
In fact, that's one of the reasons why Eggebraaten prefers to work the night shift on patrol.
"At night, I can do that (sing) without looking silly," he says with a laugh. "I'm under the cover of darkness -- I can sing my heart out and no one will see."
No one except for the occasional passenger in the back seat of his patrol car, that is.
"They're a real captive audience," he jokes.
Eggebraaten also used to bring his guitar to work at the Clay County Jail, and serenade the inmates.
"If you're feeling good, music can make you feel even better, and if you're feeling bad, it can help even more," he says. "I grew up listening to all different kinds of music... when I was a kid I used to sing more than I'd talk."
A native of Fisher, Minn. (between Crookston and Grand Forks), Eggebraaten graduated from high school there, then went on to earn a four-year degree in criminal justice from Minnesota State University Moorhead. His first stint in law enforcement involved working two jobs, at the Clay County Jail and as a security guard at MSUM. He did that for three years before taking the job in Detroit Lakes.
It was during this time that he met and married his wife of 17 years, Denise. They have three children, all boys: Josh, 13; Luke, 10; and Isaac, 5.
"I hope some of that (love of music) will rub off on them," Eggebraaten says.
Josh and Luke both play piano and guitar, and Josh plays the trumpet.
Eggebraaten's family will be in attendance at Thursday's show. He said he's been working on the music for about a month now, and he's excited for the opportunity to showcase his music.
Though he has written a few tunes -- including an ode to his former canine partner, Quincy, who died of cancer in 2003 -- Eggebraaten says his primary talent lies in being an entertainer, not a songwriter.
"If it (his singing) makes someone happy, that's my goal," he says.
Eggebraaten's cabaret show kicks off at 5:30 p.m. in the Holmes Ballroom, located across the hall from the main theater.
According to Amy Stoller Stearns, administrator of the Historic Holmes Theatre, the Cabaret Nights series is intended to showcase some of the area's top musical talent in a casual, intimate atmosphere. There will be a cash bar with beer, wine and coffee, and special appetizers -- served at the table -- courtesy of the DL Holiday Inn. The event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and there is a $5 cover charge.
Call the Historic Holmes Theatre Box Office at 218-844-SHOW (7469) for more information.