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Singer-songwriter Tim Mahoney comes to town

For almost as long as he can remember, music has been a part of Tim Mahoney's life.

"My mom is a musician -- she was a piano bar singer for years, so I kind of grew up with it," he explains.

Mahoney, a Minnetonka native who now lives in downtown Minneapolis, will make his Detroit Lakes debut this Saturday, Nov. 15, as the first performer in the Historic Holmes Theatre's new "Edge" music series.

The lifelong Minnesota resident first took up the drums in middle school, and followed that by learning to play piano and guitar as well.

Eventually, he added songwriting to his list of skills as well.

"When I first started playing guitar, I just started making up stuff (i.e., music)," he says. "It definitely wasn't good at first, but it was kind of a breakthrough moment for me when I wrote a song on the piano for my high school graduation. I played it in Northrup Auditorium, in downtown Minneapolis. That was my first original song that I played (for an audience).

"It was the first moment where I thought, 'I think I can do this,'" says Mahoney.

From playing in his high school band, and then performing solo at his graduation, Mahoney moved on to form a band of his own in college.

"I tried to do the college thing for a little bit, and then I decided to start a band -- not really with the intention of making a living at it," Mahoney explains.

And yet, somehow, that's exactly what happened.

"I have been a full-time musician since 1996," he says. "I don't really teach, I'm more of a working musician. Someone who plays at least three times a week, whether it's a solo show or with a band. I do shows at all kinds of venues -- colleges, bars, private concerts, corporate events..."

He's even sung the national anthem at Minnesota Vikings football and Timberwolves basketball games. Mahoney admits to being a little nervous in his Metrodome debut.

"It was freaky, because it was in front of 70,000 people," he says. "That's a little nerve wracking...people are just really connected to that song, so you can't screw it up."

The weirdest part of the experience, he says, was seeing himself blown up larger-than-life on the jumbotron video screen.

"It's hard not to look at it and think, 'I look really big,'" he laughs.

In addition to live performances, Mahoney has also recorded eight CDs as an independent artist. His latest, Stay/Leave, has gained him notice on a national level, with some of his original songs being licensed to be featured on eight different TV series this fall, including MTV's "The Hills" and "Life of Ryan," as well as the E! Network's "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and "Living Lohan."

"That was a really cool thing," he says of hearing his songs being played on national TV. "I also have a partnership with a large fitness chain called Lifetime Fitness."

Mahoney made a 90-second promo video for them that will air on video screens in the company's fitness centers across the country. He has also made a name for himself as a songwriter by winning a series of song contests, including the 2008 Great Lakes Songwriting Contest, where he was the grand prize winner.

Mahoney also was one of the featured artists selected for a Sun Country Airlines in-flight audio program, and also recently performed live along with Semisonic's Dan Wilson on a moving airplane.

He's also excited about getting the chance to perform with The Bodines next month at a New Year's Eve show in Wisconsin.

But before that, Mahoney will be making a stop in Detroit Lakes for an 8 p.m. show this Saturday at the Holmes Theatre. There will be a pre-show party beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Holmes Ballroom, featuring a cash bar, appetizers catered by show sponsor Central Market, and more.

Mahoney's show will also launch the theater's new "Edge" concert series, which will bring rock, pop, and R&B music to the Detroit Lakes stage in the coming months. Tickets for the concert are $20 for adults and $10 for students.

Following Mahoney's show, on Sunday, Nov. 16, the Holmes Theatre Ballroom will host its second annual "Mother/Son Football Frenzy." This event gives boys (ages 2-12) and their moms, aunts, grandmothers or special friends an opportunity to share the love of football. From noon to 2 p.m., this casual afternoon event offers an opportunity to watch the Sunday afternoon game on the big screen, participate in football drills led by DL High School Laker football players, classic football snacks provided by Country Kitchen and photo opportunities including a starting line-up called by the "Voice of the Lakers," Andy Lia.  Everyone is encouraged to wear their favorite team's colors. The cost is $10 for moms and $5 for boys.

The next show in the "Edge" series is set for Thursday, Jan. 15, as a cappella vocal band "InPulse" takes the stage. For tickets to these and other upcoming events at the Historic Holmes Theatre, call the Holmes Box Office at 218-844-SHOW (7469) or order online at

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454