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Lorie Line to perform in DL

Though she may not look -- or sound -- much like a rebel, pianist Lorie Line does have a bit of the iconoclast inside her.

For one thing, she has her own, independent music label, created solely for the purpose of producing and marketing her work.

"My whole career, I have had my own label," she says. "I started it when it wasn't fashionable, when people were thinking it was pretty pathetic. Now I'm in the most coveted position in the music business."

Her reasons for going the independent route were simple.

"I started out not really having a choice," she says bluntly. "I didn't have a big name... the (major record) labels wouldn't have been interested.

"I decided to make a CD and a (cassette) tape because I had fans who really liked my playing and I wanted to provide them with some of my music."

By the time Line had made a big enough name for herself to garner attention from a major label, she was no longer interested in doing so.

"By the time I had the name, I didn't need the label," she says. "Tim (her husband of 20 years) and I didn't want to lose the personal touch, so we decided to keep our own label and do everything ourselves."

So far, it's worked out pretty well.

"I'm in a very good place in my career," Line says. In fact, Lorie Line Music is now the largest woman-owned independent record label in the country.

The classically trained pianist, who holds a bachelor's degree in music from the University of Nevada -- and was the first person in her family to earn a college degree -- got her start in the music business by serenading shoppers at Dayton's stores in the Minneapolis area.

Though she had dabbled in songwriting while still in high school, Line didn't become a serious composer until after she had already started recording.

"It's (composing) a more personal way to forge a strong identity in the music business," she says. "I gave it a shot, and it turned out really beautifully. I don't know how many songs I've written now.

"My music is mostly pop, with some classical flair, and a little jazz," she continues. "I was classically trained, but my favorite music was the music of the 70s. I think my music is very pop-driven, really lyrical with a strong melody."

Fans of her work will have a rare opportunity to hear Line perform in a small, intimate setting when she brings her latest tour to the stage of Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre on Saturday, May 20, for a 7:30 p.m. show.

"You could call it 'Lorie Line and the Fab Five,'" she says, referring to the fact that she has scaled down her entourage considerably for this tour, inviting just five of her favorite musicians to accompany her.

"This show is more about the music," she says. The two-hour production (with a 20-minute intermission between sets) will feature approximately 17-18 songs highlighting both her original compositions and favorites from past shows.

For this tour, Line has taken the opportunity to reunite with some of the original cast members from her Pop Chamber Orchestra.

"It's a musical homecoming for me," she says. "It's much more intimate, with some personal storytelling and more original music."

With just 10 dates planned, opening last Sunday in Menomonie, Wis., and ending on June 25 in Red Wing, Minn., Line says this tour allows her to spend most of her weekdays back home in the Twin Cities, where her daughters, age 16 and 12, are attending school.

"I'm working mostly on weekends for this tour," she says, but adds that she hopes to expand it to include some dates in July and August as well.

Though Tim has played a featured role in past tours, as master of ceremonies, Line says her husband will be more of a behind-the-scenes presence this time around.

"I think he's relieved," she says.

Though the May 20 show is already nearly sold out, there are still seats available, according to Holmes Theatre administrator Amy Stearns. All tickets are $30.75. For more information, call the Holmes Theatre Box Office at 218-844-SHOW (7469).

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