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Cabaret Night plays host to Stoddard on Thursday

Singer-songwriter David Stoddard has traveled "everywhere," performing with or opening for everyone from Leon Redbone and Juice Newton to the Arrogant Worms and Trout Fishing in America (according to his bio).

He's recorded five CDs of original music, and is on the verge of releasing his sixth. So how did this Green Bay, Wisconsin native end up living in Fergus Falls, Minnesota?

"My wife works here, at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center," he says. "My job (as a full-time musician) is generally pretty mobile, while her jobs tend to be more stationary. So I go where the wind -- and my wife -- take me."

That wind will be blowing Stoddard toward Detroit Lakes come next Thursday, March 13, as he takes the stage at the Historic Holmes Theatre Ballroom for the theater's monthly Cabaret Night series, at 5:30 p.m.

"I've done some shows locally, in Alexandria and Fergus Falls, and I was with a show called 'Songs From the Tall Grass,' (which came to the Holmes Theatre last year)," Stoddard says, explaining how he became a part of the Cabaret Night series, which provides a showcase for lakes area performers.

"I got to see some wonderful theaters touring with that group, the Holmes among them. It's sort of been on my radar screen since then."

Though he holds a degree in fresh water ecology from the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point, music remains the central focus of Stoddard's life and career.

"It's the only thing I ever really saw myself doing," Stoddard says. "I had a sort of a musical house growing up -- my brother and sister were musicians, and my mom played piano. There was always some sort of music going on in the house. I had a lovely upbringing."

Stoddard has passed his love of music down to his daughter, who is currently in fourth grade.

"She plays violin in the orchestra -- she's twice the musician I'll ever be," he says.

Though Stoddard teaches both guitar and piano to students in the Fergus Falls area, his daughter is currently learning to play the piano entirely on her own, he says.

"She's pathologically independent," he jokes. "She's got really great intonation, she sings and plays harmony for herself."

So with such a musical family background, why did Stoddard study freshwater ecology?

"It enabled me to experience another one of my loves -- to spend a lot of time outdoors," Stoddard says. "I really enjoy learning about the outdoors."

Yet it is human relationships and interrelationships that form the basis of most of Stoddard's musical work.

"I don't really write (songs) about nature," he says. "I write a lot more about human relationships... sometimes the songs are funny, sometimes they're sad, and sometimes they're halfway in between the two."

A self-professed "modern folk" artist, Stoddard is in the process of releasing his sixth album, titled "Get Off My Lawn."

"I hope to have it out in the next three weeks or so," he says. "I'm going to Texas for a large chunk of April -- I have a tour booked -- and I'm hoping to have it (the album) done by then."

Stoddard is in the process of preparing for next Thursday's show -- which will be filmed live, by a video production crew, for a future local TV broadcast.

"That'll be exciting," Stoddard said.

Admission is $5. Call 844-SHOW for more information.

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