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MUSIC | Nicholas Mrozinski and friends, purveyors of "conscious global pop"
If you’re one of the few people who’re unfamiliar with emerging singer-songwriter-pianist Nicholas Mrozinski a.k.a. “The Feelin',"don’t feel too bad: I didn’t know about him, either, until someone steered his business partner Jackson Eddy to the Daily Planet.
Eddy’s convinced that the number of music lovers who don’t know Mrozinski is going to get smaller and smaller. “[He] played over 150 shows last year,” says Eddy, “and really has something special going on. I believe in my heart of hearts, along with a number of local music writers, that he will be the next big Minnesota act to make a dent in the national-global scene.” True enough, Rift Magazine, the Duluth News Tribune, the Star Tribune, and a list of other area publications have given the guy strong praise.
Mrozinski, a veteran of three albums (Oak Chase Way, Four Legged Light, and the Feelin’ Band’s The Sacred Play of Life) as well as three White Iron Band releases, is well plugged-in to the local music scene. For his new offering Together We’re Stronger, which launched in June with a release event at Minneapolis’s Cedar Cultural Center, he had a roster of heavyweights—guests from some 40 bands in all—sitting in to help with the recording. That included members of his old group the White Iron Band (which he still joins on occasion), Gold Standard, the Big Wu, Desdamona, God Johnson, Stone Soup...even Lorie Line's Pop Chamber Orchestra.
Needless to say, when he gets up on stage, Nicholas Mrozinski has a rich pool of talent to call on as backup. Right now, he says, “it's an ever-changing lineup but the core group is C.J. Vanderpoll and Chris Gray on drums; Jeff Westervelt on bass; Sammy Weyandt, Dylan Nau, and Michael Corcoran on guitars; Maxaphone, Jeff Engholm, and Aaron Wiener on various horns; and Doug Otto on acoustic guitar and backup vocals. That's the core group."
To describe the sound, Jackson Eddy came up with the term, “Conscious Global Pop." Says Eddy, "I made that one up from feedback from reviewers and other folks alike. [Nicholas's] message is conscious, universal, and encompasses many genres, schools of thought, musical styles, and themes unique to the human experience. Putting Nicholas's music in a neat box or genre is almost impossible so we just went with that.” It’s a blend of laid-back rock and country with a hint of the blues, over which Mrozinski applies a solid, emotive vocal.
To market the sound, Nicholas Mrozinski and Jackson Eddy established their label Wake the World. The name isn’t so much bragging as it is a statement that they’re business owners who don’t have a problem respecting planetary resources. All the CD packaging and mailings feature "green" design, using only recycled materials and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified board.
The plan is to release ten albums by the artist over the next five years. Jackson attests that “Nicholas has already amassed hundreds of original songs, making his ambitious plan a very achievable goal.”
©2009 Dwight Hobbes