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Mat Kearney Makes Hobby His Profession

Of the Oakland Press

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Since 2004, singer-songwriter Mat Kearney has released two albums, a couple of EPs and some digital material — pretty prolific for someone who considered music a hobby.

“I never really intended to do this as a profession,” says Kearney, 28, an Oregon native who now resides in Nashville, where he started in the Christian market before crossing over to the pop world with last year’s “Nothing Left to Lose.”

“In my spare time, for fun, I would write songs, and I loved it so much that’s all I wanted to do. It fit like a glove, but I didn’t look at it as a full-time gig for the rest of my life. The more I did it, though, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”

Kearney, who actually harbored ambitions to teach and to write screenplays, will likely be staying with music for the foreseeable future. His songs have appeared in TV shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Unit” and “Kyle XY,” and he received a push from AOL Music, via its taste-making Breakers series. VH1 has taken notice, too, tapping Kearney to headline its

You Oughta Know Tour

for developing artists.

“I just want to keep getting out there with my friends that are in my band and keep playing shows,” Kearney says. “I still am learning you can lean on a band. I usually write where I have to carry every moment with the words and the lyrics and the melody. I’m learning that you don’t have to do that all the time — there’s a guitar player who can play something, too.

“That’s constantly shaping how I write now, and I love it. I think my next album will show the real impact of that, too.”

The VH1 You Oughta Know Tour, featuring Mat Kearney, The Feeling and Rocco DeLuca & the Burden takes place at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday (April 4th) at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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