Maybe they should just go ahead and host next year’s blind auditions for “The Voice” at the Cabooze. The NBC TV music competition showcased Nick “The Feelin’” Mrozinski -- another Twin Cities singer with roots at the West Bank rock club -- during last night’s blind auditions. Performing “Stand by Me” under the less Minnesota-sounding name Nicholas David, the hippie-ish soul-rocker earned a quick button-down/thumbs-up chair-turnaround from Cee-Lo Green, which thus landed him on Green’s team. But he also got some high praise from the other celebrity coaches, too.
“I love the unique quality of your voice,” Christina Aguilera said, echoing Adam Levine’s comparison of him to Aaron Neville. Said Levine, “You're awesome, dude.” As for Green, he suggested that Mrozinski was a perfect fit for his team. Said Cee-Lo, “Unique voice, unique style and now a unique coach.”
In a conference call with TV critics today -- including the Star Tribune's Neal Justin -- Mrozinski said he was "frickin' pumped" about the way things went down. Asked specifically about choosing "Stand By Me" for his audition song, he said, "It's something that people could relate to, but that I could pepper with my own spices."
An Eagan resident, the 32-year-old singer has been a regular presence in local clubs for the past half-decade and even performed Sunday night at the Nomad Pub after the show aired. He has played under his own name and with the Feelin’ Band, plus he had a stint as a keyboardist in the White Iron Band. Perhaps he’s best-known for his dramatic, booming-voiced version of “Across the Universe” on the “Minnesota Beatle Project, Vol. 1” charity CD.
Mrozinski follows fellow Cabooze regular Tim Mahoney onto “The Voice” along with another local club vet, Jordis Unga. Meanwhile, one of the West Bank venue's favorite sons, Reed Grimm, made it to the semifinals on “American Idol” this past spring.
Mrozinski said on air after the audition, “I’m a family man, privileged to be here. I’m blessed to be here.”