Devin Mauch picked up a guitar when he was about 7 years old.
His mom wanted to learn to play, so she got one for herself, for Mauch and for his brother.
They started taking lessons.
Mom didn’t stick with it. But the boys did.
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“I was that kid in elementary school accompanying the chorus on guitar,” Mauch said with a laugh. “I thought I was hot stuff up there, playing the most basic chords.”
His musical skills have grown much more sophisticated throughout the years.
Now he’s one-third of the acclaimed hard-hitting folk rock trio The Ballroom Thieves, set to play Brewminatti in Prosser on April 10.
Tickets are $15, and they’re going fast.
The band played Brewminatti’s first-ever show last summer, and it was a smashing success, said co-owner Marty Taylor.
“With their somewhat usual lineup of guitar, percussion and cello, (the sound) can be big, epic and loud or intimate, quiet and folksy,” Taylor said.
“It’s emotionally-stirring. The lyrics are meaningful,” he said. “They connect really well to the audience.”
Mauch — who plays percussion in The Ballroom Thieves, despite his early love for guitar — met band co-founder Martin Earley at Stonehill College outside Boston.
They started playing gigs, earning fans. A cellist came on board, but eventually parted ways with the guys over the heavy touring schedule.
Around that same time, Mauch and Earley met Calin Peters, now the trio’s third member.
She plays cello, with Earley on guitar. The lineup is a good fit, Mauch said.
On stage, “we really put ourselves out there. We never hold back on the emotional delivery of these songs,” he said. “We could be having the worst day, but we step on stage and without fail it evaporates completely. By the end of the first song, we’re in the zone — a zone I’ve never felt before with another group. We give you everything we’ve got.”
Mauch spoke to the Herald by phone from the Boston area, where the band was putting the finishing touches on its new album, expected to be released later this year.
Its full-length debut, A Wolf in the Doorway, is available now and features numerous standout tracks, from the lyrical, soaring Archers to the lovely, haunting Bury Me Smiling.
The Ballroom Thieves will be joined in Prosser by openers Tall Heights.
Mauch said his band looks forward to the show. The Northwest is a favorite touring spot.
He and his bandmates are on the road most of the year.
It can get tiring. But it’s special, too.
“It’s amazing to go all over the U.S. and get to see all these things and meet all these people in all these nooks and crannies of the country,” Mauch said. “There no reason I would have ever ended up in Davenport, Iowa, (for example). But now I have some great friends there.”
And he’s got his bandmates. And his music.
He’s loved making music since he was a kid, since he got that first guitar.
He loves it even when he’s playing in a room by himself.
“And getting to do it now before (crowds big and small), before people who know our music and love it — that’s an amazing feeling,” Mauch said. “We’re not rich in any sort of financial way, by any means. But as far as experience and relationships, I think we’re up there with the luckiest people in the world.”
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at www.therootscellar.com and at Brewminatti, 713 Sixth St., Prosser.
IF YOU GO
What: The Ballroom Thieves, with opener Tall Heights.
When: 7 p.m. April 10.
Where: Brewminatti, 713 Sixth St., Prosser.
Cost: Tickets are $15. They’re available at www.therootscellar.com and at Brewminatti.