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Get to know CherryGun

Amy Monaghan, left, lead singer of the country, rock and pop cover band CherryGun, takes time to talk about her life as a musician. CherryGun performs next weekend at the Parlay Lounge in Treasure Island Resort and Casino.

The country, rock and pop cover band CherryGun has been traveling the Midwest to play at bars, nightclubs, weddings and casinos for five years.

The group returns to play 8:30 p.m. Friday Aug. 30 and Saturday Aug. 31 at the Parlay Lounge in Treasure Island Resort & Casino.

Lead singer Amy Monaghan and her boys Dan Monaghan, Cory Carlson and Derek Dennie entertain audiences through their popular cover songs and energizing musicianship.

We chatted with Amy about life as musician and her love affair with music.

For more information about the band, check out

How long have you been involved with music? ... CherryGun?

As a child, I sang at the top of my lungs in musical theater. My teen years were spent singing in churches across America, writing songs, and eventually recording my first demo, in New York, when I was 18.

I started CherryGun in 2006. We were an original rock band, simply called Amy M. We quickly morphed into a cover band, playing every weekend and having a blast.

In 2010, we finally decided to give us a name. CherryGun fit us perfectly.

Describe your music genre.

Rock, country and pop

What instruments do you or can you play?

Piano and acoustic guitar. I rarely perform with them. I just use them as song writing tools.

What or who inspires your music?

The audience inspires me. There is nothing more powerful than feeling a strong connection to each person in the crowd. I can see it on their faces and in their eyes. Sometimes it gives me chills.

Describe the band's dynamic.

We are like a family. We all travel together, in one vehicle and hang out together. I think it shows on stage.

Do you have a favorite piece of your own work?

Not exactly. Every once in awhile, I will pull out one of my CD's and listen with fresh ears. There are moments I am proud of, and many things I would re-write and re-record if I had the chance. I guess I'm always learning & always changing.

Are you currently working on any project?

Sure. I am always writing music and sometimes I get around to recording a song or two of my own. But my main focus is making CherryGun the best cover band we can be.

What would you want most people to know about you, as a musician?

Nothing gets me more excited than a perfect vocal blend.

What is one song off your top 10 favorite song list?

My answer to that question changes every day. But if I were to narrow it down to my favorite song that I sing with CherryGun, I would say, "Titanium." It's different -- special.

Do you have a favorite artist — in any type of art medium?

Right now, my favorite artist is Pat Monahan of Train. His songwriting, voice, and ability to stay afloat in such a crazy and ever changing music industry is admirable.

Besides music, do you have interesting hobbies?

I can't think of anything I do that isn't related to music and performing. If I accidentally have a night off, I'll be out there watching another band.

What is one thing someone wouldn't know about you?

I was home-schooled throughout high school. So I didn't get to go to prom, but I did get to travel across America with my parents, singing and becoming the person I am today.

Stacy Bengs-Silverberg

Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.

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