Shawn Mullins to perform in Lawrenceville

LAWRENCEVILLE - Shawn Mullins has spent the past two weeks out in the Tennessee woods writing songs, but he'll be on Gwinnett's Historic Courthouse lawn to perform tonight.

A Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, Mullins is the featured artist for the third of five live performances in Lawrenceville's Moonlight and Music Concerts series.

"Shawn will be performing a solo set, and then he's going to bring a band out," said Kip Connor, Mullins' road manager. The solo set will start at 8 p.m., followed by the band set at 9.

"The band is all comprised of members who are local to the Atlanta, Athens and Augusta area," Connor said. Drummer Gerry Hansen is one of Gwinnett's own musicians, hailing from Lawrenceville.

Mullins, a native of Atlanta, will perform songs off his latest album, "honeydew," which was released in March.

"Some of my earlier records we set in specific parts of the country; like the West Coast on 'Soul's Core," Mullins said in a news release. "This one is about the South, what has changed and what hasn't changed. It has to do with what I'm seeing around me, and telling stories that haven't been told."

In addition to tracks off his latest CD, Mullins is set to perform songs from three previous albums.

"We are honored to host Shawn Mullins again in 2008 as our featured national act for the city/county partnered concert series," said Jay Markwalter, executive director for the Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association, which has partnered with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation to present the show. "He has helped us make it an annual tradition, and we are grateful that Mr. Mullins accepted our offer to return for a fourth appearance."

Markwalter said Mullins is a big draw for the concert series.

"Old and new fans of all ages, from as far as 500 miles, have converged on Lawrenceville each summer, and this year's concert looks to be a terrific follow-up to the 2007 crowd of close to 3,000," Markwalter said. "As for tourism destination marketing and local economic development, let's just say that Shawn Mullins is an ambassador of music impacting not only Lawrenceville for one awesome night per year, but also Gwinnett and Georgia's proud music heritage."

Tonight's event is also the last scheduled date Mullins will be performing in Georgia until he returns to his home state in late November.

SideBar: If you go

· What: Moonlight and Music Concerts series featuring Shawn Mullins

· When: 8 tonight, with a pre-show belly dancing exhibition at 7:30

· Where: Gwinnett Historic Courthouse lawn, 185 Crogan St., Lawrenceville

· Cost: Free for lawn seating; tables of six can be reserved for $60 for Gwinnett residents and $80 for non-residents. Call 770-822-5450 for tickets.

· More information: www.visitlawrenceville.com