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OUT IN THE CROWD: Concert series to feature country singer Whalen

Special Photo. Singer-songwriter Coles Whalen will perform Saturday in the Bowman House Concert Series.

Special Photo. Singer-songwriter Coles Whalen will perform Saturday in the Bowman House Concert Series.

Booking singer-songwriter Coles Whalen has been one of the few times Art Bowman has taken the advice of a patron.

Bowman hosts an annual concert series -- now in its fifth year -- in his Lawrenceville home. More than 40 musicians performing primarily within American and folk rock genres have been featured in the series.

"I usually know these artists well in advance. I have heard them play," Bowman said.

But in this situation, he took the advice of Lilburn resident and concert-goer Scott Peterkin.

"He has been raving about Coles for a long time and so I'd been listening to her music and going on YouTube and those sort of things and came to admire her abilities," Bowman said.

Whalen's musical style falls within the Americana genre under the umbrella of country music. The artist just released a new album, her fourth solo release, "Whistle Stop Road Record" on Oct. 1.

Bowman and Whalen had booked Saturday's concert date about a year ago.

"I'm thrilled she's going to be here," Bowman said. "She's a very good writer but she's a passionate performer, and I'm expecting people to be blown away. This is one of those times we're bringing in someone hardly anyone knows, so there's a lot of surprise to be enjoyed."

Whalen, who will play both acoustic guitar and piano during the concert, will be joined by her bass player, and said house concerts, such as those in the Bowman House Concert Series, offer more intimate encounters for both the musician and concert-goers. She said Saturday's audience can expect a bit of storytelling.

"I think these concerts lend themselves to giving me the freedom to explain where the songs come from and where I got the inspiration," she said.

Whalen will also perform sets slightly different from those she would play at other, larger venues.

"I think the house concerts lend themselves to some of the more intimate songs, some of the ballads, some of the songs that tell a deeper story as opposed to the more up-tempo songs we might tend to play in a club or bar atmosphere," she said. "We're really excited about being asked to play one of these concerts. I think a lot of people don't know about (house concerts), but they're really important to independent artists."

Bowman had received 25 to 30 RSVPs for the concert mid-week and can accommodate a little more than 40 guests. Admission is $20 with all proceeds going to the musician. Reservations can be made by calling 770-979-1314 or e-mailing bowmanhouseconcerts@gmail.com.

Main Street music

The Main Street Symphony, an adult, amateur orchestra featuring string instruments and sponsored by Huthmaker Violins, will perform Sunday in Duluth.

The group, under the direction of Dana Lowe, orchestra director and conductor at Mill Creek High School, will present a range of pieces beginning at 3 p.m. at 3160 Main St.

"(The audience can expect) a little bit of everything," Lowe said. "We want them to experience a full range of emotions. Just be able to sit back on a Sunday afternoon and, for maybe about an hour, not think about anything that is troubling them."

The group will perform a piece -- "Blessing and Celebration" -- suggested by principal cellist Nancy Mack, who attended a workshop with the composer, Beth Korinn Bultman, a professor at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York.

Bultman wrote and performed the piece as a wedding gift for a close friend.

"In her notes, she says she wanted the piece to be a work of pure love and joy, and it truly is," Lowe said. "The first movement, 'Blessing,' is slow and beautiful, and the second movement is joyous. It was written with such love."

The symphony will also perform two holiday selections -- "Silver Bells" by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Eddie Pola and George Wyle -- to usher in the season.

For more information on the performance, call 770-476-9443.