LARSON: Promoter makes presence known in Gwinnett

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

Eddie Owen Presents! What an appropriate name for what’s going on at the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth.

For nearly two decades at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Owen presented A-list acoustical artists from all over the country, while promoting local new talent as well. One of the most notable is Leah Calvert, a graduate of Norcross High School ,who sings and fiddles with the Dappled Grays who were voted best bluegrass band in the state. She also performs solo and has a CD titled “Rough Draft,” which I find to be great workout music.

“Eddie is an incredible supporter of every musician who comes to this town and makes it feel like home for traveling musicians.” Calvert said. “He has the ability to find really good acts.”

But it isn’t just musical talent that Owen presents to the community. He also used Eddie’s Attic as a venue for displaying books for the Decatur Book Festival and for encouraging new authors, especially musicians with books.

“There is nothing more important in our society than keeping alive the art of the written word,” Owen said.

Owen has changed his venue to Eddie Owen Presents in Duluth, but nothing about his philosophy or community involvement has changed a bit. Well, except that it’s expanded. Owen is partnering with the Gwinnett County Public Library in presenting their 2013 Fall Into the Arts Program.

Denise Auger, Community Partnership Coordinator for the Gwinnett library became aware of Owen’s promotions of books when she was on the planning committee for the Decatur Book Festival. She connected with him through a mutual friend, Kelly Bowlin of Gwinnett School of Music and before they knew it, Owen was booked.

“We were so excited to see Eddie move to Duluth. He is so supportive of music and books and we knew this treasure was now ours,” Auger said.

The highlight of this cooperative effort will be a performance and book signing by American singer and songwriter, Marshall Chapman. Her thirteenth album, “Blaze of Glory” was just released in May and her songs have been recorded by numerous artists including Emmy Lou Harris, Joe Cocker and Jimmy Buffet.

Her first book “Good bye Little Rock and Roller” was an award finalist and bestseller of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. In her latest book, “They Came to Nashville,” she tells personal stories of musicians who shaped the history of music in Nashville.

For the big FITA event on October 5 at 2 p.m. Chapman will perform and present a talk about her writing experience at Eddie Owen Presents, followed by a book signing. Admission is $18, but to support the library program the first 100 guests will be admitted for free. Doors open at 1 p.m.

“The effect the literary word can have on us as people is important,” Owen said, “and I think we should all participate in any way we can.”

Denise is right. It’s a real treasure to have Eddie Owen present in Gwinnett County.

For more info, go to www.fallintothearts.com

Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. Email her at susanlarson79@gmail.com.