July 9

Home By Dark concert series announces lineup for September show


By: Katie Morris

Published: Thursday, July 9, 2015 

Home By Dark will continue its 2015 Gwinnett concert series at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center with a Sept. 12 show featuring songwriters Marcia Ramirez and Emily Shackelton.

Founded in 2007, Home By Dark grew into a sold-out series at Alpharetta’s Chukkar Farm before extending to Gwinnett two years ago. The concert series was created with the idea of bringing songwriters and instrumentalists together on stage to perform and tell their stories.

“I set out to create a concert experience that broke down the barrier between the performers and the audience, and Home By Dark truly does that,” said founder and songwriter James Casto, who serves as host during the show. “Our goal is to elevate the songwriters and instrumentalists to perform their very best and communicate their music and personal stories in an honest, genuine way.”

Songwriter and singer Marcia Ramirez has performed across the country as a solo artist as well as on stage with stars such as Rodney Crowell, Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis and Tanya Tucker. The Nashville artist has performed at the famous Bluebird Cafe and is a popular session singer, having been credited on albums by John Berry and Hank Williams Jr. among many others.

Ramirez has penned hits for Australian country star Melinda Schneider, The Whites and “Nashville Star” finalist Rachel Williams and also wrote Jo Dee Messina’s “You Belong In the Sun.” She released her first solo album “Compromise” in 2001 and her newest EP, “Beautifully Lived” in 2009. She is touring with pop legend Christopher Cross, in addition to writing and recording for a new project to be released this year.

Singer and songwriter, Emily Shackelton, honed her musical skills at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she was awarded grand prize in the coveted John Lennon-BMI Foundation Songwriting Scholarship Competition.

Shackleton’s songs have been recorded by David Cook, Sara Evans, Wynonna Judd, Reba McEntire, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Cassadee Pope, The Fray lead singer Issac Slade, “X-Factor” winner Tate Stevens and Chuck Wicks among others.

She has appeared on NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion” as a performer, and her songs have been featured on ABC’s hit drama “Nashville” and the corresponding soundtracks sung by Chip Easton, Lennon & Maisy and Hayden Panettiere. Shackleton released her debut album, “Late Bloomer,” in 2013.

Each Home By Dark show supports a different nonprofit partner — the Sept. 12 show will benefit The Make Lemon Aide Foundation for Cerebral Palsy (CP), an organization dedicated to raising awareness about CP, training CP therapists and funding research.

Tickets for Home By Dark range from $20 to $50 and are on sale now at GwinnettCenter.com, AXS.com, The Arena box office or by calling (770) 626-2464.