The Center for the Arts is pleased to present an evening with Shawn Mullins and Steve Poltz on September 17, 2023 in the Marisa Funk Theater.
After a series of indie releases and growing buzz in the Atlanta music scene, Shawn Mullins’ critical and commercial breakthrough came when 1998 Soul’s Core shot him to fame on the strength of Grammy-nominated No. 1 hit, “Lullaby” followed by AAA/Americana No. 1 hit “Beautiful Wreck” from 2006’s 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor. His song, “Shimmer” was used in promotion of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and was included on the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack. His co-written song “All in My Head” from 2008’s Honeydew and it was featured in episode one of the hit TV sitcom “Scrubs.”
Mullins also co-wrote the Zac Brown Band’s No. 1 country tune “Toes.” In early 2002, he formed the supergroup The Thorns with Matthew Sweet and Pete Droge. “No Blue Sky” from the resulting album, is a modern-day classic. For the 20th anniversary of his breakthrough album, Shawn revisited the music of Soul’s Core by recording two new versions of the album. He calls this Soul’s Core Revival. This is not a remix or a remaster of the original, but rather brand new recordings with new arrangements of the songs – one album is stripped down solo performances, some on guitar, some on piano and maybe one a cappella, and the second is a new studio recording with his full band, Soul Carnival.
Steve Poltz is a prolific writer and collaborator who downplays what seems like a non-stop geyser of creativity. “I have no rhyme or reason for what I do. It’s all magic. I go by instinct. It just felt right, so I went with it.” Steve, a road dog and performance junkie who regularly spends 300+ days a year on the road, while stuck in Nashville during the pandemic, joined the Wood Brothers for outdoor socially distant hangs, and, on a whim, decided to record one song with Oliver Wood and Jano Rix, which then turned into an exuberant, thoughtful batch of songs that celebrate life in all of its stages. The resulting album is called Stardust & Satellites [Red House / Compass Records], and begins with the lithe fingerpicking of “Wrong Town,” an anthem summing up the life of an itinerant songwriter/performer, where he declares, “The truth is I have no plan at all,” going on to cite Emmylou Harris and Don Was as his style icons.
With a cult following that includes fellow musicians, regular folks, and festival goers who stumble onto his performances, there’s no common denominator to Steve’s fans. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and raised in San Diego, CA, Steve toured and recorded with San Diego cult favorites The Rugburns (they still play annual sold-out reunion shows). But it was through his creative partnership with Jewel that he vaulted into the national spotlight; co-writing her multiplatinum Billboard Hot 100-busting smash, “You Were Meant For Me,” and continues to work with her to this day. Over the years, the Nashville-based singer-songwriter has built a fascinating solo catalog, earmarked by his debut, One Left Shoe, Dreamhouse, Folk Singer, and 2019’s Shine On.
This will be an entertaining evening with two talented troubadours, Shawn Mullins and Steve Poltz, at The Center for the Arts on September 17, 2023.
Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming, offering more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center recently completed a major renovation of its multiuse, 21,000-square-foot facility in downtown Grass Valley, making it a premier performing arts destination. The venue includes the Main Stage, which accommodates up to 492 guests in configurable theater seats and up to 700 patrons for dance shows, and a 90-seat studio theater.