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Home By Dark features songwriting duo Sept. 12
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Home By Dark’s Sept. 12 concert will feature acclaimed songwriters Marcia Ramirez and Emily Shackelton at 8 p.m. at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth.

The show offers storytelling, improvisation and musical performances, with Home By Dark founder and fellow songwriter James Casto serving as host.

Home By Dark began in 2007 with the idea of bringing songwriters and instrumentalists together on one stage. From its origins as a small concert at a garden nursery in Milton, Home By Dark has grown into often sold-out performances at Alpharetta’s Chukkar Farm, venues across North America and now the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center.

Since its inception, Home By Dark has featured songwriters who have written popular songs for stars including Ray Charles, Miranda Lambert and Trisha Yearwood. Audiences are invited to become part of each performance.

“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,” Casto said. “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.”

Ramirez is a songwriter and singer whose career has taken her across the country as a solo artist and onstage with stars such as Rodney Crowell, Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis and Tanya Tucker. A Nashville mainstay, she has performed at venues such as the world famous Bluebird Cafe. She is a popular session singer credited on albums by John Berry and Hank Williams Jr., among others.

She has penned hits for Australian country music star Melinda Schneider, The Whites and Nashville Star finalist Rachel Williams. She also wrote Jo Dee Messina’s “You Belong In the Sun,” which was recorded on her “Greatest Hits” album.

Released in 2001, Ramirez’s first solo album “Compromise” was critically acclaimed and led to projects such as “The Barefoot Sessions,” “Life Goes On” and her newest EP, “Beautifully Lived.” She now tours with pop legend Christopher Cross, in addition to writing and recording for a new project to be released this year.

Shackelton is a celebrated singer and songwriter from Biwabik, Minn. She 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. She is currently signed to Liz Rose Music and Warner/Chappell, with her songs 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. She released her debut album, “Late Bloomer,” in 2013.

This weekend’s show will benefit The Make Lemon Aide Foundation for Cerebral Palsy. For more information, please visit

Tickets are $20-50 and on sale at, or by calling 770-626-2464.