Trina Hamlin plays a unique style of music that she says is difficult to classify.
"It's blues influenced," she said. "Pop is not the right word for it. Folk isn't exactly the right word for it. It's tough to describe it. It's like soulful-blues-influenced pop in a way."
Hamlin, nationally known for her prowess on guitar and harmonica, will make her debut Alaska performance at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24, at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The concert is the first of the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council's Sunday Salon Series, aimed to add more entertainment on Sundays in the capital city, said executive director Nancy DeCherney.
"It's all part of what we can do now that we have this new space," she said. "I think it will broaden our horizons a little bit."
DeCherney said she is excited to have Hamlin kick off the three-part Sunday series. Folk singer Tom May is scheduled to perform on Sept. 21, and pianist Adam Tendler is scheduled to perform on Nov. 2. There could be more acts added to the series, DeCherney said.
Babs Perkins, Hamlin's media contact, said her music is in a class by itself.
"That's been our biggest hurdle, is trying to put it in terms that people understand because she is so unique and so singular in her style and sound," Perkins said.
Hamlin moves effortlessly from the piano to the guitar to self-accompaniment on the blues harp, Perkins said.
"She's one of these extremely versatile musicians," she said. "Trying to relate her to people, the tag line we were using for a while was 'blues-inflected folk-pop,' but that really doesn't do it justice."
Hamlin, who grew up in Minnesota and now resides in New York City, is a friend and coworker of singer-songwriter Susan Werner, who performed in Juneau with John Gorka in the spring.
Hamlin's music reaches various demographics, Perkins said. Her music has been featured on television shows like "Dawson's Creek", MTV's "The Real World" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."
Hamlin said more than anything she enjoys playing music, regardless of whatever genre it is classified under.
"First and foremost, I love to play," she said. "I adore playing and writing is almost a vehicle to allow me to play more."
Hamlin said she is thankful when inspiration comes through her and manifests itself in her songs.
"I definitely find them in the ether whenever they arrive," she said. "The nice thing is I feel like every time I write I kind of learn and expand upon what I know. Different styles will come into my head and it teaches me to play differently, which I love."
Most of her songs are interconnected by one of the most basic human emotions, Hamlin said.
"I would say that there's an underlying current of love in all different forms - we're not just talking relationships," she said. "I've found that I'm not a political writer. I have many political views but I just have not found a way that I would want to even express that in a song. So I kind of stick to what I can feel the most and what seems to resonate with other people, so it's almost like different takes on love in different ways."
Hamlin's most recent album, the 2007 release "One Nightstand," was recorded live in Indianapolis, Ind. She said live performances capture an energy that is difficult to create in a recording studio. People attending Sunday's concert should expect a high-energy show, Hamlin said.
"There's a lot of energy," she said. "I'll take you on a roller-coaster ride."
Perkins said Hamlin's shows are memorable.
"She's just a hell of a performer," she said.
Hamlin said she really just loves to play music and hopes the audience will enjoy the concert as much as she enjoys performing it.
"I love it and I don't really do it for the applause," she said. "I do it because I love it. Hopefully that gets passed along. If anything, if I can be kind and put a little love out there maybe that will push a little more and someone else will pass it around. It's a small thing, but if we can make that happen it's a good thing."
Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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