On Aug. 16, at 6 p.m., Pagosa Springs area churches are proud to welcome Minneapolis recording artist Michelle Whalen to the big white tent stage in Harman Park. Whalen will be opening for Dallas Holm in an evening of music that is sure to be inspirational and moving. The concert is free and open to the public. The opportunity for a love offering will be given.
Rhythm and blues, with a touch of world, folk and hop, Michelle sings and plays ageless hymns, spirituals and original songs with rich lyrics. Her vocal style has been compared to be a mix of Amy Grant, Norah Jones and Anita Baker.
Whalen traces her love of singing and songwriting to her years growing up in Minnesota as a child. “My mother was one of those ladies who always had an album turning on the record player as she went about her day. She had an unbelievable singing voice. As a young girl I’d spend mornings listening to her singing along to a Carpenters, Evie Tornquist or Julie Andrews album. It was a regular part of my everyday life as a child. It was my mother more than anyone who instilled a love of music and singing in me from an early age.”
Whalen also spent several of her grade school years on the island of Madagascar where her parents were stationed as medical missionaries. “Those years developed a love and respect in me for other cultures and their music. We were completely away from television and any media and I think it deepened my love of reading and writing as well, which certainly helps now as a lyricist and songwriter! I have a deep faith in God and I desire for my lyrics to reflect and express the joy and wonder I have of who and ‘Who’s’ I am.” Whalen is known for her lyrical depth and rich writing style.
After high school, Michelle went on to pursue a college degree in music. It was there that early female jazz vocalists like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald and R&B singers the likes of Natalie Cole and Anita Baker began to have their influence on her musical choices and singing. “There is something in the way those ladies sang that is simply the purest definition of ‘soul’ I’ve ever experienced. Their voices made words come alive in ways I’d never heard before, and it has made an indelible mark on my singing and songwriting ever since.”
Come for a memorable night of music, including music from her newly-released CD, “Fringes.”
Plan now to join her as she opens for Dallas Holm at 6 p.m. Aug. 16, in Harman Park in the big white tent off of U.S. 160, behind Wells Fargo. It is sure to be an evening of unforgettable music!