Many subjects often inspire musicians, but nature?
It's what Americana singer/songwriter Sean Rowe uses to create honest music.
The Troy, New York native is headed to Knoxville in a few weeks, packing with him a strong baritone voice that takes center stage in his music, which possesses a distinctly natural feel.
"I began to approach music with an honest feel," Rowe said in a phone interview. "I guess that's inspired by my fundamental vibe and my passion with nature, trying to get down to what's real and feel the layers, musically speaking. That's certainly inspired by my love of wilderness and nature."
Having read the book "The Tracker" by Tom Brown at age 18, Rowe quickly became passionate on the subject of nature, and continued to study wilderness education in his home state for the next six years. When asked what it means to be a naturalist, Rowe said, "it just means that you approach nature with an openness to learn about it."
"You are passionate about learning, advocating for the natural world," Rowe said. "Being a naturalist isn't just going to a park and learning about plants, it has to do with everything that's real. Making music is part of that, music is a part of the natural world, and it is something that is very universal that has always been around."
"27" became Rowe's debut album,which was released in 2003, allowing him to quit the bar concerts and focus on his musical and nature related endeavors. Rowe toured with indie band Noah and the Whales in 2010, then went on and studied at the Hawk Circle Wilderness Education, but not without completing a 24 day survival quest alone. Within just a year's time, Rowe released his sophomore album entitled "Magic."
As a teenager, Rowe discovered various different artists in the Blues genre, including Muddy Waters and Ray Charles.
Quickly learning the songs of his favorite artists, Rowe began playing bars with four hour long sets.
"I draw from a lot of typical styles but my roots are in blues and folk music," Rowe said. "I take from a lot of styles and traditions and make them my own."
In 2009, Rowe wrote for the Albany Times Union as a nature blogger, covering topics like foresting and various wild foods.
"I didn't feel limited with the mate- rial, sometimes with the language I felt limited and it is what it is," Rowe said. "It was a good experience; it was like work for me for a way to put my ideas down."
His latest album, "The Salesman and the Shark," released in August of last year. Since then, Rowe has been promoting his music and touring nationally and outside of domestic borders. This summer, he will be touring in the South, with a stop in Knoxville.
Rowe will be performing a free concert at Boyd's Jig & Reel located in the Old City Wednesday, July 17, at 7 p.m.