A Saugatuck musician lauded for his work with the elderly has released his 20th album, Legacy.

Bob Rowe, a folk and inspirational singer and songwriter, is founder and director of Renaissance Enterprises, a Kalamazoo-based group that brings together about 50 artists and performers who perform for free, mostly in nursing homes. "I'm very committed to west Michigan," Rowe says. "No matter where my travels take me, it will always be my home."

In 2006, he was given the Mother Teresa Award for his work. Rowe says he maintained a correspondence with Mother Teresa and looked to her as a spiritual mentor.

Rowe's attraction to the arts started early on. Despite his high IQ, he was more interested in painting and writing poetry, he says. He started singing in Michigan clubs, then toured with his folk music to New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, California and more. Rowe brought his music to nursing homes and saw people sitting day in and day out, without much to look forward to. "I realized right off the bat that there was an overwhelming need for what I was doing," he says.

Although dedicated to inspirational and religious music, Rowe never gave up his love for folk, jazz and country. His new album includes classic inspirational songs such as "How Can I Keep from Singing?" Several new originals are included as well, such as "Walk with Jesus."

Look for his new album through iTunes, Sony Music, Napster, Rhapsody, Amazon.com, Cdbaby.com, Target.com and more. He has an upcoming project called Sacred Folk Songs, a three-CD box set with a companion DVD for PBS.

 

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