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The Sandy Valley area is a special place for Mike Coates.
That's why the Nashville resident will come back to his hometown area to perform during the Sandy and Beaver Canal Days on Aug. 12. Coates, a 2004 Sandy Valley high School graduate, will take the stage at Magnolia Village Park at 8 p.m.
"It's fun to come home and share what I've learned from the last six years living in Nashville," Coates said. "It's very fitting to take this music that began in (and was inspired) by my hometown and perform it live there."
Coates said he will play some popular cover songs. But he will also perform songs from his new record.
"People have heard early versions of a few of my original tunes before, but I've never performed the songs in their final, finished state before," he said.
Coates' first record is titled Battlesburg, a tribute to his parents address on the outskirts of East Sparta. He noted the album cover is a picture of him jumping into his parents' pond. All of the music was written between his time in East Sparta and Nashville.
In the music, Coates plays piano and trumpet in addition to singing on the recordings.
"The final track on the record is actually titled /Battlesburg,' and it is a nostalgic, sentimental ode to home," he said. "People have really connected with it and that's been exciting for me to see."
Coates said he will take the stage at Canal Days with the "legendary" John Herstine.
"One of the best qualities of the Canal Days Festival is the relaxing, no-hurry atmosphere," Coates said. He added he will play for a while "as long as people want to stick around."
Coates encourages anyone who can't make it to Canal Days to listen to his music on his website at www.youlikemike.com.
"It's very important to me that my friends and family hear these songs that were written and recorded with our incredible community in mind," he said.
With his album done, Coates added he is working on booking shows and licensing his music for movies and television.