In a blend of contemporary songs inspired by the Maine coast, Lawrence Kaplan '72 will return to the Brunswick area tomorrow evening to perform his renowned folk ballads at the Maine Maritime Museum.

Kaplan, who calls himself a child of the folk revolution of the 1960s, got his start as a student at the College in the late '60s and '70s when he and other student musicians began a weekly coffeehouse in the basement of Appleton Hall called "The Bear Bottom."

The folk artist's music, which has been featured in festivals and clubs across the United States and Europe, centers around imagery of coastal and riparian life in the context of the anecdotal history that has shaped it.

"I'm very interested in the local history from the perspective of the individual," Kaplan said. "You live in a place and you try to learn about it. It's kept me focused."

It is this connection to place that Kaplan plans to draw on during his performance tomorrow evening—with a setlist featuring songs about the coastal regions of Maine, from Brunswick to Penobscot, as well as ballads about the experience of an autumn in New England.

"I love Maine ... there's something very peaceful about quiet time around this time of year—when you have time for yourself in Maine, or even just on Bowdoin's campus, which is to this day one of the most spectacular places to study—you make the time to do things you really love," Kaplan said.

It during his time at Bowdoin that Kaplan became immersed in the folk music scene, playing with his student band, "Ben Steel With His Bear Hands," and spending much of his free time picking his guitar in the chapel or Wentworth Hall, now Wentworth Servery in Thorne Hall. He went on to performing for passengers on the historic schooner "The Bowdoin" in Camden, Maine, writing songs that would be sung for decades to come.

For Kaplan, his return to the Maine coast is both a trip back in time as well as chance to give back to a place that he credits to shaping his musical style and future career.

"I don't look at it as much as a venue to sing at as much as a place to be back at," he said. "I'm old enough to come back and get soggy-eyed about the place. To me, it's just a chance to share stuff and bring back home songs that were inspired by the sensibility of living in Maine in an important time of my life. College is the most active, energetic, intellectually stimulating time."

A musician on the folk scene for almost fifty years now, Kaplan signed with Folk Legacy Records in 1993 and has released three CDs with the company since. His performance will take place at the Maine Maritime Museum tomorrow evening from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is $12 for members of the museum and $15 for non-members.