The cream of the Open Stage crop
Each year, the organizers of The Ark's monthly Open Stage pick one or two artists who they feel have really honed their stuff and are ready for prime time. This year's Open Stage Showcase features Ali McManus and Eric Moore. Eric is a familiar face on the southeast Michigan music scene. The Pittsburgh native has been a human jukebox in dive bars and a songsmith on festival stages. He takes his singing cues from blue-eyed soul masters like Van Morrison and John Martyn while pursuing songwriting inspired by Paul Simon and fingerstyle guitar work in the vein of Leo Kottke and Bert Jansch. He has released two CDs of original material, "Picture Frame" and "Songdog." Bloomfield Hills teen Ali McManus says: "My journey has been a series of twists and turns … and I mean that literally. Life—and my body itself—have thrown me some serious curves. But music saved my life. One song means three minutes
of no pain, and I can say things with song that I can’t speak in words alone. I don’t see myself as a person in a wheelchair. I see myself as a regular person who just happens to sit down all day. I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I believe positivity is the only way. I write songs that reflect my life, and I hope to connect with people through my lyrics and inspire with my message. Music has been my greatest healer. Through music, I have become UNBREAKABLE."