The music of Bonnie Raitt crosses boundaries between blues, folk, rock, and country, and she found a deep common denominator. It’s perhaps for that reason that Bonnie continues to be listened to and to influence younger musicians. Tonight’s show features Michigan artists who come together to honor Bonnie Raitt on her 74th.
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A former Artist-in-Residence at Folk Alliance International, Joe Crookston of Ithaca, New York, is a writer, singer, guitar picker, painter, clawhammer banjo player, and believer in all things possible. You’ll be pulled in by the magic and musical world he creates, and you’ll end up in the moment, humming and buzzing with the rest of the crowd.
Since forming in 2004, Lake Street Dive have matched their sophisticated musicianship with a fearless refusal to limit their sound. As shown on their most recent full-length album, 2021’s critically acclaimed Obviously, the Boston-bred band also possess a keen talent for combining sociopolitical commentary with immediately catchy pop gems. With their current lineup comprised of founding members Rachael Price (vocals), Bridget Kearney (bass), and Michael Calabrese (drums) — as well as keyboardist/vocalist Akie Bermiss and touring guitarist James Cornelison — Lake Street Dive continue to create joyously soulful rock & roll with equal parts ingenuity, intelligence, and irresistible abandon.
For as long as he can remember, Ryan Montbleau has been a seeker. From the jungles of Peru to the volcanoes of Hawaii, from the beaches of Costa Rica to the streets of Brooklyn, from the backseat of a 16-passenger van to backstage at Carnegie Hall, the acclaimed singer/songwriter has spent much of his life crisscrossing the globe on a perpetual search for meaning, purpose, and understanding. It’s a quest that’s guided him both personally and professionally over the years, one that’s come to define not only his music, but his very sense of self.
A.J. Croce has been a staple of the Americana, AAA, Blues, Top 40 and other charts throughout his own stellar career, releasing ten studio albums that effortlessly transcend multiple genres and have had 20 songs chart in the Top 20 on various radio charts. However, the 50th Anniversary Celebration of You Don’t Mess Around With Jim has prompted the most affectionate look back yet at his father’s enduring legacy. The renewed interest leading up to the celebration of the classic album (which was recorded for only $18,000 and spent an incredible 93 weeks on the charts) has inspired a special version of A.J.’s popular ‘Croce Plays Croce’ concert series.
John McCutcheon's art grew out of his absolute mastery of American traditional music and instruments. He's a legend of the guitar, the hammered dulcimer, and several other instruments, and a prolific songwriter, and there's nobody more qualified to own the folkmusic.com domain name! The result is a body of classic American song, rooted in the best our musical tradition has to offer. John McCutcheon is a voice for peace, a community organizer, a writer, a literacy campaigner, and a performer who has packed concert halls on four continents. The Washington Post calls John's concerts "little feats of magic," and as a storyteller he's been compared with Garrison Keillor—and, even better than that, Will Rogers. John comes to Michigan with a new release, his 43rd, “Leap!”
Ocie Elliott pen tunes that feel lived-in. Ocie Elliott is the musical duo of Jon Middleton and Sierra Lundy from Victoria, B.C., Canada. You can hear their memories, experiences, and emotions in the dusty acoustic guitars, the sparse production, and their graceful harmonies. The two have come a long way in a short time since a chance encounter in a café led to a spark, collaboration, and their ultimate partnership in music and beyond. Ocie Elliott’s debut album, “We Fall In” (Nettwerk Music Group), led to appearances with the likes of Mason Jennings, Sons of the East, Kim Churchill, Roo Panes, Current Swell and Joseph, tours of Canada, the U.S., and Europe, and having their song “Run To You” featured on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Ocie Elliott comes to Michigan with a new EP, “What Remains,” a batch of honest and heartfelt anthems of which Sierra says, “Since we’ve been through so much, all of these songs are so powerful to us. They’re simple, but they hold so much truth. I hope it translates to people.”
King Sophia has a degree in classical cello from the University of Miami. She is also, she says, “a vocalist, an electric guitarist, a songwriter and composer, an arranger, a conductor, a performer and recording artist, a teacher, and above all, a student and a catalyst for change.” She classifies her songs as Neo-Soul Art Music, “but I play across a variety of genres including classical, jazz, blues, R&B, funk, hip hop, bluegrass, and pop. I also consider much of the music I write and arrange to be protest music — a genre that I believe is crucial to our survival as a species and that I will continue to draw attention to throughout my musical journey.”
Ann Arbor’s own Delta 88 combines a variety of musical influences from the American palette to craft their own modernized version of that classic sound, a plaintive take on alt-country akin to haunted mountain spirituals played through a distortion pedal. From wide channels of dynamic, emotional arrangements to somber barroom ballads and anthemic battle cries, Delta 88’s music blazes a trail through the Americana wilderness. The band has four studio albums under their belt, with the most recent featuring production by Grammy Award-winning musician and producer Joe Henry. Delta 88’s music has been heard on stages throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe with the likes of bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, country star Emmylou Harris, and singer-songwriter Buddy Miller, among others. It’s been a while since we’ve had this durable Michigan band at The Ark, so come and see what they’ve been up to musically!
Hailed by the Grand Rapids Press for "top-notch instrumental wizardry," The Moxie Strings offer listeners the unique opportunity to experience some of the world's best-known instruments through a young, progressive lens. Diana Ladio and Alison Lynn hold Bachelor of Music degrees in music performance, which have given them a technical foundation for exploration.
The son of a small-town farming community, Cody Diekhoff logged plenty of highway and stage time under the name Chicago Farmer before settling in the city in 2003. Profoundly inspired by fellow Midwesterner John Prine, he’s a working-class folk musician to his core. His small-town roots, tilled with city streets mentality, are turning heads North and South of I-80.