Presented by ann arbor's 107one A lot of people know Matt Nathanson for his 2007 hit "Come On Get Higher," but his career has only kept growing since then. He comes to Michigan with a new album, “Boston Accent,” whose stripped-down arrangements recall his beginnings as an acoustic troubadour. That’s all to the good for this show—it's not so common to hear him in a club The Ark's size. Matt has a unique sense of humor on stage that can get lost in larger venues, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him back for the first time since the pandemic began. “I wanted to make a real singer/songwriter record this time. an ‘inspired by cat stevens, joni mitchell, paul simon, tom petty kinda record … which is something i’ve been running away from since ‘Ernst,’ Matt says.
Shows & Events
The Los Angeles Times calls Leo Kottke "an American legend in the guitar world, and a king of his own private musical world." If you haven't heard Leo Kottke for a while, though, you may have missed how one of the fastest 6- and 12-string guitar players around has also become one of the most innovative and least musically classifiable. His music encompasses influences from all over the world, and players from outside the folk world closely follow what he does. Leo Kottke is a legend of the guitar who's still full of surprises after all these years. His shows are displays of captivating mastery of a sort that's rare in any genre of music. Don't miss him, and get tickets early for this one—Leo's Ark shows have been consistent sellouts.
During a performance in summer 2020, Mark Erelli looked down at his guitar neck and couldn’t believe what he saw. Or rather, what he couldn’t see: his fingers on the frets. Soon after, a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative eye disease, would bring some answers, but it also yielded new questions. Does diminished eyesight correlate with lesser insight? Does your songwriting change when your perception of the world around you changes? These questions, and Mark’s hunt for creative agency, are at the heart of his new album, “Lay Your Darkness Down.” In need of connection and catharsis, he turned as he often did to songwriting. “The only way I could console myself was to know that I was still going to be able to have some creative agency,” Mark says. “I could then bring whatever I was feeling or wanting to express into reality.” He began to craft songs with an intricate, labored approach like never before. “It's much more like an oil painting, where you're layering different tones and colors one at a time.”
Vanessa Collier is a captivating and multitalented blues vocalist, saxophonist, and songwriter, hailing from the world-renowned Berklee College of Music, where she earned dual degrees in Performance and Music Production & Engineering. Vanessa demonstrates her skills as a master musician and songwriter, blending her blues background with elements of funk, rock, and soul. Vanessa’s mighty vocals, gritty saxophone solos, and incredible high-energy stage presence create a powerful show not to be missed!
One of the Midwest’s most prolific and passionate songwriters, May Erlewine continues to share her gift for writing songs of substance that feel both new and soulfully familiar. Her lyrics offer a window into her heartbreak, her empowerment, and her emboldened spirit. These lyrics, which are really stories crafted through May’s unique experiences, are rooted in wisdom, joy, sorrow, simplicity, and love. Musically, she carries the songwriter’s torch through many genres and sonic landscapes. May considers her career in the music industry as a service-oriented one and uses her platform for positive change. She stresses the importance of environmental advocacy, social justice, creative empowerment, and community building as necessary work in our world.
Jared Deck has been praised for his "powerful, beautiful voice" by Alejandro Escovedo. "The battle has always been internal, overcoming my own failures and working to improve," he says. Raised on the dusty plains of an Oklahoma family farm, Jared worked in the fields as well as the town grocery, owned by his parents. "In a community of 1,200 people, big dreams seem impossible. We're taught to manage expectations, put our nose down, and get to work." Later he worked in an oilfield and a factory. During the Great Recession he got by with a job as a pianist in a Black church, where over the next six years, he received an unparalleled musical education. His songs tell stories in an honest voice of Midland America. "The American Dream" won first place in the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriting Competition. And on top of all this, he was recently elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Returning from Folk Festival, Jared has a recent release, "Bully Pulpit.”
Katie Geddes sings traditional and contemporary folk, country-folk, and folk-pop tunes. A deft interpreter of beloved songs, her captivating voice and velvety-smooth delivery bring new life to the compositions of writers such as John Prine, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Michael Nesmith and Lennon and McCartney. Katie's CD release "We Are Each Other's Angels" features an inspired roster of guest artists including Michael Johnson, Mary McCaslin, Don Henry and Small Potatoes. When not doing her own gigs, Katie has been known to "moonlight" singing harmony for folk-rock legend Melanie and local favorite Matt Watroba, and unannounced guests at her shows are always a possibility!
The first-ever collaborative album from Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton, “Death Wish Blues” is a body of work born from a shared passion for pushing the limits of blues music. As one of the most dynamic forces in the blues world today, Samantha Fish has made her name as a multi-award-winning festival headliner who captivates crowds with her explosive yet elegant guitar work, delivering an unbridled form of blues-rock that defies all genre boundaries. Jesse Dayton, meanwhile, boasts an extraordinary background that includes recording with the likes of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, touring as a guitarist for seminal punk band X, working with Rob Zombie on the soundtracks for his iconic horror films, and releasing a series of acclaimed solo albums. Produced by the legendary Jon Spencer of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, “Death Wish Blues” ultimately melds their eclectic sensibilities into a batch of songs both emotionally potent and wildly combustible.
Ann Arbor’s mighty guitar god George Bedard presents the tenth installment of his History of American Music series, George Bedard will present a “Best of” retrospective, featuring songs from all nine shows. "Each year had a different focus, from Chicago blues to swing, rockabilly, surf and country,” George says. “We hope that you will join us for this unique retrospective.” Along with Rich Dishman on drums and Pat Prouty on bass, special guests include Mark “Mr. B” Braun on piano, Ross Huff on trumpet, and Dan Bennett on saxophone.
It's as if the blues met modern poetry and got infused with Zen calm. Chris Smither takes the blues in a direction all his own, offering stoic, existential ruminations sung in a weathered blues moan and set to quietly virtuosic guitar.
Paul Cebar cut his teeth musically in the coffeehouse folk scene of the mid-'70s in Milwaukee. Taking cues from the dance bands of western Louisiana (and his native Midwest,), the streets (and 45’s) of New Orleans, touring African and Caribbean combos and the soul, funk & blues of his youth coupled with early, teeth-cutting experience in the verbal hotbeds of the coffeehouse scene, Cebar is a masterful synthesist of rhythmic culture
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of their album, You Forgot It In People, Broken Social Scene are playing songs from their seminal sophomore album, among many more hits. At […]
Dave Boutette's Midwest is full of passion, humor, and a certain shaky grace. Influenced by songwriters from Chuck Berry to John Prine to Elvis Costello, he documents the travels and triumphs of life in the heartland. Dave grew up in Detroit's shadow, and he peppers his performances with stories of his home and his life on the road. Kristi Lynn Davis logged in about 1,200 performances and 240,000 kicks as a Radio City Rockette. She also sailed the globe as a singer-dancer on cruise ships and worked in musical theater productions with showbiz icons Susan Anton, Buddy Ebsen, Maurice Hines, Jack Jones, Paige O’Hara, Juliet Prowse, Rip Taylor, and others. Kristi’s had so many adventures in show business, she had to write a book to keep them all straight. Her award-winning comic memoir is titled "Long Legs and Tall Tales." Close, comforting, and warm, Kristi’s voice slips in right beside Dave’s, and her charming and confident stage presence, along with her quick wit, are adding a whole new appeal to Dave’s shows. Together they have performed at music festivals, listening rooms, and brewpubs from the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula all the way down to Oberlin, Ohio. Tonight marks their first show with a full band.