This weekend at The Ark: RFD Boys, Blackhorn and The Appleseed Collective


Friday, Dec. 15, 8 p.m.
Door: $11, $10 mem, sr, st
The house band of Michigan bluegrass
The RFD Boys have been delighting southeastern Michigan audiences since 1969 with their fabulous musicianship and sly, exquisitely timed between-song humor. With an appearance on the cover of Bluegrass Unlimited, with songs recorded by the likes of the Country Gentlemen, and with performances alongside bluegrass greats like Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley, the RFD Boys are a part of America’s bluegrass tradition. One of southeastern Michigan’s most durable musical ensembles, they’re very much a local tradition, too. If you’re new to the area, come and check ’em out–you’ll find a real slice of musical Ann Arbor, and probably make some new friends!

Saturday, Dec. 16, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $20

A musical ramble across Ireland—in Michigan

A Blackthorn show is a musical ramble across Ireland. Traditional songs of emigration, ballads, shanties and jigs and reels combine with some of Ireland’s best contemporary songs for a musical experience that is uniquely Irish. Each of the band’s five members plays multiple instruments, including flute, accordion, tin whistle, fiddle, banjo, cittern, bodhran, and more. These instruments complement the lead vocal of Belfast native Richard McMullan and the band’s tight blend of four-part harmony. This band has been bringing a rich tapestry of Celtic music to southeast Michigan and beyond for 30 years, and they’re a must-see for those who want to know the deep traditions of Irish music in Michigan. And, this being December, there may be a holiday tune or two!



w/sg Wire in the Wood
Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15

Americana, folk, and gypsy jazz

Mix the Hot Club of Paris with the sweaty soul of Dixieland, a couple blades of bluegrass, a pinch of ragtime beat, and a western swinging swagger, and you’ve just conjured the washboard-driven sound of The Appleseed Collective. The Appleseed Collective is poised to become the new sound of string music. Riding the wave of the bluegrass revival beyond newgrass and into a strange new genre-bending territory, they explore the full range of dark and light, old and new, composition and improvisation in a deeply theatrical stage show that transports audiences through time. “The blends of swing, bluegrass, Dixieland ditties and alluring gypsy-folk whirls—is something close to a transcendent listen .. you’re there, on some dirtroad, being led on by these songs,” says reviewer Jeff Milo of iSpy magazine. The Appleseed Collective has been getting attention from as far away as the UK, and their 2014 Ann Arbor Folk Festival appearance put them on the musical radar of a whole lot of people. Recently signed to the roster of the national Prater Day Agency, this is a Michigan band that’s going places!


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