THE RFD BOYS
Friday, January 19, 2018, 8:00pm
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!
DAVINA AND THE VAGABONDS
Saturday, January 20, 2018, 8:00pm
“They dare to be different”—DownBeat
Davina Lozier and the Vagabonds offer “a modern take on old-time blues and jazz” (PennLive). They’ve created a stir on the national music scene with their high-energy live shows, level A musicianship, sharp-dressed professionalism, and Lozier’s commanding stage presence. With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band is converting audiences one show at a time, from Vancouver to Miami and across Europe. In 2011 Davina released her first full-length, all-original album, “Black Cloud.” It was awarded 4 1/2 stars from Downbeat. Their next release in 2014, “Sunshine,” hit number 13 on the Billboard blues chart. DATV’s shows are filled with New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, dark theatrical moments that evoke Kurt Weill, and tender gospel passages, and Davina herself has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, and Betty Boop, but comparisons don’t suffice: she’s a true original. Davina & The Vagabonds have become Ark favorites—they tore up the stage at the 2017 Ann Arbor Folk Festival, and their third album, “Nicollet and Tenth,” is their best yet.
JARED DECK & THE TRAVELERS
Sunday, January 21, 2018, 7:30pm
“A powerful, beautiful voice”—Alejandro Escovedo
We last heard Jared Deck doing a wonderful set at the Ark stage during the 2017 Art Fair. Jared takes life one fight at a time. “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. Now, with his self-titled debut album, Jared tells stories in an honest voice of midland America. His song “The American Dream” recently won first place in the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriting Competition.