ENTER THE HAGGIS
Friday, February 16, 2018, 8:00pm
Good Scots-Canadian music that cooks!
A haggis is a tasty Scottish dish consisting of sheep heart, liver, and lungs, mixed with oatmeal, onion, suet, and spices, and then boiled inside the sheep’s stomach. The Canadian-Scots band Enter the Haggis (bagpiper Craig Downie is from Scotland) has just about as much variety in their style, a high-speed collision of Celtic music, rock, bluegrass, funk, and world music. An Enter the Haggis live show is a musical feast—dynamic and emotionally uplifting. Alternating between upbeat rock numbers with sing-along choruses and slower, more introspective alt pop songs, the band plays progressive and lyrically driven music that’s strongly rooted in Celtic tradition—from the storytelling to the bagpipes. Enter the Haggis returns to The Ark with new music in the best ETH tradition, with bagpipes blazing over rock guitars.
Saturday, February 17
Country’s sharpest and hottest singer-songwriter
Washington-born and bred singer/songwriter Brandy Clark’s latest studio album, “Big Day in a Small Town,” landed on best-of-the-year lists by outlets as diverse as American Songwriter, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, and NPR. The Associated Press described the album as “gritty and visceral” while The Memphis Commercial Appeal boasted it was “the best album by any woman across the country continuum over the past decade,” and Garden & Gun named her “…currently the best songwriter in Nashville.” Clark received two 2017 Grammy nominations for Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance (“Love Can Go To Hell”). Her songs are funny and edgy, and the more you get into the lyrics the sharper they seem. It’s rare that we get a small-venue show from the real heart of Nashville’s songwriting community, so don’t miss this rare chance. If you like Kacey Musgraves (several of whose hits Clark has written), you’re going to love Brandy Clark!
Sunday, February 18, 2018, 7:30pm
Steeped in the living tradition!
Chase the winter blues away with the Irish, Scottish, English, and Celtic-American folk music of Finvarra’s Wren! This four-piece Michigan band plays invigorating traditional and contemporary songs, punctuated with wonderfully inventive arrangements of jigs, reels and hornpipes, and they offer original compositions that take their place in the living tradition of folk music of the British Isles. Among their hardcore fans is Folk Alley host Matt Watroba, who describes a Wren band concert as “a swirl of musical tradition and performance energy.” This band’s Irish tunes will chase your summertime blues away, and they come with an endorsement from none less than the late Jean Ritchie, who said, “Finvarra’s Wren is lovely!”