Friday, March 15, 2019, 8 p.m.
Over the last decade, Pokey LaFarge has won the hearts of music lovers across the globe with his creative mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing, all while writing songs that ring true n both spirit and sound. His music transcends the confines of genre, continually challenging the notion that tradition-bearers fail to push musical boundaries. Cleverly striding among numerous forms of traditional American music, Pokey has crafted a genre all his own, marked by its accessible ingenuity. Rather than merely conjuring up half-forgotten imagery of days past, Pokey is a lyrical storyteller, the plot delivered smoothly through his dynamic vocals. One moment he shouts a line and the next he croons above his archtop guitar. He transmits a rare distillation of old American sounds! Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Pokey honors the musical traditions of that town without aping them. He’s an Ark favorite, heard most recently at the 2019 Ann Arbor Folk Festival, and he’s got new music on the way.
Sunday, March 17, 2019, 7:30pm
Humorous storytelling, serious folk
If John Prine and Mitch Hedberg had a baby, the resulting product would resemble something very close to singer-songwriter John Craigie. Musically comparable to Prine, with the humor and wit of Hedberg, the humble, gracious, and hilarious John Craigie is one of the best storytellers of our time. It’s no wonder that Chuck Norris sends him fan mail, and Todd Snider brings him gifts on stage. The vagabond troubadour has charmed audiences in all 50 states and throughout much of Europe, with a DIY spirit seldom seen these days. John’s true home is on the road, and just like that he’s on to the next town, playing and singing and telling stories to everyone who wants to listen. He comes to Michigan with a new album, “Scarecrow.”