This Weekend at The Ark: Sean McConnell; Michigan Rattlers; Gemini & Emily


w/sg Caleb Elliot
Friday, March 22, 2019, 8:00pm
Tickets: $15

A songwriter’s songwriter from Nashville

Songwriter Sean McConnell has a grassroots following in Nashville. Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Meat Loaf, Jake Owen, the Brothers Osborne, Christina Aguilera, and Buddy Miller have all recorded his songs––a dizzying list that spans not just styles, but generations. Sean earned his first no. 1 single on country charts in early 2018 with breakout artist Brett Young’s delivery of “Mercy,” which the two co-wrote. As a performer, Sean packs listening rooms and quiets unruly bar crowds. His sound––a warm tenor painting vivid stories over acoustic guitar often cushioned by keys or other strings––has prompted a diverse range of music scenes from the storied Boston folk community to Texas’s defiantly self-sovereign camp to warmly claim Sean as one of their own. “My payoff is just making the music,” Sean says.”Everything else is bonus.” He comes to Michigan with his 13th album, “Secondhand Smoke.”

Saturday, March 23, 2019, 8:00pm
Tickets: $20

Back from Folk Fest!

Lifelong friends and Northern Michigan natives, the Michigan Rattlers play “heavy-hearted folk-rock with an aching dose of Midwestern nice.” Graham Young (guitar), Adam Reed (upright bass), and Christian Wilder (piano) began writing music and performing together in their Petoskey high school. “Petoskey is a small place. Beautiful, but secluded. It’s hard to start a musical career in a place where there are more deer than people,” they say. Still, they regularly played every bar, cafe, and stage in town, developing a musical chemistry informed by the likes of AC/DC, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, and more. Their debut EP, recorded in Los Angeles, attracted glowing reviews from No Depression, Bluegrass Situation, B3 Science, and Rolling Stone, who compared them to “Whiskeytown-era Ryan Adams, early Wilco, the acoustic side of Rhett Miller, and the Old 97s.” Local audiences got a taste of Michigan Rattlers on the Friday night Ann Arbor Folk Festival bill, and we’re betting you’ll be back for their full show!

Sunday, March 24, 2019, 1:00pm
Tickets: $10

“Wonderful songs and singing! Delightful!”—WQXR radio, New York

Gemini is the much-loved duo of Sandor and Laszlo Slomovits. They’ve been performing since 1973 and are now playing music for the third—or is it fourth?—generation of young fans and families. They write and perform acoustic music for children and families, celebrating with their audiences the warmth, fun, and joy of family life. A Gemini concert is a kinetic event, filled with rousing singalongs, hand motion tunes, folk tales, and music from around the world. “If the Pied Piper had been twins, chances are he would have been Gemini,” says the Detroit News. Since 1979 San and Laz have released numerous recordings for adults and children and families. These recordings have won a number of awards including ones from Parents’ Choice Magazine, the American Library Association, the National Parenting Publications (NAPPA), and the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts.


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