This Weekend at The Ark: Lucy Kaplansky (Saturday); Howie Day (Sunday)


Saturday, May 18, 8:00pm
Tickets: $20

New music on themes of nature

The daughter of the famed Polish-Canadian mathematician Irving Kaplansky (who once wrote a song based on the first 14 digits of pi that his daughter has been known to perform), Lucy Kaplansky started out singing in Chicago bars. Then, barely out of high school, she took off for New York City. There she found a fertile community of songwriters and performers—Suzanne Vega, John Gorka, Bill Morrissey, Cliff Eberhardt, and others—where she fit right in. She’s a singer-songwriter with an extraordinary feel for the range of human emotion. Lucy puts her own spin on contemporary songwriter folk with warm, powerful vocals and guitar playing that draws guitar gods (or geeks) to talk shop with her. Lucy Kaplansky, says the Boston Globe, “is becoming the troubadour laureate of modern city folk.” She comes to Michigan with a new album on themes of nature, “Everyday Street.”

Sunday, May 19, 7:30pm
Tickets: $20

“The model of tomorrow’s recording artist”—Chris Blackwell

Citing the likes of Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, and Dave Matthews among his influences, Howie Day used their music as a basis for his own original direction. Howie, like Patty Griffin, was a product of Bangor, Maine, who made a splash in Boston’s coffeehouse scene. He released his first album, “Australia,” in 2000. A lot has happened since then. Howie’s music went in a rock direction, and he got the attention of industry heavyweight Chris Blackwell and was signed to the major Epic label. He got a gold record for his album “Stop the World Now,” and he’s been romantically linked to Britney Spears. What hasn’t changed is that he writes songs imbued with a wide-eyed sense of boundless emotion, and clothes them in gorgeous arrangements that include innovative looping techniques. Howie’s live shows are wonderful experiments in diverse song and instrumentation, and if you haven’t experienced this unique artist yet, you’re missing out!

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