Thursday, July 11, 2019, 8:00pm
Iowa’s master songwriter returns
Greg Brown’s mother played electric guitar, his grandfather played banjo, and his father was a Holy Roller preacher in the Hacklebarney section of Iowa. Maybe that last item explains some of his amazing charisma! Greg’s first professional singing job came at age 18 in New York City, running hootenannies at the legendary Gerdes Folk City. After a year, Greg moved west to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where he was a ghostwriter for Buck Ram of the Platters. Over more than four decades on the road, Greg has developed into the essential Midwestern songwriter, with a deep feeling for what makes people and communities hang together. He’s a compelling performer, aware that in folk music less is usually more and that the intimate musical detail communicates as well as the grand gesture. It’s not so often that we see Greg Brown in southeastern Michigan, so this could be a very scarce ticket!
Friday, July 12, 2019, 8:00pm
New music from the king of the Texas honky-tonk blues
Delbert McClinton grew up singing and playing in the gutbucket clubs of Fort Worth, and in a sense he’s never left. He still has a voice that will roar through the noise of a barroom or through any kind of mental clutter you might bring to one of his concerts. Delbert and his band backed the absolute royalty of deep blues as they came through town—Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and the incomparable Howlin’ Wolf—and all that he saw and heard, he absorbed and passes along in his own music. (He gave John Lennon some pointers on the harmonica, to boot.) Delbert hasn’t slowed down a bit, and his shows are an Ark tradition. So don’t delay on getting tickets! Delbert is coming to town with an as-yet-untitled new release.
Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of King of California
w/DEAD ROCK WEST
Saturday, July 13, 2019 8:00 pm
An Americana classic revisited
Recorded in Los Angeles the day after the historic 1994 Northridge earthquake and produced by Greg Leisz, “King of California” is an Americana classic. The album had its genesis its title track, a readymade folk ballad written for Dave’s mother, in which an aspiring suitor heads west to make his fortune in the wild, still-young Golden State. “King of California is when I decided ‘this is when I let the song tell me what it sounds like,’” says Alvin. “Ever since then, that’s been my rule. It sounds ridiculous, but it was something I had to learn.” Originally released on Hightone Records, and being reissued by Craft Recordings, the remastered, expanded edition includes a previously unreleased instrumental studio track, “Riverbed Rag,” along with bonus material. And King of California is available on vinyl for the first time EVER! Come by and hear Dave’s latest thinking on this great album, and pick up a copy. Dead Rock West opens with their tribute to The Everly Brothers.
Sunday, July 14, 7:30pm
Virtuoso guitar music on a unique country-rock hybrid instrument
If you haven’t seen Junior Brown yet, you need to “guit with it”! Junior Brown is a one-man musical hot fusion machine, and he’s coming to town with his guit-steel, a unique hybrid contraption that’s part electric guitar and part country steel guitar. People call him a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Ernest Tubb. But there’s a lot more to say about Junior Brown. There’s the fact that he’s just about the best surf guitarist around, for example. Or that he’s a wonderful composer of traditional country songs, the kind in which each outrageous pun leads you deeper into an emotional blind alley. Come check out the performer voted #1 House Rocker by the readers of Guitar Player! Come pick up a copy of Junior’s recent album “Deep in the Heart of Me.”