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Ann Arbor’s folk venue The Ark launches virtual music series

Chicago Farmer will perform on the Ark's Facebook live stream on May 21, 2020.
Chicago Farmer will perform on the Ark's Facebook live stream on May 21, 2020. (Bradley J. Scott)

ANN ARBOR – Anyone who’s been to The Ark knows that it is a one-of-a-kind music venue that provides folk artists with an intimate setting to share their craft.

In lieu of concert cancellations in its Listening Room at 316 S. Main St. due to COVID-19, The Ark has decided to take shows online.

The free concert series is called the Ark Family Room Series and will feature performances from a variety of artists over the next month.

Shows will stream live on Facebook, and while they are free, the nonprofit music venue says donations are welcome. During the performance, viewers are invited to donate to the virtual tip jar to benefit both The Ark and the artist.

See the lineup below:

Birds of Chicago

Sunday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Many local residents may remember Birds of Chicago from their performance at The Ark’s 41st Ann Arbor Folk Festival in 2018. The duo, Allison Russell and JT Nero, hit the Americana scene in 2012 and recently released a new album, Love in Wartime.

The duo combines Nero’s strong songwriting with Russell’s powerful vocals and tours extensively during normal times.

For more information, visit the event’s page.

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The Accidentals

Friday, May 1 at 8 p.m.

The female-fronted trio from Traverse City released their debut album, Odyssey, in 2018 and haven’t looked back since. Following the release of their self titled album LIVE, the band (Sav Buist, Katie Larson and Michael Dause) toured the UK in 2019. The multi-instrumentalists will be performing in the Ark Family Room Series amid the release of their newest Vessel Album.

Pop Matters Magazine has compared their sound to the Beatles, Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, Brandi Carlile, Ani DiFranco and more.

For more information, visit the event’s page.

Nora Jane Struthers

Sunday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.

The singer-songwriter comes to Michigan on the heels of her new album Bright Lights, Long Drives, First Words, which she recorded when she was eight months pregnant. Her husband, Jon Overton, joins her singing backup. Based in Nashville, Struthers’ critically acclaimed Americana music has been described by NPR as “quietly brilliant.”

For more information, visit the event’s page.

Jared Deck

Tuesday, May 12 at 8 p.m.

The Americana artist from Norman, Oklahoma has been named a “new country artist you need to know” by Rolling Stone Country. His latest album, Bully Pulpit, is an ode to his diverse working background produced by Grammy-nominee Wes Sharon. Deck, a former factory worker, won the Woody Guthrie Songwriting Contest in 2016 with his blue-collar anthem “The American Dream.”

For more information, visit the event’s page.

Rachael Davis

Sunday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Joined by special guest Dominic John Davis, the multi-instrumentalist Davis has been touring nationally at folk festivals since she was eight years old. The Michigan native masters the piano, ukelele, guitar and banjo and draws inspiration and sound from folk, country, blues and pop.

For more information, visit the event’s page.

Chicago Farmer

Thursday, May 21 at 8 p.m.

Cody Diekhoff, aka Chicago Farmer, hails from the Illinois farming community of Delavan. The Americana, alt-country artist is inspired by country folk greats John Prine and Hank Williams. Diekhoff says he write music for the “kind of people that come to my shows. Whether in Chicago or Delavan, everyone has a story, and everyone puts in a long day and works hard the same way."

For more information, visit the event’s page.

To learn more about the Ark Family Room Series, click here.

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