Here's who's playing night two at the 42nd annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Aoife O’Donovan, Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz of the band I'm With Her (Credit: David McClister Photography, LLC.)

ANN ARBOR - As of Tuesday, tickets for night one (Friday, Jan. 25) of the 42nd annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival were nearly sold out.

Tickets are still available for Saturday, Jan. 26, which features a diverse lineup of artists, from household names to up-and-comers and local favorites.

The Ark recently announced an additional artist for the second night of Folk Fest, the nonprofit's annual fundraiser at Hill Auditorium.

Here's what you can expect on night two:

Rufus Wainwright, headliner

A singer-songwriter and composer, Wainwright's work has been featured in numerous films, including the "I Am Sam" Beatles tribute where he covered "Across the Universe," channeling John Lennon with his smooth, effortless delivery. Wainwright has been nominated for multiple Grammy and BRIT awards and has won two Juno Awards for Best Alternative Album during his career.

His cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" has millions of views on YouTube, and two years ago, he teamed up with pop-up group Choir! Choir! Choir! to do this beautiful rendition of the song in a decommissioned power station in Toronto.

Choir! Choir! Choir! will be coming to The Ark on Friday, March 8, for a night of interactive music. Buy tickets here.

To learn more, visit

I'm With Her

Singer-songwriters and instrumentalists Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan are no strangers to making impactful music. The multi-Grammy Award-winners individually co-founded Nickel Creek and Crooked Still and have released nine solo albums. 

Their songs almost doesn't need instrumental accompaniment -- their voices weave together beautifully and naturally.

NPR's host and creator of "All Things Considered," Bob Boilen, writes, "The three singers who perform together as I'm With Her sound like sisters. It's as if they've known each other all their lives and share common roots and musical memories."

See their NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert from April 2018.

To learn more, visit

Joan Osborne's Dylanology ft. Jackie Greene

The seven-time Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum-selling singer of global chart hit "One of Us" released her ninth studio album, "Songs of Bob Dylan," in 2017.

The project began in 2016, when Osborne performed her first of two critically-acclaimed, two-week residencies at New York's Cafe Carlyle, which the Huffington Post described as "magic." Osborne collaborates with other music greats and will be joined on stage at Hill Auditorium by Jackie Greene, who has been dubbed "The Prince of Americana" by the New York Times.

"It was inspired by a thing that Ella Fitzgerald did in the 1950s and early 1960s," Osborne said during a 2017 interview with BUILD Series. "She put out a series of albums, each one devoted to a single writer. People like Cole Porter or Harold Arlen, the people that we consider the 'Great American Songbook' writers. And she did a series of about eight or nine albums, and that became 'The Songbook Series.' And I always thought that would be such a cool thing to do my own version of, and do a more modern take on it."

Pokey LaFarge

The Midwestern native singer-songwriter describes himself as a "rambler" who doesn't like to limit himself to a genre. Raised in Illinois with influences of bluegrass, blues, jazz, ragtime and swing, LaFarge travels the world and finds inspiration everywhere.

"You’re liable to hear something in my songs that sounds like traditional jazz; next thing you know, you might be hearing something that sounds like Bob Dylan’s 'Nashville Skyline' mixed with the chanson singers of France," said LaFarge.

Though his singing -- and wardrobe -- styles are a throwback to pre-1950s America, he maintains he is anything but a nostalgic artist.

See his NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert from 2011.

To learn more, visit


The Canadian singer-songwriter (whose name is pronounced "eye") channels Indie Soul in his raw performances, where no emotion is spared. His powerful songwriting paired with his gruff voice are likened to Ray LaMontagne. 

AHI says he is inspired most by Bob Marley and also draws influence from Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur. He performs with his signature equestrian hat and is said to end his shows with a soulful rendition of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come."

See his NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert from January 2018, which he called "one of the highlights of my career."

To learn more, visit

The RFD Boys

The local bluegrass band of U-M grads has been performing in Ann Arbor since 1969. Dubbed "the house band of Michigan bluegrass" by The Ark, the group has collaborated with the Country Gentlemen and performed alongside bluegrass legends Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley.

Get ready to witness expert musicianship and chuckle between songs with their humorous one-liners. 

To learn more, visit

Both nights are emceed by singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey.


Tickets may be purchased online at, at the Art box office, in person at MUTO at the Michigan League Underground or by phone at 734-763-TKTS. Tickets for the general public are $42.50 and $60 for one night and $75 and $110 for both nights.

Gold Circle and Platinum Circle tickets: The best seats in the house went on sale Nov. 1 and are on sale until they sell out. Tickets can be ordered by mail or by calling The Ark office at 734-761-1800.

Golden Circle tickets are $100 for one night and $180 for both nights. Platinum Circle tickets are $200 for one night and $360 for both nights. These tickets include a tax-deductible donation to The Ark. Backstage passes and an invitation to the Saturday pre-glow party are included with the Platinum Circle tickets.

Office address: 117 N First Street, Ste. 40
Venue address: 316 South Main Street

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