This Weekend at The Ark: Way Down Wanderers (Friday); Josh White Jr (Saturday)

Friday, September 13, 2019, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $20

“Somewhere on the spectrum between Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford and Sons”—Associated Press
Equal parts fast-paced and soulful, the five-piece folk-Americana act The Way Down Wanderers draw listeners in with energy, originality, and soulful generosity. Playing, performing and writing together for just two years, this Peoria band was named Chicago’s best emerging act in 2014 by Deli magazine and have built an enthusiastic and fast-growing following. They come to Michigan with a new album, “illusions,” of which they have this to say: “The Way Down Wanderers may sound like some long-forgotten bluegrass band from the Coens’ O Brother Where Art Thou … but they prove to be much more than that on ‘illusions,’ which they describe as ‘about love, loss and personal evolution.’ Indeed, the album explores the tug of memories and the passage of time, set against the eternal clock of Mother Nature, delivered in roots-influenced songs that are also rhythmically modern. And while illusions may be thematically steeped in past folklore, it is also present and alive in a way that jumps off these digital/vinyl tracks to penetrate heart, mind and body.”


Saturday, September 14, 2019, 8 p.m.
Tickets; $20

A folk legend and a tremendous Michigan resource

Josh White Jr. recently celebrated his 75th year as a show business professional.   He has carried his message of positivity, spirituality, love, peace, and social commitment around the world, performing for presidents, kings and queens, the Pope, for the poorest of poor in their earthen homes and for children everywhere. In the 1940s, as a child star born into a celebrated family, he performed for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt (his godmother) and for the armed forces, and shared stages with Kate Smith, Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Walters, Woody Guthrie, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Dorothy Gish, Duke Ellington, and Lead Belly. 

His mother was a gospel singer, and his father, Josh White Sr., with whom he began performing at the age of three in 1944, introduced the world to folk, blues, and spirituals. Josh Sr. was the first solo folk and blues artist to make a national concert hall tour of America, and the first to tour overseas. His son, who moved to Detroit in 1976 and is a priceless Michigan resources, is carrying on a very deep tradition.