This Weekend at The Ark: May Erlewine; Old Salt Union; Velvet Caravan

Friday, October 4, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $20

“Second Sight” album release show
Michigan songwriter May Erlewine releases her new album this Fall. ‘Second Sight’ is a record of reflection with songs about existing, connecting and moving forward through very turbulent times as a country. The lyrics strive to deepen our awareness and emotional connection while drawing on our intuition and vision as a people. Self-produced and recorded with Tyler Duncan, the work includes a long list of incredible musicians. 

May writes: “There are threads of willingness, strength and love running through the music. This collection of songs is meant to draw us into what it means to call this place home. The album begs the question… How do we acknowledge the wounds of history? How do we honor our stories? How can we create new traditions? How can we fully realize a new american dream by actualizing a safe and respectful home for everyone? When will everyone really mean every one of us? All walks of life and love.”

May is bringing these questions and this music to venues all over the Mitten. Joining her, a beautiful band of humans featuring Phil Barry, Eric Kuhn, Joe Hettinga, Max Lockwood, and Michael Shimmin. The musicians intend to share in a meaningful, heart opening and nourishing experience.

“With intention, we can remember our hearts are connected,” May writes. “With love, we can continue our deep work of healing. With the power of music, we can lay down our swords and shields and be in community. With a strong community, we can work on a new dream. Together.”

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $20

A bluegrass jam band cultivated on the road
Old Salt Union is a band born, grown and cultivated on the road. They’ve made a habit of playing 200+ shows a year since forming in 2012, from club dates and theaters to festivals and special events like Bluegrass Underground, Music City Roots, John Hartford Memorial Festival, ROMP, Stagecoach, FreshGrass, and Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Festival. In the process, they have shared the stage with the best in bluegrass and string band music like Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Travelin’ McCourys, Jeff Austin Band, and Ricky Skaggs. A pivotal moment emerged when the band won the 2015 Freshgrass band contest and was introduced to Compass Records co-founder, banjo virtuoso and Grammy-winning composer, Alison Brown, who went on to produce several tracks for the band and eventually sign them to the label in 2017. With a songwriting style and magnetic stage personas that derive as much from the Great American Songbook as from Americana, their self-titled Compass debut represents a true step forward for a band with seemingly limitless possibilities. Says No Depression: “Old Salt Union has the groove and the chops of a great string band, balanced with infectious rock and roll energy. Their music occupies that sweet space between Old Crow folk and Yonder Mountain jam — not a bad place to be for a band about to break.”

Sunday, October 6, 2019, 7:30pm
Tickets: $15

“A gumbo of lively swing music”—Creative Loafing, Atlanta
The music of Savannah’s Velvet Caravan is rooted in gypsy jazz/gypsy swing and Latin swing styles. This high-energy, acoustic-based quintet of guitar, violin, standup bass, percussion and keyboards (including accordion) has emerged as one of the shining lights of Savannah’s burgeoning music scene. This band plays upbeat tunes from all over the world with thunderous virtuosity and relentless sense of humor. Bringing together the eclectic sounds are a motley crew of super-talented musicians from Venezuela, the Great Northwest, the heartland, the Atlantic Northeast and Georgia’s Coastal Empire. South Carolina’s Beaufort Gazette calls their sound “sophisticated, yet fun and organic.”