THE BLACK LILLIES
Friday, October 11, 8 p.m.
New music and a new lineup from East Tennessee Americana wizards
We haven’t heard The Black Lillies at The Ark for a while, but that’s because they’ve been busy. They’ve had some lineup changes, and they have a new album, “Stranger to Me,” that incorporates a whole smorgasbord of new influences. “Paring down the lineup has given these guys space to shine and grow and evolve, and the chemistry is incredible,” says mandolin-shredder/frontman Cruz Contreras. “The guys have become not just sidemen or guns for hire; they’re invested. Their opinions count, and their creativity is as much a part of this record as mine. There are songs that I wrote; that Sam (Quinn, a veteran of the Americana group The Everybodyfields) wrote; that we wrote in any combination and all of us together. It’s pretty simple, when you get down to that romantic notion of having a band. We rehearse together, we travel together, we hang out together because we’re dedicated, and I think the music is really showing that now. For me, it’s been years of learning to set your ego aside, but experience teaches you that you have to.” Come check out this new creative direction from one of Americana’s most exciting bands.
THE VERVE PIPE
Saturday, October 12, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $45 gold circle, $30 general admission
“Freshmen” no more!
With sales of more than three million albums worldwide, the Verve Pipe was one of Michigan rock and roll’s great success stories of the 1990s. Formed in East Lansing, the band gained a following for its textured rock songs distinguished by inventive arrangements, soul-searching lyrics and layered vocals. Lead singer Brian Vander Ark has gone onto a solo career and become an Ark favorite with his songs of family, love, and loss. But after being approached to submit a song for a compilation album called “Calling All Kids,” the Verve Pipe reunited to record their award-nominated kids’ CD, “A Family Album.” Now the creative spark touched off by those sessions has led to more Verve Pipe music for adults as well. The Verve Pipe has had a reputation for great, fan-friendly live shows from the start, and now they’re back, up close and personal, at The Ark with their latest album, “Parachute”!
Sunday, October 13, 7:30 p.m.
“An exquisite tenor that echoes Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel”—USA Today
A singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who averages over 250 live performances annually, Seth Glier has gone from opening act to headlining his own shows and playing major festivals. He’s shared the stage with artists as diverse as James Taylor, Ani DiFranco, Edwin McCain, Martin Sexton, Emmylou Harris and Ryan Adams, and he’s for his passionate live sets and powerful command of both piano and guitar. Seth is adept at both personal acoustic songs and big pop melodies, and his latest album, “Birds,” ranges from introspective to political in songs that, Seth says, “are bound together by the awareness that our world is a fragile place that is all the more magical for it.” Livingston Taylor has praised Seth for “the greatest pop songwriting since Billy Joel.” Seth has been raising funds for a new album, and you can be among the first to hear his new music!