THE STEEL WHEELS
Friday, October 18, 8pm
New Blue Ridge acoustic Americana with old-time flavors
The Steel Wheels have captured audiences across the country with their heady brew of original soulful mountain music. Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, this dynamic band marries old-time musical traditions with their own innovative sound. Trent Wagler’s weathered tenor is joined by bell-clear four-part harmonies inspired by a shared Mennonite heritage. Add to this Eric Brubaker’s lively and evocative fiddle, Brian Dickel’s grounded yet buoyant upright bass, and Jay Lapp’s signature mandolin style, and it’s no surprise that The Steel Wheels have conquered the Americana scene, becoming festival favorites and selling out venues across the country. “Americana music at its very best!” says Larry Groce of “Mountain Stage.” The values portrayed in the band’s music—devotion to roots, community, and family—are a way of life for The Steel Wheels, and this is reflected in everything from production process and booking agency to merchandise and touring. They come to Michigan with a new member, multi-instrumentalist Kevin Garcia.
Saturday, October 19, 8pm
Music less ordinary
Carbon Leaf celebrated its silver anniversary in 2018 behind a new album and extensive touring. Through more than 25 years together, the group’s independent music and spirit continue to resonate with its fans, and an authentic bond between the band members and their audience is evident, and nowhere more so than at The Ark. Blending rock, folk, Celtic, bluegrass and Americana into a high-energy style the group calls ether-electrified porch music, the Virginia quintet’s poetic songs are brought to life with acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, cello, banjo, penny whistle, pedal steel, accordion, and rich vocal harmony. Writing and producing from their home studio in Richmond, Virginia, Carbon Leaf has released 17 albums and performed 2,400+ live shows throughout their enduring career.