This Weekend at The Ark: Ellis Paul; Jill Jack’s Birthday Bash; Connie Kaldor & Garnet Rogers

Friday, January 10, 2020 8 p.m.
Tickets: $ 20

“A national treasure” –Absolute Punk

“I got a word machine in my head. It’s a damn noisy contraption. Constantly running. No ‘off’ switch,” says Ellis Paul. After growing up on a potato farm in northern Maine, Ellis started writing songs while he was attending Boston College on a track scholarship and was laid up for several months with an injury. He’s often called the quintessential New England songwriter, and he’s got more than a dozen of Boston Music Awards to prove it. Ellis’s passionate, literate character sketches, delivered in a soaring, lyrical voice, have influenced a generation of folk songwriters toward the shamelessly poetic. The Boston Globe calls Ellis “literate, provocative, urbanely romantic.” Whatever you call him, he’s one of the major songwriters of our time. Says Absolute Punk, which you might not think would be reviewing Ellis’s albums: “Everyone can relate to Ellis Paul and his songs, and for that reason he continues to be a national treasure.” Ellis comes to Michigan with a new release, “The Storyteller’s Suitcase.”

Saturday, January 11, 2020, 8:00pm
Tickets: $20
A grand party for a soulful Detroit singer-songwriter
Jill Jack’s annual birthday bash has become a New Year’s tradition at The Ark! Jill’s magical connection to her audience is the result of her generous artistry. By combining her gifts as a conceptual visionary with a warm gathering of musical influences, Jill touches that secret heart of ours with her melodies and lyrics. In her hometown of Detroit, Jill needs no further explanation. She’s been lauded in equal measure to her talents: Since 1997 she’s won dozens of Detroit Music Awards in every conceivable category that applies to a singer-songwriter. Jill extends the tradition of the confessional (i.e. achingly open, unafraid of intimacy) singer-songwriter, and is proud of that style and its continuation. You get all of Jill Jack in a performance—her blend of folk and rock traditions, her open humor.  Jill’s generous spirit has benefited plenty of other musicians around the Detroit area, so come and wish her a happy birthday!

Sunday, January 12, 2020, 7:30pm
Tickets: $20
Legends of Canadian songwriting
“This is good and rich and big music,” Greg Brown says of Garnet Rogers. One of a pair of singing and songwriting brothers who spearheaded a tremendous renaissance in Canadian songwriting in the 1970s, Garnet Rogers writes songs full of realistic detail describing people from all walks of life and their small, everyday victories. He can shift from seriousness to razor wit in a heartbeat, and he’s always full of surprises: he’s as conversant with electronic sound as he is with a guitar, and he often finds innovative ways to mix the two. After putting over a million kilometers on an old Volvo, he can rightly claim to be the king of the road, and he comes to Ann Arbor with a new book, Night Drive: Travels with My Brother.

Connie Kaldor has been a mainstay on the Canadian folk scene.  With a loyal fan base she continues to tour and write and record.  She has won Juno awards (the Canadian equivalent to the Grammy); she is the first songwriter to win the Western Literature award; and she has been made a member of the Order of Canada. She sings of the prairies, of women, she is irreverent and moving.  Her live shows are legendary. The Boston Globe calls her “a masterful performer, wildly funny one moment, deeply personal the next.” Connie comes to Michigan with a brand-new release, “Everyday Moments.”