Tonight we're bringing the best of the Windy City to Michigan for your listening pleasure!
The Chicago roots band Dolly Varden (the name is taken from that of a kind of trout in the Pacific Northwest, which in turn was named after a character in a Charles Dickens novel) has been around for 19 years and released six albums. Audiences have been wowed by the warm, sublime vocal interplay of Steve Dawson and Diane Christiansen, who have been married for most of that period. Steve's songwriting is emotionally potent, intelligent, and undeniably melodic. Dolly Varden appears tonight as a duo.
The album "Though The Winter Clothes" is Derek Fawcett’s solo debut, but he's no stranger to Ark audiences. His powerful, thoughtful singing and skin-splitting djembe playing have been lighting up stages across the country for more than a decade in Chicago's beloved acoustic quartet Down The Line. As a soloist, Fawcett’s music is informed by his tenure with Down The Line, and further influenced by Tom Petty, John Mayer, James Taylor, Bon Iver, and Fountains Of Wayne. He has switched from djembe to keys, but apparently hits just as hard: At a recent show at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, he broke the piano mid-set. Though the aggression on the piano may occasionally channel the angst of Ben Folds and Billy Joel, similarly, many of his songs tell thoughtful, poignant love stories.