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August 27, 1969 - Image 7

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/ednesday, August 27, 1969


Page Seven

' k - ______music
Folk for fun and


Arts Editor
Maybe its the h i g h apart-
ment prices. Or Sheriff Har-
vey's notorious tactics. But
whatever the reason, Ann Arbor
is one of the few places where
ever present grievances provide
the stuff that f o 1 k music is
made of.
Folk singers-both tradition-
al and commercial, known and
unknown - can be found in
abundance both on the streets
and in long established coffee
Catching an original folk poet
singing his own creations is just
a matter of walking across the
Diag on a sunny day. But for
those who wish to schedule their
folk listening hours or wish to
hear someone with a little pol-
ish to their voice a walk to eith-
er the Ark or Canterbury House
any weekend should satisfy their
Folk music in Ann Arbor
can be roughly divided into two
classes - traditional and com-
mercial. And while traditional-
ists may groan when a member
of the audience requests Suzan-
ne, the commercial artists who
meet these requests are usually
likes of Joni Mitchell or Judy
Traditionalists a r e usually
found at the Ark (and if you
are really a member of t h i s
group you may be invited to one
of their 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. hoots
when artists finishing their act
at other clubs straggle to the
Ark's main room.) For the past
year, the Ark has been featuring
local talent who commute be-
tween Ann Arbor and parts East.
This fall, however, they will be
bringing in mainly out-of-state
Devotees of the Ark can sinm-
ilarly be divided into two groups

- those who go there solely for
the music and those who enjoy
its relaxing atmosphere. Unlike
other coffee houses, t h e Ark
clears the tables away placing
the audience smack at the per-
formers' feet and encourages
them to banter with the artists.
The acts, too, are highly un-
structured with the performers
breaking into a 45-minute med-
ley of sea chanties or suddenly
spinning into English pub songs
on impulse.
Ark manager Dave Seigland
says he aims at making the au-
dience "relaxed not only with
the singer but also with the guy
sitting across the room." One
Ark regular describes the place
as "down keyed and unorgan-
ized, a place where you can find
freaks and straight people to-
Musicians who play at t h e
Ark are concerned more about
perpetuating the ethnic folk
tradition than earning commer-
cial success. And the Ark at-
tempts to pass this tradition on-
to its audience. Last year, folk-
singer Michael Cooney took
members of the Ark's Saturday
afternoon folk workshop on a
tour of Ann Arbor libraries to
discover obscure tunes compiled
and kept in the Girad library
stacks. Siegland is also collect-
ing tapes and books of obscure
tunes which any Ann Arborite
may refer to.
This year, the Ark may fea-
ture Appalachian Balladress
Jean Ritchie and Scottish song-
stress Jean Redpath. Lou Killen,
who Seigland claims "is the
best in the world," will lead a
series on English pub songs.
Ann Arbor is also one of the
stopping places for big name
folk performers as Judy Col-
lins, Joni Mitchell or Tom Rush.
These singers usually stop for

a three night engagement at the
Canterbury House on Maynard
Street. Unlike artists who fre-
quent the Ark, those flocking
to Canterbury House expand be-
yond the folk tradition i n t o
folk-rock, blues and soft-sell
While Canterbury House lacks
the calm atmosphere of the Ark,
it is nevertheless ALWAYS
packed, with t h e turnaway
crowds often larger than those
who get seated. And unlike the
Ark, its customers receive ci-
der and doughnuts (for the sub-
category of the penniless who
happen to be students.)
To reel off the names of last
year's roster of artists provides
a dizzying journey through the
realm of popular folk music. In
addition to the artists previous-
ly listed, last year's performers
included Mark Spoelstra, Spider
John Koerner (who will be back
Sept. 12-14 for a return engage-
ment), the Lost City Ramblers
and a special concert featuring
Janis Joplin and the James Cot-
ton Blues Band.
Nor does Canterbury House
limit itself to the weekend trade.
Like the Ark, it is open all week

with impromptu performances
of "whatever happens to be in
town," o n e Canterbury House
regular says. Traveling drama
groups, films -- local and other-
wise, political discussion and in-
describable acts grace both the
Ark and Canterbury House stag-
And for those few who wish
to be on the bright side of the
footlights, opportunities abound
to display ones musical virtuo-
sities. The Ark has open hoots
every Wednesday night, smaller
coffee houses in the dorms -
Alice's Restaurant in Alice Lloyd
Hall or Smitty's in South Quad
- often sponsor local talent.
Another coffee house should
be mentioned in this listing -
Mark's on Liberty street. It's a
bit hard to define exactly what
type of music is played at
Mark's - everything from hard
rock to jazz to the occasional
folk poet. Finding folk music at
Mark's is merely a matter of
(luckily) stopping in at the
right moment.
And if you prefer to lift your
voice unto the sky, there's al-
ways a guitar and a ready au-
dience to be found on the Diag.

-Daily-Jay Cassidy

The MC-5 at West Park

A new rock center right here!



Some say it used to be Nashville. Others
say San Francisco. And some say the new
rock center of th country may be right
here in Ann Arbor.
This past year especially, several new
rock bands in the area have developed
and one older one, the MC-5, has zoom-
ed to national fame with their hit record
"Kick Out the Jams."
In Ann Arbor, though, there seems to be
a definite atmosphere of creativity evident
in the quantity and quality of bands
springing up and the places existing for
them to perform in.
Most of the groups have either four or
five musicians with combined talents on
the guitar, drums, saxaphone, trumpet,
harmonica, organ or electric piano, flute,
and, naturally, the unadorned singing
voice. Their music ranges from old, stand-
by rock tunes to blues to original songs
featuring long solos by selected members of
the group.
Coincident with the development of more
rock bands here has been the surge of new
outlets for them. Canterbury House, for
example, the converted garage one block
from campus, has always been a conven-
ient and popular spot, holding regular
week end performances and sometimes
many special events during the week.
A new place specializing in rock music
is the Alternative, the student-faculty
coffee house, in the Student Activities
Bldg. The Alternative has facilities for
both in-door, out-door events and usually
hosts two or three bands on the nights
entertainment is offered.
Perhaps the infamous and the most

crowd-grabbing rock spots however, are
the outdoor Sunday summer concerts held
at a variety of parks in the Ann Arbor
The concerts usually last three hours
and include several rock bands from the
area. Sometimes more well-known groups
like the MC-5 perform, but the majority
of the afternoon is filled with music from
local groups.
Although the concerts have been ex-
tremely popular with one segment of the
population, they have provoked strong
reaction from some Ann Arborites who
complain about "excess noise" from the
high output electronic instruments, al-
leged obscenities being shouted over the
microphone and allegedly obscene litera-
ture being passed out in the crowd.
After several heated City Council meet-
ings, about granting permits for the con-
certs, the council passed a resolution July
10 tightening regulations for obtaining
and allowing the concerts to be held only
in parks not in primarily residential areas.
Previous concerts had been held in
West Park, about one mile from campus
in the center of Ann Arbor. It is the only
park with a built-in band shell and a
natural amphitheatre.
When the weather gets colder, the rock
music doesn't stop, however. Mass folk
concerts are moved to the Union ball room,
the League or Hill Aud. These are usually
either fund-raising events or beginning
-of-the-semester mixers.
Although most of the sands for these

events are young, developing g r o u p s,
some of them, in addition to the MC-5,
have developed a following of their own.
The MC-5, though do still live in Ann
Arbor, and do at least one or two free
concerts a year here. In December, for
example, they presented a free concert
in the Union Ball Room and in June they
also performed for at least two hours in
one of the Sunday concerts in W e s t
Following the MC-5 in the record-mak-
ing business are other groups like the
Byzantine Empire and the Fox. They
started out as weekend entertainment for
the fraternity party circuit, but h a v e
since developed a style and repertoire of
their own which they are steadily record-
Some rock groups, like the "Charging
Rhinocerous of Soul," also a well-estab-
lished group, lean more toward spontane-
ity in their performances. On some Friday
nights and Saturday afternoons they have
set up shop on the spur of the moment
on State St. or in the courtyard of the
Episcopal Church on Williams.
Naturally, they must conform to noise
regulations and contend with sometimes
irrascible citizens, but usually the musical
events go unhindered.
So there is in Ann Arbor, a variety of
ways to get your rock - inside, outside,
summer, winter, day or night. From big
name groups, middle-sized, just-starting-
out-types - it's some place here just
waiting for your ears.

Swing or

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