Welcome to April! Now it finally feels like spring! Our new issue is out around town, at coffee shops and record stores, but you can view it right here. With the weather warming up, it’s going to make for those optimal evenings of strolling around downtown with light jackets on, cruising in and out of cozy spots like Crazy Wisdom or Literati, or maybe the Corner Brewery. Why not make The Ark your destination for this Saturday?
Ann Arbor’s “The Understorey” joins Grand Rapids-based “Vox Vidorra” at 8 pm at the Ark, a night of soul, folk, blues, R&B and elegant Americana with two dynamic women fronting respective ensembles of versatile musicians.
Local singer, Jess McCumons, has a showstopping voice and stage presence to spare. Joined by her husband, Matt McCummons, they lead “The Understorey’s” arrangements of finespun soul and vibrant blues and jazz/pop fusions. Reference points would be the room-shaking stylists such as Adele, Aretha, or Janis. (The chemistry is palpable on stage; it’s notable that the duo started their musical collaboration on the day of their wedding!).
“The Understorey” is an ideal ensemble to grace the Ark’s stage, because they aptly demonstrate that venue’s overall mission of preserving –while also progressing- a classic style of folk & Americana.
“Vox Vidorra,” meanwhile, is led by the remarkable vocalist Molly Bouwsma-Schultz, with multi-instrumentalists Scott Schultz, Ryan K. Wilson and Theo Ndawillie II. Their blend of Motown, indie-rock, jazz and soul brings a snap of pop-energy into a classy/classic sound. Formed in 2013, they put out their first full-length album in 2015, conjuring the rich and visceral soul/gospel energies of Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin, to the stylish swish and glide of top notch jazz outfits like Will Sessions.
“Vox Vidorra” could fit inside a rock n roll bar, even while sounding elegant enough to be right at home inside Cliff Bell’s, or in this case, fittingly, The Ark. The group is currently working on another LP, with no determined release date as of yet. Their an excellent gateway band to the happening Grand Rapids scene, if you haven’t yet checked out that area’s batch of bands; Molly and Scott even own their own spot out that way: the Creston Brewery.