British folk rocker Billy Bragg will be in town July 18, but unlike his previous appearance at The Ark, he’s leaving his guitar backstage.
Bragg is returning to Ann Arbor on a book tour promoting his latest piece of writing, “Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World.” The book takes an in-depth look into a little-known musical craze that led to the now famous British Invasion of the 1960s.
Bragg, who has been writing and performing socially, politically and romantically charged music since the 1980s, will be showcased at the event, hosted by Literati Bookstore and held at The Ark. Literati Events Manager John Ganiard explains: “Unlike a normal Billy appearance at The Ark, this is going to be a book talk. He’s going to have sort of a prepared book presentation. It’s actually a pretty hefty work of scholarship about Skiffle which is a sort of ‘50s UK musical movement. Skiffle is kind of a precursor to the British invasion and what we know as pop music.”
“Working with the publicist, they reached out to us,” he said of his time working with Bragg’s publicist. “They mentioned that Billy’s been many times to Ann Arbor before and has played The Ark.”
A natural for the Ark
According to Ganiard, The Ark as a venue for this slightly off-kilter event was only logical because of the venue’s storied place in Ann Arbor music history. “It makes a lot of sense to do it at The Ark since it’s a historic home to folk music and roots music in Ann Arbor,” he explained. “We were really fortunate to find a time that worked with Billy’s tour schedule and also The Ark. We’ve always really admired what The Ark does so to get to do a book signing with them is really exciting.”
Ganiard said that although this is the bookstore’s first time partnering with The Ark on an author event, he’s hoping to grow and continue the partnership.
“What we’re hoping down the line is to do more with them as it makes sense,” he said. “Our mission with events at Literati is to think of events as a community kind of thing. We really want to partner with other businesses and venues as they make sense and to try to expand literary events into interesting spaces.”
Tickets for Billy Bragg’s book tour for
“Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World” are $35 and include a hardcover copy of the book,
which is released just days before on July 11
Tickets are available online at literati.com/event,
where the bookstore also houses a full calendar of events