Michigan-based music groups Jo & the LaFawndas and The Rachel Brooke Band will be performing at The Ark in Ann Arbor on June 25 at 7:30 p.m. Lead vocalists Jo Serrapere and Rachel Brooke are excited to showcase strong female voices in the Americana genre and hope to grant attendees a fun evening.
“[Women have] been underrepresented for a very long time. A lot of festivals are still struggling to even have women as half of their lineups,” Brooke said. “They don’t hire female musicians, but if they would, they would see that we have a lot to offer. And, I think it’s a better show.”
Putting on a great show is just what Brooke hopes to do during her first time playing at The Ark.
Serrapere has been performing at The Ark solo and with different bands for decades.
“I used to live in Ann Arbor. I went to the University of Michigan. There was a group of us songwriters that came up together and we used to perform regularly at The Ark,” Serrapere said.
Both artists showcase a unique style of American roots music. Brooke grew up playing in a family bluegrass band and spent her teen years in an all-girl punk group; and Serraperestarted her music career with a desire to play Delta blues.
“I have a bunch of friends in Detroit that have started in the Detroit country music scene and they’re trying to bring more of the Americana sound to this area,” Serrapere said. “Ann Arbor has been a little bit more welcoming to that sound but still I think it’s fun to just bring strong women voices and respect for this style of music. I think it’s gonna just be a good time.”
At the show, Brooke will be opening for Serrapere, but the pair will be performing some tracks together as well.
The audience may notice that one crew member does not get much of a break since the two bands share a member.
“I’ve actually known about Jo for a long time, I’ve seen and heard her music for years around Michigan,” Brooke said. “Her bass player is my bass player also, he plays in both bands, so we run into each other a lot in Detroit.”
The Rachel Brooke Band plays shows mostly in Detroit, but has toured all over the country, in addition to being a mother.
Serrapere is a psychologist by day, but still makes plenty of time for both her own music career and to support other musicians by attending various Michigan shows.
“It’s sort of a good time to have a couple of shows at The Ark to try to remind people that I’m still out there,” Serrapere said.
Both artists mentioned that they are preparing to release new full-length projects soon and that the show is a great way for locals to get familiar with their music before then.
Serrapere has launched a Kickstarter campaign that people can donate to to help fund her next album.
“I feel like people who go to The Ark regularly, they’re probably expecting country-folk songwriting kind of stuff,” Brooke said. “This is going to be that kind of show.”