Our gamble on Take A Chance Tuesday at the Ark in Ann Arbor paid off big with a fantastic night of music from Jason Hawk Harris.
The Ark offers up a marvelous opportunity to discover new music with their Take A Chance Tuesday series. The artists vary from Michigan locals to national talent. In addition to a free show, you get a raffle ticket which could score you free tickets to another upcoming event at The Ark. It is a great deal and if you bring in a non-perishable food donation, even better.
The featured artist for our gamble on great music was Jason Hawk Harris. Now to be honest, we weren’t taking much of a risk. Our friend and phenomenal musician Mark Lavengood was joining Jason on stage along with the sensational Ian Thompson on upright bass.
This evening of fine music began with the song “Phantom Limb” from Jason’s EP called ‘Formaldehyde, Tobacco, and Tulips’. It is a touching song about the loss of his mother. Jason’s rich voice projects the pain and loss enveloped within the sad and poetic lyrics. Mark’s crying dobro echoes the mourning while Ian Thompson’s bass anchors your heart.
The great thing about Americana/Country music is the stories behind the songs. Jason revealed that the song “I’m Afraid” was about his fear of Jesus. Evidently, as a young boy, there was a picture of Jesus and the sacred heart in his room. This picture ended up being as scary as any monster movie for the younger Jason. This fast-paced song captured the humor of remembering the silly things we dreaded as children.
Jason turned the mic over to Mark Lavengood and they burned down a cover of “Ol’ Slew Foot” as well as playing Mark’s original “Vulpes Vulpes” from his brilliant ‘We’ve Come Along’ album. Jason joked that he had to hang on and try to keep up with the rollicking bluegrass tunes. From what I could see, he held his own just fine.
Mark and Ian left the stage and Jason Hawk Harris drew us all in with his somber and revealing music. I can’t say enough about the beauty of Jason’s voice and the gift he has for songwriting. The song “Giving Myself To You” is so very intimate, that you almost felt as if you shouldn’t be listening. It is a treasured gift when you hear an artist reveal their soul within a song.
Mark and Ian returned to the stage and joined Jason for his song called “The Smoke and The Stars”. With a smile and a laugh, Jason relayed how he turned a dream of illuminated blue waters and snakes into this haunting love song of salvation within green eyes.
Jason, Mark, and Ian capped off the evening with a bit of bluegrass inspired country music playing “Cherokee Shuffle” and “Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms”. We cheered and called out for just one more song and Jason was kind enough to oblige us before calling it a night.
We hit the jackpot on Take A Chance Tuesday at the Ark with Jason Hawk Harris, Mark Lavengood, and Ian Thompson. The performance by these marvelous musicians was stunning. Drop by our gallery for more pictures and be sure to check out the music by these gifted artists.
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