Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem bring American roots music to Kent’s Spotlight Series on Saturday, April 1. With fiddle, guitar, recycled percussion, four masterful singers, and a guest performance by the local Rainier Youth Choir, the group presents “American Spiritual.”
The show is at 7:30 p.m. at the Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center, 10020 SE 256th St.
For 16 years, Arbo and mayhem have been brewing their own blend of American roots music. They are a melting pot of American folk melody and style, expertly marrying tradition and improvisation. Unafraid to pair a banjo with Leonard Cohen, a New Orleans rhythm with a Georgia Sea Islands song, or a jaw harp with a pop-infused original, the band creates deep grooves under timeless melodies.
“American Spiritual” leads audiences in a bona fide revival. There’s no tent, no potluck dinner, and no preaching – unless you count the band’s uproarious and wise stories. Instead, this charismatic quartet administers songs and tales that explore and revive the human spirit. From a lush setting of Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar” to old American shape note hymns, prison work songs, blues, gospel, and original compositions, “American Spiritual” draws from 200 years of roots music to find songs that uplift and connect.
During their time in Kent, the band will work with the local Rainier Youth Choir. The collaboration will culminate in the performance of two songs featuring the Youth Choir during the evening public performance.
Tickets for “American Spiritual” are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and $15 for youths. Tickets may be purchased at kentarts.com, by calling 253-856-5051 or in person at the Kent Commons, 525 4th Ave. N. Hours for phone and in-person sales are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Box office is closed on Sunday.