High Level Ranters perform at The Ark in Ann Arbor on January 29, 1971. Photo: Al Blixt.

On a typical weekend night at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the blue Victorian-era house at 1421 Hill Street was open for practically free music, coffee, donuts, popcorn, and comradery. Word of mouth, hand-drawn printed flyers, and regular monthly notices in the Ann Arbor Observer drew college students, townies, and serious fans of the late-stage folk revival music scene. Week after week for decades, proprietor David Siglin booked an eclectic mix of rising stars on the folk music touring circuit, local and regional musicians, and better-known singer-songwriters who cherished the intimacy of The Ark’s living room, with ninety appreciative fans cross-legged on the floor and that many more in the wings.