Jarrod Gorbel, lead vocalist and guitarist of the disbanded group The Honorary Title, is now on summer tour with his first full-length solo album Devil’s Made a New Friend as the folk- Americana classic soul opener for the critically acclaimed Irish rock band, Bell X1 (best known for the song “Eve, the Apple of My Eye” that musically backed the notorious lesbian kiss scene in season two of “The O.C.”).

Jarrod Gorbel

June 10 at 8 p.m.
The Ark
Tickets from $15

Gorbel explained: “It was a pretty smooth transition (from band to solo artist) but it’s an upward battle because people know my band name. But they don’t know my name yet so it’s a little bit like starting over … it’s hard work but I knew that going into it.”

The Ark of Ann Arbor is stop number five for Gorbel to promote his solo acoustic voice. What Michiganders have the opportunity to hear live is his powerful vocals on an arrangement of his 11 tracks from Devil’s Made a New Friend, which Gorbel’s pitch manages to ascend over with a gritty texture. His lyrics add a weightiness to the sound with ideas about basic desire, aging, God, replaced innocence, breath, anticipation, love and defeat.

Gorbel didn’t hesitate when asked where his songs are best conceived.

“When I’m driving alone I come up with a lot of stuff. Or probably before I fall asleep in bed, an idea will pop up. Those are the two spots,” Gorbel said.

To saturate his touring experience in a certain grounded rawness, 33-year-old Gorbel added a June “living room” concert series to the tour where he will play small intimate shows at the homes of strangers who submit an application.

He mentioned a somewhat sarcastic concern with the living room venues: “As long as there’s no psychopaths I think I’ll be alright.” But Gorbel continued to say that the living room intimate performance always sets (itself) apart from your average show. This type of venue would not be easy or even doable for some musicians but it is for Gorbel.

“I just can just walk in a room and play acoustically and it works and its easy and it makes people happy, so why not?” Gorbel said. No reason I can think of (besides the possible psychopaths offering up their tainted abodes).

Besides Devil’s Made a New Friend, Gorbel released an EP titled Bruises From Your Bad Dreams in mid-February. This features a duet with Nicole Atkins, “Miserable Without You,” a definite hit radio song and I mean that in the best way possible (an unbeatable, packing, feel-good, nostalgic, driving tune all at once).

He explained how this striking collaboration came together.

“I just did a bunch of live videos of all the songs from my full-length record, and I had her sing on one of those videos,” Gorbel said. “And that’s kind of how we met. But she lives in my neighborhood, friends of friends.

“I felt like our voices blended well together, so when it came time to record another song written as a duet I thought she’d be perfect. I just reached out to her and that was it.”

As lyrics in this Brooklyn-hit of a song are “I’m miserable without you/ So much so I have to/ Let go of my hometown/ Brooklyn I was so proud/ I’m leaving New York for California,” I asked the tattooed, angel-faced artist if those lyrics were coming from a real place and if he had really made the move.

Gorbel responded, “No, but I might.”

I would recommend getting a fill of Jarrod Gorbel live before he runs away with his guitar to the West Coast and meets the salty Atlantic Ocean with his soaring timbre.

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