The American Verve 

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One day Brian Vander Ark caught an earful from Verve, which at that time was still an underground English rock band. Liking what he heard, he dubbed his own fledgling group Verve Pipe. After shoplifting the name, the group also covered the Verve original "Bittersweet Symphony." But Verve Pipe's written its own hits, like the Vander Ark-penned "The Freshman," which rose to No. 5 on the charts in 1997. In addition to his work with the band, Vander Ark has released three albums, including a self-titled release, earlier this year. His acoustic-rock sound, infused with intensely personal lyrics, endows him with enough verve to make it on his own as a solo artist. The singer-songwriter visits Ashland Coffee & Tea Friday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. $16-$21. 798-1702.

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