The Roots Report: Stop the Violence!

Okee dokee folks … It’s hard to avoid the subject of violence. For most people it is just seen on the screens of their televisions, and you really never think that it will affect someone you know. For me, it has. About five weeks ago my neighbor Nathan was out with a few of his friends celebrating his birthday while his fiance was at her bridal shower. Nathan is a nice, low-key, 29-year-old guy who works as a hospital nurse. He and his friends were waiting for an Uber (it’s like a taxi — I had to learn what this was) to pick them up from a location on South Water Street just near the Hot Club. His friends were sitting on the curb and Nathan was standing. Out of nowhere, a guy ran up to Nathan, punched him in the side of the head, took off and jumped into a car that sped away. Nathan was knocked out and fell to the ground. His friends managed to get the plate number and get help. Nathan was taken to the hospital where he remains. He has spent weeks in a coma, has had several brain operations, parts of his skull were removed and he teetered on the edge. Only now is he BEGINNING to make some progress. The person who did this to him was at large for weeks, but eventually turned himself in. Nathan has a very long road ahead of him and to what degree he will recover is still unknown. This young man’s life, as well of the lives of his family, fiance and friends has been forever altered by some sick jokester playing “the knockout game” with an unknowing participant. Nathan’s family has set up a Go Fund Me campaign as the process of recovery will be long and expensive. If you would like to assist, you can do so by going to Guns aren’t always the problem. Fists can damage as well. It is just plain violence and we don’t need it or want it. Be careful out there, folks. Read on…

The Rhythm and Roots Festival in Charlestown is on Labor Day weekend. As with most festivals a lot of the work is done by a VOLUNTEER STAFF. The Rhythm and Roots Festival is looking for a few … ok, more than a few … good volunteers. You need only volunteer a few hours a day and you can get free admission to the BEST FESTIVAL RI has to offer! They are looking for folks to work as stage hands, gate check, traffic control, trash detail and crew for general help. Most folks volunteer once and get hooked for life. Some of these folks are getting a bit older now and the festival staff needs some younger blood. If this is something that interests you then contact them straight away! This year’s performers include Lucinda Williams, Bruce Hornsby, The Alvin Brothers, Taj Mahal, Dave Grisman, Donna the Buffalo, Sarah Potenza, Uncle Earl, Dustbowl Revival, Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldar and many, many more. For more, jambalaya to

The Collaborative in Warren will present the 2nd Annual Warren Folk’s Festival on Sunday, July 31, from 3 to 8pm at 30 Cutler Street. The Collaborative’s executive director, Uriah Donnelly, says, “What started out as a group birthday party turned into a full-fledged festival with live music, craft beer and of course, art.” 30 Cutler Street owner, David Wescott, adds, “The goal is to try to get the community of Warren together on one day, in one space. We all really love this town and want to celebrate that. It’s not a folk fest, it’s the Warren Folk’s Fest.”

The Festival will include live music, art, games and a live mural painting by members of The Collaborative. There will be plenty to do for the little ones, including an arts and crafts tent. Musical guests will include Man & Wife, John Farone, Atwater-Donnelly & Vox Hunters, The Low Cards and Torn Shorts. The event  takes place in the back lot of 30 Cutler Street. Entry is free. Rain or shine. For more, get the folk over to

Bridgefest will take place between the Folk and Jazz Festivals in Newport (see page XX). Bridgefest has been taken over by the Newport Festivals Foundation, which produces the Folk and Jazz Festivals. I prefer that music booking around RI stays in the hands of local producers. Aaron Abrahamson Cote did a fine job with this in the past. Maybe they have a local liaison? Bridgefest features concerts and entertainment events with area artists, clubs, restaurants, theaters, museums and other organizations. For more, suspension over to

On Thursday, August 4, at 6pm at St. Andrews by-the-Sea in Little Compton, Allison will perform music from their debut CD, Volume One, featuring songs of Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Graham Nash and more. Allison is the creation of mezzo-soprano Allison Messier and harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa and is a duo devoted to the music of the ’60s and ’70s. For info, make your aim true to

At Chan’s in Woonsocket on August 6 it’s JAMBa. The group began in 2010 as a collaboration of studio musicians headed by John Anter and Marty Ballou. Their first album, If You Need Me, featured the world’s most recorded drummer, Bernard Purdie. For their recent project, The Off White Album – a salute to The Beatles, they recruited studio veterans Bruce Bartlett, Sonny Barbato, Dave Zinno, Joe Klimek and, once again, Bernard Purdie. Collectively, these seasoned studio players have worked and/or recorded with James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, Jeff Beck, Hall and Oates, Miles Davis, Paul Simon and many others. For more, wonton to

Here is more stuff to make your summer more better-er! The Towers on Ocean Road in Narragansett continues their Thursday Night Summer Series with The Standards on July 21, The Savoy Family Cajun Band on July  28, Infinitango on August 4, and Eight To The Bar on August 11. For more, Rapunzel to At Sandywoods on July 22, Sunny Crownover with The Duke Robillard Band will present a cross section of American music styles from swing to blues and original R&B. Les Paul to The Johnny Watson Jr. Blues Band will be at The Parlour on North Main St in PVD, July 22. Also on July 22, The 38th Annual South County Hot Air Balloon Festival welcomes John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band at Mackle Athletic Field on the URI Campus. Pop over to Nick-A-Nee’s Bluegrass Throedown has Local Freight pickin’ and a grinnin’ from 8:30 – 11:30pm on July 27. The Jackie Boy Publik House in Cranston has the Free Rad Trio on July 29 and July 30 brings the Chet Matteson Band. Former Bauhaus/Love and Rockets bass player David J. will present a reading of his autobiography Who Killed Mr. Moonlight? and signing event at Symposium Books at 240 Westminster St on August 3 at 4pm and a solo acoustic show at Firehouse 13 on August 4. The East Bay Contra Dance at the Historic Warren Armory happens on August 5 with caller Chuck Abell and featuring EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks on fiddle and Mike Sokolovsky on guitar and foot percussion. Tap to On Saturday, August 6, the Concordia Center For Spiritual Living will host a sacred song and chant concert/a “Kirtan” with Felicia Rose. Kirtan is a Sanskrit term that can be described as singing praises, hymns and chanting mantras in celebration of God and the Light within. Inspire to Sarah Potenza will hit the Surf Hotel on the Block on August 4 and The Assembly Theater in Harrisville on August 5. Voice over to

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

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