The Roots Report: The Summer Continues

Okee dokee folks … The other night I experienced The Buddy Holly Story at Theatre By The Sea in Matunuck. I get to at least one of the shows down there every summer. My parents, on the other hand, have had season tix in the same seats for almost 40 years. After the show my father said to me, “You should write something about the play … it’s about music.” While it just narrowly fits into my realm of writing, I figured I could oblige.

I have to admit I like musical theater. There, I said it. Way (way) back in high school I was even in the cast of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. I have seen most of the big shows at least once. In contrast my parents have seen Les Mis about 30 times. My mother reads the programs and commits the cast to memory and frequently will say that she remembers a particular performer from another show she saw years before. In another life I think my mother was (or will be) a Broadway performer. Anyway, back to the show. The Buddy Holly Story is light on story but heavy on great renditions of Holly’s timeless tunes. The first half is focused on the beginnings of his very short three-year career. The second is more like a Buddy Holly concert and recreates the Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom on February 2, 1959, and includes the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. The TBTS production had the audience on their feet clapping, dancing and singing. You should check it out. The Buddy Holly Story runs until June 19. For more, chirp over to TheatreByTheSea.com

Last issue was Motif‘s Summer Guide. I didn’t have nearly enough room to cover what I wanted to so I am just going to continue it now. But you should keep checking back because there is always something awesome being added to the summer’s long list of entertainment!

Rick Norman and the Warren Recreation Department will present the Warren Summer Concert Series at Burr’s Hill Park in Warren off of Town Beach at the southern end of Water Street. The series starts in July and continues throughout the summer. On July 13 at 6pm is The Patterson-Smith Quartet, on the 21st at 6pm is Cold Chocolate, on the 27th at 5pm is Tanya McIntyre & The Professors, on the28th at 6pm is Ten Rod Ramblers, on August 5 at 6pm is East Bay Wind Ensemble, on the 10th at 6pm is Glass Bottom Boat, on the 14th at 5pm is Atwater-Donnelly, on the 17th at 6pm is The Rusty Mikes and on the 24th at 6pm is The Western Stars. For more, revolution to ChurchStreetCoffeehouse.net

Tunes on the Dunes will happen on Westerly’s town beach during July and August. That’s TWO music series rolled into one. Monday Night Jams will bring Into the Great Wide Open: Tribute to Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and The Byrds on July 11; Beatles Tribute Studio 2 on July 18; The Nathan Ward Band on July 25; The Atlantic Avenue Band on August 1; Bob Marley Tribute with Hope Road on August 8; Connecticut Transit Authority Chicago Tribute on August 15 and on August 22 it’s Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. The Wednesday night Blues on the Beach series features B. Willie Smith Band on July 6, Johnny and the East Coast Rockers on July 13, Amy Winehouse Tribute with the Knickerbocker Collective on July 20, Commander Cody on July 27, Shiny Lapel Trio on August 3, Jeff Pitchell and James Montgomery on August 10 and Sugar Ray and the Bluetones with monster Mike Welch on August 17. The shows are free and run from 6 – 8pm. In the event Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, they will be held at the Windjammer. For more, Taylor Swift to TunesOnTheDunesRI.com

The music continues all summer at The Mediator Stage. You can go to participate or just to listen. The Thursday night open mic has features as well as spots for wannabes! On June 16 is G.W. Mercure, on June 23 is Jan Luby, on June 30 is Athan Phynix and there are more Thursday night features TBA. On Saturday July 2 is a concert to benefit The Mediator Fellowship featuring guitarist Josh Turner from Indiana. The Four Corners Songwriter Series returns on Saturday, August 13 with Elad Vilk, Kala Farnham, Mark Calhoon, Heather Waxman, Leonard Levander, Mike Laureanno, Lisa Couto, Megan Gilbert and Don Tassone. They all will tackle the theme “Cold Steel Wire.” On Saturday, September 24 it’s “Cover Me III.” Local songwriters pay tribute to each other by performing each other’s songs. If you are in need of a chuckle or two, you can get to the Mediator every Monday at 8pm for “Rim Shot In The Dark” comedy night with hosts Stephan Rose and James Martin. For more, negotiate to Facebook.com/MediatorStage

Just sliding in under the spring wire, the Providence Mandolin Orchestra will present its annual spring concert on Saturday, June 18, at the Park Place Church in Pawtucket. The PMO will present a full program of many different eras and genres. The group was formed over 100 years ago, and has been under the direction of Mark Davis since 1989. The orchestra has participated in three European tours and collaborated with a number of international mandolin orchestras. For more, mandocello to ProvidenceMandolin.org

The River Jam Festival at Mystic Shipyard is a two-day music festival that showcases music from rock to reggae, blues to punk and happens on June 24 – 25. This year’s line-up includes Wooly Mammoth, Green Tea, Tyler Seton, The Hoolios, Midnight Madness, Tad Overrbaugh, Barley Hoppers, and Sunday Gravy. River Jam is supporting two charities for the 2016 event. They chose The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as the 2016 beneficiary of any proceeds from ticket sales and Sails Up 4 Cancer will receive all tips from beverage sales. For more, Sean Penn to: Facebook.com/MysticRiverJam

The Shifty Sailors will return to Aquidneck Island for a limited engagement in Newport and Portsmouth on July 1 and 2. The men’s singing group from Whidbey Island, Washington, first hit town in 2007 during the Tall Ships Newport Festival. Featuring songs of the sea and shore, lighthouses and shipwrecks, pubs and ale houses, they leave audiences singing along and applauding for more. For 23 years, the group of 13 has performed on tour across the country and on a number of occasions they have been featured at Tall Ships festivals in Europe. On July 1 they will perform at Bowen’s Wharf from 1 – 4pm and at the Oliver Hazard Perry Summer Party, Newport Shipyard, from 6 – 7pm. On July 2, The Shifty Sailors will perform at the Common Fence Point Community Hall in Portsmouth. Hall doors open at 6:30 for a bring-your-own picnic supper with the performance at 7:30pm. For more, rusty razor to ShiftySailors.net

When I was 16, the Peter Frampton concert at the Civic Center was the hottest ticket in town. I can remember sitting on the front walk of the Civic Center for hours waiting for the doors to open for the general admission concert entrance. I can also (sort of) remember a octopus style water-pipe, but that is all I will say. Hey, it was the ’70s. Anyway, Mr. Frampton will be playing some of those tasty licks he played 40 years ago when he shows up at Twin River on Friday, June 17. I have heard that his current shows are just as amazing as they were back then. Also coming up at Twin River is the five time Grammy-winning, former Doobie Brother, Michael McDonald on June 30. Save yourself some time and enter through the WEST entrance. For more, gamble to TwinRiver.com

Check back for more. Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com

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