Roots Report: Have I Mentioned I Hate Summer?

Okee dokee folks … Every year about this time I like to voice my general disdain for the upcoming summer months. The other day it was over 90 degrees outside. I really hate the heat. It is supposed to be spring. I like spring. I would like an actual spring. As I write this, it is pouring outside. Again! I haven’t kept track of the rainfall, but aren’t we getting close to biblical amounts?

I have been dealing with a stubborn case of bronchitis for the past month and a half and this dampness is killing me. I thought that a nice sunny day would be good for me, but it wasn’t. The heat was too much outside and inside the air conditioners were cranked up to arctic levels, which isn’t good for my bronchitis, either. I just can’t catch a break! What I guess I am trying to say is ENOUGH! Let’s just have some normal, seasonal weather and a relatively mild summer so we can enjoy the activities that this season has to offer. Here are some suggestions to get you started, but stay tuned because more events will always pop up. Read on…

On June 3, Dusk in Providence will present a pseudo folk festival. There will be a cookout for early arrivals, from 6 – 8pm, with music and bands to follow. Musicians are encouraged to bring their acoustic guitars/instruments for some outside “front porch” style, cookout time, jams. Slated to perform are Muddy Ruckus, Michael Graham Band, Man & Wife, Jeff Bryd, Josh Grabert, David Begin, Seatbelt and Jon Coltrain. For more, sundown to DuskProvidence.com

The Courthouse Center for the Arts in Kingstown has a fairly full schedule of shows on their summer docket: Aztec Two-Step is on June 4, Dan Weintraub is on June 16, and Mando Madness will present a workshop and concert on Saturday, June 24. The workshop is at 4:30 and the concert is at 8pm. “Come on, people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together” at the CCA as they welcome Jesse Colin Young on Friday, July 7. Many other shows, including Scott Kirby on July 22 and Fellswater, Bostons dynamic Celtic music ensemble on July 28, are happening this summer. For a full schedule, gavel over to CourthouseArts.org

Back in the days when I ran the RI Songwriters Association, I would book songwriter showcases for the members. One showcase that I put together happened to have only male songwriters. One of the RISA members (and friend), Jan Luby, gave me a bit of flack about that. To make amends for that one testosterone-fueled show, a new showcase called The Women of RISA was scheduled at the Church Street Coffeehouse. Time has passed and I am no longer involved with RISA, but Jan still books and hosts the Women of RISA concert. This year’s show will be the 15th annual, and lending their songs and voices to the celebration are Morgan Johnston, Gracelyn Rennick, Diane Battistello and of course, Ms. Luby. This takes place on Saturday, June 10, at the Church St Coffeehouse in Warren and closes out their season. For more, gender over to ChurchStreetCoffeehouse.com

The music in Warren won’t stop. The Warren Recreation Department, in conjunction with the Church Street Coffeehouse, presents the 2017 Warren Summer Concert Series at Burr’s Hill Park. On July 9 at 5pm is Tanya McIntyre & the Professors, on July 12 at 6pm is The Patterson-Smith Trio, on July 19 at 6pm is Danielle Miraglia, on July 23 at 5pm is Atwater-Donnelly & The Vox Hunters, on July 26 at 6pm is The Western Stars. Then comes August. On August 2 at 6pm is East Bay Wind Ensemble, on August 9 at 6pm is Chuck Williams, Mike Laureanno and Joanne Lurgio, on August 13 at 5pm is Forever Young, on August 16 at 6pm is JP Jones and on August 20 at 5pm is The Lisa Martin Band.

Blackstone River Theatre moves their Celtic and world music programming outside on June 17 as they present the 7th annual Blackstone River Theatre Summer Solstice Festival at Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland. The family-friendly festival features three music stages, all running continuously, as well as 40 food and craft vendors. Last year saw more than 1,000 patrons attend. Performing will be the Atwater-Donnelly Trio, Kevin Crawford, Cillian Vallely & Patrick Doocey, the Eastern Medicine Singers, Scotland’s Archie Fisher, The Gnomes, The Jeremiahs, Les Poules à Colin, Robbie O’Connell & Rose Clancy, Pendragon, and Torrin Ryan, Kyle Forsthoff & Benjamin Foss. There will also be a dedicated stage for Irish step dance featuring Tir Na Nog Irish Dance. Also returning will be the popular after-festival music session at 8:30pm back at Blackstone River Theatre. For more, ceili to RiverFolk.org

Twin River Casino is always bringing top-notch talent to their event center in Lincoln. The summer schedule includes Peter Cetera on June 30, Boz Scaggs on July 14, The Australian Pink Floyd Show on July 28, Gordon Lightfoot on August 5, Morris Day & the Time on August 18, Draw the Line and Appetite for Destruction: A tribute to Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses on August 25, and Martina McBride on September 15. For more, tumble the dice to twinriver.com

The Downtown Sundown Series is now in its eighth season. Bring a lawn chair, a blanket and maybe even a picnic basket and sit on the lawn at the beautiful Roger Williams National Memorial and enjoy FREE concerts and events. You’ll hear some of the best songwriters RI has to offer, see performances of Shakespeare and more. The Shakespeare performances have already begun and will continue every Thursday through Sunday night until June 11. This year TRIST (The RI Shakespeare Theatre) is presenting  The Tempest. Performances start at 8pm. Experience an “outdoor coffeehouse” with the music of local and regional singer-songwriters. This year, on June 24 is Jodie Treloar Sampson, Andy Pratt, Steve Donovan and Cardboard Ox. On July 8 is Tammy & Jeana, Ed McGuirl and Kris & Tara Hansen. On July 22 is Mary Day & Terry Wood, Kate Mick and Bob Kendall. On August 5 is Mountainess, Glenn Kendzia (Wild Sun), Ian Fitzgerald, and Colby and Keila. On August 19 is Kerrie Powers, Vox Hunters, Lainey Dionne and Ava Callery. Each show begins at 7pm and finishes around 9pm. There is limited parking available at the memorial, but there is lots of area street parking and pay lots are available. All ages of humans and well-behaved canines are welcome. Coming up on Sunday, August 27, is the fourth annual Providence Folk Festival. Mark your calendars, more on that to come! For information about all of these shows, discover HearInRhodeIsland.com or facebook.com/RogerWilliamsNPS.

Back when I was in high school we had a jukebox in the cafeteria. It seemed like that machine only played two songs: “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.” That was the mid-70s and that was when I saw Bob Dylan in Providence for the first time. The legend is now in his mid 70s and he and his band will be at Providence Performing Arts Center on June 21. Don’t miss this opportunity to see him live before he’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” (yeah, tacky, I know). Dianna Krall will “Turn Up The Quiet” on June 18 The Tedeschi-Trucks Band “Wheels of Soul Tour” rolls into Providence on July 7 with special guests Hot Tuna and The Woods Brothers. Elvis Costello and the Imposters “Pump It Up” at PPAC on July 25. For more, don’t think twice to ppacri.org

This year, the 22nd Annual New Bedford Folk Festival takes place on July 8 and 9. The line-up features some of the best in contemporary, Americana, traditional, blues and Celtic folk music and includes Aoife O’Donovan, Bill Harley, Patty Larkin and Catie Curtis. The festival presents 83 shows on nine stages in and around the streets that comprise the Whaling National Historical Park, in a new footprint that has shifted toward upper downtown and the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center. Over 100 performers will be presented in concerts and in the popular festival “workshops,” a musical program unique to the New Bedford Folk Festival. Workshops combine several different artists together with a theme, like “French Canadian Kitchen Party,” among others, for a collaborative, unique, one-time-only performance. Venues include six tented stages, the 285-seat Whaling Museum Theater, the 1200-seat Zeiterion and the intimate “Meet the Performer” area, now located inside Greasy Luck Brewery on Purchase Street. More than 80 artisans will fill the cobblestone streets between the performance tents and venues. For more, Ahab over to NewBedfordFolkFestival.org

Escape the summer heat with cool performances at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center this summer. From rock legends to folk favorites, this year’s “Summer Sizzle Series” includes The B-52s on June 3, George Thorogood & The Destroyers on June 6 (see interview at motifri.com/thorogood), Dave Mason on July 11, Amos Lee on August 1, The Magpie Salute (Rich Robinson, co-founding member of The Black Crowes and two former Black Crowes bandmates — Marc Ford and Sven Pipien) on August 8. September 29 has Brian Wilson presenting Pet Sounds, the final performances with Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. For more, zzzzzzoom to Zeiterion.org

There is always a great line-up of shows at the Narrows Center for the Arts, and this summer has a lot to choose from! Here is just a sample: On June 8 is The Godfather of the British Blues scene, John Mayall. On June 10 is The Garcia Project, June 23 is Richard Shindell, July 13 is the 5th annual Block-a-palooza with NRBQ and Girls, Guns and Glory, July 13 is The Stray Birds, July 14 is Jerry Douglas, July 28 is Sonny Landreth, August 4 is Rickie Lee Jones, August 11 is The Fixx, and August 16 is Marshall Crenshaw & Los Straitjackets. For more, taper to NarrowsCenter.org

The Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center offers local, regional and nationally renowned live entertainment in Woonsocket all summer long. The Beardogz are performing on July 20, Chicago Tribute Chicago Total Access performs July 21, Moment of Clarity is on July 22, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is on July 23, Kansas is on July 27, The Diamonds is on July 28, Arlo Guthrie is on July 29, Aaron Lessard and His Band are on August 10, Green Day’s American Idiot The Musical is on August 11 – 13, Jack Babineau is on August 18, Bee Gees Tribute Stayin’ Alive is on September 8, and the Paul McCartney Symphonic Tribute: Live & Let Die is on September 16. For more, side by each to StadiumTheatre.com

NimFest at King’s Park in Newport features free concerts all summer long! On June 25 is Cee Cee & The Riders and The Kane Brothers, on July 7 is Los Duderinos and the Lisa Martin Trio, on July 9 is Silverteeth, Randy Robbins Trio and Allysen Callery, on July 16 is Ladies Of Blues and Soul, Diana Blue & Ilana Katz, on July 23 is Barkode, LeMechant and Le Connard, on July 30 is The Gnomes, Thea Hopkins duo and Joyce Katzberg, on August 13 is Down City Band, on August 20 is the Jon Monllos Jazz Band and Debra Mann Trio, and on August 27 is Chelly, Bill & Dyl, Ric & Rory and Anita Mansfield. Shows are from 3 – 6pm. For more, socially mediate to facebook.com/nimfest

The Odeum in East Greenwich keeps the music coming to Main Street! On June 1 is The Fabulous T-Birds, on June 2 – 4 is PGMC Rat Pack, on June 8 is Blue Oyster  Cult, on June 15 is Marty Stuart, on June 16 is Joan Osborne, on June 17 is Tommy Emmanuel, and on June 18 is Cowboy Mouth. For more, fe, fi fo, fum to GreenwichOdeum.com

If you need to move your feet, shake your body and sweat a bit this summer, hit a Contra Dance! At Sandywoods in Tiverton, on June 21 is Rich Sbardella calling and music by Floorplay. On July 19 is Dereck Kalish calling and music by Benjamin Foss & The Vox Hunters. On August 16 is Paul Wilde calling, and on September 20 is Tod Whittemore calling and music by The French Connection. The East Bay Contra Dances at the Warren Armory are
June 2 with Tod Whittemore calling and music by French Connection. On August 4 is Rich Sbardella calling and music by South County Jammers. On September 1 is Linda Leslie calling and music by Amy Larkin & Benjamin Foss.

Waterfront Productions has announced just a few dates that will be held this summer and fall at a new seasonal outdoor venue located at Bold Point Park on the East Providence waterfront (see story on page XX). To date, the eclectic line-up of concerts and festivals includes The Beach Boys on August 9, the 8th Annual Waterfront Reggae Festival with Freddie McGregor, Anthony B, Junior Kelly, Kabaka Pyramid, Taj Weekes & Adowa and Natural Element on August 12, Moe and Railroad Earth on August 24, and the Blues & BBQ Festival with the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Robert Randolph & the Family Band on August 26. For more, Tockwotton to RIWaterfrontEvents.com

The Rhythm & Roots Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an expanded schedule of American roots music that features headliners The Mavericks, Rosanne Cash, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and other favorites, such as Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Los Texmaniacs, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Sarah Potenza and Ian Crossman, Natalie MacMaster, Christine Ohlman and many, many more. The festival is held at Ninigret Park in Charlestown on Labor Day weekend. More than 10,000 attendees are expected, some of whom have brought their families to Rhythm & Roots every year. For more, ZydeGo-Go to rhythmandroots.com

Finally, I had the opportunity to see Spring Awakening by the Wilbury Theatre Group last week. It was a great show (our reviewer agrees on page XX)! You should definitely try to catch a performance before it closes on June 4! That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com

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