Music

Roots Report June 2022: Big outdoor summer shows

Okee dokee folks… It’s a good thing that it is getting warmer and events will take place outdoors again. I know folks don’t want to hear it, but COVID-19 is still out there wreaking havoc. I somehow wound up sick with COVID-19 and I didn’t much care for it. I am already loopy. As if being sick wasn’t enough, I had to cancel three gigs and miss going to two shows. I keep receiving notices of rescheduled and canceled tour dates. Fortunately this highly contagious variant is not even close to as bad as the first strain, but still… Maybe this will be COVID-19’s last blast and will burn itself out. “It’s better to burn out than fade away.” I hope so. I usually complain about summer because I really hate the heat; I will never complain about being outdoors. There are lots of open air shows headed our way pre- and post-solstice. Read on…   

The other day my girlfriend said to me, “I don’t think I have ever heard the word ‘podcast’ so much in my life.” It’s true, I talk about my podcast a lot. I put a lot of work into each episode (about 5 hours), so I want to get the word out. Honestly, I never listened to podcasts before I started this one, but I find the conversations interesting and fun. I hope that you all will give them a listen and get hooked! Navigate to MotifRI.com/RootsReportPodcast for more. 

The Rhythm and Roots Festival has been given a new life! A CT company has purchased the festival and promises to maintain the event’s status quo. See you in September! Zyde-go-go to RhythmAndRoots.com for more. Tickets are already on sale for the Labor Day Weekend gathering.

Also happening in Charlestown: Ninigret Summer Nights, a free, two-fer evening – a concert and a movie at Ninigret Park! The summer schedule is Jun 30, PreFab 4 with Jaws; July 7 Run For Cover/Spiderman; July 28, Kayla Farnham & Frank Viele/Encanto; Aug 18, Will Evens/The Sandlot; Aug 25 Forever Young/Meatballs. Music starts at 5:30 and films at dusk. Food, ice cream, face painting and other activities as well. Get the scoop at CharlestownRI.gov.

Common Fence Music has transitioned to Newport Live! Common Fence, a new name for the long-standing arts organization whose mission is to celebrate diverse music traditions by offering access to vibrant performances. This summer they will once again be presenting shows at the Norman Bird Sanctuary and bringing muic and nature together for four evening performances. June 10, Kyshona; July 8 Mark Erelli; Aug 5, Lisa Morales; Sep 16, The Suitcase Junket. They will also present a show at Newport Vineyards on July 21 with Laura Veirs. Follow the fence to NewportLive.org for more. 

The RI Folk Festival, now in its 8th year, will happen at Larisa Park in Riverside on Sunday, Aug 28. This free festival features three stages of music and this year will also host a songwriting workshop with Mark Cutler as well as a children’s area. The line-up includes: The Fools, Robin Lane, Jake Blount, Pamela Means Trio, Dan Lilley and the Keepers with Amy Bedard, Sidy Maiga, The Carleans, Julie Rhodes, Allysen Callery, Beth Barron, Cardboard Ox and about 25 more acts. Food trucks and craft vendors will also be in the park. But wait, there’s more! On June 10 the Galactic Theatre will host the fundraiser “Folkin’ For Funding” to help support the RI Folk Festival. Beth Barron, Dan Lilley & Amy Bedard, Amy et Moi, How’s About Charlie, Sounded Ground and Anthony Loffredio will be performing. For more, carousel to RhodeIslandFolkFestival.com  

I will always call it Great Woods but it is now on its third or fourth identity: The Xfinity Center. They host those “big shed” shows during the warmer weather. There is the lawn area and the covered, open-air seated section. This is a fun choice for a nice summer night. My favorite memory of a concert there was back in 1993 (or 4) when I sat under the stars and listened to John Williams conduct the Boston Pops as they performed all of William’s greatest hits: the themes from Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws and more. There are far too many shows on the schedule to list so I will just hit the highlights (as I see it). June 8, Train, Jewel and Blues Traveler; June 25, The Doobie Brothers and Michael McDonald; July 2, Steely Dan & Steve Winwood; July 5, The (Dixie) Chicks and Patti Griffin; July 10, Chicago & Brian Wilson; Aug 10, Santana & Earth, Wind and Fire; Aug 12, Rod Stewart & Cheap Trick; Aug 19, REO Speedwagon, Styx and Loverboy; and Sep 16, Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival. For a complete list, explore LiveNation.com

As you may already know, there was a fire at The Pump House on May 6. As a nonprofit, The Pump House always needs community support to survive — now more than ever. They are currently unable to use the inside of the building to host shows, but will be returning with Music on the Green. To learn about shows and how to help, extinguish over to PumpHouseWusicWorks.com

Don’t forget there is so much more online from Motif! The Roots Report Podcasts, interviews and event reviews at MotifRI.com and lots of concert photos on the Motif Facebook page, fb.com/MotifRI. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. www.JohnFuzek.com

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