Roots Report

Rhythm and Roots Festival. (Photo: Seth Jacobson)

Okee dokee folks…’tis the season once again. The season of heat and oppressive humidity. I know that most of you folks out there like it, but not me. The only thing that makes summer even remotely tolerable is music. These days, music is the drug of choice that makes just about everything bearable! Now it’s time for me to tell you how to spend your summer! Read on…

I am going to start at the end. Rhythm and Roots is by far the BEST festival of ANY festival in Rhode Island. It is real and honest. It won the Motif Award. It’s not ridiculous like that other one on the island. This is a real festival with great music, no posers. All day and into the night there is music, camping, food, beer, shade, jamming, and more. If you have a choice between heading over a bridge and standing all day in the sun or relaxing in beautiful Ninigret Park and really enjoying a full day of music then do yourself a huge favor and go to Rhythm and Roots this Labor Day Weekend. Make it an annual tradition, as many have. The line-up for this year’s festival includes: EmmyLou Harris, Drive By Truckers, Larkin Poe, Old Crow Medicine Show, Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds, Strumbrellas, Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country, and many, many others. This year’s festival will surely see many dedications to the recently passed founder and heart and soul of the event, Chuck Wentworth. There is still time to get involved and volunteer if you’re interested!


For more, zyde-e-go-go to:

Next up we have two great folk(s) festivals in RI. The Warren Folks Festival and the Rhode Island Folk Festival.

The 8th annual Warren Folks Festival happens on Saturday, August 17 at 30 Cutler St in Warren. Music, art, food & fun for the folks! This family-friendly, free festival takes place in the back lot of Cutler Mill. Enjoy musical acts performed between two stages, art and wares from Rhode Island artists and makers, and food and drinks. At press time, no line-up was available but it’s always a crowd-pleaser!

For more, get weird and over to:

The tenth annual Rhode Island Folk Festival takes place at Crescent Park in Riverside on Sunday, August 25. This FREE festival has become a destination event and draws thousands to the park located right across from the Carousel on Bullocks Point Ave (bike path accessible). The RI Folk Fest has three stages of great music and a young folks area with a musical instrument petting zoo and a chance to go home with an instrument from the free raffle. There is also a songwriting workshop hosted by RI music legend, Mark Cutler. On top of all this, there are art vendors, food, a beer garden, and so much more. This is Rhode Island’s answer to a REAL folk festival! The 2024 line-up includes folk legend Tom Rush, Michelle Malone (an amazing talent from Georgia), Tai and Moon of Boo City, Melanie Moore with Lisa Couto, Mariarosa Rivera trio, Dan Lilley with Amy Bedard and the acoustic Keepers, Chris Berado trio, Hungrytown, Paula Claire, Dan Blakeslee, Divey, Craig Wreck, Marc Douglas Berardo, Lady Pills (solo), Lys Guillorn, Olivia Charlotte, Daniel Ouellette, Beth Barron, Allysen Callery, Ed McGuirl, and many, many others! Put this on your calendar!

For more, get the folk over to You can also volunteer to help and donate to help fund the festival!

Providence Porchfest 2024 happens on June 8 at various points in PVD. There will be upwards of one hundred performers on porches, including: Evening Sky, Michele Cruz, Mark Cutler, Bethany Killian, Beth Barron, How’s About Charlie, and way too many more to list.

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Gillispalooza, a concert in memory of the late Jim Gillis, takes place on June 15, 2 – 5pm at King’s Park in Newport.

In Woonsocket from June 14 to August 23 it’s the Levitt Amp Concert Series. This summer catch Precious Perez, Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs, OKAN, Steve Smith & the Nakeds, Black Opry Revue, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Phillip-Michael Scales, and Patty PerShayla & the Mayhaps.

For more, River Island over to:

The Moosup Valley Music Series will happen periodically during the summer in Foster. Ed McGuirl, Amy Bedard, and yours truly will be there on June 15.

For a full schedule you will have to do some investigating on Facebook or One of those will get you the info — they post as they come!

The Bristol Concert Series brings 12 days of big shows to Independence Park. Every night from June 21 until July 2 you can hear great music from bands such as Crushed Velvet, Back in the Day, 88th Army Band, and others right on the waterfront.

Pop over to: for more.

The Narragansett Gazebo Summer Concert Series right across from the beach takes place on Fridays at 6pm. Coming up: Hurricane (6/14), The Manatees (6/21), The Senders (6/28), Barfly (7/5), 3 Legged Dog (7/19), The Complaints (8/2), Take it to the Bridge (8/9), Hey 19 (8/16), POSSM (8/23), and Jesse Liam (8/30).

The Watch Hill Sunset Concert Series in Westerly happens on the Green located on Bay Street. Shows start at 6pm and the schedule includes: Caravan of Thieves (6/25), Smack Dabs (7/9), Johnny Nicholas (7/23), Sarah Brindell (8/6), Otis and the Hurricanes (8/20). I’ll stick with Westerly for $500, Alex. From 6 – 8pm, Tunes on the Dunes at the Westerly Town Beach brings in: Coyote Brass & Italics (7/8), No Exit 4 (7/15), Granite City Rock Band (7/22), Take It To The Bridge (8/5), Brass Attack (8/12), Yacht Lobsters (7/10), Greg Piccolo & Heavy Juice (7/10), Duke Robillard (7/17), Big Mouth Blues Band (7/24), Al Copley (7/31), Knickerbocker All Stars (8/7), and Roomful of Blues (8/14).

For more, sand over to:

Palagis Ice Cream on Bacon Street in Pawtucket presents music to eat ice cream by on Thursdays from 6 – 8pm! Enjoy a scoop to the sounds of Dow & Liedel (6/6), Counterfeit Cash (6/13), School of Rock (6/20), Almost Gone (6/27), Mutt & Jeff (7/11), Fearless Heart (7/18), Counterfeit Cash (7/25), Gary Santos (8/1), Sharing Room (8/8), Keith Munslow kid’s show (8/15), School of Rock (8/22), Amanda Mowgrass (8/29), and Back To School Show (9/5).

Lick over to: for more.

The Highlands Summer Concert Series takes place at 101 Highland Ave in Providence at 6pm, featuring Acts Goosebury Road (6/20), Jesse Liam (7/18), Luke Jackson (8/15), and Robert Black (Elvis Tribute, 9/19).

Climb to for more.

Crescent Park Concerts in Riverside will have a stacked schedule, with Atwater/Donnelly (6/6), Strictly Sentimental Swing Band (6/13), RI Wind Ensemble (6/20), 19th Nervous Breakdown (6/27), Playing Mantis (7/11), David Tessier’s ASS Band (7/18), Mixed Emotions (7/25), Kelly & Poor Boys (8/1), Mojo Rising (8/8), Jesse Liam (8/15), Big Mouth Blues Band (8/22), and finally, Red Bridge Band (8/29).

For more, merry go to:

Not everything happens outdoors in the summer. There are lots of folks, like me, who seek refuge in air conditioned venues. There are plenty of indoor, air conditioned events going on all summer — here are a few.

The Greenwich Odeum keeps going through the summer months with shows such as: John Hiatt, Gaelic Storm, Face to Face (Elton/Billy J Tribute), Tower of Power, Keifer Sutherland, Stanley Jordan, Yacht Rock Schooner, Rumours, Tab Benoit & Anders Osborne, Acoustic Alchemy, Patti Griffin, Roseanne Cash, Sons of Cream, and NRBQ.

For more, Main Street to:

The Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River installed a super-super A/C system years ago to combat the summer heat. Stay cool and catch these shows and many others: The Weight Band, Donna the Buffalo, Nick Lowe, Robbie Fulks & Bill Kirchen, Joan Osborne, Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry Douglas, and the FREE Take Me To The River Fest with Dave Alvin, Jimmy Dale Gilmour, Cracker, and Vanesss Collier.

Bridge on over to for more.

Oh, and one more thing to do: This summer it is very important to encourage folks to vote blue in November. We CANNOT wind up with a fascist, orange dictator again. Seriously.

That’s it for now. Read Motif to keep up on the latest show additions and other fun events this summer. Listen to my podcasts at:

Thanks for reading and listening.