Roots Report

Roots Report

Okee dokee folks… I was saddened to learn about the passing of someone that I greatly admired, Bob Jones. If you are not in the folk world you may not know the name, but Bob was a big part of that community for decades. He basically ran the Newport Folk Festival since its revival in the ‘80s but had been involved from the beginning. I met Bob a little more than 30 years ago when I was trying to book my duo at the Newport Folk Festival. We didn’t get booked but he always invited us to the festival and provided us with backstage passes. In 1994 I convinced Bob to let me run a stage at the festival and I wound up doing that for nine years. My duo finally did perform on that stage. After that chapter closed, Bob kept me on and had me do things like chauffeur artists, help the stage crew, work the lights, and serve as the liaison with Gibson guitars. My last couple of years with the festival I worked alongside Bob in the production trailer. I learned a lot about music production and folk history from him. He was an inspiration and mentor to me. When I think of the Newport Folk Festival, I always think of all the work Bob did to keep that festival going in his decades of involvement. He rarely ever got on the stage and most people were unaware of all he did. All he and his family did: His wife and kids were always involved as well.

About fifteen or so years ago Bob had serious health issues that changed his life completely, but that didn’t stop him from working the festival. My tenure with Newport Folk Festival ended in 2011. Things were changing there. Instead of producing, Bob became an archivist for the festival organization. Over his life he was involved in so many events, festivals, tours, artists’ careers, and much more. Bob used to tell me stories, and he had lots of them – he was the real deal! He started out as a musician – a good one. I have a photo on my bulletin board, from the ‘60s, of Bob playing guitar with Bob Dylan. You can’t get much more real than that. RIP Bob. Read on…

Musician Gary Fish, the singer-songwriter known for “Lobsters In The Woods,” has put together a concert of “artists supporting honor for all.” His Stop the Stigma Fest takes place on Sunday, September 24 at Sandywoods in Tiverton. RedFish, Thatcher Harrison, Barney Johnson, Mike Laureanno, Louie Leeman, Back Porch, Taylor Davis, Roots Run Wild, Molly and Mike, Allison Rose, and Montgomery Street Ramblers will provide the music. There will also be food trucks and crafts. It all starts at noon and runs until 6pm. Admission is free but donations are encouraged and appreciated. Fish also runs the Sandywoods Tuesday night open mic.


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Down in Taylor Swift mansion country (that’s Westerly), The Songwriter Show will happen at The Knickerbocker Music Center on Sunday, September 24 at 6pm. The line-up for this concert includes: Jim Carpenter with Sarah Mac, Sandman Allen, Haunt the House, Charlotte Olivia Black, and John Speziale accompanied by Sweet Mercy. After the show, The Knick Tap Room will present songwriters Lucas Neil and Brian Gore, as well as some of the main stage artists.

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The Newport Playhouse & Cabaret Restaurant is beginning to present songwriter shows on a regular basis with the relaunch of their Newport to Nashville series. They will also occasionally host bands and other themed music shows in addition to their regular programming of theater and cabaret. On September 15, the Newport to Nashville series brings in Lainey Dionne, Charlie Marie, and Matt York for an evening of original songs. The playhouse is a great venue for live music and since the newly renovated highway exits off the bridge, the Newport Playhouse is right off the exit! The venue has a full bar and a pub menu. Also coming up at the Newport Playhouse on September 29 is Matt York performing his Songs & Stories series featuring The Highwaymen.

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If you are a fan of yacht rock (at least I THINK this is yacht rock), Christopher Cross will be at the Stadium Theatre on Friday, September 29. Cross burst onto the music scene with his 1980 self-titled debut album, which won five Grammy Awards, including – for the first time in Grammy history – the “Big Four” most prestigious awards: Record of the Year (for the single “Sailing”), Album of the Year, Song of the Year (also “Sailing”), and Best New Artist. His career has spanned more than four decades and he has sold over 10 million albums, won those five Grammys, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and had five Top 10 singles. If you haven’t been to the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket you are missing out on a gem of a theater that consistently presents top-notch entertainment. This is the perfect chance to check out the Stadium and catch a great show all at the same time. Also coming up: Daybreak: Barry Manilow Tribute, Stadium’s 9th Annual Beer Fest, EagleMania, Murder Mystery Dinner – Sorry, Wrong Number, Comedy with Tom Cotter, Bee Gees Tribute – Stayin’ Alive, and John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. •

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