Music

August Roots Report: Summer is hot, but these festivals are hotter

Okee dokee folks… Have I mentioned yet that I hate summer? Sorry, I have to say that at least once during this abysmal time of year. Fortunately, we are about halfway through this hell. Come on, autumn! The only thing that makes summer SOMEWHAT bearable is music. There are still great outdoor music events coming up that should definitely be on your music radar. Read on…

The eighth annual RI Folk Festival will happen on Sunday, Aug 28. This festival is FREE! There are three stages of music, craft vendors, food and new this year is interactive songwriting programming for adults and kids. The Songwriter Workshop is hosted by Mark Cutler and The Young Folk area by Morgan Johnston. As part of the workshop, Cutler will guide folks through the songwriting process, and the goal is to have a completed song performed on stage by the end of the festival! Morgan Johnston will keep the kiddos amused with shaker-making, coloring and much more. This festival is a true RI treasure and showcases many local musicians as well as national and regional talent. The rather lengthy line-up includes: award-winning multi-instrumentalist Jake Blount; The Fools (unplugged), known for their hits, “Life Sucks, Then You Die,” “World Dance Party” and more; Robin Lane (formerly with The Chartbusters), known for ”I Don’t Know How To Do,” “When Things Go Wrong” and more; Sidy Maiga; Lisa Couto & Erik Peterson; Dan Lilley & The Keepers with Amy Bedard; Pamela Means; The CarLeans; Julie Rhodes & the Electric Co; Allysen & Ava Callery (mother and daughter Motif award winners!); Rachel Sumner; Jose Docen; Bank of Ireland; Hungrytown; Sleeping Turtle; Frozen Corn, Beauquet; Tyler James & Jess Powers; Swimming Bell; and Emerging Songwriter Hosts Beth Barron & Joanne Lurgio, presenting over 25 emerging artists! The festival takes place at Larisa Park directly across from the Carousel in East Providence. Volunteers are still needed and donations to help fund the festival are always accepted. For more, get the folk over to RhodeIslandFolkFestival.com

The sixth annual Warren Folks Festival takes place at 30 Cutler Street from 1 to 7pm on Saturday, Aug 20. This is another free festival, including food, music, craft vendors and BEER! They will have two stages of music featuring Bochek, Ernest Edwards, Honeysuckle Hill, Vudu Sister, Mary Elaine Jenkins, Beauquet, American Echoes, Rafay Rashid, Anthony Loffredio and others. This is all presented by and benefits The Collaborative. The goal of The Collaborative in Warren is to create a space where artists and musicians can exhibit and share their talents and network with other like-minded individuals. For more, cahoot on over to: TheCollaborative02885.org

And the Motif Music Award winner for best RI Festival is…the Rhythm and Roots Festival! This fest almost went away earlier in the year as festival producer Chuck Wentworth reluctantly decided that it was time to retire. Just a couple of months ago, an agency in CT swooped in and saved RR Fest and plans to carry on this Labor Day Weekend tradition! While it will no longer be locally produced, the owners claim to keep things status quo for the time being. Most of the staff and volunteers will be returning as well. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this legendary music gathering, now is the time. This year’s line-up boasts Little Feat, Grace Potter, Samantha Fish, Cowboy Mouth, North Mississippi All Stars, Anders Osborne & Jackie Greene, Steve Riley, Donna The Buffalo, Los Texmaniacs and so, so many more! The festival takes place at Ninigret Park in Charlestown, Sep 2 – 4. For more, zyde-e-go-go to: RhythmAndRoots.com   

Last week I went to Indian Ranch in Webster for the first time. I attended the Ann Wilson (of Heart) concert. It’s a cool venue tucked away in the woods just over the RI border into MA. The venue reminded me – ok, it was actually my girlfriend who said this – of the setting of the series, “Ozark.” There is a riverboat on the lake near the amphitheater and lots of brown, log-cabin type, rustic buildings. They still have lots of shows on their calendar if you want to check it out. Coming up: Weird Al, Collective Soul/Switchfoot (check out my podcast with Collective Soul), ABBA Tribute Badfish, Get The Led Out, Extreme, Aaron Lewis, The Pike Rockfest and many others. If you go, bring sunscreen, a hat and maybe a cushion if you have a tush that doesn’t like bleachers! For more, Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg to IndianRanch.com

I had to pause my podcasts for a bit while my podcast recorder was out being exchanged under warranty. Unfortunately I missed out on some great guests. I have to get back into the podcast groove again and have already begun the process. Check out MotifRI.com/RootsReportPodcast for the latest episode! Don’t forget there is so much more online that I produce for Motif: 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. JohnFuzek.com

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