Guest Author - Chris Curtis
Ninigret Park in Charlestown, RI is the host site for the annual Rhythm and Roots festival held each year on Labor Day weekend. Rhythm and Roots celebrates the closing of summer with a diverse schedule of Acoustic and Roots music and is known for its consistent lineup of top talent and for featuring a strong program of Cajun and Zydeco dance music.
The end of summer brings about a bittersweet feeling realizing the summer is closing out but you can look forward to an incredible weekend full of music and dance at Rhythm and Roots. What better way to blow off the stress brought about by summer's end then to dance – long and hard?
At Rhythm and Roots, you get 3 days – 30 hours of music and dance to think about nothing more than having the time of your life. Doesn't that sound enticing? With two main stages, each with dance floors, plus a family tent and a workshop tent, Ninegret park comes alive with the non-stop energy of enthusiastic spectators and dancers. Both main stages offer continuous hours of broad based roots music ranging from Gypsy Jazz, Blues, Celtic, Swing, Rockabilly, Country, Bluegrass, Cajun, and Zydeco drawing in thousands of people from near and far.
The music brings together people from many walks of life with a common bond between them, a love of the music and the desire to dance tirelessly. The world becomes a small place under the dance tent filled with music as dance partners mix it up dance after dance. The connection is brief but the memory is lasting – a smile, a look, a brief pleasant comment. The dancers reunite each year to wrap up the summer months at Rhythm & Roots. It is the place to be over the Labor day weekend.
Some of the powerhouse bands featured at the festival include the social conscious jam band, Donna the Buffalo who plays one main stage set on Sunday. The "old tyme" music, all girl favorites Uncle Earl return for two main stage sets on Friday and Saturday. Sunday also features a special set with Geoff Muldaur and the Texas Sheiks. This is an exclusive appearance. Saturday night on the main stage will bring a set from Marcia Ball followed by a collaborative Texas Jam with Johnny Nicholas, Marcia Ball, Steve Reilly and the Texas Tornado's that ought to prove to be a no holds barred spectacular. Sunday night, the main stage closes out with the high energy, Robert Randolph and his Family Band.
Red Stick Ramblers take two sets, one on the main stage and one in the dance tent on Friday evening. Dancers are excited for the acclaimed Horace Trahan's appearance at Rhythm and Roots. He and his band will energize the dancers all weekend as the host dance band. Creole Cowboys give us sets on both Friday and Saturday to groove to his beat while CJ Chenier will fire up the dancers for three sets on Saturday and Sunday. After two sets on the main stage on Saturday and Sunday, Steve Reilly and the Mamou Playboys will once again close out the festival at the dance tent on Sunday evening ending the festival on a high energy note.
The organizers have once again done an amazing job at selecting a wide base of musical styles and first rate bands. The difficulty will be to split your self between the dance stage and the main stage and wanting to be in both places at the same time always. It truly should not be missed. Where else can you camp and experience such an exciting musical line up for an entire weekend?