Guest Author - Chris Curtis
Put on your dancing shoes and get yourself down to Ninegret Park in Charlestown, RI for the festivities at Rhythm and Roots over Labor Day weekend. If you haven't yet bought your tickets, get them now and go!
As always, the line up is greatly exciting with some big acts new to the Rhythm and Roots Stages, as well as many returning favorites. Each act booked brings such diversity of styles and genre including deeply rooted blues, folk, cajun, creole, zydeco, honky-tonk, swing, jazz, old timey and celtic. Be prepared to experience planned and unplanned fusions and collaborations that are one of the greatest charms of the Rhythm and Roots festival. These one of a kind collaborative happenings are completely unique and if you miss it, it's gone forever but to experience it is to have it live in memory for life.
Perennial favorite Marcia Ball is once again gracing the stage with her blend of Lousiana Blues and Honky Tonk. In addition to her traditional set, the organizers have put together an exciting Texas Review that will bring together a synthesis of great musicians including Steve Reilly, Marcia Ball, Johnny Nicholas, Joel Guzman and "friends". This promises to deliver an exclusive collaborative set not to be missed.
Rhythm and Roots has traditionally featured a line up heavily influenced by the music of Louisiana and by the dance music from that region. This year's Cajun, Creole and Zydeco line up will have you on your feet all weekend long, with a line up that includes six traditional Cajun, Creole and Zydeco bands, a collaborative grouping and two popular eclectic dance bands. Once again, the host band is one of the hottest dance bands on the LA scene. Pine Leaf Boy's 1st appearance at Rhythm and Roots rocked the place with their blending of traditional creole and cajun rooted music. On the dance stage, you will see another blending of artists with legends Ed Poulard and Preston Frank teaming with the younger Corey Ledet who has proven his commitment to traditions. Yet to be named "friends" will be joining these guys, so look for some surprises from this special set. New comer to the Rhythm and Roots Stage, Dennis Stroughmatt & L'Esprit Creole returns to New England to show the patrons of Rhythm and Roots why the dancers turn out every time for this high energy band.
Traditional Zydeco is represented by a return of Curley Taylor and Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas. Returning favorites are Steve Reilly and the Mamou Playboys, Red StickRamblers, and Donna the Buffalo plus two of the best regional bands, Magnolia and Zydeco Hogs, round out this amazing scheduling. This is certainly not a line up of "more of the same" Here too, in the dance tent, you will experience a wide range of diversity between the musicality of these top bands.
Chuck Wentworth, who is the booking agent for Rhythm and Roots and also for Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, has put together a exceptional lineup. If you like to dance this is the festival for you. If you like to relax and listen, R&R has that appeal too. It is a festival chock full of “Something for Everyone”. Be there!
Visit the Rhythm and Roots web site for more details on the line up and schedules.