20th Annual Rhythm & Roots Festival Line Up
Sept 1st, 2nd, & 3rd
Camping Available on Aug 31st!
Ninigret Park - Charlestown Rhode Island
The Mavericks, Rosanne Cash, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy,
Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, MarchFourth!
Squirrel Nut Zippers, Knickerbocker All Stars with special guests TBA,
The New Orleans Suspects with Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat,
Marcia Ball, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Shinyribs,
Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, Pine Leaf Boys,
Ten Strings and A Goatskin featuring Leonard Podolak of The Duhks,
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Sarah Potenza & Ian Crossman,
The Turtle Duhks, Los Texmaniacs, Courtney Granger and Friends, Lilly Hiatt
Horace Trahan and the Ossun Express, Say Darling,
Sunday Gospel with Sarah Potenza & Christine Ohlman, The Revelers, and
Alex Meixner Band.
Family Stage Performers: Mama D, Keith Munslow, Len Cabral, and Marc Levitt
A Lotta Hoops with Shenandoah, Keith the Bubble Guy, and the Funstagators
You could call The Mavericks’ music a Cuban/country/Tex-Mex/alternative/boogie fusion, but even that doesn’t quite describe their acclaimed, unique sound and legendary live shows that inspire devoted fans to follow the band around the country and sing along to every song. The band began over 25 years ago in Miami, moved to Nashville and put out several gold and platinum records, won a Grammy in 1996 and several other nominations in the late ’90s, and made a reputation as one of the best live bands around. After some time off and re-jiggering of personnel, they came back strong with 2013’s In Time and 2015’s Grammy-nominated Mono. The Mavericks’ latest release is Brand New Day, on their own Mono Mundo Recordings label.
One of the country’s pre-eminent singer/songwriters, Rosanne Cash has released 15 albums of extraordinary songs that have earned four Grammy awards and nominations for 11 more, as well as 21 top-40 hits, including 11 No. 1 singles. She is also an author of four books and numerous essays, which have appeared in such diverse publications as The New York Times and Rolling Stone. Rosanne Cash was awarded the SAG/AFTRA Lifetime Achievement Award for Sound Recordings in 2012 and received the 2014 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award in the Performing Arts. She was chosen as a Perspective Series artist at Carnegie Hall and hosted four concerts during their 2015-2016 season. The 2015 artist-in-residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Cash was also inducted into the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame that year. This past April, she was inducted into the Austin City Limits’ Hall of Fame. And yes, she is the daughter of Johnny Cash.
Celebrating their 24th anniversary, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has appeared in concert venues across the world, sold millions of records, and had their music appear in hundreds of movies and television shows. With sold-out concerts from the Hollywood Bowl to Lincoln Center, appearances with many of the country's finest symphony orchestras, and television appearances ranging from “Dancing with the Stars,” to “Superbowl XXXIII,” Big Bad Voodoo Daddy continues its decades-long mission to celebrate and revitalize jazz and swing music – America's original musical art form – and bring joy to audiences around the world. Their 11th studio album, Louie, Louie, Louie, to be released in June 2017, is a salute to the music of Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan and Louis Prima. After 10 records, more than 2,800 live shows, and countless appearances in film and television, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is showing no signs of slowing down.
Since marrying in 2002, step dancer and fiddler Natalie MacMaster and fiddler Donnell Leahy, Canada’s reigning couple of Celtic music, have been captivating audiences with their exceptional musical skills and their obvious joy in playing together. Hailing from Cape Breton Island, Natalie received her first fiddle at the age of 9 and her first recording was released when she was only 16. Her career of more than 30 years has resulted in a plethora of awards, including a Grammy and a JUNO, in both the U.S. and Canada. Honing his remarkable talent since the age of 3, Donnell has spent his entire life with a fiddle in his hand. As the musical leader and frontman of the family band Leahy for over 15 years, he garnered numerous awards as well, including six JUNO nominations and three wins. The couple’s talented six young children, all of whom were likely fiddling and step dancing in the womb, join them on the road and on the stage, further delighting audiences.
MarchFourth! is an internationally-acclaimed, genre-breaking force in the world of entertainment — a sonic explosion delivered by 20 musicians, dancers, and artisans who take their audiences on a joy-inducing, foot-stomping, booty-shaking, soul-stirring journey that defies categorization. With exceptional musical quality and a visual kaleidoscope of stilt walkers, hoopers and Vaudeville-style dancers, MarchFourth! whips audiences into a celebratory frenzy with an over-the-top spectacle of high-energy compositions, colorful costumes, and irresistible charisma!
To say that the much-loved Squirrel Nut Zippers are a hard band to classify would be an understatement. You could call their music a delta blues/gypsy jazz/swing/klezmer fusion, and that would be getting close, but really, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In 2016, the band marked the 20th anniversary reissue of their best-selling album, Hot, and a return to touring for the first time since 2009, with a reactivated band playing sold-out shows across the country. Their first studio album in 17 years is in the works, and this year saw SNZ teaming up with Ozomatli for a highly successful eight-city “United Together” tour.
The historic Knickerbocker Café in Westerly R.I. has been the home to some incredible blues musicians, many of whom have played at Rhythm & Roots over the years. The Knickerbocker All Stars are a compendium of some of the most legendary of these, playing their jump blues and putting on a heck of a show.
New Orleans Suspects began playing together in 2009 as a pick-up band at the Maple Leaf in New Orleans. Comprised of some of the most seasoned, highly respected players in NOLA “Mean” Willie Green, Charlie Wooten, Jake Eckert, CR Gruver and Jeff Watkins – their chemistry was undeniable and by the summer of 2011 they decided to tour full time. They quickly began attracting large crowds from San Francisco to New York. They’ve released four CDs and established themselves as one of New Orleans’ best supergroups. Their 2016 album, Kaleidoscoped, is being hailed as their best and most original to date.
Fred Tackett and Paul Barrere are both members of the longtime powerhouse band Little Feat. Along with his fine guitar work, Tackett's mandolin and trumpet have become a featured part of the Little Feat sound as have Barrere's guitar, vocals and songwriting.
Texas-born and Louisiana-raised pianist/vocalist/songwriter Marcia Ball ignites a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she strolls on stage. Her groove-laden New Orleans R&B and driving Gulf Coast swamp pop/blues, filled with flavors of Tex-Mex, zydeco and boogie woogie, have garnered her five Grammy nominations, six Living Blues nominations, nine Blues Music Awards (and has a whopping 42 nominations), a place in the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame, and devoted fans all over the world. In 2015, she was given the honor of the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year. Whether pounding the piano with a boogie-woogie ferocity (watch that right leg go!) or belting out lyrics that will either make you jump for joy or break your heart, “Long Tall Marcia Ball” always brings a saucy joie de vivre to every visit to Rhythm and Roots.
It always seems that four-time Grammy-nominated Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys couldn't possibly get any better, and yet they keep bringing it stronger and stronger. As one of THE hottest and most accomplished Cajun bands around, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys are perennial favorites at Rhythm & Roots! Their stunningly clean and cohesive performance of Cajun French music, incredible vocal harmonies and amazing musicianship have taken the traditional sound of southwest Louisiana and infused it with new Cajun dynamism that is always fresh, always enticing and eminently danceable. The band includes Grammy-winner Steve Riley (accordion, fiddle, vocals), Kevin Wimmer (fiddle, vocals), Sam Broussard (guitar, vocals), Brazos Huval (bass) and Kevin Dugas (drums). The Mamou Playboys’ latest release, the 2015 Voyageurs is a compendium of original songs and reinterpretations of classics. Steve has attended every single Rhythm and Roots Festival and further back to festivals at Stepping Stone Ranch. There ought to be an award for that!
A Shinyribs show is a country-soul, swamp-funk exaltation of spirit. It’s a hip-shaking, belly-laughing, soul-singing, song-slinging, down-home house party. All styles of American music are likely to be served up by this world-class band, featuring former Gourds frontman Kevin Russell on lead vocals, uke and guitar, Winfield Cheek on keyboards, Keith Langford on drums, Jeff Brown on bass, the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns and The Shiny Soul Sisters, Sally Allen and Alice Spencer. Shinyribs’ fourth CD, I Got Your Medicine, was released this year.
One of the most influential accordionists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music, Jeffery Broussard continues to be one of the genre’s most dynamic performers. He has continually been an innovator, beginning his career with traditional Creole Zydeco music playing drums in his father’s band, Delton Broussard & The Lawtell Playboys, then moving on to develop the nouveau Zydeco sound in Zydeco Force. He now returns to the more traditional Zydeco sound with his own band, Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys.
Four-time Grammy-nominated, world-renown Pine Leaf Boys are back again to perform their own inimitable youthfully exuberant brand of Louisiana Cajun music, flavored with a generous helping of good ol’ rock ’n’ roll. Known for wild shows and thoughtful arrangements, the Pine Leaf Boys intersperse their take on old-fashioned dance hall standards with their original music. The band has been invited on six occasions by the U.S. State Department to tour the world as musical representatives of the best of U.S. culture, and in 11 years of touring around 23 countries and 47 states, they have proven that the beautiful, powerful music of their Cajun ancestors is still thriving. The band members are 2012 Grammy winner Wilson Savoy, a master on accordion, piano and vocals, fiddler and vocalist extraordinaire Courtney Granger, rockin’ guitarist Jon Bertrand, Drew Simon, a Cajun traditionalist on drums and vocals, and rock-solid bassist Thomas David.
An exciting, multi-award winning, bilingual trad/folk/fusion trio from Canada’s Prince Edward Isle, Ten Strings and A Goat Skin celebrate the music of the Irish, Acadian, French & Maritime cultures. Integrating modern and world rhythms with both traditional and original tunes, they create a fiery, contagious, and unique sound, filled with humor and seemingly ceaseless energy. Expanding on the Scottish and Acadian roots of PEI’s traditional music, Ten Strings and a Goatskin weave old-school Franco-Canadian, Breton, Irish, and Scottish tunes with current grooves and clever quirks..Working closely with producer and clawhammer banjo virtuoso Leonard Podolak, of the Grammy- and Juno-winning Roots band The Duhks, Ten Strings and a Goat Skin pushed their music into new territory with their 2016 cd, Auprès du Poêle.
In their 29-year history, American roots music practitioners extraordinaire Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys have released 14 albums filled with undiluted joyful music pulled from rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll, honky tonk, rhythm and blues, soul and doo-wop. They’ve toured hundreds of thousands of miles for over 3,000 live performances, and were inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Their latest album, the 2013 What A Dream It’s Been, is an all-acoustic reinterpretation of the band’s favorite songs that have brought them to where they are today. We are so pleased to welcome them back to Rhythm & Roots!
Vocalist Sarah Potenza & Ian Crossman, her guitar-wielding husband, bring their music back to its roots. Hailing from Rhode Island, frequent Rhythm & Roots performer Sarah was hailed by Rolling Stone as “a Janis Joplin-Aretha Franklin hybrid with a mic ... but a Lucinda Williams-Bonnie Raitt hybrid with a pen… Potenza is to the blues what Adele is to pop: a colossal-voiced singer who merges her old-school influences with a modernistic sound.” While living in Chicago, Sarah and Ian formed the much-lauded band Sarah and the Tall Boys. When the group disbanded, they moved to East Nashville to be a part of the booming Americana music scene in Sarah’s own name. Her spellbinding blind audition yielded a four-chair turn on NBC's The Voice, and her latest cd is Monster. (photo by Laura Partain)
The Turtle Duhks were born out of festival jam sessions, and include fiddler Lydia Garrison of the New York based Turtle Island Dreams, and banjoist Leonard Podolak and guitarist Jordan McConnell, both of The Duhks. Specializing in old-timey and neo-traditional folk material with just a touch of Celtic influence, the trio’s debut album, True Lover has an easy, unhurried feel that is both joyful and comforting.
Combine a hefty helping of Tex Mex conjunto, simmer with several parts Texas rock, add a daring dash of well-cured blues, and R&B riffs, and you've cooked up the tasty Grammy winning Los Texmaniacs groove. Founder Max Baca is a legend on the bajo sexto, a twelve string guitar-like instrument, and his nephew, Josh Baca, is fast becoming a legend himself on the accordion, with those two instruments creating the core of the lively conjunto sound. Max Baca and Los Texmaniacs are the new worldwide ambassadors of Texas Roots music.
Courtney Granger lives in Lafayette, Lousiana. A master fiddler and extraordinarily talented singer, Courtney hails from the Balfa family lineage, which is evident in his powerful vocals and heavily Balfa-influenced fiddling. While for the past 8 years Courtney has been playing and touring full time with Cajun groups the Pine Leaf Boys and Balfa Toujours, Courtney has always had a deep affinity for and knowledge of classic country music. Featuring a master group of musicians and production by the renowned Dirk Powell, the long-awaited “Beneath Still Waters” is Courtney’s solo country debut was released in 2016.
Rootsy singer/songwriter Lilly Hiatt had a lot to live up to when she chose to make music her career -- her father is John Hiatt, one of America's leading songwriters since the '70s. Lilly has been recording and touring since 2008 and makes her Rhythm and Roots debut this year.
Horace Trahan is a world-renowned Cajun and zydeco artist, respected for his ability to “pull the hell” out of an accordion and belt out powerful vocals. He is known as the creator of the much-covered zyde-Cajun classic, “That Butt Thing.” No stranger to controversy, Trahan, in the middle of a successful career, defied stereotypes and switched his focus from Cajun to zydeco music in the early 2000s – something relatively unheard of in his Louisiana Cajun community at the time. He began playing the accordion at 15, and by 18 he was on the road touring with the great D.L. Menard. These days, Horace Trahan and the Ossun Express is known as a quintessential zydeco dancers’ band, playing not only tunes that are a joy to dance to, but are musically sophisticated as well. The band’s latest release is 2013’s By Special Request.
Grammy Nominated singer and songwriter Celia Woodsmith, of the acclaimed bluegrass band (and Rhythm & Roots alumnae) Della Mae, and critically lauded guitarist/banjoist Chris Hersch of the Alt. Country Rock band, Girls Guns & Glory, have joined musical forces. They blend distinctive original songs with classic tunes that pay homage to a shared musical heritage of Blues, Country, R&B, and Rock’n’Roll.
Tickets | Playing: Sunday
Get right with your soul when these ladies sing you the gospel truth. Rolling Stone called Sarah Potenza “A Janis Joplin-Aretha Franklin hybrid with a mic ... but a Lucinda Williams-Bonnie Raitt hybrid with a pen”. As a queen of blue-eyed rock’n’soul, Christine Ohlman is the long-time vocalist with the Saturday Night Live Band. Her latest CD, The Deep End, was honored on five national Top Ten lists, and she topped the Alternate Root.com’s Readers’ Poll as top Americana vocalist. This duo will make you see the light!
Grammy nominated in 2016, The Revelers return again with their super fun style and synchronized dance moves. Their sound is a spicy jambalaya of swamp pop, Cajun, zydeco, country and blues---a powerful potion of roots music that celebrates the flavor of southwest Louisiana, and makes you get up and dance. The Revelers have been called "The Best Thing to come out of Louisiana in recent history" by Cajun Creole Culture Preservation International. Their latest cd, The Revelers Play the Swamp Pop Classics was released this past winter.
Alex Meixner is a nationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated musician, performer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of polka music. Formally trained in classical, jazz and ethnic music, Meixner has cross-pollinated his versatile playing styles through pop music, funk, jazz and polka. He is an active ambassador for polka music, revitalizing interest coast to coast, resulting in sold-out shows, renewed cultural interest and growing mainstream acceptance. This band’s mission is about much more than playing energetic shows, it’s providing a much-needed positive experience that pulls communities together to celebrate history, culture and genuinely good times. The band’s latest album, You Asked for It, was recorded live and released in 2016.
For many Rhythm & Roots Festival-goers, one of the yearly highlights is listening and dancing to these two masters of traditional Creole and zydeco music playing together. As one of the most widely recognized caretakers of the Creole fiddle tradition, Ed Poullard extends his musical virtuosity to the accordion as well. He has taken his love of the accordion even further, gaining renown making and selling accordions that are cherished by the musicians lucky enough to own them. Preston Frank is a shining light in the zydeco world, a link to the traditional Creole sounds of years gone by, and is considered to be an important force in the preservation of that music. A member of one of the great zydeco families, which includes his well-known son Keith Frank, accordionist Preston can trace his musical lineage at least as far back as his fiddle playing great-great-grandfather.
In his masterful fiddle playing and soulful vocals, David Greely manifests the musical traditions and rich culture of his Louisiana home, easily taking the swampy syncopations of Cajun music and its renaissance French dialect to new levels of sophistication. He uses old and rare tunes, new companion pieces to the old ones, and striking new melodies that meld Cajun roots with fiddle sounds he’s heard in his travels. As a founding member of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Greely was nominated for four Grammy awards. He has received the Louisiana Artist Fellowship Award for Folklife Performance, and is an adjunct instructor of Cajun fiddle at the University of Louisiana.
For four decades Johnny Nicholas’s consummate musicianship and vocal skills have graced live music scenes across the country and abroad. Johnny grew up in Rhode Island, drifted to Ann Arbor, Chicago, Southwest Louisiana and finally Texas, opening the famous Hilltop Café in 1980 in the Hill Country outside of Austin with his late wife, Brenda. Great music and great food have always been on the menu there. Johnny has toured, performed and recorded with many true blues and Americana Roots Music legends, including as lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with Asleep at the Wheel. He has been called a living connection to the roots of American music that started in the Mississippi Delta and continues to flow down the river of traditional and contemporary sounds. His latest cd is Fresh Air.
Take six groovemasters, add a spicy blend of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, and funk to the up-tempo Zydeco beat, and presto, you have Lil Anne & Hot Cayenne, one of the Northeast’s hottest regional bands.
Since 1989, Magnolia has been New England's hometown Cajun band. Learning their music from Louisiana's finest, the band has built a solid reputation at home and recognition in the Cajun heartland. Playing high energy two steps and sultry waltzes, the band's twin fiddles, accordion, guitar, bass and rich vocals keep the audience on its feet long into the night.