Grab bag

Fun in Charlestown, two new discs, and more
By BOB GULLA  |  August 29, 2006

The 9th Annual Rhythm & Roots Festival hits Charlestown this weekend, in its traditional and very effective Labor Day weekend slot on the calendar. This year the lineup is more impressive than ever, with an exciting and eclectic mix of big names and outsized talent, all assembled without losing its zydeco flair. The Friday slate, which begins at 5 pm, is anchored by David Bromberg and Jazzfest mainstays Jeremy Lyons & the Deltabilly Boys. Sounds like serious dancing, even for the heavy-footed. On Saturday the music kicks off at noon and runs ’til midnight with Los Lobos headlining and Marcia Ball and guitar genius John Jorgensen playing highlighted sets. On Sunday Dr. John heads the bill, fresh off an appearance at Newport a few weeks ago, giving his southern roots another chance to shine. Acclaimed blue-eyed soul guy James Hunter, Tim O’Brien, and James Hand will also play on Sunday. And I haven’t even mentioned the sidestage. Last year, the Duhks held forth there, and this year that same band played the mainstage at Newport Folk. So you can bet on some pleasant surprises this weekend. For tickets, call 888.855.6940 or go to

CF benefit
On Monday (the 4th), Garry Foisy, Becky Chace, and Jennifer Minuto will perform at the Jane Pickens Theater in Newport to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Foisy, whose eight-year-old niece suffers from CF, is the driving force behind the event. He’ll be rockin’ a collection of original work blending new folk, country, and rock. Chace will duet with her longtime guitarist and backing vocalist Brian Minisce, and singer-pianist Minuto, with her band, will deliver originals with her typical soulful flair. The pre-show party begins at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $20 and can be had at the Jane Pickens daily from 3 to 8 pm, or by calling the CF ticket hotline at 401.529.7014.

New discs
Rock Out With Your Tail Out (75 Or Less)
Listening to this lovingly assembled compilation
, for the benefit of the Providence Animal Rescue League, from the kind folks at 75 Or Less is like strolling through Providence on a hot Saturday night, when the clubs were smokin’ and the music scene was hummin’. But this affordable, handcrafted, two-disc collection of local music is a great survey of some of the city’s premier indie, punk, rock, and roots revivalist bands. On Disc One the contributions are mainly moody, with songs from blue-noters such as Tom Thumb, Barn Burning, Ben Pilgrim, Badman, Marah Mar, and Heather Rose. Effervescent roots dudes Johnny Carlevale, Superchief Trio, the Cobramatics, and the Wrong Reasons pep Disc One up a bit. Disc Two revs righteously into gear with electrified stuff by the Cold War, Six Star General, and my favorite, A Quarter Ton and Change, as well as some gritty salvos from the FIDs, Big World, Sweetthieves, the Brunt of It, and Baylies Band. Of the 31 bands represented, a good percentage of the tunes are worthwhile. Props go to all the big-hearted people who invested their time and energy in assembling such a great package. It reminds me of the compilation projects the Living Room used to put out oh-so-long ago. It’s as complete and embracing a look as we’ve had recently in the state and a truly colorful overview of what’s really going on around here.

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