The best of the season’s roots, world, folk, and blues
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 12, 2007

RODRIGO Y GABRIELA: set their guitars on fire at the Orpheum October 17.

Fall preview 2007
“Happy endings: Bad news begets good tunes.” By Matt Ashare. 
“Busy busy: Something for everyone this fall.” By Debra Cash. 
“Stage worthies: Fall on the Boston boards.” By Carolyn Clay. 
“Basstown nights: The new scene emerges; Halloween preparations.” By David Day. 
“War, peace, and Robert Pinsky: The season’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.” By John Freeman.
“Trane, Joyce Dee Dee, Sco, and more: A jam-packed season of jazz.” By Jon Garelick. 
“Turn on the bright lights: Art, women, politics, and food.” By Randi Hopkins. 
“War zones: Fall films face terror at home and abroad.” By Peter Keough. 
“Locked and loaded: The fall promises a double-barreled blast of gaming greatness.” By Mitch Krpata.
“BBC? America!: The networks put some English on the fall TV season.” By Joyce Millman. 
“World music: The BSO goes traveling, and Berlin comes to Boston.” By Lloyd Schwartz.
“Singles scene: Local bands dig in with digital.” By Will Spitz. 
It’s payback time for Boston’s blues and roots music scene. On October 28 there’s a benefit concert for the family of the late promoter and musician TEO LEYASMEYER at the Arlington Regent Theatre (7 Medford St; 781.646.4849).

The show will feature a stellar line-up of locally based players with national reputations, along with some still-to-be-announced stars. So far JERRY PORTNOY, DAVIDMAXWELL, MATT MCCABE, MICHAEL “MUDCAT” WARD, RICKY “KING” RUSSELL, JEFF PITCHELL, DARRELL NULISCH, MIKE WELCH, BRIAN TEMPLETON, PER HANSON, RACKY THOMAS, NICK ADAMS, and SAX GORDON BEADLE — a blues who’s who — have signed on.

“Everybody loved Teo,” says guitarist Peter Ward (Michael’s brother), who, along with long-time Boston impresario Fred Taylor, is staging the benefit. “He was a champion of so many artists and was quick to lend a helping hand. Now it’s time for those who were touched by him, the musicians and fans who benefitted from what he did, to reach out to his family.”

By the time of the Leyasmeyer benefit, the fall roots-music calendar will be fully revved. Here’s a rundown of other highlights.

The annual free BOSTON BLUES FESTIVAL takes over the Hatch Shell September 22 and 23, from noon to 6 pm. On Saturday, it’s New Englanders LLOYD THAYER, RYAN HARTT & THE BLUE HEARTS, BILLY BLUE, and the WHITE OWLS leading up to turban-wearing lap-steel ace SONNY RHODES backed by the BRIAN TEMPLETONBAND. The great songwriter SIR MACK RICE headlines Sunday, with CHICAGO BOB NELSON, the MYSTIX, CHRIS STOVALLBROWN, MADELINE HALL, and JEREMYLYONS opening (more at www.bluestrust.com).

Folksinger JOHNNY IRION brings his band to Johnny D’s (17 Holland St, Somerville; 617.776.2004) on the 27th; local retro hounds TARBOX RAMBLERS appear there on the 28th. Across the street that same night at the Somerville Theatre (55 Davis Square), hot Irish acoustic traditionalists LÚNASA take the stage. And Boston folk-scene legend BILL STAINES holds court at Harvard Square’s Club Passim (47 Palmer St; www.clubpassim.org or 617.492.7679) on September 29.

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