Tag Archives | rhythm and roots

Rhythm & Roots Celebrates 20 Years

By: Chuck Hinman

September, 04, 2017

On Sunday, the 20th annual Rhythm and Roots music festival in Charlestown closed out with some great music, some wet weather and then a double rainbow. The music of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys sounded late into the night on Sunday at the Rhythm and Roots dance tent, a fitting end to another festival of Americana roots music and that specialty of the bayou, Cajun French dance grooves. This festival was the 20th incarnation of Rhythm & Roots, and Riley and band have been at every one. Drizzling rain, the remnants of Hurricane Harvey, made for soggy listening during the day, but by early evening, when Canada’s fiddling couple Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy took the stage, the sun had come out and sparked a double rainbow over the crowd. By the time Rosanne Cash appeared, there was an almost-full moon shining from clear skies.After her set, Cash had praise for the audience. “This crowd, I mean that was an impressive crowd. A lot of festivals you play, there are a lot of drunk people, they’re kind of crazy, they’re there for the ride,” she said. “But these people were there for the music. They were really listening. It was great.”Sunday in Charlestown

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Rosanne Cash at the Rhythm and Roots Festival

 

 

 

 

“Squirrel Nut Zippers, March Fourth, Roseanne Cash Highlight Rhythm and Roots music and dance festival”

By Nancy Lasher and Jordan Hamowy

Rosanne Cash only played one set over the three-day festival, but it was outstanding. She took center stage, and although her songs and vocals were great, what really stood out was her phenomenal band. Although each band member had his moments, her husband and musical director John Leventhal’s lead guitar kept the crowd spellbound from one solo to the next. 

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Rhythm & Roots from RI Monthly: FIVE CAN’T MISS EVENTS: AUGUST 30–SEPT. 6

FIVE CAN’T MISS EVENTS: AUGUST 30–SEPT. 6

Enjoy a weekend of “r and r”  and we’re not talking about rest and relaxation! Head to the Rhythm and Roots Festival for a hearty dose of soulful music and camping at Ninigret Park. Your time will be jam-packed with food, crafts, dancing and, of course, American roots music headlined by Grammy winners the Mavericks and Rosanne Cash.
The Details:Sept. 1–3. 1 p.m.–midnight. See website for ticket prices. Ninigret Park, 4890A Old Post Rd., Charlestown, 800-901-7173, rhythmandroots.com.

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Rhythm & Roots X two in the Cranston Herald!

Don Fowler writes two articles on 2017 Rhythm & Roots Festival over Labor Day weekend!  

Above was in August 31, 2017 edition of Cranston Herald and below was in August 24, 2017 edition.

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Providence Journal Interviews Rhythm & Roots Festival Producer, Chuck Wentworth


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If the weather is good, the festival attracts about 5,000 people per day. Organizer Chuck Wentworth said he wouldn’t want Rhythm & Roots to get much bigger than that. “We don’t want to lose that laid-back, family vibe,” he said.

The Rhythm & Roots Festival, celebrating its 20thyear, dances into Ninigret Park in Charlestown this weekend, with three full days of performances — Friday, Saturday and Sunday — on four stages.

Headliners on the main stage include the Squirrel Nut Zippers and the Mavericks on Friday, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and MarchFourth on Saturday, Rosanne Cash and the New Orleans Suspects on Sunday.

But the heart of this festival may well be the dance tent, which shelters a big wooden dance floor. There’s Cajun and zydeco music all day long (and well into the night) and the tent is almost always crowded with dancers.

Rhythm & Roots grew out of the much-loved Cajun & Bluegrass Festival at the Stepping Stone Ranch in Escoheag, run by Chuck Wentworth and Franklin Zawacki. When they parted ways, Wentworth and partner Mary Doub created the Rhythm & Roots Festival.

For its first year, it stayed at the Stepping Stone Ranch but Wentworth, who now runs Rhythm & Roots on his own, said the new festival needed a more spacious and accessible site. “We were busting at the seams . . . Ninigret was right off Route 1, it had plenty of space, plenty of parking. It was everything we needed,” he said.

If the weather is good, the festival attracts about 5,000 people per day. Wentworth said he wouldn’t want Rhythm & Roots to get much bigger than that. “We don’t want to lose that laid-back, family vibe,” he said.

The festival includes a family stage, which will feature Keith Munslow, the Hot Tamale Brass Band, storytellers Len Cabral and Marc Levitt, and a Mardi Gras parade each day at 5:15 p.m.

Rhode Island native Sarah Potenza has been performing at Rhythm & Roots since 2011, and she’ll be there again this year. She said it’s one of her favorite festivals thanks to its combination of music, dancing and food. Plus she gets to see family and lots of old friends. “That makes it very special for us,” she said.

 As always, Wentworth has some recommendations beyond the headliners, among them accordion wizard Alex Meixner, blues/rockers Say Darling, and the Grammy-winning Tex-Mex band Los Texmaniacs.

As for the festival’s future, Wentworth said he wants to take it one year at a time. He said the “rhythm and roots” category allows for a lot of different styles. He’s interested in the possibilities of more Latin music at the festival.

“I’d love to go down to Cuba and take a look at that music,” he said. “But some things don’t change. There’s always going to be a lot of dancing . . . I like the way we have it set up. If you’re going to get food, you have to go by the dance tent.”

The Rhythm & Roots will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept.1-3, at Ninigret Park in Charlestown. For schedule information and tickets, go to rhythmandroots.com.

— asmith@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7485

On Twitter: @asmith651

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