O’s Notes: The pandemic put drummer/composer Gerry Gibbs 9th album on hold but a series of discussions and fate led to him making Songs From My Father, an album dedicated to his father, vibraphonist/composer Terry Gibbs. There are four distinct Thrasher Dream Trios: with 1. the late Chick Corea (p) and Ron Carter (b), 2. Kenny Barron (p) and Buster Williams (b), 3. Patrice Rushen (p) and Larry Goldings (B3), and 4. Geoff Keezer (p) and Christian McBride (b). Gerry plays drums and percussion on all 19 tracks (2 discs). There’s an upbeat contemporary Latin vibe on “Townhouse 3”, heavy swing on “Bopstacle Course” and “4 A.M.” They take a breath on “Lonely Dreams”, a ballad before ending disc 1 with “Hey Chick” featuring vibraphonist Terry Gibbs. Disc 2 ends with “Tango for Terry” composed by Chick for the elder Gibbs. This was Corea’s last recording, adding to the allure of this historic recording.
Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trios – Songs from My Father(Whaling City Sound) – This outing returns to the trio configurations as he pays homage to his 96-year-old father, Terry Gibbs, one of the last living architects of bebop and an innovator on the vibraphone. Gerry selects 18 tunes from his dad’s discography, giving them a more contemporary sheen spread across 2 CDs. Notably, this project also features one of the late Chick Corea’s compositions, “Tango for Terry,” and two arrangements done specifically for this album. Gerry Gibbs tapped several legendary players, three NEA Jazz Masters and perhaps two or three future ones, informing these luminous trios – Corea and Ron Carter, Kenny Barron and Buster Williams, Patrice Rushen and Larry Goldings, and Geoff Keezer and Christian McBride along with percussionist Kyeshie Gibbs. (Received Grammy nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for Kenny Barron on “Kick Those Feet”).
Gerry Gibbs took advantage of the corona time by criss-crossing the United States in order to record enough material for a double CD with four different trios. The percussionist did not play ‘Song for my father’ (‘standard’ by Horace Silver, as attentive readers know) but ‘Songs From My Father’. His father is the vibraphonist Terry Gibbs, who also apparently composed enough material for such a production. On piano we hear Chick Corea – in one of his last recordings – as well as Kenny Barron, Geoff Keezer and Patrice Rushen. Corea contributed one piece: the only track not by Pa Gibbs. A tough piece with a few tempo changes, in which son Gibbs had to read a lot. But he must have inherited that skill from his father, who did a lot of studio work after all.
Terry Gibbs’ eighteen pieces – written in the years 1949-1985 – are mostly handy and playable. No complicated harmonies, but a strong groove: in fours, funky or Latin. Son Gibbs is like a fish in water in that. The blues and ‘I got rhythm’ are there; in addition, some atmospheric ballads and a new melody about the chords of ‘Softly as in a morning sunrise’. Simplicity and logic, that’s what it’s all about.
The piano giants make no effort to present themselves emphatically. They swing with dedication and smooth fingers. Whether the basses of Ron Carter and Buster Williams have been recorded properly is a matter of taste. Your reviewer hears a grunt similar to anything but a double bass. Christian McBride’s bass, recorded unamplified as always, was spared this fate.
Gerry Gibbs (57) uses the term “Thrasher” for just about everything he’s in charge of. That can be a Thrasher Big Band or, like here, four times a Trasher Dream Trio. That “Dream” is another favorite qualifier of his father, who for years led his Dream Band: a collection of studio musicians from LA who came to jazz on Monday or Tuesday nights.
Terry Gibbs (96, actually: Julius Gubenko) is present in one piece in which all the participants can be heard: a matter of complicated overdubbing. The old boss is astonishingly flexible in this. The old Gibbs recorded a complete album for the same label in 2017. 92 Years Young: Jammin at The Gibbs House.
GERRY GIBBS THRASHER DREAM TRIOS – SONGS FROM MY FATHER (CD)
Whaling City Sound
Songs From My Father is the much-anticipated new album from renowned musical polymath Gerry Gibbs. On his thirteenth release as a leader, drummer — percussionist — bandleader — arranger Gibbs presents a smashing double-disc masterwork featuring four iterations of his acclaimed Thrasher Dream Trio. Under his astute direction, this band of jazz titans pays homage to the musical legacy of Gerry’s 96-year-old father, Terry Gibbs. To honor Terry, one of the last living architects of bebop and innovators of the vibraphone, Gerry selected 18 tunes from his father’s vast discography and interpreted the timeless material through his own refined compositional lens with inventive, modern arrangements. Notably, Songs From My Father features the last recorded performance of the great Chick Corea, and includes one of Chick’s tunes composed specifically for this project. With Gibbs in the drum chair, his Thrasher Dream Trios include Corea and Ron Carter; Kenny Barron and Buster Williams; Patrice Rushen and Larry Goldings and Geoff Keezer & Christian McBride; along with percussionist Kyeshie Gibbs. With this new recording, Gerry Gibbs cements his standing as one of the most creative and forward-thinking musicians on the contemporary jazz scene. Disc 1 features Corea and Carter on “Bopstacle Course,” composed in 1974 and “Sweet Young Song of Love” composed in 1985, and arranged by Gibbs and Corea. The first disc’s final track, “Hey Chick,” is a special homage to the memory of Corea. The Thrasher Dream Trio is featured on the album opener “Kick Those Feet” and “Take It From Me” both composed in 1964. “Smoke Em Up” (1968) and “Lonely Days” (1955) both feature Gibbs alongside pianist Patrice Rushen and organist Larry Goldings. Gibbs per- forms with pianist Geoff Keezer and bassist Christian McBride on 1955s “Nutty Notes,” and 1958s “The Fat Man.” Disc 2 provides audiences with further arrangements of timeless Gibbs compositions including 1949s “T & S” and 1955s “Lonely Dreams” featuring Barron, Gibbs and Williams; 1978s “Townhouse 3,” 1961s “Hippie Twist” and 1958s “Pretty Blue Eyes” featuring Rushen, Gibbs and Goldings; 1978s “4 A.M,” 1961s “For Keeps” and 1955s “Gibberish” featuring Keezer, Gibbs and McBride; and 1964s “Waltz For My Children” featuring and arranged by Corea, alongside Gibbs and Carter as well as the final piece on the album —“Tango For Terry” written and performed by Corea for his old friend Terry Gibbs.
The history of this project is very dramatic. The album, conceived as a tribute from his son – the father, the famous drummer and band leader of “The Thrasher” Gerry Gibbs – the 96-year-old legendary Terry Gibbs, who played with Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Art Blackie, Dizzy Gillespie etc., who composed more than 300 compositions, who recorded 65 solo albums and was the # 1 vibraphone player from 1950 to 1955 according to DownBeat and Metronome polls, turned into a double tribute with a very sad connotation. However, let’s go in order …
The double album Songs From My Father amazes with its monumentality. Gerry has selected 18 compositions from different years from the vast creative heritage of his father. Known for his signature Thrasher Dream Trio chamber ensembles, Jerry decided to entrust the performance of this music to several Thrasher Dream Trios, composed of the outstanding jazz musicians of our time. There are four of them in the album. Chick Corea and Ron Carter play in one with him, Kenny Barron and Buster Williams in the other, Patrice Rushen and Larry Goldings in the third (the only trio where a Hammond organ sounds instead of bass) and in the fourth – Jeff Keezer and Christian McBride. How do you like the team? In my opinion, just fantastic!
But what does it mean to implement such a project, and even in a covid year ?! Gerry Gibbs traveled half of America in ten months, coordinating the work schedules of the project participants in order to make these recordings. Terry’s old friend Chick Corea was especially inspired by the idea of this tribute. He wrote the composition “Tango For Terry” specially for the album, which became the final track of the album, and also made arrangements for two more compositions. Gerry and Chick called up almost every week, discussed the progress of the project, and just talked “for life.” And then came the unexpected and black news of Chick Corea’s death. And it so happened that four pieces recorded for this album with his participation turned out to be the last lifetime recordings of this amazing musician …
Shocked by this tragedy, the project participants said goodbye to Corea with dignity. Gerry and his father jointly renamed Terry’s 1961 composition “Hey Jim” to “Hey Chick”, and it was jointly performed for the project by all eight of its members (each with a pair of choruses). In addition, Gerry also edited his father’s vibraphone solo from that old recording from the early 60s into this recording. This piece took a special place in the album, remarkable in all respects. If you love jazz, you just have to hear this unique work – and say goodbye to Chick Corea …
Gerry Gibbs publishes Songs from my father with unreleased music by Chick Corea
Songs from my father is the highly anticipated new album from music scholar Gerry Gibbs. It is his thirteenth release as frontman, drummer, percussionist and bandleader, as well as arranger, Gibbs presents a two-disc masterpiece featuring four versions of his acclaimed trio that goes by the name Trasher Dream Trio.
Under his clever leadership, the band of jazz titans pay heartfelt tribute to the musical legacy of Gerry’s father, Terry Gibbs, one of the last living architects of be bop and innovators of the percussion instrument: the vibraphone.
For this purpose Gerry selected no more and no less than 18 melodies from his father’s vast discography and interpreted the material in a timeless way through his own compositional prism and lens, with ingenious and modern arrangements. Also Songs from my father has the last performance recorded with the great Chick Corea, piano genius who also passed away a few dates ago. It also includes one of the melodies Chick composed specifically for this project.
With Gibbs on drums, he has had the chance to record on this album with his stellar trios. Here you can enjoy excellent musicians such as Korea himself, Ron Carter, Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, Patrice Rushen, Larry Goldings, Geoff Keezer and Christian McBride.
A global pandemic could not stop this prolific jazz man, but rather, on the contrary, positively inspired him leaving an echo of an impressive season of creative production. Gibbs presents this album fresh from his epic 2019 work titled Our People, which defies the musical genre. Some critics defined it as “cleverly overlapping pieces that often come close to cinematic … quite a feat.”
We also had access to his previous 2020 Emotional Pandemic, an 18-track album entirely composed and performed by his own person. The 8 instruments. In fact, this was the launch that caught the attention of Chick Corea himself. Korea asked the drummer the process for recording all the instruments. That minimal conversation evolved into the possibility of collaboration and the concept was born: it was possible to release a double album as a result of collaborations with four amazing triso, including the aforementioned collaboration with Chick and Ron Carter.
In this state of affairs, later Korea asked to become even more deeply involved in work, in music. He composed an original piece under the title Tango For Terry, dedicated especially to Terry Gibbs and even arranging two pieces for the album.
Gibbs comments “What he wanted to do seemed almost impossible with the covid. There was a lot of fear, travel, safety precautions and logistics. How do 4 trios coordinate when a disease spreads all over the world and in the USA? That was the challenge and yet Gibbs saw the opportunity and did not give up organizing several trips to capture the sounds. Without a doubt, he has been worth it.
“Weather or Not” Nice to hear graphically arranged material of Weather Report. Keep up with your creative mission! ~Wayne Shorter
“Gerry has created his own world on this recording. The amount of time and effort he brought to the project is astounding. The music itself is extremely wide ranging touching upon several distinct idioms …..quite impressive.” – Dave Liebman
It is unique and kind of madcap, the sign of a fertile artist plowing through all the ideas swirling around his brain. “Instead of creating one musical concept, I wanted it to sound like 16 trios, so that’s why the music was so eclectic.” Gerry Gibbs is the artist, and his new, two-disc set—one disc devoted to the blazing Weather Report, the second to his own diverse material—leads listeners through a fun house of styles. Disc One is devoted to Weather Report tribute, but it’s not nearly the lukewarm cover collection by aspiring fusioneers you might expect. (Because, perhaps, they might beat Zawinul and company at their own game?) Instead, Gibbs opts to re-imagine the material from the POV of an acoustic piano-led trio, the featured instrument played by luminous new talent Alex Collins, with brilliant Austrian-born Hans Glawischnig on bass. The sparks sure do fly on familiar melodies: “Palladium,” “Teen Town,” “Birdland,” naturally, and “Black Market.” There’s lots to dig into here, and you certainly don’t have to be a Weather Report fan to dig it. Disc Two features Gibbs cranking up the creative juices on a set of originals, traversing from flamenco to pulse-quickening funk, calypso, gospel Latin jazz, R&B and plenty of all-out swing. While Gibbs has tackled myriad projects in the past, from 2006‘s Thrasher Big Band project Live at Luna’s to 2010‘s The Electric Thrasher Orchestra Plays The Music of Miles Davis (’67-’75) and 2013‘s Grammy-nominated Thrasher Dream Trio (with Ron Carter and Kenny Barron), this rich two-CD set, his 11th as a bandleader, is his most audacious and fully-realized project to date, an early crowning achievement from a restless spirit and a triumphant, indefatigable artist.
It is unique and kind of madcap, the sign of a fertile artist plowing through all the ideas swirling around his brain. “Instead of creating one musical concept, I wanted it to sound like 16 trios, so that’s why the music was so eclectic.” Gerry Gibbs is the artist, and his new, two-disc set—one disc devoted to the blazing Weather Report, the second to his own diverse material—leads listeners through a fun house of styles. Disc One is devoted to Weather Report tribute, but it’s not nearly the lukewarm cover collection by aspiring fusioneers you might expect. (Because, perhaps, they might beat Zawinul and company at their own game?) Instead, Gibbs opts to reimagine the material from the POV of an acoustic piano-led trio, the featured instrument played by luminous new talent Alex Collins, with brilliant Austrian-born Hans Glawischnig on bass. The sparks sure do fly on familiar melodies: “Palladium,” “Teen Town,” “Birdland,” naturally, and “Black Market.” There’s lots to dig into here, and you certainly don’t have to be a Weather Report fan to dig it. Disc Two features Gibbs cranking up the creative juices on a set of originals, traversing from flamenco to pulse-quickening funk, calypso, gospel Latin jazz, R&B and plenty of all-out swing. While Gibbs has tackled myriad projects in the past, from 2006‘s Thrasher Big Band project Live at Luna’s to 2010‘s The Electric Thrasher Orchestra Plays The Music of Miles Davis (’67-’75) and 2013‘s Grammy-nominated Thrasher Dream Trio (with Ron Carter and Kenny Barron), this rich two-CD set, his 11th as a bandleader, is his most audacious and fully-realized project to date, an early crowning achievement from a restless spirit and a triumphant, indefatigable artist.
“Joe Zawinul always had the utmost respect for maestros Kenny Barron and Ron Carter. I am certain that their Thrasher Trio-mate Gerry Gibbs’ name would have been added to that select list had Joe been able to hear Gerry’s realization of the music of Weather Report as played by his new trio that includes Alex Collins on piano, Fender Rhodes, organ & vocals, plus Hans Glavishnig on acoustic bass (whose playing on this CD bears an uncanny resemblance to maestro Carter’s). Here is a unique reading of Weather Report’s music that is totally fun to listen to. As an insider, I can say that this album sheds new light on the WR canon while spotlighting the intrinsic talent and sounds of Gerry’s new band. I feel the better for having heard this recording.
Jaco would have loved Hans’ playing on “A Remark You Made” … I know that I do.
– Peter Erskine
Gerry, love your interpretations, really gives me lots of inspirations. Keep this up.
– Alex Acuna
Great musical interpretations by drummer/visionary Gerry Gibbs of the various songs originally recorded by supergroup Weather Report. Gerry’s drumming is impeccable throughout. The band really cooks!! A “must have” CD!
– Alphonse Mouzon
(Original Drummer and Founding Member of Weather Report)
Chairman of Tenacious Records
Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People visit the Music of Weather Report with great re-interpretations and success, and if that wasn’t enough on this 2 CD set, you can hear the Thrasher Trio tackle Gerry Gibbs’ complex original compositions each of which tell a unique story like the Weather Report tunes… real impressive playing from everyone…this stuff ain’t easy folks!! They kill it!
– Randy Brecker
I am having so much fun listening to Gerry’s new trio cd celebrating the music of weather report. Totally swingin’ and lots of surprises. Gerry is a very interesting artist for me to listen to, he is not only a great drummer with tons of spirit and ideas but he is a great arranger and writer. His deep understanding of history and love of the music is always present as is his sense of humor. Hard swing, funk blues, a great shuffle and lots of soul, all the things I love about jazz music are constantly being addressed, taken apart, put back together backwards then forwards and inside out without being tongue in cheek or labored. New and fresh ideas being examined from many angles through the eyes of artists who know the roots. An oasis of swingin’ jazz at a time when it is really needed. Thank you Gerry!
This CD would not have been documented if it had not been for my Thrasher People Brothers, Alex and Hans. Special Thanks to Alex for taking my 12 arrangements and 16 originals and not only transcribing them from my computer mock ups but for memorizing all 28 songs and for going out of your ways every step of the way.
Thanks to Thadd – Your presence was felt all through out ! Never seen but felt for sure.
Special thank you’s to DW Drums Special Thank you to all at DW Drums. Special thank you to Don Lombardi, John Good and special thanks to Garrison
Special Thank you to Evans Drum Heads & Pure Sound Percussion. Huge Thanks to my brother Marco Soccoli for not just taking care of me, equipment wise, but stopping in and out of the recording sessions to give all his knowledge of different drum heads that he sent and brought to the studio for this recording. He helped me constantly change heads to different models on 15 different DW Drums used on these 2 CD’s
Special Thanks to Zildjian. Extra special Thanks to Kirsten Matt and Sarah Hagan for sending bells and special effects cymbals the day before recording started..Love you guys.
Thank you Vic Firth Drum Sticks, Humes and Berg Drum Bags
Special Thanks to my wife Kyeshie Gibbs. She was there during every minute in the studio all 5 days and had many great ideas during the tracking and mixing of these CD’s
Special Thanks as always to my Pops who encouraged me to go out every night and find the new members of THRASHER PEOPLE.
During the preparation for this recording a few key people really made some amazing things happen in many ways related to this recording. Much love to 2 of the best drummers on the planet – Mike Clark and Joey Heredia. Also huge thanks to Weather Report Alumni and 3 of the most important and influential musicians, Peter Erskine, Alex Acuna, Alphonse Mouzon, Thank you to Randy Brecker and Mike for their kind thoughts about the music after they heard the 2 CDs. One of the most knowledgeable and creative music writers in the music world Bill Milkowski. Special Thanks to Keyboard Wizard and Producer Nick Manson for some great imput. Thank you to Stan & Jerry (Owners of Pro Drum Shop in Hollywood California) for taking care of all my equipment over the last 25 years.
Thank you to all the amazing sound people involved – David Stoller & Mark Marciano and of course huge hugs and love to Nancy Marciano
Thanks to Whaling City Sound Team Neal Weiss, Dave Arruda Jr and Ginny Shea
This CD is dedicated to Neal Weiss for his 10 years of huge support, love, friendship and always great input and amazing care of all the projects we have done together for his wonder Whaling City Sound Label.
Grace Potter, Little Feat, Cowboy Mouth to Headline Rhythm & Roots
Labor Day Weekend Festival Opens Friday with New Orleans Theme
CHARLESTOWN, R.I. –– The 24th Rhythm & Roots Music, Dance and Food Festival kicks off with a New Orleans party of musical styles followed by traditionalists, little-known talent, fan favorites and new interpreters of the ever-expanding definition of roots music.
The Sept. 2, 3 & 4 festival, held at Ninigret Park every year, will feature headliners Cowboy Mouth on Friday, Grace Potter on Saturday and Little Feat on Sunday. They will join Samantha Fish, Anders Osborne & Jackie Green, North Mississippi All-Stars, The Pine Leaf Boys, The New Orleans Suspects, and longtime festival performers Donna the Buffalo and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Over two dozen bands will cover the map of musical styles – Cajun, R&B, Delta blues, Zydeco, soul, country, rock and gospel among them.
The festival, now produced by GoodWorks Entertainment, offers the same “chill but lively” vibe that’s made it a much-awaited, end-of-summer reunion for friends and family for over two decades. Founder and longtime producer Chuck Wentworth, who sold the festival earlier this year, is still involved and brings his family’s expertise to the party.
As always, the festival features music on three stages, including the Dance Tent for two-step and waltz enthusiasts. Local beer, wine and seltzers are available, as is food of all kinds from popular vendors and sales of artisans’ wares are back. Ninigret Park’s playground, swimming, tennis or biking are options for anyone needing a break between bands. RV, pop-up and tent camping is available and enhances the overall festival experience. Festival grounds open at 4 p.m. Friday and noon on Saturday and Sunday. Performances start one hour after opening through 11 p.m. Tickets range from $49 for the Friday New Orleans opener to $249 to camp, dance and hear music all three days. (Note that the three-day camping tickets sold out last year.)
Here’s what you can expect.
The diversity of styles is a major draw for returning fans, and New Orleans, a city synonymous with diverse music, is the theme for the opening night of the festival. The rowdy sound of the rock/punk/blues band Cowboy Mouth will highlight the evening. Perhaps best known for their mid-1990s hit, “Jenny Says,” the New Orleans natives will offer up a live concert experience likened to a Southern gospel revival “without the religion,” according to bandleader, drummer and lead singer Fred LeBlanc, formerly of the punk band Dash Rip Rock. “With every show, no matter where it is, we try to turn it into New Orleans during the middle of Mardi Gras.”
The New Orleans Suspects bring their swamp rock party to Charlestown, along with two first-timers to the festival, the Honey Island Swamp Band, with its mix of blues, south and country, and singer/songwriter/keyboardist John Papa Gros. Fan favorites Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas will perform regional southern Louisiana dance music.
Cedric Watson, of Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer and accordionist; Zydeco and Cajun specialists Rose and the Bros will also be performing in the Dance Tent.
Saturday’s headliner is a well-loved fixture on the festival scene – Grace Potter – who has performed with Neil Young, the Allman Brothers, Mavis Staples and Kenny Chesney. Spin magazine has described her as “one of the greatest living voices in rock today,” and her solo album Daylight was nominated for a Grammy in 2020 for best rock performance for the title track and best rock album, even though it includes classic country, piano ballads, blues and soul too.
Saturday also brings together two dynamic singer-songwriter-guitarists – Anders Osborne, honored as NOLA’s best guitarist and singer by Offbeat multiple times, and the Americana and roots music performer Jackie Greene, former lead guitarist for the Black Crowes and Trigger Hippy. Together, they will play bare-bones acoustic performances of each other’s songs. Both tour non-stop and sell out venues wherever they play. Bands who are called back to Rhythm & Roots again and again are the rockin’ Pine Leaf Boys, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys and the eclectic Donna the Buffalo to play Saturday and Sunday.
On the final day of the festival, the legendary Little Feat will make Ninigret Park a stop on their Waiting For Columbus 45th Anniversary Tour, which marks their first live album and one of their most popular. Feat takes California rock, funk, folk, jazz, country, rockabilly, swamp boogie and more, and stirs it into a rich musical gumbo. The band has been leading people in joyful dance ever since it began in 1969.
The bluesy Samantha Fish, whose music incorporates multiple genres, including rock, country, funk, bluegrass and ballads, will join the renowned North Mississippi Allstars, which just released its 13th album Set Sail, displaying a stunning variety of roots music.
The Festival Update
Rhythm & Roots was canceled in 2020 by COVID, and returned last year thanks to a dedicated and enthusiastic community of music lovers, dancers, campers, food vendors, artisans and hundreds of volunteers. The 2022 festival almost didn’t happen because producer Chuck Wentworth became ill during the festival last year and doctors warned him to keep stress to a minimum.
Wentworth and his family made the tough decision to step away and cancel the festival. Multiple offers to buy Rhythm & Roots came quickly, and the choice landed with Hartford, Conn.-based GoodWorks Entertainment, led by CEO Tyler Grill. “We sold it to them because they were intent on keeping the 24-year legacy alive,” Wentworth said. “They’re not really changing anything major. Their philosophy mirrors that of Rhythm & Roots – that’s why they’re the perfect fit to take over.” The Wentworth family, which includes Chuck’s wife Deb, their three children and nine grandchildren, will remain involved.
We asked Rhythm & Roots fans to “keep the vibe alive” after last year’s cancellation, and you delivered. You had faith that we’d put together a diverse lineup for the 23rd Rhythm & Roots festival, and it was a great success.
It takes an extended family of hundreds of volunteers to produce a three-day festival of music, food and dancing, with 1,000+ campers, 24 bands and more than 40 performances on three stages. The jobs are big and small, but each task is essential. Artisans and food vendors, many of whom have been with us from the beginning, brought their own flair to the festival.
It was rewarding to see everyone working together – face to face! – for a common goal: to create a musical experience that will be remembered for years to come. A 2020 without Rhythm & Roots has made us even more grateful for your hard work and for the music lovers and dance enthusiasts who make R&R a ‘must-do’ every year. Thanks go to each one of you.
We’re already planning the 24th Rhythm & Roots Festival, set for Sept. 2, 3 and 4, 2022.
Let us know your favorites and any new bands you’d like to hear because roots music is constantly evolving. We’ll keep you informed as the lineup develops.
From Creole to Cajun, this one has it all. What, you need more? Fine, how about folk, funk and rock? This little jam hosted by our neighbors to the south gets back in action with sets from Donna the Buffalo, John Hiatt, local piano whiz Veronica Lewis, Ward Hayden & the Outliers and a score more.
Veronica Lewis. Photo courtesy artist management
Great news!! Rhythm & Roots Music, Dance and Food Festival
is happening on September 3, 4 and 5, 2021
at Ninigret Park in Charlestown RI
After a long dry year and a half without live music and festivals, we know you are as excited as we are to gather and celebrate, so make sure you’re not left out. Due to the probable state and local limited capacity mandates, tickets will be in short supply this year, so be sure to reserve your spot early, as our allotment of available tickets is limited and will most likely sell out.
So, this brings up the big question — how do we proceed to plan (and attend) a festival safely around the limitations necessitated by the Covid virus? For starters, we are adhering to the rules and regulations set forth by the State of Rhode Island for large events. These mandate that there will be a limited amount of attendees allowed on site, and that we follow guidelines for mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and all of the other CDC protocols.
These rules are changing and loosening up every couple of weeks, and we are anticipating that the situation will be much more advantageous for the festival by the end of the summer. In our favor is our new governor, Daniel McKee, is an advocate of tourism and opening up the parameters for large events and festivals in the state. Whatever occurs though, our main concern will be the health and safety of all of our festival patrons. Please be assured that we will do whatever is necessary to keep everyone safe and secure.
Tickets go on sale May 12 at 10:00 am, so be sure to get yours ASAP! You don’t want to miss out, but tickets will be limited, and if you snooze, you may lose.Thanks! Stay safe, get vaccinated and we hope to see you on Labor Day Weekend! “Keep the Vibe Alive In 2021.”
R & R is Happening! Tickets on sale 10 a.m. May 12th
23rd Rhythm & Roots Festival Features Rhiannon Giddens & Francesco Turrisi, John Hiatt, Uprooted featuring Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root
Headliners Join Richard Thompson, Donna The Buffalo, and more Tickets on Sale May 12 for Labor Day Weekend Festival, Set for Sept. 3-5
CHARLESTOWN, R.I. –– Lagniappe Productions is thrilled to announce that the 23rd Rhythm & Roots Music, Dance, and Food Festival will resume Sept. 3-5 at Ninigret Park with many of the well-loved musicians who agreed to play last year.
“Fans have been ‘keeping the vibe alive’ since the festival was canceled in 2020,” said Chuck Wentworth, whose family-run Lagniappe Productions puts the festival together every year. “Live music eases our minds in troubled times. After the year we’ve just had, 2021 will be a real celebration – but a safe one.”
Rhode Island health and safety mandates require smaller crowds than in the past, so a limited number of tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on May 12 at rhythmandroots.com. The 2021 festival will spotlight Uprooted featuring Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root on Friday, Sept. 3, John Hiatt on Saturday, Sept. 4, and Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi on Sunday, Sept. 5.
The Labor Day weekend festival brings together music fans, dancers, campers, and families for dozens of performances, food of every variety, artisans’ handmade wares, and a reunion-like vibe that’s been described as “chill but lively at the same time.”
Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday and noon on Saturday and Sunday, with performances starting one hour after opening through 11 p.m. Prices range from $49 for Friday night to $250 for three-day camping passes with full festival access. For the lineup, which is still evolving, and to buy tickets, visit rhythmandroots.com or call 401.783.3926.
Producer Chuck Wentworth, who is marking his 41st year in the music business, has signed most of the musicians who had planned to perform in 2020.
The acclaimed songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson, who will perform Sunday, has influenced musicians as varied as Robert Plant, Don Henley, and David Byrne during his 50 years in the business. Traditionalists will enjoy Dirk Powell’s Appalachian-style banjo and fiddle, which earned him four Grammy awards. Performances are planned for both Saturday and Sunday. Fan favorites The Pine Leaf Boys, Donna the Buffalo,and The Revelers among many others, will also return.
Wentworth says a new generation of fans will especially enjoy Uprooted as well as guitarist and songwriter Keller Williams’ bluegrass/folk/reggae/electronica blend of acoustic dance music.
“I’m seeing more and more young people involved in the music scene,” Wentworth says. “The younger generation of musicians is just amazing, and they’re building on the musical traditions that came before them and adding this whole modern spin on it.”
Rhythm & Roots has always been about a blend of traditional and new, young and old, family reunions and hangouts with new friends. This mixture is based on a cultural appreciation seeded in Wentworth during multiple annual trips to Louisiana starting in the mid-1980s.
“I discovered that down there there’s an entire culture unto itself that’s unique, and that’s when I discovered it wasn’t just a music culture, it included music, dance, and family all rolled into one. I took all of that experience and tried to bring that into the festival.”
Wentworth says Friday’s headliner, Uprooted, will perform their multi-platinum album When I Woke in its entirety at Rhythm & Roots. Frontman Michael Glabicki has taken Rusted Root’s music, reinvented it, and added more percussion, female vocals, and new material. The previous band is best known for the jubilant, “Send Me On My Way,” featured in Ice Age and a dozen other films and TV shows.
John Hiatt, the prolific and influential guitarist, and piano player has earned nine Grammy nominations and has been writing songs professionally since he was 18. His country, rock, blues, and Americana music, set for Saturday night, has been recorded by artists as diverse as Iggy Pop and Rosanne Cash.
Rhiannon Giddens, well-loved by Rhythm & Roots fans for her work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is performing Sunday with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, who brings African and Arabic influences to Gidden’s classically trained voice and skilled banjo and fiddle playing. The pair just released They’re Calling Me Home, an album recorded in six days during the pandemic lockdown in Dublin that explores the music of their native and adoptive countries.
Straightforward traditional music, traditional-with-a-twist, or something entirely new – all will be showcased during the Labor Day weekend festival. Wentworth, who brings it all together each year with the help of hundreds of volunteers, is guided by his passion and a bit of manipulation.
He hopes to keep families coming so the children will be exposed to different kinds of music. The man who plays the blues to settle his grandson for a nap, says, “Even if they’re not consciously listening to it, it still filters in.”
To learn about the numerous additional bands signed for Rhythm & Roots, go to rhythmandroots.com.