Tickets on Sale for the 26th Mardi Gras Ball at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet
Lagniappe Productions, creators of the annual Labor Day weekend Rhythm & Roots Festival in Charlestown, R.I., are bringing their well-loved brand of great music, food, dancing and fun to the 26th annual Louisiana Mardi Gras celebration.
Southern New England’s popular Mardi Gras Ball is set for 6:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Feb. 10, at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, R.I. Doors open at 6 p.m. in anticipation of Grammy-winning Cajun band Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet, international performers Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, and New Orleans blues from Rhode Island’s own Knickerbocker All-Stars.
Cajun and Creole cuisine is offered by the renowned Chili Brothers Food Company – arguably the most popular food vendor at the Rhythm & Roots Festival every year, serving up their world-famous, Louisiana-inspired cuisine.
The ball also features a costume contest with cash prizes in a variety of categories including best group, best couple, best individual and a grand prize of $250 for best overall costume.
Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door. Reserve a table for 10 (in advance only) for $325. Tables sell out fast. Tickets may be purchased at here: http://bit.ly/26thMardiGrasBall or by calling 401.783.3926.
Lodging is available at the Rodeway Inn, 1940 Post Road, Warwick. Rooms are $79 per night. Call 401.732.0470 and ask for the Mardi Gras rate.
The event will benefit VSA Arts RI, the nonprofit organization that opens the world of art to children and adults with disabilities.
About the Bands
Lafayette, La.-based Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet has been one of the most esteemed Cajun groups in music since forming in 1975. BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet take the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana and artfully blend elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, blues and more. From The Grand Ole Opry to Newport Folk, from concert hall to dance floor, the music of BeauSoleil captivates audiences the world over. Michael Doucet sings and plays violin, guitar, accordion and mandolin.
Accordion master Nathan Williams, of Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, was mentored by one of the greats, Buckwheat Zydeco. He has been inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and has been honored with the Zydeco Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Formed in 1985, the band has brought its unique take on regional South Louisiana music around the world. Dennis Paul Williams, Nathan’s brother, brings his jazz-influenced guitar to the band.
The Knickerbocker All-Stars is made up of legends of the blues community who have found their home at the Knickerbocker, the historic venue in Westerly, R.I., that gave rise to Roomful of Blues, which launched the blues revival in the 1970s. Musicians in the All-Stars have included Jimmie Vaughan, Duke Robillard, Al Copley, Monster Mike Welch, Ricky Russell, Willie J Laws, Brian Templeton, Sugaray Rayford, Rich Lataille and more. For the Mardi Gras Ball, The All-Stars will be showcasing a set of New Orleans music classics with a special tribute to recently passed Fats Domino.
Lagniappe Productions regrets to announce that Corey Ledet and his Zydeco Band will not be performing at the 25th Annual Mardi Gras Ball happening on this coming Saturday, February 25 at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. Corey has sent us the following announcement: “Due to an unforeseen personal family issue, I and my band will be unable to perform at the Mardi Gras Ball this year. I am very sorry to disappoint all of my fans but I need to stick close to home for the time being until matters have been resolved. I do hope to see you all in the near future though.” As a result, we have adjusted the schedule accordingly to have a full night of great music. Both Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys and Roddie Romero & the Hub City All Stars have agreed to each play extended sets with plenty of Zydeco tunes included in their set lists. Be prepared for a lot of interplay between the two bands and an extended jam at the end of the evening. The Hot Tamale Brass Band will kick off the evening’s festivities with a raucous set of high energy New Orleans Mardi Gras music. The evening’s schedule will be as follows:
6:15 – 7:15 Hot Tamale Brass Band
7:15 – 7:30 Costume Judging Parade
7:30 – 9:30 Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys
9:30 – 9:45 Awarding of Costume Prizes & VSA Raffles
9:45 – 12:00 Roddie Romero & theHub City All Stars
Online ticket sales will end at 5:00pm on Friday, February 24th at www.rhythmandroots.com . Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door and a limited number of reserved tables of ten are still available for $325. Cajun and Creole food will be for sale from the beloved Chili Brothers and the bars will be serving when the doors open at 6:00pm. This is a costume optional Ball with prizes awarded to the winning singles, couples and groups. Lodging is still available at the Comfort Inn, 1940 Post Road in Warwick RI for $79 per room per night. Call today and ask for the Mardi Gras rate at 401-732-0470. See y’all on Saturday night!
Lagniappe Productions, producers of the annual Labor Day weekend Rhythm & Roots Festival in Charlestown, RI, bring back their authentic Louisiana Mardi Gras celebration held annually in southern New England. The Cajun & Zydeco Mardi Gras Ball returns for its 25th year at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet on Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 6:30 pm to midnight. Featured bands include Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars, and Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band.
Cajun & Zydeco Mardi Gras Ball, Saturday, February 25, 2017
Rhodes on-the-Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Pl, Cranston, RI 02905
6:30 pm – midnight
Info: Mardi Gras Info or (401) 783-3926
Featuring: Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys
Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars
Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band
Hot Tamale Brass Band
Tickets: $30 Advance/$40 Door; Table of Ten: $325 (Advance only)
May be purchased online here or Call (401) 783-3926
Lodging available at the Comfort Inn, 1940 Old Post Road, Warwick RI 02886
Rooms are $79 per night. Ask for the Mardi Gras rate.
The ball features a costume contest with cash prizes in a variety of categories including best group, best couple, best individual and a Grand Prize of $250 for best overall costume. There will be a cash bar and Cajun & Creole cuisine by Rhode Island’s renowned Chili Brothers Food Company – arguably the most popular food vendor at the Rhythm & Roots Festival every year, serving up their world-famous, Louisiana-Inspired Cuisine.
Steve Riley and his Mamou Playboys returns to the Mardi Gras Ball by popular demand to make sweet Cajun music together. For 25 years they have played great Cajun music steeped in the French heritage of southwestern Louisiana and driven by accordion and fiddle. Matching their uncompromising respect for tradition with forward-looking vision Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys have set the standard for modern Cajun music. Their musicianship, songwriting skills, harmony vocals and irresistible grooves mark them as one of the best bands to come out of South Louisiana.
Roddie Romero & the Hub City All Stars are nominated for 2 Grammy Awards in 2017. They have been performing worldwide at the most prestigious festivals and venues for over 20 years. This premier Louisiana band is celebrated not only for their authenticity when performing or recording traditional Cajun and Creole music indigenous to South Louisiana, but also for their original songwriting which stays true to Louisiana inspirations. They are notorious “Louisiana-Roots-Rockers” who put on an energetic show which is bound to make everyone get up and dance!
Grammy- nominated Corey Ledet is a brilliant young accordion player who has learned his craft from studying the Creole Masters like Clifton Chenier, John Delafose, Boozoo Chavis and others. Corey has fused the styles of these masters into creating his own unique style of contemporary Creole & Zydeco music which enables him to please any audience. Backed by a full band, Corey remains true to his roots and earnestly searches for ways to include them in his music. He keeps one foot firmly in the tradition while exploring surrounding influences in order to create the best of both worlds, and is able to infuse old and new styles of Zydeco into his own unique sound.
The Hot Tamale Brass Band takes their audience on an exciting excursion into New Orleans jazz, festive Mardi Gras, funky second line parades, traditional Dixieland jazz and reverent New Orleans jazz funeral traditions. The Hot Tamales jam at local Boston MA clubs, perform as a Mardi Gras band at theme parties and as a second line brass band for all types of parades. The Hot Tamale Brass Band plays Dixieland for people of all ages! The Hot Tamale Brass Band takes their audience on an exciting excursion into New Orleans jazz, festive Mardi Gras, funky second line parades, traditional Dixieland jazz and reverent New Orleans jazz funeral traditions.
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.