Rhythm and Roots Coming to Rhode Island – Annual Festival Arrives This Weekend


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The stages are being set up, musicians are beginning to arrive in town, and the mood is getting festive at Ninigret Park in Charlestown. The 20th annual Rhythm and Roots Festival begins on Friday September 1 with 3 full days of roots music on tap.

Roseanne Cash
Roseanne Cash Headlines Rhythm and Roots Sunday

Festival Producer Chuck Wentworth is known for finding some of the best roots performers from around the country and around the world. In a recent interview with WhatsUpRhodeIsland, Wentworth explained that he “wants to mix things up and break down the walls” between musical genres.

“We’re looking to get people up and moving, we want bands that can set a laid back, relaxed vibe. Our crowd wants to utilize the dance space.” Indeed, the Festival is well known for its diverse mix of roots styles and musical genres.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend, the Rhythm and Roots has evolved over the years. “The biggest change would have to be the marketing of the Festival,” noted Wentworth. “No more folding fliers or snail mail, it’s just an e-blast from time to time these days. And when it comes to sales, all tickets are sold online now.”

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Still, Wentworth noted that “it is increasingly hard for an independent producer to put on a show. Production companies like Live Nation lock out certain acts that have played the festival in the past. And many booking agents opt to go with bigger shows and festivals,” that expose artists to larger audiences.

Wentworth manages to do just fine –as usual, this year’s line-up is outstanding with a number of top notch artists scheduled to perform.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Plays Rhythm and Roots This Weekend

Headliners include The Mavericks, Rosanne Cash, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Festival favorites like Sarah Potenza and Los Texmaniacs will also be back. Artists new to the festival include the Lilly Hiatt, MarchFourth, and Say Darling, a duo comprised of Celia Woodsmith of Della Mae and Chris Hersch of Girls, Guns & Glory.

They’ll be the usual line up of vendors including some of the best food this side of Louisiana. And as always, camping and impromptu late-night jam sessions will be happening all weekend long.

The Rhythm and Roots Festival begins Friday at Noon and runs through Sunday night. Tickets and further details available here.

Check out some Festival artist video previews below:

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