The Rhythm & Roots Festival kicks off its 19th year at Ninigret Park in Charlestown Sept. 2-4, with some notable names in the world of roots and blues styles, including Bruce Hornsby, with the Noisemakers; Lucinda Williams, recently nominated for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association; David Grisman, mandolinist and jamgrass pioneer; and Taj Mahal, celebrating his half-century performing the blues.
To keep the festival fresh, promoters have booked two-thirds of the artists for the first time this year, bringing a mix of the familiar and musical discovery to the festival. The lineup on various stages through includes three bands from Rhode Island — Duke Robillard, the Knickerbocker All Stars, and Roomful of Blues — plus Canadian Matt Anderson & the Bona Fide and Texas blues with the Willie J. Laws band, Donna the Buffalo, Uncle Earl, Honeyhoney, Australian blues duo Hat Fitz and Cara, and out of Asheville, N.C., the Honeycutters.
There is also a Family Stage, featuring music, dance, storytelling and crafts for all ages. The festival again teams with the Tomaquag Museum in Exeter to offer Native American songs, storytelling, and crafts.
The Rhythm & Roots Festival was listed among the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association. It also offers camping (slots fill quickly), swimming and nature trails, and food of many stripes, including Cajun and Creole, lobster rolls and oysters, barbecue ribs and chicken, Greek and Middle Eastern fare, as well as beer, wine and other beverages and desserts.
During the festival, fund-raising efforts will be made to help a number of musicians affected by the recent floods in Louisiana, the details of which will be announced at the festival, organizers said.
For information and tickets, visit www.rhythmandroots.com, or call 888-855-6940. Festival hours are Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Saturday and Sunday from noon to midnight.
(Lucinda Williams photo © Larry Miller/CC by SA 2.0)