While the Newport Folk Festival gets all the hoopla and attention every July, the following month of August has another folk festival that’s more locally based and in just as beautiful of a …
While the Newport Folk Festival gets all the hoopla and attention every July, the following month of August has another folk festival that’s more locally based and in just as beautiful of a location. Over at Rose Larisa Park in East Providence, the Rhode Island Folk Festival will be making its return on August 27 while happening from noon to 6pm. There will be music on three different stages along with a songwriter workshop, plenty of food trucks and a kids tent with various arts & crafts with dogs also being welcome to come hang out as long as they’re on a leash and picked up after. Also, it’s free so what’s better than that? Before attending, here are five acts taking part in the festival this year that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Alexus Lee is one of those folks who spreads their talents like a bird spreads their wings by being an artist, educator, singer-songwriter and a producer. Born and raised in Providence, she has a way of captivating an audience with her soulful way of storytelling that’s accented by her fantastic vocal range and her groovy delivery. If you’re the type who likes to dance, I have a feeling that Lee is going to make you do just that.
Since starting out in Boston during the early 1970s, Aztec Two-Step has been one of the most acclaimed folk-rock acts ever to come out of New England. Co-founders Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman were the creative nucleus for the band until Shulman’s retirement in 2017, hence the 2.0 added to the name with Fowler leading the current incarnation. Their performance is definitely going to be one of the highlights of the event so make sure to check it out.
Following Aztec Two-Step 2.0 set is the Providence based folk quartet How’s About Charlie, who have a knack for putting an audience into a trance. This is because of the stellar vocal harmonies Beth Killian, Nicole Gauthier and Amanda Marie exhibit while performing on various stages throughout The Ocean State. Percussionist Aaron Bedard deserves some recognition for being the rhythmic glue as well.
Cranston resident and Rhode Island Music Hall of Famer Mark Cutler is going to be pulling double duty during the festival by putting on the songwriting workshop I mentioned earlier along with performing some songs of his own. Through the workshop, he’s going to be writing a new song during the day of the festival which will be played during his set. There isn’t an official time for when he goes up with his guitar while singing his heart out, so keep your eyes peeled.
A member of the Providence indie rock band Silverteeth, Rassi recently released her debut solo record Bent back on July 29. Musically it exudes a blend of dream pop, alternative rock and shoegaze, which will make it interesting to see how she translates it to an acoustic setting like this one. This is exactly why people should go see Rassi perform because it’ll be something different and possibly refreshing.
While this is only five of the performing acts at this year’s Rhode Island Folk Festival, don’t let this list fool you. There are plenty of great musicians taking part in it and to know who’s playing this Sunday, log on to rhodeislandfolkfestival.com.