WESTERLY — It'll be another busy week at the Knickerbocker Music Center and a bonanza for music-lovers.
On Friday, legendary blues harpist James Montgomery will join forces with guitarist Jeff Pitchell and Texas Flood for an 8 p.m. concert at the Railroad Avenue hot spot, while Saturday will see a visit from a quiet phenomenon known as The Ballroom Thieves.
Pitchell, an internationally acclaimed dynamic singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor, was named "best guitarist in the State of Connecticut" when he was just 15 years old, has been part of the New England music scene ever since, has been called "one of the hottest guitar slingers on the circuit," and has drawn comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
He has performed with Charles Neville, played 35 old out shows in a row with guitarist and Rock Hall of Fame nominee J. Geils, performed with Phil Lesh of Grateful Dead, played for the World Champion Boston Red Sox on national television and radio, had a #7 CD stay on the national Billboard charts for 12 weeks and guitar dueled with Kenny Wayne Shepard and Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers.
Montgomery, who was inducted in 2018 into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame, recently finished a new CD, "The James Montgomery Blues Band: A Tribute to Paul Butterfield,"released on Cleopatra Records. He has played with Steven Tyler, Huey Lewis, Jim Belushi, Honey Boy Edwards, Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford from Aerosmith, Jay Geils, Billy Squier, James Cotton, the Uptown Horns, Kim Wilson, Barry Goodreau formerly of Boston, Johnny A, Grace Kelly, Duke Robillard, and Matt Kelly from the Dropkick Murphys. Montgomery was also featured in a movie called "Delta Rising," with Morgan Freeman and Willie Nelson.
Texas Flood — Jimmie Biggins on sax (formerly with James Taylor and The Temptations), Steve Peck, drums, Dave Natale on bass, Dan Fontanella B3 Organ — are seasoned musicians who will re-unite to share their high energy mix of Rhythm and Blues, Rock Soul, Pop and funky Texas Blues.
The Ballroom Thieves, Calin "Callie" Peters (vocals, cello), Martin Earley (guitar, vocals) and Devin Mauch (percussion, vocals) mix "those old-school pop elements with our big harmonies and folk-sensible songwriting," according to Earley.
Their EP title "Paper Crown," represents "the ephemeral nature of consumerism, corporate greed, and reality TV," said Earley and is "symbolic of the fake coronation atop the country's hierarchy.
At the same time, he said in a statement, "it proposes an alternative charge for unity in the face of this misdirection."
"It’s a letter to this administration to do something kind,"Peters added. "This president is not a suitable representative for any human being, but ironically, many of the Americans rallying behind him are the ones who stand to suffer the most if he continues to bolster ideals that only work for people who look and live like him ... instead of focusing on my cynicism about it, I was trying to have higher hopes, and maybe scream a little about what most of us are thinking."
— Nancy Burns-Fusaro