Greetings dear friends and friendly readers, and welcome back for a mid-July visit here on the Front Porch, where the sun rose at 5:29 a.m. and will set at 8:17 p.m., and where we are enjoying these beautiful, breezy summer days, the gorgeous hydrangea, the scent of honeysuckle and all the incredible music and art that surrounds us. How lucky are we to have such splendid theater, art and music on our beaches, in our parks, at the United and at the Knick!
Speaking of the Knick, I am thrilled to see that longtime Front Porch pal Glenn Kendzia (Glenn Thomas), who is based in Nashville these days but back in town for a stretch with his wife, Jamie, will be opening Thursday for the popular indie-folk-rock duo Martin Earley and Calin Peters, who go by the name The Ballroom Thieves. The thieves are stopping "On the Road to Newport Folk," which will be a treat for folks who forgot to grab tickets to the Newport Folk Festival, which opens Friday and has been sold-out for weeks, although I hear you can add your name to a wait list.
Music lovers will be happy to know there's still time to buy tickets to the Rhythm & Roots Festival scheduled for Labor Day weekend in Charlestown, where one of the performers will be Samantha Fish, a 33-year-old Kansas City dynamo who recently released her sixth album, "Faster," produced by Martin Kierszenbaum (Lady Gaga, Sting). Fish was called "one of the 30-best-blues-guitarists-in-the-world-toda," by Guitar World mag. Her live performances have been described as "an explosive brand of blues/rock-and-roll not to be missed."
I was happy to see that our pal, Rick Koster at The Day, wrote a fine little piece about former Stonington resident Thor Jensen, who was at the United Friday with Nick Anderson and Ari Folman-Cohen to play music from his new album, "Harlem Valley."
Speaking of music, it was so sad to learn about the passing of the great Bramwell Tovey, principal conductor and artistic director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, which has a busy branch at the United. Executive Director David Beauchesne released a statement that said: "We are heartbroken to tell you that Bramwell died peacefully on July 12 at his home in Barrington, one day after celebrating his 69th birthday surrounded by loved ones. Bramwell was incredibly proud of and devoted to his family, and is survived by his children Ben, Jessica and Emmeline, his partner Verena De Neovel, his sisters, grandchildren, nieces and nephew ... Bramwell was a dear friend and colleague, and a person of uncommon ability, warmth, humor, sincerity and kindness. The youngest student and most revered guest artist received the same level of his care and attention. His death is a profound loss to our organization and community, and to musicians and audiences around the globe." Rest in peace.
In the theater world, Marion Markham is directing Samuel Beckett’s iconic 20th century masterpiece "Waiting for Godot," which opens this Friday in Wilcox Park, thanks to the Colonial Theater Company of Westerly, which recently announced the appointment of Brian Edward Leach as managing director. Visit the Colonial website for details at colonialtheaterart.org.
I heard from Lydia Cottrell and Shawn Sabarese, co-chairs of the annual Photography Show sponsored by the Watch Hill Memorial Library & Improvement Society, that the opening reception will take place on Sunday, July 31, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and that the show runs through Aug. 7.
I was happy to hear from Helen Roy, a Westerly-based artist and Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly member who reminded me about the upcoming "Art Heist," for folks "looking for a fun, entertaining evening and an opportunity to acquire art at a “steal” taking place on Saturday, Aug. 6 at Westerly Armory. Festivities will begin with live music from “The Jazz Gallery Quartet,” and tickets range from $30 to $175.
Social media followers have no doubt seen all the chatter about some new restaurants opening up in town. The High Hope Tavern will be opening soon in the old Brown Building on High Street, and about Evie’s, Cocktails & Comforts, scheduled to open soon on Old Post Road in Dunn’s Corners according to Culinary Director Rob Pirnie, a 2004 Chariho High School grad and one of the owners, "Evie's will be a comfortable, neighborhood restaurant and bar with a focus on coastal comfort food."
And one last woof woof! Head to Grey Sail Brewing’s “Bags for Wags Cornhole Tournament" Wednesday to support Stand Up For Animals. Spectators are encouraged, check-in starts at 4:30 p.m. and tickets are $50 per team of two.
Well dear readers, I will be on vacation for the next several weeks so, until then, please stay safe, be kind, and ciao bella!