Friday, December 30, 2005

Johnny A New Year's Eve

Guitarist Johnny A ( does the honors on New Year's Eve at the Narrows.

While sales have been healthy, plenty of tickets are available--so, if you haven't finalized plans, come to the Narrows!

Opening for Johnny A is our buddy and crowd favorite Ryan Fitzsimmons (

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

People Who Died

Thanks to Sheila Lennon over at for bringing this to everyone's attention. (You can check out her blog at:

Steve Morse, at the Boston Globe, put this list together of people who died in 2005 who probably are of interest to those of us following the music world:

Luther Vandross, Shirley Horn, Chris Whitley, Paul Pena, R.L. Burnside, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Link Wray, Richard Pryor, Hunter Thompson, Danny Sugerman (Doors biographer), Ray Peterson (''Tell Laura I Love Her"), Jim Capaldi (Traffic), Spencer Dryden (Jefferson Airplane), Henry Spencer, Merle Kilgore, Ras Junior, Keith Knudsen (Doobie Brothers), Jimmy Smith, Big Joe Burrell, Sandra Dee, John Raitt, Chris Ledoux, Bobby Short, Rod Price (of Foghat), Johnnie Johnson (Chuck Berry's pianist), Mindy Jostyn, Jimmy Martin, Scott Larned (of Dark Star Orchestra), Obie Benson (Four Tops), Big Al Downing, Long John Baldry, John Herald (of the Greenbriar Boys), Eugene Record (founder of the Chi-Lites), Little Milton, Detroit Junior, Vassar Clements, Bea Lilly, and Fritz Richmond.

For those of us who are Fall Riverites or, as in my case, former Fall Riverites, our condolences to Mayor Edward Lambert and his family on the loss of his wife Mary on Christmas Day.

Bluegrass Gets Respected

Berklee College of Music finally recognizing that bluegrass is worthy of study--and damn hard to play.

The Boston Globe did a story on it today. Hopefully the link works. Here it is:

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

School of Rock All-Stars Photos

The Narrows rocked Monday night as the All-Stars from the School of Rock in Philly played complicated and riff-oriented rock from the likes of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the Rolling Stones, Cream, Fleetwood Mac, Frank Zappa and others.
The kids, about 15 of 'em who entered and exited the stage depending on the song, looked like they ranged in age from about 12 to maybe 18. It was the first stop in a mini-tour for the kids while they're on Christmas vacation.

For more information about the School of Rock, click here.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Monday Night Narrows Hosts School of Rock All-Stars

Yes, the Narrows is getting back into the swing of things after a short hiatus.

Monday night it's the School of Rock All-Stars, featuring the best students from the School of Rock, which has branches across the country, though none in New England. For more info about the School of Rock All-Stars, click here.

For more information about showtimes etc., click here.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

No Depression Magazine Writes Up Drunk Stuntmen

With a name like Drunk Stuntmen, you probably get no respect.

No so.

The latest issue of No Depression magazine does a nice review of this Massachusetts-based band's latest CD Trailer Life.

The magazine praises these Narrows alums, writing "The twin focal points continue to be the charismatic vocals of Steve Sanderson and the torrid lead guitar of F. Alex Johnson."

Congrats to the band and their legions of fans!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Sarah Borges' "Silver City" in Boston Herald Top 5

"Silver City" from Narrows fave Sarah Borges was recently included in the Boston Herald's top 5 alternative country CD list for 2005.

We can't say we discovered Sarah Borges--but we will anyway!

Congratulations to Sarah, the band and her friends and family.

She's got a new website too:

Oh, and Sarah returns to the Narrows in April!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Cajun Coming--Beausoleil

Not yet posted on the Narrows schedule: Grammy-winners Beausoleil on Friday, March 24.

Meet 'em by clicking on this link:

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Presidential Address--Or His Top 10 At Least

Patrick Norton is the Narrows president, and the guy who books the shows, handles the sound, etc., etc., etc.

But he's also the driving force behind EVERYTHING. Frankly, there would be no Narrows if Patrick Norton weren't around. His vision, energy and commitment are unparalled.

So are his musical insights. As you can see below:

Patrick Norton's Top 10 (no particular order)
The Slip (New Years)
The Duhks
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (Blogger note: an inspired choice. I forgot about this one.)
Ronnie Earl
Darrell Scott
Sarah Borges
Charlie Hunter (Blogger note: Fantastic show!)
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Hot Tuna

Honorable Mention
Otis Taylor
Shout, Sister, Shout (Odetta and the Holmes Brothers)
Chuck Prophet
Kelly Joe Phelps

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Now the Top 10 from Ben & Owen's Mom

Maggie Norton, mom of Narrows volunteers Ben & Owen, and wife of Narrows president Patrick Norton, bakes for the Narrows concession stand, works the door and handles other jobs as needed to keep the Narrows humming.

She's got a few in her top 10 for 2005 nobody else has mentioned. Without further ado, here's her list (in no particular order):

Deke Dickerson (Blogger note: his latest CD continues to chart on XM radio.)
Ronnie Earl
Johnny A (Blogger note: Johnny A played the Narrows earlier this year, but has a big New Year's Eve show at the Narrows! Tickets still available. Go to
Shout, Sister, Shout (Odetta and the Holmes Brothers)
Bellevue Cadillac
The Slip (the legendary show last New Year's Eve)
Jonathan Edwards
Red Stick Ramblers
Sarah Borges
Otis Taylor

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ben's Top 10

If you follow this blog, you know we're posting what our volunteers think were the Top 10 shows of 2005 at the Narrows.

Of course, since the Johnny A show on New Year's Eve and a couple others haven't taken place yet, we're a bit ahead of the curve. But we expect such a busy January that we figured we better take care of this now.

With that said....

Benjamin Norton may not be able to bring booze into the Narrows (He's in elementary school--we have to draw the line somewhere!), but he's a dedicated volunteer who has seen more shows than most people 10 times his age. You may have seen Ben passing the basket for donations or helping his dad, Narrows' president Patrick Norton, set up the microphones on the stage. His younger brother, Owen, also helps out as does his mom Maggie.

So, he brings a youthful perspective with a depth of experience in the world of music.

As you can see from his picks, some of them are not on other previously published lists.

10. Duhks
9. Rosie Flores
8. Buckwheat Zydeco
7. The Cottars
6. Bellevue Cadillac
5. Dirty Dozen Brass Band
4. Drunk Stuntmen (Note to Ben: this was an inspired pick. I forgot how good these guys were.)
3. Sarah Borges
2. Topaz Tribe
1. Grace Potter

If you, dear reader, would share your top shows at the Narrows, that might be helpful to our bookings in 2006-2007. So, please leave your list in the comments section, even though it might be just a few shows.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Celebrating Life with Michael Troy

Fall River Mayor Edward Lambert, right, proclaimed Saturday Michael Troy Day, as friends, fans and family gathered at the Narrows to celebrate life with Michael Troy.

Mike has been battling cancer for the past year, but is making progress and was able to join the roster of performers playing his and their songs, and telling stories about Mike.

Although Michael's battle is serious, much of the show wasn't, starting with performer and MC Art Tebbetts (left) setting the tone with a mad look in his eyes.

Narrows volunteer (and Mike's manager) Marilyn Edge (below), though, laughed and shed tears during the evening.
It wasn't certain Mike was going to take the stage--but by night's end he not only performed, he seemed energized.

Below, friend Mary Ann Rossoni, who's hit the road with Michael on short tours, got the crowd singing.

JP Jones, below, touched everyone with his musicality and intensity.

Performer Daniel Jacobs traveled down from Maine to play with his friend Mike.

And Mike's neighbor and former band mate Monica Ambroziak sings with Johnny Botelho.

Manny Perry, below, did a Michael song as well as a Mary Ann Rossoni tune.

For a write-up about the evening in the Herald News, click here.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

What You Do After You're Done Being A Rock Star

Stumbled across the fact that original bass player for the Kinks, Peter Quaife, has put out a book called The Lighter Side of Dialysis.

Apparently a decade ago he became a dialysis patient and start doodling cartoons.

Now they're a book. For more information, click on this link:

God Save Peter Quaife. God Save The Kinks!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Odds & Sods

  • We celebrate life with Michael Troy and his friends Saturday night. Mike's been fighting health issues, and he's winning! JP Jones, Mary Ann Rossoni, Art Tebbets and more. Join us!
  • Celebrate the New Year at the Narrows. Guitar god Johnny A will be on stage.
  • Don't forget: the Narrows is a non-profit and needs your donations. A lot of people are writing checks to charities to beat the end of the year. Remember the Narrows!
  • Stuff of note not yet on the calendar: Robbie O'Connell in February; Kathleen Edwards in March; Chris Difford (ex Squeeze) in April; and Dan Hicks makes his triumphant return in May.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

And Now: The Top 10 From Deb

Deb Charlebois, the Narrows' financial queen, seems to work every free minute she has for the Narrows.

Which means she has no free minutes, pretty much, because there's so much to do. And she's willing to do it.

Thanks, Deb for all you do. And thanks for your Top Ten (and for putting it in alphabetical order):

Sarah Borges
The Cottars
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Jonathan Edwards
Tim Grimm
Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks
Kelly Joe Phelps
Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez
Livingston Taylor
Cheryl Wheeler

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Your Blogger's Top 10 for 2005

Okay, here are your humble blogger's top 10 for 2005

Sarah Borges
Darrell Scott
Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Rory Block
Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks
John Hammond
John Doe
Grace Potter

Also noteworthy:
Alvin Youngblood Hart
Graham Parker
Roger McGuinn
Jonathan Edwards

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What Were Your Top Shows of 2005?

We've had so many wonderful shows in 2005 that we thought we'd ask some folks to name their top 10.

Here are the top 10 shows from our extraordinary volunteer Marilyn Edge. Marilyn is extraordinary because she takes on so many thankless jobs--which means she rarely gets thanked! So thank her when you see her at the Narrows. Thank you Marilyn!

Marilyn Edge's Top 10 Shows in 2005 (in no particular order)

Jimmy LaFave
Greg Trooper
John Gorka
Cheryl Wheeler
JP Jones
Michael Troy
Tom Pacheco
Tim Grimm
Christine Kane
Ronnie Earl

We should note that Marilyn manages JP Jones and Michael Troy, so she might be a little biased. But come to think of it, she's such a straight shooter that if she hated their shows she'd never list them.

Thanks Marilyn! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Okay readers, list your favorite shows at the Narrows!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Covered Blood on the Tracks

Mary Lee Kortes and her band Mary Lee's Corvette came to fame a few years back for their song-by-song covering of Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

On March 25, they're coming to the Narrows.

Here's the story on how they decided to do a version of the Dylan album. This is an excerpt from an write up:

Singer-songwriter Mary Lee Kortes decided to tackle Bob Dylan's masterpiece of romantic disillusionment and wanderlust on a whim when she learned that the New York nightclub Arlene's Grocery needed someone to cover the 1975 classic for one of its Classic Album Nights. The experiment in channeling rock's greatest bard was so otherworldly for Kortes and her band Mary Lee's Corvette that they've now released this impassioned and athletic homage to Blood on the Tracks on CD...Kortes's strong, sinewy voice careens artfully through the 10 songs, as if she were a medium tapping into Dylan's mind, perfectly mimicking his cadence and idiosyncratic phrasing without entirely losing herself in the process.

- Jaan Uhelszki

The show at the Narrows will be a double-bill with the Kennedys.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Photos of Phelps

Kelly Joe Phelps did his guitar folk/blues thing Saturday night at the Narrows.

Chuck Williams was the opener (photo below):

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Kelly Joe Phelps Plays Folk and Blues Tonight

He's been described as a jazz guitarist who has turned to folk and blues. He's been compared to Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen for his storytelling abilities. Steve Earle and Tim O'Brien are fans.

You know, it's going to be a long winter and we all need to take advantage of a night out whenever possible. Friday we got hit with a nasty little storm. But all's quiet. For now.

(By the way, the Paul Rishell and Annie Raines show on Friday night was postponed until January. Details to follow soon.)

So make your move. See you tonight (Saturday night) at the Narrows.

Do it for your own sanity.

Friday, December 09, 2005

W.C. Handy Award Winners Tonight

We hope this snow, coming down as I write this, will be cleaned up by the time Paul Rishell and Annie Raines take the stage tonight (Friday) at the Narrows. The timing looks good, and the hard-working public works crews are already treating the roadways vigorously.

Paul and Annie are W.C. Handy (sometimes called the Blues Grammy) winners, and are longtime good friends of the Narrows' crew. They are also members of the band of the great John Sebastian (yes, he was the voice of the Lovin' Spoonful and did the Welcome Back Kotter theme).

Drive safely!

Buffalo Bus Busts--But Band Boogies

The bus for Donna the Buffalo caused the band to arrive mighty late Thursday night. But the Herd was patient, and broke into smiles when the music kicked in. Photos for your pleasure:

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Yes, There Are Donna the Buffalo Tickets

Yes, there are still tickets to tonight's (Thursday) show with Donna the Buffalo.

In fact, there are many tickets available, which means there should be no problem for you to get in tonight.

That said, get there early because, based on passed experience with the group, tickets could begin flying out the door.

See you there?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Donna the Buffalo Thursday Night

No snow in the forecast for the Donna the Buffalo show Thursday. Go to for info on tickets and times.

They play a mixture of Cajun, zydeco, reggae, country, folk and old time fiddle music. Some other quick facts:
  • 17-year career.
  • 100,000 records sold.
  • 100 gigs a year.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Sarah Borges Gets Cover of Magazine

As you know if you watch this space, at the Narrows we're major fans of alt. country queen Sarah Borges, who happens to be out of nearby Taunton and who happens to have one of the best damn CDs of 2005.

Others must agree 'cause she's on the cover of the Improper Bostonian. To see the cover, click here.

Congrats to Sarah, her band and family!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Fairport Convention (Acoustic) Booked

British folk-rock pioneers Fairport Convention will return to the Narrows on June 16.

This show has not yet been placed on the official schedule, so you're getting yet another Backstage at the Narrows scoop (Yaay!).

It will be an acoustic show--hence Fairport Convention Acoustic.

Keep an eye on this space for even more insider info.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

April Showers Bring John Hammond

This just booked: blues god, Grammy-winner, and cool dude John Hammond returns to the Narrows on April 8.

John's played the Narrows at least a couple other times, and always brought the house down.

At this writing, this one is NOT on the official schedule yet.

Meet him at

Saturday, December 03, 2005

So Human, So Fall River

Friday night was theater night at the Narrows, featuring Children or Liars, a romantic drama that was soooooo Fall River.

David Splinter, a Narrows volunteer, is the writer and director, and the leads of the play are Sherry Marques, a RI College student, and UMASS Dartmouth undergrad Kevin Steinhauser. That's them mooning for the camera up above.

This is a workshop production--meaning the script is still evolving. So after the show, our guy David Splinter and the cast sat down and got feedback from the audience. That's David Splinter over on the left shortly after Friday night's performance.

Children or Liars follows what happens when "Debra" and "Ivan," who like to lie a lot, meet after their cars are involved in a mishap. It's funny, sexy, sad, pathetic and engrossing. And if you happen to live in the Scholarship City, you'll recognize these characters and many of their references. It's all soooo Fall River.

You too can enjoy the show, because it's playing Saturday night at 8 at the Narrows. Since the Narrows is mill space--or, as some call it, a loft--you can have that down-by-the-docks-abandoned-burnt out-warehouse theatrical experience that might be called off off Broadway.

Congrats to David, Kevin, Sherry and the whole ensemble, including musicians Jon Reagan and Kevin Koteles, who provided original music for the production.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Alvin Youngblood Hart and his group Muscle Theory burned up the Narrows Thursday night with a mixture of southern fried boogie, blooooze, and country honk.

As you may know, the crew at the Narrows has been promoting this show like the mad people we are--because we were afraid few would show to see this relatively unknown guitar star.

The turnout was so good we hope to have Alvin and his folks back sometime in 2006.

Here are some photos to give you a visual taste of the sizzle.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Theatre or is it Theater? Anyway, It's Fri & Sat

I guess "theatre" is the more historic way of spelling it. Anyway, you can see it Friday & Saturday at the Narrows.

This little blurb from the nice folks who email out the weekly Narrows news message:

On Friday and Saturday, theater returns to the Narrows with Ten Thousand Productions' "Children or Liars." Set in Fall River, it is a sharp-toothed original romance with a twist. When complete strangers collide in a car accident, a passionate chain of events is set in motion that neither is able to stop.
By the way, the show is $10 in advance, $12 on the day of show. Go to for more info.