Friday, December 29, 2006

Okay, Okay, Here's Ben Norton's Top 10

Your humble blogger has been partying like everyone else. But when I arrived at the Johnny A show, the heat was on to get volunteer Ben Norton's Top 10 posted.

Ben is nine years old, but has been in the world of music most of his life, just like his brother Owen.

10 The Slip
9 Deke Dickerson
8 School of Rock All Stars
7 Mary Lee's Corvette and The Kennedy's
6 Drunk Stuntmen
5 Porter, Batiste, and Stoltz
4 Asylum St. Spankers
3 Sarah Borges
2 Ollabelle
1 Rasputina

Monday, December 25, 2006

Volunteer Owen Norton's Top 10

Volunteer Owen Norton may only be six years old, but he has some rather sophisticated picks for his top ten.

10. Richard Shindell
9. Sarah Borges
8. Dan Hicks
7. Richie Havens
6. Drunk Stuntmen
5. Otis Taylor
4. Old School Freight Train
3. Red Stick Ramblers
2. Susan Cowsill
1. Savoy Brown

Leave your top ten in the comments section!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Your Blogger's Top 10 Shows of 2006

I saw about 98% of the shows in 2006. Of the ones I saw, these are my Top 10

1. Old School Freight Train
2. Asylum Street Spankers
3. Sarah Borges (both perfomances)
4. Drunk Stuntman (both performances)
5. Campbell Brothers
6. Fairport Convention
7. Deke Dickerson
8. Savoy Brown
9. Eilen Jewell (I think she performed a couple times)
10. Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks

Post your Top 10!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Electric Blues Night

Saturday night saw British blues pioneer Kim Simmonds and his latest version of Savoy Brown showing the roots of groups such as Led Zepplin, Cream and Black Sabbath.

Louie Leeman and his band Cheap Sneakers opened the evening with a terrific set of songs, including a fab cover of the Beatles' "Dear Prudence."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

David Lindley, Elana James

New shows not yet posted:

March 31 Elana James and the Continental Two

April 21 David Lindley

May 4 Drunk Stuntmen

May 12 Paul Rishell and Annie Raines

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Avant-garde guitarist Kaki King presided over a night of lovely, electronic vocal layering and guitar work kicked off by opener Bora Yoon.

Ms. Yoon started her set from way back near the cafe with wordless, sweeping unaccompanied vocalizing as she slowly made her way to the stage, stopping briefly to play the Narrows' piano off to the side. Once on stage, she plucked at the violin, xylophone and who knows what, even borrowing an audience member's cell phone to play a melody through the reverbed microphone.

By comparison, the unconventional Kaki was mainstream, as she expertly played her guitar, accompanied at times by a horn synthesizer of sorts played by her soundman back at the control board. He also joined her on stage to play a regular old horn, too.

It was a different night that brought more than a touch of New York City's not-so-underground scene to the Narrows.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Eilen Jewell On the Charts

Eilen Jewell, an official Narrows Center for the Arts discovery, has finally entered the national Americana radio chart!

She debuts at #36. You can look it up here.

Emptying the Photo Vault

Haven't had the chance to publish photos of serveral performers at the Narrows over the past several months. Here are some of 'em.

Jon Langford

Greg Brown

Folks Together (at least some of 'em)

Kelly Jo Phelps

Natalia Zuckerman

Friday, December 08, 2006

Eilen Jewell Getting Noticed By Americana Radio

The Narrows' 2nd major "discovery" Eilen Jewell is starting to get added to Americana radio stations across the country, though she has not officially charted on the chart.

Her Boundary County album has been listed as "most added" several times. Not bad for an independent release.

She returns to our stage in February.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Iris Dement, Fairport Convention

New shows not yet posted:

January 12
Back Eddy Bluegrass and The Remnants

March 10
John Cowan Band

June 2
Fairport Convention

November 9
Iris Dement

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sarah Borges Continues To Build Audience

Sure it was a hometown crowd, but we think that Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles continue to build a larger and larger audience.

She and her crew kicked butt Saturday night, playing loose as a goose, and introducing some new material. She announced that they hope to have a new CD out in the spring.

Maybe on a major label?

The Maybees, some young women from the area, opened the show and continued to show they're maturing as performers.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dave Alvin & James McMurtry Slated for January

It ain't up on the official schedule yet, but on Friday January 26th we'll have a double-bill featuring Dave Alvin and James McMurtry.

The word we got is both will be backed by full bands.

Keep an eye on this space and for more information over the next days.

The Bird Is The Word!

The Drunk Stuntmen did a rousing 2 1/2 hour straight set Saturday night at the Narrows.

A rowdy but friendly crowd got into the act, even doing the chicken dance, as seen above.

But even though the atmosphere and music were high spirited, there was some damn serious southern-style rock played, led by a 4 guitar attack, along with drums, keyboard and, during one song, a trumpet!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Greg Brown Sold Out!

The upcoming Greg Brown show is sold out! We thank everyone who bought tickets!

For those who missed out, we urge you to check the schedule for other shows. Why not check out the show of someone you don't know (yet)?

Maybe the Drunk Stuntmen on Friday night. They're great. Or Sarah Borges Saturday night. (That's Sarah and her crew up above.) Totally fab!

It's going to be a fun weekend at the Narrows!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Roots combo Ollabelle made a triumphant return to the Narrows Saturday, drawing a large crowd, as they continue to build an audience locally, nationally and internationally.

They're real road warriors, too. After a long drive to the gig, they were slated to drive back to NYC overnight.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Yes, She's Playing A Saw!

The Asylum Street Spankers were screamingly funny at the Narrows on Friday night.

Check out their "Stick A Metal Ribbon On Your SUV" on youtube.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dar Williams, Tom Rush Booked for '07

These shows were just booked, and are not yet on the official schedule. For more information, visit in a few days.

January 19
The Wood Brothers

January 20
Jeff Pitchell

May 11
Dar Williams

June 7
Tom Rush

Monday, November 13, 2006

Deke Delivers Dyn-o-mite!

Left coast rockabilly guitar whiz Deke Dickerson and his hardy crew were running late Friday night, due to nasty traffic in the Big Apple.

Bluesman Jeremy Lyons held the fort though, doing an extra long opening set.

And Deke, known by some as "Mr. Entertainment," once again tore the house down with his high paced pickin' and grinnin'.

We'll be sure to try to get Deke back in 2007!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Need A Lift? Dig The Deke Tonight

Tonight (Friday) at the Narrows there is one of the fastest and flashiest guitarists around, Deke Dickerson, out of the Left Coast.

You'd probably call his music rockabilly, but he's no oldies act.

See you tonight?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Public Art That Flushes!

We don't know if it's public comment, a joke, or whatever.

The fellow who owns Oliver's Restaurant, at the entrance of the Fall River industrial park, has made his own sign to greet visitors.

We kid you not. You can read about it by clicking here.

Record Company Talent Hunter

The Boston Globe has a cool article on talent hunters for record companies.

As long as the link remains alive, you can go there by clicking here.

Happy 5th Birthday Narrows!

The Narrows Center for the Arts celebrated its 5th anniversary at its current location with a festive celebration starring Richard Thompson.
The wine was flowing as a capacity crowd enjoyed the guitar and song stylings of this master, calling him back for two encores. Above, he poses with several Narrows' volunteers: (L to R) Maggie Norton, Narrows president Patrick Norton, Thompson, Helen Brown and Narrows board member Clem Brown.

Kris Delmhorst opened the show, featuring songs from her new CD. After the show, she chatted with songstress and Narrows alum Amy Correia who was part of the audience.

Narrows volunteer Kathleen Duffy, below, passes out some scrumptious brownies.

Friday, November 03, 2006

New Shows Not Yet Posted

February 16
Roots of Creation

February 23
Cassandre McKinley

February 24
Ronnie Earl

March 2
Lucy Kaplansky

March 3
Duke Robillard

April 27
The Holmes Brothers

Phil Lesh Has Prostate Cancer

The Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh has prostate cancer.

For more info, go to the top of the page and click "10/26: a message from Phil" after clicking here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Review of Peter Rowan's New CD

Narrows alum Peter Rowan has a new CD out, featuring Narrows alum Jerry Douglas, along with Sam Bush.

Your humble blogger wrote a little review about it, which you can read by clicking here.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Alejandro Escovedo: The Struggle

Celebrated singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, coming to the Narrows in February, nearly lost his life from Hepatitis C in 2003.

Learn more about his music and his health challenges by reading this article from

Access the article by clicking here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kris Delmhorst Has a New CD Out

Kris Delmhorst, who is opening for the very fab Richard Thompson in November at our 5th anniversary show (sold out), has a new CD out!

It's called Strange Conversation and it's been out since June--so you can see we're a bit slow on the uptake.

Anyway, your humble blogger has listened to it once and it sounds pretty darn good. I expect to write a full review for very soon.

Anybody out there listen to it? If so, please leave a comment. I'd like to know your thoughts.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Thrill of a Bill

It was Boston-based Eilen Jewell and her band along with southerners King Wilkie in a dynamic double-bill on Saturday night.

Eilen did her smoky voiced thing which has won her fans every time she's played the Narrows. She'll be back February 3rd, opening for Alejandro Escovedo.

Her guitar guy, Jerry Miller, also won special acclaim with his frantic fretting on his cool looking axe.

King Wilkie showed the bluegrass chops that recently earned them a contract with Rounder Records.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Happy 80th Birthday Chuck Berry

Your humble blogger still reporting from America's heartland, St. Louis, MO, Chuck Berry's hometown.

He celebrated his 80th yesterday, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered the special event in his honor, which included Chuck, Joe Perry from Aerosmith and more.

Read how the locals in St. Louis write about The Man by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jay Bennett, Formerly of Wilco, Update

Your humble blogger is reporting today from America's heartland, St. Louis, MO, which gave America Chuck Berry, beer and more.

Anyway, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch featured a front page banner headline (I think that's the term) featuring Narrows alum Jay Bennett, formerly of Wilco, a band apparently not well known in the Northeast but quite popular for the hip folks out here.

When Mr. Bennett played the Narrows he was clearly wrestling with demons, and he talks about some of them in the interview which you can read right here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Jim Lauderdale Review & Photo

Songwriter and performer Jim Lauderdale recently performed at the Narrows. Above is a photo from that visit. Dig that suit!

Anyway, here's a review of his latest recorded work.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

John Cowan & Darrell Scott Show Moved to March

Despite some generous publicity from the nice folks at the Providence Journal and Providence Phoenix, there is NOT a show tonight at the Narrows.

The John Cowan Band/Darrell Scott show has been moved to March.

Visit for the latest.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Help Us Celebrate Our 5th Anniversary!

This message was emailed out to everyone on the Narrows' email list. I thought I'd share it via this humble blog:

Dear Friend of the Narrows:

In November, the Narrows Center for the Arts will be celebrating our Fifth Anniversary. Over the past five years, more than 30,000 people have attended events at the Narrows Center. We have hosted over 350 concerts, over 40 art openings, adult and children's art classes, dance classes, writers' workshops, dozens of special events and produced five Narrows Festival of the Arts. All of this has been accomplished by a hearty group of volunteers dedicated to bringing arts and culture to Fall River. By all accounts, we have been successful beyond expectations and beyond our dreams. The Narrows Center for the Arts has put Fall River on the map as a cultural destination.

To commemorate our Fifth Anniversary, we are putting together a Special Edition Program Book that will be distributed to our patrons and all concert and gallery attendees during November. The book will have a brief history of our venue, highlights of our first five years, photos and advertising space for our sponsors. I hope you will consider sponsoring and supporting the Narrows Center for the Arts. Below is a price list for advertising. Deadline for submission is October 20th.

The Narrows Center for the Arts plans to be around for a long time. I thank you in advance for your sponsorship and support.

Patrick Norton, President
Narrows Center for the Arts

Fifth Anniversary Book

Back Cover $250.00

Full Page 8.50 x 5.50 $100.00

Half Page 4.25 x 5.50 $60.00

Quarter Page 2.125 x 5.50 $30.00

Business Card $25.00

Please mail ad copy or business card with payment by October 20, 2006 to:

Narrows Center for the Arts
16 Anawan Street
Fall River, MA 02721

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Leo Kottke Enjoys the Fruits of His Labors

Truly a Backstage at the Narrows experience:

Guitar god Leo Kottke enjoys some fruit after his sold-out performance at the Narrows Saturday night.

Left to right: volunteer Laura McNamara; Leo; and Narrows president, booking agent and all-around-visionary Patrick Norton.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Carrie Rodriguez Interview

Carrie Rodriguez, who has performed several times at the Narrows with Chip Taylor, has her own CD out.

Recently she was interviewed about her solo work. Read the interview by clicking here.

Friday, October 06, 2006

John Cowan/Darrell Scott Show Moved to March

The John Cowan Band and Darrell Scott show scheduled for October has been moved to March. A new date will soon be announced.

Please check the schedule at

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Leon Russell in April

Not yet posted: Leon Russell coming to the Narrows in April.

Keep an eye on the schedule at

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Steve Forbert & Michael Troy Photos

Steve Forbert pleased the crowd Saturday night with his casual yet passionate performance.

Local guy Michael Troy, who opened the show, nearly stole the night, though, with his set of original songs and thoughtful commentary. Some think it was Michael Troy's greatest performance ever at the Narrows.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sarah Borges Wins Boston Music Award

This just in from Sarah Borges' publicity folks (excerpt from press release):

September 28, 2006 Boston, MA - Boston songstress extraordinaire Sarah Borges took home the award for Best Local Female Vocalist at the 2006 Boston Music Awards on Wednesday, September 27th. The awards show was held at Avalon in Boston as part of the NEMO Music Festival taking place throughout the city and surrounding areas September 28 – 30. Ms. Borges also won the local semi-finals in the NEMO Music Makers songwriting competition this past August, sponsored by NEMO and Starbucks New England.

Last week, the band performed for the Americana Music Conference in Nashville, TN where they packed the house at 3rd & Lindsley and stirred up an amazing buzz when they finished their set by playing their last song atop the bar.

The wit and charm of Ms. Borges along with her scorching vocals, charismatic songs and brilliant star power prove her to be an entertainer on the rise. Chris Morris of The Hollywood Reporter claims, “This is one performer nobody should miss… she’s the goods,” and Paste Magazine tells people to “make note of this name and get in on the sawdust covered ground floor… this stuff screams for a wider audience on par with at least Lucinda, if not Gretchen Wilson.” The Improper Bostonian names her as the top of their “IT” list and advises its readers to “go see her so when she’s bringing down the house on Saturday Night Live in a year or two, you can say you saw her way back when.”

When not on the road, the band will spend some studio time with noted producer Paul Q. Kolderie at Camp Street Studios in Cambridge, MA recording songs for their sophomore release.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Escovedo, Block, Kaukonen

Not yet posted on the schedule:

December 2--Folks Together...some of the finest roots musicians you'll hear in these parts and beyond. Good friends of your humble blogger.

Jumping ahead to frosty February, 2007:

February 3--Alejandro Escovedo...No Depression magazine named him the artist of the decade in the 1990s.

February 17--Rory Block...internationally acclaimed acoustic blues master. This is her third visit, I think.

Moving to May, 2007

May 5--Jorma Kaukonen....this will be a sell-out. It will mark this 3rd visit.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Crenshaw Cranks

Marshall Crenshaw power popped the Narrows Saturday night, mixing originals with a touch of the Stones and Buddy Holly.

It was Marshall's 3rd visit to the Narrows, but his first with a band.

Funny man Ray Mason opened the evening, strumming his Sears Silvertone and singing his humorous tunes.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Interesting Write Up On Springsteen's Folk "Conversion"

Bruce Springsteen's We Shall Overcome CD and tour have perhaps confused some of the faithful.

I stumbled across an article that provides some perspective.

Click here.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Jim Lauderdale Write Up

Jim Lauderdale is making his first appearance at the Narrows on Thursday, Oct. 5.

Tickets are still available.

I came across this write up about his new releases from Eric Banister at

You can see it by clicking here.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

More Festival Fotos

Some nice folks emailed more photos of the Narrows Festival of the Arts. Click here to see 'em.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Narrows Capacity Expands--Means More Leo Kottke Tickets!

Thanks to architect Jo Ann Bentley, the Narrows' capacity has been increased to 292!!!!

This means the formerly sold out Leo Kottke show October 7 now has tickets!!!

For more info:

Monday, September 11, 2006

Narrows Festival of the Arts Rules

The Narrows Festival of the Arts, outside the Narrows, was a HUGE success Sunday.

The weather, the talent, the volunteers and the fans came together to make an outstanding outdoor festival. Congrats to all, with a special tip of the hat to the sponsors and Narrows president, and chief "Imagineer," Patrick Norton.

Sonny Landreth, up top, closed the day as the sun set over the Taunton River. People shivered while they danced, as the temps started reminding us that summer is waning.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, left, rocked the crowd in the late afternoon, while Sarah Borges, right, did the same earlier in the day.

The Wood Brothers, featuring jam band icon Chris Wood on bass, helped opened the day. Chris, on the right, and brother and guitarist Oliver, on the left, met your humble blogger (in the center) before their set.

Jimmy Ryan and Hayride (below) helped close the day.

Of course, there were many other performers. If you have some interesting photos, please send 'em to your humble blogger at

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Slaid Cleaves Sweating It Out

Slaid Cleaves earned the title as the "hardest working guy in show biz" Friday night as he literally sweated through his shirt as he pleased his fans.

Adam Carroll opened the show, and was called back by the crowd for an encore, a rarity at the Narrows.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Richard Thompson Tickets Coming Down To A Precious Few

Our 5th anniversary show with icon Richard Thompson in November is on its way to an early sell-out.

BUT--tickets are still available.

Go to ASAP.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Free Show Outside Sunday

It's the Narrows' gift to our supporters. Sunday outside the Narrows, a free concert featuring Sarah Borges, Grace Potter, Sonny Landreth and more.

Click here for more.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Shows Not Yet Posted

December 16
Savoy Brown

These British blues rock vets had Kiss and AC/DC open for them. They opened for Cream back in 1967 and backed John Lee Hooker that same year. Members of Fleetwood Mac, Foghat, Humble Pie, Black Sabbath and other prominent bands were once members of Savoy Brown. Learn more:

February 10
Paul Brady

Bonnie Raitt covered his song "Luck of the Draw" and even named an album after it! In addition to Ms. Raitt, his songs have been covered by Joe Cocker, Santana, David Crosby, Cher (Cher?), Tina Turner, Mary Black, Lucy Kaplansky, etc. Learn more:

March 9

Beolach is Gaelic for "lively youth." Most appropriate for this young band out of Cape Breton which mixes Cape Breton, Scottish and Irish tunes.

March 23
Eliza Gilkyson/Mary Gauthier

What a double bill! Ms. Gilkyson's 2004 album was nominated for a Grammy, and she's in the Austin Music Hall of Fame. Bob Dylan plays Ms. Gauthier's music on his radio show. Need we say more? Okay, here are the websites: and

April 14 Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards came to fame with his toe-tappin' anti-war anthem "Sunshine," which still gets played on the radio, decades later. He's one of the funnest artists to see in concert, which is why we've had him at the Narrows several times.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Meet Crooked Still

One of the hottest roots groups is out of Boston. It's called Crooked Still, and perhaps someday we'll book 'em at the Narrows.

Your humble blogger wrote a review of their latest CD for To read the review, please click here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ryan Rocks!

Mild-mannered, nice guy folkie Ryan Fitzsimmons proved he has a rock 'n' roll heart Saturday night as he fronted a band that turned his songs to rock anthems.
If you've attended more than a few shows at the Narrows you probably have seen Ryan open for a good number of big names.

But this time Ryan had an opener--the lovely and talented Maybees--who, in spite of their youth, are starting to show their stuff as a solid roots duo.