Thursday, October 30, 2008

4 In A Row

The Narrows began a rare 4-in-a-row weekend Wednesday night, welcoming for the first time the Infamous Stringdusters.

That's some of them in the photo below, cookin' up a storm with their bluegrass virtuosity.

There's a show Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night.  Visit for more.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Please Donate to the Narrows

As you may know, the Narrows is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit--a charity, in other words.

As you might imagine--considering the economy--it's been tough sledding financially over the past month or so.  Some of the shows have not drawn the audience they have in the past.  The Narrows has had to pick up the difference when ticket sales don't cover costs.

To help us get through these tough times, and to keep the music coming, please consider a gift to the Narrows.  For more info, please click here.


Friday, October 24, 2008


The California Guitar Trio brought their beautiful, disciplined guitar work to the Narrows on Thursday night.

Your humble blogger emphasizes the discipline of their performance because they literally walk a tightrope during their performance--one false note, one hesitation can ruin a musical phrase. You gotta see them to believe it.  

These former students of Robert Fripp were streamed live on and we hope the show will be available on that site permanently in the near future.

Your humble blogger caught them on his camera "backstage" moments before their performance.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do Your Remember Rufus and the Moondogs?

Do you remember Rufus and the Moondogs?  One of the founding members helped make the Narrows restroom renovations possible, as noted on the above plaque.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shelby Lynne Played Johnny Cash's Mom

Did you know (I didn't) that Shelby Lynne--coming to the Narrows very soon--played Johnny Cash's mother in the fab movie Walk the Line?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hey! You Don't Play It That Way!

We don't know if you call The Iguanas' music Tex-Mex, rock 'n' roll, jazz or what have you--it was a load of booty shakin' fun Friday night at the Narrows.  And did the crowd dance!

As you can see from the photo above, The Iguanas will do practically anything to get the sound they want!  Don't miss these guys from the Big Easy next time!  By the way, the show was streamed live by our friends at and we hope it will be archived on their site in the near future.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thanks from Jeff Olson

If you've been following this blog, you already know that the Narrows recently held a benefit for the Olson family.  Musician Jeff Olson had a close call with Legionnaire's Disease, which put him into a 10 day coma and stuck him in the hospital for several months.  He's home now, but still unable to work.  However, he should be back in the swing of things in December.

He asked me to share this note with you (I've actually edited it a bit with his permission):

"I want to express my gratitude to the folks at the Narrows as well as all the members of my 'real' and musical families for making the benefit last Sunday a great success.  The Narrows is a first class facility with a premiere sound system.  It costs money just to open the doors and someone has to give up their time to run the sound and handle the concessions and do the introductions.   

"In addition to raising some badly needed money which will help retire our massive medical debt I was personally gratified that so many people contributed to the auction.  We gave away some very valuable merchandise including a Baby Taylor guitar and a custom made drum by Ken Lovelett of American Percussion, an exotic bottle of wine and many other fine offerings.  Barbara Kemper deserves most of the credit for getting out there and soliciting these donations as well as organizing the auction at the benefit.  She worked long and hard on this and has my undying gratitude.  Others who helped were Vincent Pasternak, and RISA (Rhode Island Songwriters Association) co-chair John Fuzek who peppered the RISA crowd with emails and contributed to the auction.

"The musical portion was truly magical.  My older son Matt's band 'The Dyke Street Boys' opened the show with a lively set of what can best be described as 'cowboy punk.  My other son Eric and Vincent Pasternak sat in with Matt on his solo material including a haunting tune called 'Gypsy. ' Fred Wilkes and Michelle Wilson got the open stage part of the program rolling with a rousing set of Dylan tunes that got the crowd singing along. Frank Gotwals, who made the trek from Central Maine, debuted some exciting new songs including a collaboration with Rick and Vincent.   Mary Whelan came down from Northhampton and brought down the house with her tune 'Carol's Lament.'  Dan Lilley of 'Lovetrain' and 'Forever Young' turned in a fine solo performance that culminated with a group version of 'I Shall Be Released.'   Finally. Folks Together, my friends (and family), took the stage with my son Matt and Fred Wilkes covering for me. Of course I had to get into the act at some point and we ended up closing the evening with a spirited version of 'Lord Knows.'   

"Finally, when Donna first told me that our good friend Rick Bellaire was putting this together I was a bit overwhelmed.   Apparently Rick and (Rick's wife) Carleen along with Vincent and Elizabeth Pasternak, Barbara Kemper, you and (Narrows prez) Patrick Norton started planning this when I was still in a coma.   I am very glad that I was able to cooperate and live long enough to attend.  Much of the credit for me being there has to go to (Jeff's wife) Donna who refused to let me die and made sure that everything was being done to keep me breathing."

Jeff Olson

Monday, October 13, 2008


Should have mentioned in the previous blog report that the Moonalice show was streamed live on

They have streamed live a number of our shows this year, and recorded them, posting them on the site.

Jim Lauderdale's and the Holmes Brothers' shows from the Narrows Festival for the Arts are currently posted and there are several others.  

To go directly to the Narrows' page at, click here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Your humble blogger apologizes for not getting stuff about Friday's show with jammers Moonalice up on the site until Sunday morning.  Man, it was a late show on Friday night, as G.E. Smith (who led the Saturday night Live Band for years) seemed to get hotter and hotter on the guitar as the hours went by.  Above, that's a photo of G.E. sitting in on bass, flanked by group founder Roger McNamee's wife, Ann, lead and harmony vocalist.

According to a January, 2008, article on, Mr. McNamee is a super smart investor type who has done well financially--and is a longtime lover of the Grateful Dead et. al.  "After years of playing music for fun, McNamee says he's dead serious about making Moonalice work as a business."  If you Google his name, you'll pick up a lot more about McNamee, who happens to be a very nice guy and not a bad musician.  He's also been a financial advisor to the Dead, and counts Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Bono among  his friends.

Anyway, G.E. Smith's guitar prowess was undeniably the anchor for the show.  He was joined by Pete Sears, formerly of the Jefferson Starship, and other musical pros.

Mr. McNamee, on bass below, and friends, by the way, have a CD coming out soon produced by T-Bone Burnett. 

Sunday, October 05, 2008


The Narrows Sunday afternoon hosted a fundraiser for musician Jeff Olson and his family to help them overcome the financial whack of his damn-near-bought-the-farm illness over the summer.

Jeff, guitarist/singer/composer for Folks Together, came down with Legionnaires Disease and was likely to be a goner--your blogger kids not--but his wife Donna, up above with Jeff, stood by her man the whole time, making sure the health system didn't snuff him by accident or neglect.  Your humble blogger witnessed firsthand her feistiness with the medical establishment, making sure Jeff got the care he needed.   

Jeff, by the way, went into a coma for something like ten days, and lost use of his hands, legs etc. after he woke up.  Slowly but surely his physical abilities have been coming back; he can walk a bit, although he still has a wheelchair/walker, and was able to play guitar fairly well during the show.

Speaking of the show, one of Jeff and Donna's sons, Matt, 18, showed that he knows his way around the guitar and banjo, and is a promising singer and writer as well.  That's him below playing with his group the Dyke Street Boys.
Below, Rick Bellaire, who organized the benefit concert, strums his guitar during the Folks Together set.  Rick, a wonderful writer and performer, did a great job bringing everyone together and making the afternoon flow smoothly.  Other performers included Fred Wilkes and Michelle Wilson, Frank Gotwals, Mary Whelan, Dan Lilley, and Chris and Diane Myers.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Patty Larkin's First Narrows' Visit

Patty Larkin graced the Narrows with her wonderful songs, humor, and instrumental prowess Friday night.  It was her first visit to the Narrows, although she lives about 45 minutes away on Cape Cod.

The show was streamed live on and will likely be posted on that site in the near future.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

We'll Have A Blue Winter

Rory Block makes her return to the Narrows January 10.  If you haven't seen her, and dig acoustic blues, this show is for you.  Students of the guitar--a must see.  The photo is her performing at the Narrows.

Harmonica players--James Cotton returns March 7.

Details should be posted soon at