Concerts by Sonny Landreth, David Wax Museum, Jorma Kaukonen, and Rosanne Cash. Hope you'll be coming to at least one of 'em. Rosanne is sold out, btw.
I started hanging out at the Narrows when it was on Martine Street on the other side of Fall River. The focus was visual arts, but music was soon added, although I think there was maybe one concert from a well known performer. Anybody remember? The rest was us at open mics and the like playing our guitars and what-have-you.
My first exposure to the Narrows was as a weekly columnist with the New Bedford Standard Times back in maybe 1998 or thereabouts, interviewing Bert Harlow, a founding honcho, for a column. Soon I was hosting open mics and playing guitar with now executive director Patrick Norton and now frequent concert opener Louie Leeman.
After a couple years or so, property issues led the Narrows to re-locate to Anawan Street. Bert, Patrick, Peter Belanger and other hardy souls took up the challenge and got the ball rolling. Meanwhile, I was involved in other things, but soon re-connected by attending a Professor Louis and the Cromatix show, possibly the second concert at the new location (the first, I believe, was with the Continental Drifters, featuring Newport's Susan Cowsill).
Pretty soon I was working the door, hauling equipment etc. with Patrick, his wife Maggie (and their two boys), Bert, Peter, and a few others. The first show I remember being involved with was with Kris Delmhorst, who had come down from the Boston area despite a rather fierce snow storm. Don't think we had many at that show. Another early performer was Stephen Bruton, who was involved with the Crazy Heart movie before his untimely passing.
After a time I suggested I might start emceeing the shows, something I had done a bit of in Providence.
For years, since I lived in Fall River and there were fewer shows than today, I emceed nearly every show and often did the equipment load-out after the show (great way to get to know the artists). One of my fondest memories was carrying out former-Byrd Roger McGuinn's 12-string Rickenbacker guitar.
About five years in, the blogging technology was available, so I began writing a frequent blog for the Narrows called "Backstage at the Narrows." I remember asking people from the stage if they knew what the word "blog" meant. Few did.
In time, I moved to Attleboro, so I couldn't work as many shows, but fortunately the Narrows had great volunteers to replace me on stage and with the equipment, although I usually work a show or two every week, emceeing, taking photos and blogging.
To make a long story short: a lot more volunteers got involved, the physical plant improved (artist studios, the elevator, improved bathrooms, better sound, better lighting, better seating), more concerts, a fantastic partnership with mvyradio.com, and more as well as better visual art shows, some paid staff, and now fame and incredible respect nationally and internationally.
It's been a fun, enriching experience. Thanks to Patrick, Maggie, Bert, Louie, Peter, Deb Charlebois, Kathleen Duffy, and others who have put up with me for a long, long time.
Looking forward to our 20th anniversary! Hope you'll be along for the ride!