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Americana Rhythm & Roots Festival

By Elizabeth de Veer, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Elizabeth de Veer is a writer who lives in Georgetown, MA. Her hobbies include organizing her elementary school-age daughter and chasing her labradoodle. Favorite coffee: hot. Favorite Beatles album: Sgt. Pepper. Favorite naughty food: lobster roll and fries. Her first novel is due to be published in fall 2018.
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If you’re looking for some great American music in a beautiful setting, check out the Americana Rhythm & Roots Festival at Newburyport’s Waterfront Park on Saturday, July 7 from 3:30 to 8:00 pm. Bring your picnic blanket and experience the Americana Rhythm & Roots Festival for free, or purchase VIP seats for $50 each and sit on the balcony of the Firehouse Center for the Arts while enjoying free food, wine and beer. All proceeds support the Newburyport parks.

But who’s playing at the Americana Rhythm & Roots Festival, you ask? This incredible line-up has something for everybody:

NRBQ  – aka the New Rhythm and Blues Quarter, originally from Louisville, Kentucky. This group has been rocking the music scene since 1966 with their unique combination of rock, pop, jazz, and blues. They have called themselves “the greatest bar band in the world” and was the unofficial house band for The Simpsons for seasons 10-12 and wrote the song “Mayonnaise and Marmalade” for the show.

Thornetta Davis – Ms. Davis is the self-appointed Detroit Queen of the Blues, a title she wholly deserves. This woman sings blues, soul, rock and funk in the tradition of Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin and boy, does she bring the goods. Listen for yourself.

Po’ Ramblin Boys – This group, formed in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, plays old-time country music, 1940s-style Tennessee bluegrass. “We want to be known for keeping the old music alive and making some new music that’s still close to the roots,” says C.J. Lewandowski, the group’s lead singer and mandolin player. This group will take you back in time to when coke was still cola and a joint was a bad place to be. (As Merle Haggard would put it.)

And last but certainly not least … Quentin Callewaert  – this high school junior from Byfield is not new to the Americana Rhythm and Roots Festival; he’s a regular on the North Shore music circuit and with good reason: he’s amazing. Quentin has been playing fingerstyle acoustic guitar for years, and has distinguished himself as a prodigy, playing classical, blues and jazz guitar with the ability and passion of someone two or three times his age. And he has a great voice to boot.

The Americana Rhythm & Roots Festival supports the Newburyport Parks Conservancy, which maintains several parks and playgrounds around Newburyport including Cashman Park, Mosely Woods and Atkinson Common, to name a few.

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