Whether you’re on vacation, stay-cation, or just trying to get through the workweek, we’ve got your evenings covered. Sway to steel drums. Relax with reggae. Boogie to the blues. Rock out. South County’s summer concert series are in full swing, and you won’t want to miss a single one. With additional perks like beach breezes and sunset views, the best part is they’re free. So, mark your calendar, grab a beach chair and follow us.
Pack a picnic for the Ninigret Park Summer Concert Series, presented by the Charlestown Parks and Recreation Department. At 5:30 pm. on August 12, step lively with the swinging Superchief Trio. Don’t let the name fool you; there are five members in this high-spirited group, including a trombonist. Then, on August 19, Never Enuff plays funk and rock to keep you grooving. Ninigret Park, Kimball Pavilion, Old Post Road/ Park Lane, Charlestown. 364-1222, www.charlestownri.org.
Head to the South Kingstown Parks and Recreation Department’s Marina Park Summer Outdoor Concert Series on July 30 to hear the Wakefield Concert Band perform. Comprised of some 75 talented community members, the band plays inspiring marches, classical masterpieces and American standards, starting at 6:30 pm. Marina Park, Salt Pond Road, Wakefield. 789-9301, www.wakefieldconcertband.com.
Or, wend your way to Westerly for Tunes on the Dunes’ Monday Night Jams (from 6–8pm). Steve Forbert, known for the hit song Romeo’s Tune, headlines on July 30, with opening band Free Thought. On August 6, the Cryers offer a live rendition of the Beatles’ seminal album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Later, on August 13, enjoy Hope Road: A Tribute to Bob Marley & the Wailers. Wear your swimsuit in case you want to take a dip in the sea, and stick around afterwards if you’d like the artists to sign your CDs. Westerly Old Town Beach, 365 Atlantic Avenue, Westerly. 348-2597, www.tunesonthedunesri.com.
When the Watch Hill Business Organization presents the Summer Concert Series on the Village Green in Watch Hill (from 6–8pm), you can expect a wide range of musical styles. White Eyed Lizard features steel drums on August 7, Al Copley plays jazz August 14, and the Bourbon Boys offer country music on August 21. “The setting on the harbor is marvelous, with the best sunset viewing in Rhode Island,” reveals the Grammy-nominated Copley, who grew up in Watch Hill and went to school in Westerly. He wrote to SO from his current tour in France, adding, “I just love the privilege of a concert like this. It’s an honor.” Village Green, Bay Street, Watch Hill. 348-8407, www.watchhillvillage.com.
At 7pm, it’s also time for the Summer Concerts by the Water’s Edge in Wickford, presented by the North Kingstown Arts Council. Revel in the golden oldies with Sh-Bop on July 31; catch Beatlemania with the tribute band Abbey Rhode on August 7; and feel fit as a fiddle listening to John Connor’s Irish Express on August 14. Town Dock, 55 Brown Street, Wickford. 294-3331, www.nkartscouncil.org.
Meander back to Westerly for Tunes on the Dunes’ Blues on the Beach, now in its 13th smash year. Presented by the Town of Westerly and the Washington Trust Company, the popular series highlights Greg Piccolo & Heavy Juice on August 1, Roomful of Blues on August 8, Jeff Pitchell and Texas Flood on August 15 and Black and White & Lori Urso on August 22. All concerts start at 6pm, rain or shine, and the music is first-rate. Organizer Caswell Cooke, Jr. notes, “Sometimes the deck bounces up and down; there’s so many people dancing.” Westerly Old Town Beach, 365 Atlantic Avenue, Westerly. 348-2597, www.tunesonthedunesri.com.
The Concert Series at The Village at South County Commons in South Kingstown is held from 6-8pm. Plan a visit on August 2 to hear the Jesse Liam Band, August 9 for the Bruce Jacques Show, August 16 for Ten Rod Ramblers, August 23 for Mark Cutler and the Men of Great Courage and August 30 for Abbey Rhode. The Village at South County Commons, 50 South County Commons Way, Wakefield. 284-2951, www.southcountycommons.com.
Across from the Narragansett Town Beach, enjoy the Narragansett Summer Concert Series at the Gazebo. Presented by the Narragansett Parks and Recreation Department at 6pm, the fun and diverse line-up includes Abbey Rhode (August 3), Boatcake (August 10), Nancy Paolino & The Black Tie Band (August 17), Nightlife Orchestra (August 24), and Avenue A (August 31). Gazebo Park, 25 Ocean Road, Narragansett. 782-0658, www.narragansettri.gov.
You’re on your own. Why not make this the summer that you start your own band? We can’t wait to hear you. Especially if all your concerts are outdoors… and free.