Described as “an ongoing series of cultural happenings,” the Westerly Sound Concert Series is creating the platform for both big and small acts to share the stage in South County, including at The Knickerbocker Music Center in Westerly.
Of course, the Knick is no stranger to the live music scene. Since 1933, the storied music venue has hosted thousands of acts, becoming, a warm wooden haven for folk, jazz, and blues lovers alike. Mark Connolly, the Knick’s executive director, has seen this deep appreciation for live arts grow for generations: “As times changed, the music at the Knick has evolved as well,” he says. And to continue the nearly century-old legacy, Connolly explains, the venue “needed to offer music from a wide variety of genres to attract a younger audience, while still offering the blues.”
Sean Spellman, curator of the Westerly Sound Concert Series, had the same vision when he began to imagine musical and cultural events being hosted throughout Southern Rhode Island. Between the club’s intimate setting and its longstanding reputation for the arts, there was no doubt that The Knickerbocker would be the perfect place to start. Spellman, a musician himself, curated the music series to “increase the amount of traveling bands/musicians that come through the club” and to push these artistic boundaries in and around Westerly.
“The Westerly Sound music series helps us continue to offer a wider range of music, bringing in artists that have never played at the club and their fans that will follow,” Connolly says. The series, he hopes, will expose those in the community to acts big and small that they may never have heard of, or would never have the opportunity to see in such an intimate setting.
The Knickerbocker Music Center will be hosting Providence’s own Horse Eyed Men on March 8 and Brooklyn songstress Swimming Bell with Drew Victor on March 29. Going forward, the Westerly Sound Concert Series will bring the raw energy of Spirit Family Reunion (April 14) and acts touring nationally and internationally, including Michael Nau (April 25) and Stelth Ulvang from The Lumineers (May 11). “It’s very cool to have folks from larger bands play in the Knickerbocker,” Spellman says.