Westerly? More Like Wester-WHEE!

Moonie loves the town of Westerly – its beautiful beaches, its cute little shops, its Dave’s Coffee, and its budding music scene.

When he’s not grooving to nightly music at Perks and Corks, he’s around the corner at The Knickerbocker Cafe, enjoying crowd-drawing acts like Martin Sexton and Duke Robillard and, two of his favorites, Ian Fitzgerald and Haunt the House. Ian and Haunt the House will be playing the Knick again tonight, and you just might see a pink-haired dude enjoying the tunes and the holiday decorations.

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He does like to admire Ian’s hair (they have the same barber).

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And he loves when Warbler Roost’s Bessie Bee joins Haunt the House frontman Will Houlihan on beautiful songs.

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Last year Ian, Bessie, and Will brought the house down on a three-part harmony of “Good Night Irene.” Moonie was doing backflips.

He then ran around the corner to catch his friend MDB (“Emmm Deee Beee!” an excited Moonie is shouting over my shoulder). MDB, also known as Marc Douglas Berardo, was having his own holiday fun around the corner at Perks and Corks with his friends Phil Adams and Ken Serio.

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Tonight’s live music at Perks and Corks will feature The Free Radicals, starring Moonie’s friend Pete Vendettuoli. So if you do make it to the Knickerbocker for amazing folk, don’t forget to pop around the corner for amazing roots and rhythm right after!

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Ben and John and Ian, Oh My!

Moonie has great taste. When his eyes gleamed as he mentioned that he was planning our Friday night, I figured it would involve some kind of junk food. Instead, our plans involved tasty, hearty food for the soul: a house concert starring Ben Stalets, John Faraone, and Ian Fitzgerald. It was held at a cozy home in East Providence with a respectful audience, and it was such a wonderful night of beautiful tunes.

Ben was the only one Moonie and I hadn’t yet seen perform, although we knew he’d been touring with Ian and were more than a little curious about the guy described thus: “His shit-eating grin gives way to a Hank Williams howl, a knack for storytelling reminiscent of your grand pappy, and a level of honesty only shared amongst life-long friends.” The description turned out to be 100% true. Ben was a great storyteller and fingerpicker, and he wasn’t shy about making us groan a few times with bad jokes, either. Moonie’s pipsqueak little voice howled across the room when Ben introduced a song written while dating a blind woman and joked that at least he hadn’t had to worry about her seeing other people. All in all, wonderful music from the grinning storyteller.

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Next up was Moonie’s pal John Faraone, who is always enjoyable for his lovely songs – many of which invoke scenes of nature that invite you to revisit scenes in your head of similar places you’ve been and breathed – balanced with a witty sense of humor. With his slightly rounded feet, Moonie had a little trouble climbing up and balancing on John’s guitar, but John was patient and waited for him to stand just where he wanted so we could take this great pic of the two of them. John didn’t even mind that my phone blinded him with its flash.

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Steve, Krista and Ian

Whoa! What a night last Saturday was.

Moonie got to meet three of his heroes: Steve Allain, a talented singer/songwriter both solo and with Cardboard Ox; Krista Baroni, a gorgeous singer/songwriter from Boston; and the fantastic Ian Fitzgerald, who will be playing the Newport Folk Festival next month.

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Moonie was in heaven with this trio. Thanks to Krista for keeping him steady when he thought he might swoon.