Newport Live (formerly Common Fence Music) and the Norman Bird Sanctuary will present award-winning singer-songwriter Mark Erelli, with special guest Rachel Sumner at the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown on Friday, July 8th at 7 PM. General Admission tickets are $35 and are available through Eventbrite and via Newport Live or Norman Bird Sanctuary websites.

More about Mark Erelli:

Mark Erelli has forged a colorful career by making the art of “being everywhere all the time” seem effortless. It’s hard to think of another artist who seems equally at home serving as a sideman for GRAMMY-winning artists like Paula Cole, Marc Cohn, and Josh Ritter, or producing albums for Lori McKenna, as he does writing and producing his own material, like 2019’s “By Degrees,” on which he was joined by a host of voices including Rosanne Cash and Sheryl Crow.

That song was nominated for “Song Of The Year” at the 2019 Americana Music Awards, and served to reintroduce Erelli to a wider audience. And just in time, because his new record “Blindsided” combines the exuberance of Erelli’s signature sound with the wisdom that comes with over 20 years of songwriting, capturing an artist at a point in his career where he is clearly digging deep and swinging for the fences.

Opener Rachel Sumner has been captivating audiences throughout the northeast with her exciting new band Traveling Light. Sumner’s songs have been critically acclaimed, winning the Lennon Award in the folk category of the 2021 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for her song “Radium Girls (Curie Eleison),” earning her a spot in the Kerrville New Folk Competition, and being chosen two consecutive years by WBUR/NPR as one of the top Massachusetts entries in the Tiny Desk Competition.

Get a start on summer with Newport Live and enjoy live music under the stars at The Norman Bird Sanctuary. Get your tickets early. All of last year’s shows sold out. General Admission tickets are $35 and available through EventBrite and via Newport Live or Norman Bird Sanctuary websites.

Upcoming shows in the series include Lisa Morales on August 5, and The Suitcase Junket on September 16. Newport Live will also be presenting a special show with Laura Veirs on the eve of the Newport Folk Festival at Newport Vineyards on July 21.

Generous support from Ragged Island Brewing Co., the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), Newport Vineyards, and an SBA/SVOG grant have made this series possible.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music and more for What'sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse" Tuesday nights, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.