Mark Erelli (Photo: Ken Abrams)

It was a perfect evening at the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown Friday, July 8 when the “Summer Outdoor Concert Series” continued with singer-songwriters Mark Erelli and Rachel Sumner. The series, co-sponsored by Newport Live (formerly Common Fence Music), presents diverse artists performing in an outdoor setting at the Sanctuary.

Sumner, winner of the 2021 John Lennon Songwriting Contest with her powerful song “Radium Girls,” was strong throughout the opening set. She’s about to release a new album with her band Traveling Light. Check out this up-and-coming artist when you get the chance.

Erelli is a longtime favorite in folk/roots circles. He’s recorded with Sheryl Crow, Lori McKenna, and Josh Ritter among others. The veteran artist entertained the audience with songs and stories from throughout his 25+ year career. Highlights included his opener “August,” singalong “Stranger’s Eyes,” and the moving protest song “By Degrees.”

The series continues with upcoming shows including Lisa Morales on August 5 and The Suitcase Junket on September 16. Click here to visit the Newport Live website for details.

Check out some photos of the evening below. (All Photos: Ken Abrams)