From rock and roll to bluegrass, there’s a lot of great music locally on this last official weekend of summer. We’re previewing a few good ones here – get out there and enjoy some live music before sweater weather arrives.

Friday: Wille Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival rolls into Mansfield’s Xfinity Center this weekend with a lineup full of Newport Folk Festival veterans. They include Billy Strings, Brittany Spencer, The Avett Brothers and Larkin Poe. The party gets started around 4PM – good, affordable seats are available for one of the final outdoor shows of the season at Xfinity. Click here for details.

Friday: The final outdoor evening show of the season at the Norman Bird Sanctuary features the one-man band show from singer-songwriter Matt Lorenz, known as The Suitcase Junket. This is no novelty act, Lorenz is a critically acclaimed artist who has toured internationally. A few tickets remain for the 7PM show. Click here for details.

Friday: The run of great shows at the Jane Pickens Film and Events Center continues Friday with guitar legend Al Dimeola. The Jersey City, NJ native first hit the scene in the early 1980s with the fusion album Friday Night in San Francisco recorded live with fellow guitar greats John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia. Tickets are still available for the 8PM show. Click here for details.

Saturday: There’s been a thriving bluegrass scene in Rhode Island for many years and Saturday, some of the region’s leading bands are getting together for Ocean State Bluegrass Festival and Pick-Nic at Frerichs Farm in Warren. Performers include the Hosmer Mountain Boys, Poor Monroe, and national recording band Rock Hearts. Click here for details.

Saturday/Sunday: Nick Iddon, a beloved drummer who played in several local bands passed away earlier this year. This weekend, a bunch of his friends will gather to celebrate his life and legacy. Shiza Fest at Dusk in Providence includes local greats The Z Boys, SexCoffee, Ravi Shavi and Viking Jesus. Music begins at 2PM on both days. Click here for details.

Sunday: Head to Westerly’s United Theatre Sunday evening for a rare live show from singer-songwriter M. Ward. The guitarist, known for his collaboration She and Him with Zoey Deschanel, is a folk music innovator, with nine albums, and numerous production credits behind him. Courtney Jaye opens at 8PM. Click here for details.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines.
Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse," a roots/folk/rock radio show every Tuesday, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM. He is a former educator in the Scituate, RI school system where he taught Social Studies for over 30 years.
Ken is presently on the board of the Rhode Island Folk Festival and Newport Live (formerly Common Fence Music), a non-profit that brings diverse musical acts to the Newport area.