Mark Erelli. Credit: Joe Navas

The Jamestown Arts Center is set to host the Newport Live event: Mark Erelli’s concert and record release party on Thursday, March 23 at 7 pm. The concert will feature Americana singer/songwriter, Jobi Riccio, as the opener.

Newport Live’s executive director, Dick Lynn, stated that Mark Erelli’s previous summer concert was sold out and met with enthusiasm, thus recommending that attendees secure their tickets early.

Erelli’s 2023 album, Lay Your Darkness Down, is a collection of finely embroidered rock songs that speak to adversity and burn with urgency. The artist has had a two-decade-long career that has seen him work with GRAMMY-winner Lori McKenna, as well as serve as a guitarist for artists Paula Cole, Marc Cohn, and Josh Ritter. He has also written and produced his own material, with 2018’s “By Degrees” earning him a Song of the Year nomination at the Americana Honors and Awards.

Erelli draws influences from full-bodied rock legends like Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Roy Orbison. He describes his songwriting as exploring the unknown glories of this planet and the transformational power of love.

In recent years, Erelli has become an advocate for low-vision artists, working with venues to create accessible spaces. His latest album, Lay Your Darkness Down, is the next step on Erelli’s journey, following up on 2020’s Blindsided, which garnered praise from Rolling Stone Country, the Associated Press, NPR, and The Boston Globe.

The concert will take place in the Jamestown Arts Center’s 40-by-40-foot gallery, which is currently displaying 200 pieces of vibrant artwork as part of the Outsider Art: Harnessing Color exhibition. The exhibition showcases the work of artists with disabilities, with the common thread being color.

Jobi Riccio, winner of the 2019 NewSong Music Competition, will be opening for Erelli. She draws on both classic country craftsmanship and modern indie production to create a lush, expansive sound. Riccio has performed at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Americanafest, and Queerfest in Nashville, with her debut album, Whiplash, set to be released on Yep Roc Records in the fall.

Tickets for the event cost $35 for general admission and can be purchased on the Newport Live website here Newport Live Tickets. Beer and wine will be for sale from sponsors at Ragged Island Brewing and Newport Vineyards, while Lucy’s Kitchen will be serving their soups and pastries. Non-alcoholic beverages will also be available, and the JAC facilities are accessible.

Newport Live is a Rhode Island-based 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization that aims to celebrate and preserve diversity in music traditions by creating community-based opportunities for cultural exchange. The Jamestown Arts Center is a multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts space that hosts art exhibits, theatre, dance and musical performances, film screenings, and educational programming. It opened in 2010 in a former boat repair shop redesigned by award-winning architects Estes/Twombly and has won five of Rhode Island Monthly’s ‘Best of Rhode Island’ awards since 2014, including the Editor’s Pick for Outdoor Art in 2021.