NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — The iconic Towers on Ocean Road will bring back its annual summer series of music and dancing on Thursday nights, starting next week.
The shows take place from 7 to 10 p.m. starting June 6, and the series concludes on Thursday, Aug. 29. Tickets are $15 each for most shows.
There’s one Thursday with no show scheduled — July 25. Otherwise, it’s a full slate of music.
The annual dance series has taken place since 1998 according to Johnette Rodriguez, who has volunteered with the Friends of the Towers and helped book some of the bands appearing.
“One thing I always want to emphasize is that people can have almost as much fun hearing live music and watching the dancers as they can by dancing themselves,” she said. “I think sometimes people get intimidated and think that if they don’t, can’t or won’t dance, they won’t have fun. Trust me, they will.”
Rodriguez said the series is different from typical gazebo concerts in most towns.
“A lot of the musicians have said they love the acoustics in the towers,” she said. Dancers have told her the view makes them believe they’re “dancing on top of the ocean.”
Dan Lord and the Big Shots kick things off June 6 with tunes from the early days of rock and roll and blues, through to today’s modern interpretations, including a healthy dose of swing, jump blues and Tex-Mex.
The second band in the series, appearing June 13, is the nationally-known James Montgomery Blues Band. Blues legend Montgomery plays the harmonica and has recorded with Kid Rock, sat in with Gregg Allman and fronted his own band for 30 years.
June 20 will feature an evening of swing with Lloyd Kaplan and the Aristocats that will include lessons from Providence Swings, a group dedicated to spreading Lindy Hop and dances from the jazz era.
Continuing the dance vibe at the Towers June 27 are Neal and the Vipers, with Dave Howard, recent inductees to the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. They bring a mix of blues, rock and roll and funk.
For Fourth of July, Superchief Trio takes the stage for a combination of two-fisted piano, sizzling trombone, blazing guitar, rock solid bass, powerful vocals and frenzied percussion antics. Swing, New Orleans R&B, jump blues and boogie-woogie are part of the mix. The show will be followed by the annual fireworks display.
The following Thursday, July 11, Reminisce showcases doo-wop tunes the band has performed for audiences across the region and at Radio City Music Hall. The eight-plus musicians specialize in songs from the 1950s and early 60s.
Next on the line-up is Johnny Nicholas, July 18. Nicholas is a native Rhode Islander who played with Duke Robillard in their high school days. He also contributed greatly to the revival of the Knickerbocker Cafe in Westerly.
Starting off the August series is a long-time favorite of Cajun and zydeco dancers, Magnolia Cajun Band, on Aug. 1. Since 1989, Magnolia has been New England’s hometown Cajun band, playing high-energy two-steps and sultry waltzes using twin fiddles, accordion, guitar, bass and vocals.
Towers favorite Roger Ceresi’s All Starz return Aug. 8 for a night of R&B, classic rock and oldies, and swing favorite Eight to the Bar will appear Aug. 15.
The Aug. 22 event will put the spotlight on South County’s own Chris Depot and the five-piece group Dynamite Rhythm, playing oldies using a recipe of powerful vocals, smooth harmonies and clean instrumentation.
The Aug. 29 season finale will feature a perennial favorite at the Charlestown Rhythm & Roots Festival, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys. Their high-octane Cajun and zydeco and their special brand of swamp pop make them one of the most danceable bands in the summer line-up.
For more information and video clips of some of the scheduled performers, visit thetowersri.com.