For the past quarter of a century, the Annual Rockport Acoustic Music Festival has been held in the historic North Shore town of Rockport, Massachusetts. This year on Sunday, August 21st from noon to 6 pm, musicians will convene once again for the celebration of acoustic music. This long-running festival features regional musicians whose styles range from folk to pop to rhythm & blues. This year’s lineup includes several festival favorites such as Brian King and his unique blend of pop, folk, punk, ambient, and cabaret, Redheaded Stepchild, an acoustic blues band started in 1996 by Kathryn Koch and David Nanni, and John, Josh & Caroline, whose music ranges from folk to blues to British music hall.
In addition to performing at past Rockport Acoustic Music Festivals, many of this year’s musicians are well-known, seasoned performers. John Hicks, Josh Brackett, and Caroline Haines, for instance, each had folk careers reaching back to the 1960s and 1970s before they formed the trio John, Josh & Caroline in 2001. In particular, lead singer/songwriter Josh Brackett was involved in the 1960s Cambridge folk music scene. In fact, legend has it that he gave one of folk music’s biggest stars, Joan Baez, an extra boost of confidence before she made it big. As Brackett recalls, after hearing the teenage Baez play in Cambridge, he offered, “Joanie, you’re pretty good at this. You could even do it for a living.”
Other performers on this year’s bill include the Bob Kramer Band; Brian O’Connor; Greta Bro, Peter Meyer & Friends; Jim Dierdorff and Benny the Wonderdog; Livin’ on Luk; Mike Kirsch and Friend; Pulse Pursuit — John Holland/Lisa Bouchie; Singin’ Sargeant Tony Hilliard, and Sonny Fishcake’s Music Revue. The Festival is a nonprofit project managed and staffed entirely by volunteers and is free of charge. It will be held at Millbrook Meadow, across from the Front Beach in Rockport.