2018-12-27 / Around Town

The Music Plays on Mondays in Newport

By Mark Gorman

Julio Amaro Julio Amaro In many towns, restaurants and bars that feature live music on weekends keep Monday nights quiet. But in Newport, three venues have been featuring talented local musicians on Monday nights for years.

Guitarist-vocalist Julio Amaro has been playing at Perro Salado since 2008, first with Steve Cerelli of Honky Tonk Knights and C Note Missionaries and now as a solo act.

A relatively small venue, Perro Salado seems like a perfect spot for Amaro. "Whether it is in the crowded back bar or on the patio, there's close contact with the diners,” he said. “There is always eye contact and many folks come regularly to enjoy the music and the food."

Perro Salado manager Dan Hall was quick to sing Amaro's praises. "Julio was one of the first musicians to play at Perro when we started having music 11 years ago," he said. "He's become part of our family. Julio brings a unique style and radiates warmth, which I think our guests recognize and appreciate."

The Groove Merchants The Groove Merchants Every Monday for several years, The Groove Merchants have brought their tastefully funky sound to Broadway's Fifth Element. Originally fronted by trumpeter Doug Woolverton, The Groove Merchants now feature saxophonist Marcus Monteiro, keyboardist Jhony Keys, bassist John Sippell and drummer Joe Davis.

"We've been playing here for almost five years," Keys said. "Those Mondays are really special because of the love of the music that is expressed, both by the musicians in the band and by the Newport community."

Fifth Element co-owner Brad Cherevaty loves the excitement The Groove Merchants bring to his venue. "They're super-talented and super-consistent, while sprinkling in a few talented guests from time to time,” he said. “As a business, we're behind them 100 percent, meaning we trust them implicitly, so it allows them to do their thing."

Mike Warner Mike Warner For the past nine years, Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame drummer Mike Warner and his all-star rhythm section of keyboardist Richard Reed and bassist Dean Cassell have been rotating a strong cast of headliners into The Fastnet Pub every Monday night.

"Our current rotation includes NRBQ saxman-vocalist Klem Klimek, Dave Howard and Neal Vitullo, blues harp master Tim Taylor and rockabilly and surf guitar wiz Will Cooley," Warner said.

"The owner, Butch Murray, loves music and is very supportive of the Monday night shows," he said.

"I like the consistency of Mike and his Monday night crew,” Murray said. “It's a great night for all and we take great pride in the fact that it's still going strong after over eight years. That tells it all."

Having all this great music in town on a Monday night is what you might call a “good problem.” Why not go out and sample some for yourself?

Mark Gorman is a retired high school guidance counselor and guitarist-vocalist who performs locally each week. Mark Gorman is a retired high school guidance counselor and guitarist-vocalist who performs locally each week. To Go

Julio Amaro

WHEN: Mondays, 6-10 p.m.

WHERE: Perro Salado, 19 Charles Street

The Groove Merchants

WHEN: Mondays, 7-10 p.m.

WHERE: Fifth Element, 111 Broadway

Mike Warner and Company

WHEN: Mondays, 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m.,

WHERE: Fastnet Pub, 1 Broadway

ADMISSION: Free, all shows

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