This weekend, the masses are heading to Newport for a number of great live music events, including OldJack’s Newport Nights, a 2-night music series produced by Narragansett Beer, SXNE, and PVDlive. In it’s 5th consecutive year, Newport Nights takes place this Friday and Saturday at Jimmy’s Saloon, kicking off at 8pm each night.
We caught up with the event creator, Dan Nicklin of the Boston band Oldjack.
PVDlive: How did Newport Nights originate?
Nicklin: In 2012, I was looking to start developing a small series of annual shows. Our manager Crystal Margolis and I had thrown a show as SXNE, and had worked with Pete Boyd from Narragansett Beer on a lot of collaborations, so that fit just came naturally.
I saw Tigerman WOAH play for the first time at Church [a former bar in Boston] that spring, and after the show, we were out back in the parking lot singing and hanging out and I asked if they wanted to play this Newport show we were throwing.
The rest is history… although, we did get kicked out of the parking lot… I think it was the floor tom.
PVDlive: The event poster, created by artist and Newport Nights performer Dan Blakeslee, has gotten a lot of buzz. What’s your history with Dan, and what was the creative vision/process for this art?
Nicklin: If you have ever been in a room with Dan or seen one of his shows, his overwhelming energy has probably infected you in some way. Plus, he is an Outlaw [from The Outlaw Roadshow) so that makes him family. He is such a magical personality in this area, which probably explains the magic carpet sailor from the poster. As far as the vision… its Dan’s, so we told him the bands, dates, and venue, and gave him total creative liberty.
You don’t tell a tiger how to eat meat, you just stay out of the way.
PVDlive: The Newport Nights lineup features local bands and national acts from New York, Nashville, etc. What is your criteria for booking a band to play Newport Nights?
Nicklin: As the original Newport Nights band, Tigerman WOAH is a staple. Other than that, SXNE always tries to include New England bands, but basically, it’s just about rock n roll.
PVDlive: There seems to be a strong bond between the Providence and Boston music scenes. Any thoughts on that?
Nicklin: Recently, the sound out of Providence and the scene has been so strong; if you are not paying it attention you are missing it. It’s almost like a Nashville north. That seems to spill over into the Boston clubs. Really, it’s about New England Music.
PVDlive: How has your experience been playing in Newport?
Nicklin: The crowd is always full of people who love music and are seeking it out live. That is always a huge plus.
PVDlive: What can we expect from Oldjack in the near future?
Nicklin: We are about to start mastering our new record that we finished mixing this past week. That will release some time in September.
PVDlive: We look forward to checking that out and we can’t wait to see you on Friday!
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door
Interview by Michael Panico
Edited by Sarah Goodrich