NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

November 7, 2013

'Rising Stars' to take Belleville stage

For the past four years, the Belleville Roots Music Concert Series has been bringing eclectic blues, gospel and bluegrass music to the Belleville Congregational Church in Newburyport.

But never before have the headliners been so young.

“If parents are into getting their kids into music, then this would be a great place to bring them,” said Ken Irwin, a member of the Belleville Roots Music Committee. “They could say, ‘These people are not that much older than you are, and they are playing music and people are coming to see them. Isn’t that cool?’”

Both Berklee College of Music student, multi-instrumentalist and award-winning songwriter Molly Tuttle and 13-year-old singer-songwriter Hannah Logan will hit the Belleville stage on Saturday at 8 p.m. for an evening of roots music.

“I am really looking forward to it,” said Tuttle, 20. “I think it will be a really fun show, and Ken was talking to me about the venue and stuff, and it sounds like a great site.”

Co-founder of the national Rounder Records label, Irwin has worked to bring many well-known artists to the Belleville stage, including Della Mae, Ruthie Foster, The Gibson Brothers and the Von Trapp Children. The effort to help with the upkeep of the church’s High Street buildings soon began to take on a life of its own.

“It’s a little bit each time like reinventing the wheel,” Irwin said of the concert series. “We wanted to be different from the other coffeehouses and concert venues. We wanted to put our own stamp (on the scene) and bring in diversity.

“We’ve been bringing either Cajun or zydeco in every year during Mardi Gras time, and we’ve been doing an Irish show and a bluegrass show,” he said. “It’s (also) the only place where (my wife, Donna, and I) can put on a show and walk our dog during intermissions.”

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