BURRILLVILLE – In 1980, the Wallum Lake Fire Department asked some local musicians to play a fundraising event. Since the group that performed that day wasn’t technically a band, organizers printed the words “live music” on the tickets.
Little did they know, nearly 40 years later, the group that came together that day would still be performing as “The Live Music Band.”
“Music brought us together,” said bass guitarist and vocalist Jim Langlois, one of the original four members.
And this weekend the band, now made up of six seasoned local rock musicians, will finally get a chance to headline an important hometown venue.
Soon after that historic first show, lead guitarist Jerry Leveille joined group, which also included Joe Fidrych on vocals and Marc Brissette on drums.
The musicians, who were all friends living in or near Burrillville, initially formed a guitar band playing classic rock & roll music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Around 12 years ago, The Live Music Band added a keyboard player, and soon after, a saxophone. The additions, Langlois noted, allowed them to expand their music selection into styles such as those used by Chicago, Lighthouse, The Buckingham’s, and The Doors.
“This allowed us to reinvent ourselves and it’s been a lot of fun,” Langlois told NRI NOW this week.
Over the years, The Live Music Band has gained a following, performing at events including the Burrillville Summer Fest, the Woonsocket Autumnfest, Main Street block parties and Gaspee Days in Cranston. They play Riverwalk Concerts at the Stillwater Pavilion in Harrisville every summer, and can be heard at local night clubs, private parties and fundraisers nearly every weekend.
The group’s staying power, the bassist points out, is due, in part, to a high-energy format that keeps the crowds entertained. Their musical repertoire spans decades, but virtually every song has one thing in common: it makes you want to dance.
“Most of our music is something that makes you want to get up and go,” said Langlois.
Leveille, Fidrych and Brissette also still play with the band, which currently includes Harry Lawton on keyboards and vocals, and Matt Swanton on sax and vocals.
Of all those concerts, festivals and events over the years, Langlois says the most memorable moment for band members was actually a performance last April at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket, when The Live Music Band was featured as the opening act for Tommy James and the Shondells.
“We turned in maybe our best performance ever,” Langlois said. “The crowd response was fantastic. It was a great day.”
And on Saturday, June 15, the band will play another historic local venue, this time in the town where it all began.
Langlois, who now serves as a chairman of the town’s Redevelopment Agency, points to recent efforts to revitalize the community theater.
“The Assembly Theater is a vital part of Burrillville community and its resurgence is key to much of the future planning in the Harrisville Village area of town,” said Langlois. “We are thrilled to be part of this great theater’s renaissance, and hope a good crowd turns out to enjoy our take on the music we play, and have fun filled evening at this wonderful venue.”
Catch The Live Music Band at the Assembly Theatre on Saturday, June 15 starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be bought at the door with cash, or through Smarttix.
More information about the band and the event can be found at www.Facebook.com/