Friday 6.8

The Roots

That’s not a typo.

The Roots, who serve as the house band on NBC’s “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon,” will perform at Waterman’s Bar and Grill in Waves.

Rooted (pun intended) in hip-hop, the group also knows a little something about funk, jazz and electronica.

Formed in 1987 in Philadelphia by Tariq Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the group has recorded 10 albums and has worked with artists ranging from John Legend to Elvis Costello to Dave Matthews.

On “The Tonight Show,” the outfit provides backing for a who’s who of musical guests and delivers the delicious fills and lead-ins to commercials.

Their best-known album is 1999’s “Things Fall Part,” an alternative-rap masterpiece that features stylish rapping, crazy beats and socially conscious lyrics about life in inner cities.

A track from it — “You Got Me” — won a Grammy award for “best rap performance.”

When: 6 p.m.-midnight, with the Dubplates opening

Cost: $50

Where: Waterman’s Bar and Grill, 25706 Hwy. 12, Waves

Info: (252) 987-6000,

Friday and Saturday 6.8-9, 6.15-16

Willis Gupton

“I just try to keep up the tradition of country music.”

That’s 61-year-old, Lewisburg, North Carolina-based singer-songwriter Willis Gupton describing his musical philosophy.

He performs Friday and Saturday nights during the summer at Jolly Roger Marina and Pub in Ocracoke.

Gupton’s repertoire includes tunes by such titans as Johnny Cash, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Ernest Tubb and Sammy Kershaw.

He also tips his 10-gallon hat to such “modern traditionalists” as Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Zac Brown, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton

Accompanying himself on a Martin D-35 acoustic guitar (he plays lead, rhythm and bass simultaneously), Gupton also puts his road-weary voice to good use on tunes by rock legends Bob Seger and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

In addition, Gupton has dozens of originals at his disposal.

“People just holler out requests from their tables,” says Gupton about his casual gigs at Jolly Roger. “I just love playing.”

When: 6 p.m.

Cost: No cover

Where: Jolly Roger Marina and Pub, 410 Irvin Garrish Hwy., Ocracoke

Info: (252) 928-3703,

Friday 6.8

The Wayfarers

The excellent concert series called “Pickin’ on the Porch” continues with a performance by the southern Ohio-based band.

It takes place at Bluegrass Island Trading Co. in Manteo.

The group also will play a late-night gig at Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop and Pub, which is a stone’s throw from Bluegrass Island.

Both performances are free.

The five-piece group — guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo and washtub bass — traffics in traditional bluegrass and mountain music, powered by terrific instrumentation and old-school, high-lonesome harmonies.

Standout tunes include the mid-tempo “This World is Not My Home,” which features some spiritual lyrics (“this world is not my home/I’m just passing through), and the full-out bluegrass instrumental breakdown “Wild Bacon.”

Other originals include the pretty lament “Let Me Fall” and the high-octane jam “Drive That Hammer.”

When and Where: 7 p.m. At Bluegrass Island Trading Co., 107 Budleigh Ave., Manteo; and 10 p.m. at Poor Richard’s Pub, 305 Queen Elizabeth Ave., Manteo

Cost: No cover

Info: (252) 423-3039,; (252) 473-3333,

Wednesday 6.13

Radney Foster

Put this on the list of shows not to be missed. Foster, known as one of Nashville’s sharpest singer-songwriters, is now winning acclaim as an author.

On Wednesday at Waverider’s Coffee and Deli in Nags Head, the singer-songwriter-author will offer a program called “For You to See the Stars,” which is the title of his first book and latest album.

It’s a joint venture of Downtown Books in Manteo and the Dare County Arts Council.

Foster will read, sing, play guitar and talk.

His prose is as vivid as his songwriting; the book is full of poetic passages about love, loss and life.

In one story, set in Foster’s home state of Texas, he writes: “Holy rituals are not always fun. If getting to stay up and listen to music on Saturday nights was the high point, Friday morning Bridge Club was the low.”

“It required model behavior and hygiene, neither of which came naturally to me. When it was mother’s turn to host, there was no “Captain Kangaroo” for me.”

Foster’s resume includes a string of country smashes in the ‘90s, including “Just Call Me Lonesome,” “Nobody Wins” and “A Real Fine Place to Start.”

He also scored hits (“Crazy Over You,” “Fair Shake,” “Sure Thing”) as part of the duo known as Foster and Lloyd (Bill). His songs have been recorded by Keith Urban, Dixie Chicks and Sara Evans, among others.

When: 6 p.m.

Cost: No cover

Where: Waverider’s Coffee and Deli, 3022 S. Croatan Hwy., Nags Head

Info: (252) 473-1056,

Music guru John Harper has been covering the local entertainment scene for The Coast and Virginian-Pilot since 1994. Harper also is longtime radio broadcaster and program director on the Outer Banks and can be heard on the local Triple A outlet WVOD-99.1-The Sound, and on Classic Rock 104.9 and 92.3.


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