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FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT: Acoustic duo "Knock on Wood "rocks out in Clinton Aug. 3

This is definitely not your traditional guitar-fiddle folk act.
     Howie Newman and Joe Kessler (a.k.a. Knock on Wood) have teamed up to form a lively acoustic duo that plays funny original songs (suitable for all ages) as well as well-known covers, spanning everything from the Beatles to Steely Dan to the Eagles. Their varied repertoire features excellent musicianship, pleasing harmonies and ... lots of fun.
     Knock on Wood ( will be performing a free outdoor concert at the Bigelow Free Public Library, 54 Walnut St., on Monday, Aug. 3 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
     Strict social-distancing guidelines will be followed, including a limited crowd size and marked spaces for attendees. Face masks will be required and the musicians will be placed at a safe distance from the audience. Newman (guitar, harmonica, lead vocals) is the songwriter and his engaging manner has charmed audiences all over New England. Song topics include old cars, not-so-graceful aging and his wife’s inability to parallel park.
     A former sportswriter for the Lowell, Sun, Patriot Ledger, Boston Globe and other newspapers, he will also be performing one or two of his many baseball songs, including “It’s the End of the Curse and We Know It,” an R.E.M. parody.
     Kessler plays fiddle and mandolin and sings backup vocals. He has an energetic improvisational style that includes folk, rock, jazz and bluegrass. Kessler has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada as well as eight other countries, performing with Morphine, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the Boogaloo Swamis and many others.
     “We’re not the traditional guitar-and-fiddle combo,” says Newman. “Joe and I like to keep things up-tempo, do a lot of rock covers and get the audience involved. The idea is to play some great music and have fun.”
For more information about Knock on Wood, including videos, music samples, photos and the upcoming schedule, visit
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