The Knickerbocker Music Center
The Knickerbocker Café, a storied music club in Westerly, Rhode Island, was built in 1933, shortly after the end of Prohibition. The Café itself is named after a train that passed through Westerly station at the time of the Café’s founding.
The club thrived as one of the leading entertainment centers in southern New England, hosting regional and national bands with an emphasis on the blues. Some of the greats that played on the Knickerbocker stage included, Big Joe Turner, Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, Johnny Nicholas, Leon Russell, Eric Burdon and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In 1967, Roomful of Blues was born in Westerly, when guitarist Duke Robillard and pianist Al Copley started a band that played tough, no-holds barred Chicago blues. Making the Knickerbocker Café their home club, it did not take long before they started exploring swinging, jumping blues and added a horn section. Roomful would pack the house every Sunday and still plays their great brand of blues today.
Fast forward and the Cafe has become the Knickerbocker Music Center, an important affiliate of The United Theatre, allowing for centralized programming, marketing, and the coordination of physical space. Located just around the corner from the theatre, The Knick, together with The United will create a multi-venue regional campus for the arts.