From Rhode Island Monthly – September 25, 2018 (Photo: RI Monthly/Chris Vaccaro)
THE KNICKERBOCKER MUSIC CENTER STILL ROCKS – The Westerly icon was revamped for a twenty-first-century crowd
By Kaitlyn Murray / RI Monthly
WESTERLY — According to Merriam-Webster, “Knickerbocker” is an old-school nickname for a New Yorker, or, more specifically, a descendant of New York’s early Dutch settlers (supposedly because they were known to wear loose, short trousers called “knickers”). So how, pray tell, did such a designation become the name of a beloved blues institution in downtown Westerly?
On a sunny June afternoon, Mark Connolly, executive director of the Knickerbocker Music Center, meets me on Westerly’s Railroad Avenue underneath the club’s iconic neon sign. Instead of heading inside, however, he beckons me to follow him to the left side of the building. As I turn the corner, I see that it is emblazoned with a magnificent, sprawling silhouette-style mural.