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The Boston Globe

Travel

Night Spot

The Rhumb Line, a watering hole for music lovers in Gloucester

It’s cramped, it’s drafty, and it hasn’t changed a bit since 1978. It’s the antithesis of North Shore prepster-chic. So why does the Rhumb Line continue to draw them in? This beloved Gloucester bar is all about the music. Over the years, big talent has graced the Rhumb Line’s small stage, including Billy Joel, Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Luther “Guitar” Johnson, Randy Newman, and Bobby Hebb of “Sunny” fame.

There’s an artist or band onstage seven nights a week, and “any given night, you will hear musicians who will blow you away,” says Cindy Sisco of Marblehead, a Rhumb Line regular. Every night at this bar has a different character: Monday is devoted to open jam rock ’n’ roll, hosted by a local band, perhaps the Bandit Kings. There’s soul on Tuesday with Soul Force Five, and folk music on Wednesday, featuring Fly Amero, from the band Orleans, who’s sort of a godfather to Gloucester musicians. Thursday is a total blast, if you can squeeze in:  There’s a rollicking dance party with Dave Sag, who plays stand-up bass with a cavalcade of local musicians, like vocal powerhouse Diane Blue.

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