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Davis & Roger Perform “Songs and Stories for a Better World”

Aug 18, 2017 06:00AM ● By Amy Bartelloni

Entertainers Davis Bates & Roger Ticknell

story and photos by Amy Bartelloni, Contributing Writer

On July 11, dynamic storytellers Davis Bates and Roger Tincknell, known as Davis and Roger, brought their show, “Songs and Stories to Build a Better World,” to the Bellingham Library. Sponsored by a grant from the Bellingham Cultural Council, the event was part of the library’s summer reading program.  The duo had been at the library three years ago, and children’s librarian Steve Fowler was happy to welcome them again.

“Davis and Roger are fun and interesting, and have kid appeal,” Mr. Steve explained. “Their program fits in well with our summer reading theme of ‘Build a Better World’ because they teach about our world through stories and songs.”

“We actually change the show depending on the audience,” storyteller Davis Bates added.  With a younger crowd, the event is more participatory, with singing and dancing, but he and partner Roger also blend in family shows and humor for the adults too.   The library’s community room was full of elementary-age kids, who were invited to sit on the floor in front and sing along.

Davis and Roger have been performing for thirty-eight and forty years, respectively.  While Roger began in bands and has a background as a music teacher, Davis became interested through the theater and a class he took in storytelling.  They play off each other, and the music and stories had the audience up and on their feet, clapping, singing, and dancing along.
Each audience member had a different favorite part. 
“I liked the instruments,” Jamison Lalakidis, 7, of Whitinsville said.  Davis introduced such instruments as the Spanish cabassa and Caribbean guivo, a hollowed-out gourd, in the hour-long program, as well as a Native American rain stick, while Roger played the banjo and mandolin.  Jamison’s brother, Logan, age 9, liked the interactive bear song, where the audience mimed the animal’s movements along with the story.

While the event kept the kids engaged, their mom, Nancy Lalakidis, also enjoyed hearing songs from her childhood that she’d forgotten about.  “The Irish drums and rain stick were interesting,” she said, “and I like how they talked about where each instrument came from.”
Though they hail from western Massachusetts, Davis and Roger perform at schools, libraries, and community settings all over the state. They can be reached through their website, at The library has many more programs going on for summer reading through August.  The calendar can be accessed online at




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