They’re loving life as the Kings and Queens of Rock and Roll

They’re loving life as the Kings and Queens of Rock and Roll

Members of the Kings and Queens of Rock and Roll are, from left, singer Jess Lopes, drummer Danny Desrosiers, drummer Kyle Page, guitarist/singer/leader Patrick Baron, and keyboardist/singer Doug Mclellan.

PAWTUCKET – The smiles on the faces of the band members tell the story. When they’re singing and playing rock music, nothing can get them down.

The Kings and Queens of Rock and Roll is a band formed two years ago at Resources for Human Development Rhode Island, or RHD-RI, a day program that serves people with developmental disabilities by giving them access to music and the arts.

Patrick “Pat in the Hat” Baron, as he’s known to band members, said this group has come a long way since they first started playing. They’re now taking their unique sound and making a name for themselves at local events, delighting audiences by playing everything from famous rock tunes to up-tempo Christmas carols.

“I’ve been around rock and roll all my life,” said Baron. “They’re all just as rock and roll as anyone I’ve been around.”

Members of this band “have so much passion and live for the music,” said Baron.

Though Baron helps out on guitar, members say he’s their band “roadie,” and is not allowed to be a full-fledged member of the band. Most band members started out knowing little about music, he said, but have steadily improved.

Band members include drummer Danny Desrosiers, keyboardist/singer Doug Mclellan, singer Jess Lopes, and drummer Kyle Page.

Watch the Kings and Queens play their rendition of “Who’s the King of Rock and Roll.

The formation of the band fits the mission of RHD-RI well, said Baron, providing a creative outlet for members. He said this is “truly an amazing, inspiring, funny group” and brings needed perspective.

“They’ve helped me be more positive in my life,” he said.

Each member of the Kings and Queens has a story to tell, said Baron. For instance, Page came down with bacterial meningitis at age 3, and his life has not been the same since. But despite his intense challenges, Page never gives up, said Baron, maintaining his cheerful attitude as he communicates in the ways he can. Page assists drummer Desrosiers with the band’s beat, tapping his drum with a stick held in his mouth.

Baron said members of the group love playing their tunes in Pawtucket, a city they say gives them every opportunity to be be themselves.

“We love Pawtucket,” he said. “Where else can you find Duke Robillard, Tony the Dancing Cop, and the Kings and Queens of Rock and Roll?”

RHD-RI programs were previously located at the American Insulated Wire complex, but were forced out to make way for the redevelopment of that mill. The organization is now located at 24 Commerce St. in the Kellaway Center, a facility now owned by the Isle Brewers Guild. For more on RHD-RI, visit www.rhd.org .

Patrick Baron, above, provides accompanying vocals and guitar playing to the Kings and Queens of Rock and Roll. Baron says the group provides adults with developmental disabilities a creative outlet and has given them new skills in making music.
Members of the Kings and Queens of Rock and Roll play "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
Drummer Danny Desrosiers feels the beat.