Roots Report: Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution

Okee dokee folks … The genie is out of the bottle. Hopefully the revolution that is happening continues to gain steam and grow. I think that we are in for a wild summer. I also think this revolution needs an original soundtrack like the 1960s had. Music and art can energize action and inspire change. I’m working on my contributions and hope more songwriters jump on board. I use my music to spread a message and sometimes I perform it in support of a candidate. I am a Bernie believer and I will be playing a Bernie event again as will be a few others (see below). Rhode Island’s primary is coming up and I hope that you are all registered to vote. Even if you are registered PLEASE check your status now as some shady things have been happening at the polls around the country. Things NEED to change and revolutions only succeed when the will of the people is strong. Music and art will help fuel the strength. Read on …

There are two music events happening this month in support of Bernie Sanders. Why am I only talking about Bernie? Because I think that he is the only SANE choice and this is my column! On Sunday, April 24 at 5pm there’s RI Rocks for Bernie III — Bernie’s Beach Party at the Bon Vue in Narragansett. Performing at this show are The Silks, Panoramic View, Ed McGuirl and moi. DJ DC Roots will be spinning some tunes as well. It’s FREE and it’s family friendly from 5 – 7pm; after 7pm it’s 21+. On primary day, April 26, there is a big bash for Bernie at The Met. The ‘Mericans, Allysen Callery, Dan Paswell and Jared Paul will provide the music and our own Phillipe & Jorge will be your glorious hosts. This is a free event. Hit the polls then head over to The Met. Go Bernie!

The Gnomes

If you think posters are obsolete and that no one sees them, think again. I was in Fellini’s the other night getting a slice and while I was waiting, I glanced at the posters and came across this: “Benefit Concert for The Peace Flag Project.” I jotted down the details and checked it out online. This is from the project’s website: “The Peace Flag Project helps everyone to be a peacemaker. Einstein wrote, ‘Imagination is a preview of life’s coming attractions.’ What we can imagine, we can create. Our work is focused on imagining peace, understanding peace, creating peace and being peace. We work with people to create Peace Flags that reflect positive wishes for the world.” Sounds like a good thing! On April 30 at the Lincoln School in Providence they will present a concert with Caroline Cotter. Music has always been at the heart of Cotter’s life, alongside a passion for travel and global exploration. In the past 10 years, Caroline has lived in and traveled to 28 countries on five continents. While writing and recording her national debut album, Dreaming as I Do, she was working for the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) in Portland, Maine, which provided opportunities for international travel and further inspired Caroline’s songwriting. She quit her day job at the start of 2015 when she released Dreaming as I Do. The recording showcases original compositions inspired by globe-hopping: leaving home, coming back, leaving love, coming back, and the questions and observations that arise throughout the journey. “Caroline’s music takes you all over the world — from a Parisian salon, to an Indian ashram, to a bluegrass festival campfire, to the depths of the human heart.” Ticket prices support the Peace Flag Project. For more, wave over to thepeaceflagproject.org or carolinecotter.com

Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland has the always fun world-folk-fusion group The Gnomes on April 23. The Gnomes are led by local music mainstays Phil Edmonds and Cathy Clasper-Torch. April 30 will bring a 2pm matinee with children’s entertainer Bill Harley, who will present a Family Concert to benefit the
Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. Harley will be inducted into the Music Hall of Fame on April 24 (rhodeislandmusichalloffame.com) and will perform a set of his adult folk music that afternoon as part of the induction concerts. For more, get the folk over to riverfolk.org.

At Sandywoods in Tiverton it’s Hiroya Tsukamoto on Friday, April 22. He is a guitarist and composer originally from Kyoto, Japan. He began playing banjo when he was 13 years old and received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music and came to the US. Since then, he has been performing internationally, including several appearances with his group at the Blue Note in New York. He has released six albums and appeared on television shows internationally. Hiroya’s music is a unique style and is sometimes described as “Cinematic acoustic music.” For more, Shinkansen over to: sandywoodsmusic.com

FirstWorks presents the Aurea ensemble’s Chromatic Fantasy on Sunday, April 24 at RISD Auditorium. Aurea, Rhode Island’s own performance ensemble with a superb string quartet at its heart, explores the intense cross-pollination of art, poetry and music at the turn of the 20th century. Focusing on the fascinating output of Lithuanian composer, visual artist and writer, Mikalojus Ciurlionis (1875-1911), this new program interposes some of creations for piano, string quartet and voice with writings and projections of his highly imaginative, symbolic artwork. Works of Bach, Messiaen, Stravinsky and Estonian composer Arvo Pärt will further highlight the striking vibrancy of Ciurlionis’ unique vision and create a context both past and present for his work. For more, color over to first-works.org

Finally, here are some random shows to check out. Every Thursday night, catch singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Monti at Jacky Boy Publik House on Aborn St in Cranston’s Pawtuxet Village (jackyboypublikhouse.com). Thursday, April 21, Dave Schneider is the feature at the Mediator in PVD. William Monroe and Matteo Casini play a special 5:30pm spring concert on April 23 at the Parlour on N. Main St. Beaver Brown’s Gary Gramolini plays an acoustic set at Lindy’s Tavern in Slatersville on Sat, April 23 from 9pm to 1am. He will be joined by Bob Marks on banjo and Steve Malec on guitar and vocals. Cowboy and Lady release their CD at Nick-a-Nee’s on April 23. Joining them will be The Curtis Mayflower band. Also on April 23, Matt and Shannon Heaton will be at Bristol’s Stone Church Coffeehouse. For ticket information or to purchase tickets in advance, call 253-4813 or 253-7288. Mary Ann Rossoni, accompanied by her band, will perform at Stone Soup Coffeehouse on April 30. The Pawtucket Arts Festival presents “Curtains Up,” an awards ceremony and fundraiser, on Thursday, May 5, with music by The Moldy Suitcases (pawtucketartsfestival.org). First Friday East Bay Contra Dance will take place on May 6 at the Warren Armory with Elwood Donnelly calling and the Cicadas providing the music (eastbaycontradance.com).

I am ALWAYS looking for music to let you all know about, but for some reason the press release is becoming extinct. When publicizing any event, all means of getting the word out should be utilized because not everyone gets their info from the same source. If you are involved in producing roots music concerts, please let me know about them. Musicians, too, send me your gigs. Please DON’T send me a Facebook event invite. Send your event info to risongwriters@yahoo.com. This has been my occasional public service smack-upside-of-the-head reminder. Thank you.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com

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