Roots Report: Concert Alternatives to Boston Traffic and Parking

Don’t forget New London

Okee dokee folks… A couple of months ago I found out Kris Kristofferson was coming to the Wilbur in Boston. My girlfriend loves him and we bought tickets to the show. Going to Boston for concerts is a pain in the ass, to put it lightly, because of traffic and parking. Sometimes a performer only books a Boston show, but a couple of weeks later I found out Kristofferson is playing in Connecticut. Ticket prices and the theater are comparable, but the trip is so much easier.

The Garde Arts Center in New London should be inserted into your concert radar as an alternative to Boston. For me, Boston and New London are almost equidistant: Boston is 55 miles and new London is 61 miles. It’s easy to forget because it’s in another state, but the Garde is presenting great shows: David Crosby, Robert Cray and – the one I am really exited about – Donovan, who is only doing a handful of US dates. On June 3, the Garde hosts Donovan’s Sunshine Superman 50th Anniversary Tour! I already bought the Kristofferson tickets, so I’ll deal with Boston when I could have gone to New London. D’oh! You live, you learn. For more about the Garde, Mellow Yellow to:

Upcoming shows

On Saturday, May 6, local performers will pay tribute to the legendary Pete Seeger at Sandywoods Center for the Arts in Tiverton. Bob Kendall, Tom Perrotti, Mike Fishman, Tracy Jonsson, Kate Mick, Jan Luby, Camille and others will play songs written, made famous by, or inspired by Pete Seeger. Partial proceeds will be donated to the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Also coming up at Sandywoods: The Bohemian Quartet on May 12 and the Magnolia Cajun Band on May 13. For more: “Turn, Turn” to

The Wailin’ Jennys are Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody and Heather Masse. They are three distinct voices that together make some amazing harmonies. Starting as a happy accident of solo singer-songwriters getting together for a one-time-only performance at a tiny guitar shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, The Wailin’ Jennys have grown over the years into an international folk act. They are renowned for their live performances, and their folk-roots recordings have been critically lauded. The Wailin’ Jennys have made many appearances on Garrison Keiller’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” sharing the stage with luminaries such as Bonnie Raitt and Meryl Streep. The trio will be at the Park Theatre in Cranston on Sunday, May 7. For more, “Swing Low, Sail High” to:

For 35 years, Tryworks Coffeehouse provided New Bedford, Mass., and beyond with a venue for folk, traditional, contemporary, original and classical music. Tryworks Coffeehouse opened May 14, 1967, and closed in 2002, one of the oldest, continuously run coffeehouses in the country. A three-day 50th anniversary celebration will be held May 12-14 at the First Unitarian Church of New Bedford, 71 Eighth Street. Friday, May 12, doors 6pm, show 7pm: Open Hoot with songs, music and stories from and about Tryworks Coffeehouse. Saturday, May 13, 5pm potluck, show 7pm: Open Hoot with special guests. Sunday, May 14, 11am: church service. Guests are encouraged to arrive early for all events. Throughout the weekend reprints of the original song books, commemorative T-shirts and buttons will be available for sale. There will be a Memory Board available for anyone to add photos or memorabilia, or they can be emailed to

Discover Mashapaug Pond at the 10th and final Urban Pond Procession on May 13 (rain date May 14) from 5:30-9pm. Join the procession and celebrate Mashapaug with costumes, puppets, music, and art, starting with the sounds of the Eastern Medicine Singers near the Mashapaug Pond Boathouse behind Ocean State Plaza, 361 Reservoir Ave, Providence. Marchers are welcome, no registration required. Participants can select costumes, props and banners for the one-mile walk to Mashapaug Cove and Alvarez High School. The Extraordinary Rendition Band, What Cheer Brigade and Big Nazo puppets will lead the way. There will also be drumming and accordion from Mike Capeles and Phil Edmonds, Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts, food and more. The evening will conclude with a multimedia work. For more, parade to:

Closing out Common Fence Music’s 2016-17 season is the talented multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Mark Erelli on May 13. Experienced in a collection of American music styles ranging from western swing and bluegrass to lullabies and socially conscious folk-rock, Mark is an example of how the modern-day folk artist can translate the age-old tradition of storytelling into a mindful and relevant art form for newer audiences. His songs are timeless, uncomplicated and honest. Erelli’s dedication to his craft has brought him well-deserved notoriety as one of the hardest working solo artists in New England, earning him a reputation as a virtuoso musician, respected producer and sideman. He worked with Lori McKenna, Paula Cole and Josh Ritter, opened for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and performed everywhere from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry to London’s Royal Albert Hall. For more, get your “Tired Eyes” over to:

Live (or relive) Summer of Love Experience on May 13 at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love” in 1967. “All You Need Is Love!” The concert focuses on the iconic music from the ‘67 release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to Woodstock in ‘69. Travel back in time to tunes by The Rolling Stones, Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joplin and Hendrix to name a few. Joined by 12 or more performers including a horn section, strings, keyboardists, percussionists, background vocalists and an incredible rock rhythm section, the Summer of Love Experience recreates “note for note and absolutely live” the songs, and the psychedelically flavored spirit, of the Woodstock Generation. On May 19 you can keep heading back in time when The Bird Dogs present a tribute to The Everly Brothers. And on May 20 it’s Multi-platinum selling country singer and songwriter, Sara Evans. For more, Groove on over to:

Finally here are a few more for your consideration. Brother Sun’s final New England performance at Stone Soup Coffeehouse is Saturday, May 6, at Slater Mill in Pawtucket. At the Courthouse Center for the Arts in Kingston on May 6, it’s Custard Pie, a Led Zeppelin tribute, and, on May 13, it’s Brothers of the Road, an Allman Brothers tribute. Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland has Matthew Byrne on May 13. At the Narrows in Fall River on Friday, May 19, New Orleans group The Subdudes finally get to play their show of “cheeky rock and roll attitude and folky social consciousness” that was postponed from a couple of months ago.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

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