The Roots Report: When I Was Young: Some advice for phone-addicted youth who want to pick their heads up and start a band

schoolofrock52281543449220 Okee dokee folks… I find myself often starting sentences with the phrase, “When I was young.” Just one of the realities of aging, I guess. Anyway, when I was young, when we wanted to start a band we would just ask schoolmates who played the instruments we wanted to have in the group, we met up in a garage or basement and we let the noise commence. Once I managed to get two guitarists, a keyboardist, a drummer, a bassist and a vocalist together to try to start a band. I think we had one rehearsal — if we could actually call it that — but it was too much to organize, despite the mail-order book I bought titled How To Form a Band!

These days I don’t hear of many kids starting garage bands. Even if they wanted to start a band, there aren’t as many young musicians as there were when I was young. That is the beauty of The School of Rock (TSOR). It teaches young people how to play instruments and how to be in a band and gets bands together. Motif has had TSOR bands at our annual music awards for the past few years and every year I am amazed at the talent of these teens. I will always remember meeting one member of TSOR, Tori, a 15-year-old guitarist whose Les Paul was bigger than her. She was a shy girl with braces, but when she got on stage she ripped through Led Zepplin like Jimmy Page. I was floored. If you want to witness teenage talents live and in person, The Attleboro School of Rock will be giving a free concert and hosting an instrument petting zoo in the Central Mall area of the Warwick Mall on Wednesday, February 20, from noon to 2pm. This event will be entertaining and inspiring and also celebrates the upcoming engagement of School Of Rock the musical (not affiliated with the Schools of Rock education facilities) at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) February 26 – March 3. For more about the School of Rock musical, “Mount Rock” to To learn about School of Rock educations, “Stick It To The Man” at

We are quickly approaching the month of March when spring begins and things start to turn green. It is also the time when green is the festive color and celebrating all that’s Irish is where it’s at. The Irish Ceilidhe Club of Rhode Island is hosting Colm Keegan (from PBS’s Celtic Thunder) as he tours New England with his new solo show, Irish History Through Music. He will be in RI on Tuesday, March 5, and is offering daytime language workshops as well as a concert/lecture. That same week, on Friday, March 8, The Irish Ceilidhe Club will host its fifth Annual Irish Film Feis in partnership with the RI International Film Festival (RIIFF). The Club Pub will open at 6:30pm on the lower level, where attendees can get a drink from the full bar and free snacks. There will be live traditional Irish music featuring Jimmy Devine on fiddle and friends before the show, during intermission and for an hour or so after the festival. For more, “Toora Loora Lay” to

Common Fence Music is back and they invite you to shake off the wintertime blues and join them for a fun night of live music with Mike + Ruthy. The Hudson Valley-based songwriters are a true genre-bending act. The internationally acclaimed duo is composed of wife and husband pair Ruth Ungar (a second-generation fiddler/singer and daughter of Grammy-winning composer Jay Ungar) and Mike Merenda (a multi-instrumental wordsmith regarded as one of the best songwriters of his generation). Also known as the leaders of folk supergroup The Mammals, Mike + Ruthy bring an energy and excitement that will have the audience moving and the rafters shaking. The show will take place at the Vasco da Gama Society, Fenner Hall, 15 Fenner Avenue in Newport. For more, “What Are You Waiting For?”, get to

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

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