The Roots Report: Technophobia Part Deux and Some Shows

Okee dokee folks… As you may have garnered from my last column, I am a technosaur. I am no longer ashamed of it. I like things to be simple, and technology just keeps it complicated — for me anyway. I used to be into technology and the latest gadgets, but I realized that besides being complicated, it just costs too damn much to keep up with it. Back in 1990 I bought my first Macintosh computer. It had a whopping 4 megabytes of RAM memory, a floppy disk drive and a 20 meg hard drive. Pretty funny, huh? Even funnier was the nearly $2,500 that I paid for it. I was so proud of that thing until I realized that was a money pit. Software, updates, peripherals and finally it literally COOKED on a hot and humid day. Poor cooling system on the unit. After only having it for a couple of years I had to buy another one and then another one. I was doing freelance graphic design and it was a necessary tool, but it soon just got ridiculous. Another tech device that I got got sucked into was a Palm Pilot. Remember those? I thought it was going to be an awesome tool to make life more organized and simple. Hardly. That was another complete waste of money.

It was soon after this that I threw up my arms in surrender. I decided to just keep it simple. I now use an outdated, hand-me-down PC, NOT a Mac. I keep a pad and a pen in my pocket for notes, not some expensive, confusing device. I continue to be old school with music promotion as well. While I do engage in some online promoting, I prefer printed advertising-posters, postcards, flyers, newspaper ads. I still believe they work. I have tried online, targeted marketing and am not really thrilled with the results. I see more return with printed pieces. I feel it is better to get something physical into people’s hands.

I like to see posters for events in businesses. Many of the most interesting shows I have been to were because of a poster I just happened to see. One of the best examples of this was a simple, black and white, hand lettered flyer that was posted over a patchwork of other posters on a corkboard at a college. It advertised that Stephen Stills would be playing at noon in CCRI’s cafeteria at the Lincoln campus to support some politician (can’t remember who). I didn’t think that it really could be THE Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame playing in a cafeteria, but curiosity got the best of me and I went. Yup, it was THE Stephen Stills alright, and he played solo, for about 20 minutes, to a bunch of mostly oblivious kids eating lunch. I thought it was amazing and it was the first time that I got to meet Stills. If I hadn’t have seen that flyer, I would never have had that experience.

Recently I was putting up show posters, and everywhere I was putting them up there were already posters for a performance by Shen Yun at PPAC. While I didn’t attend this show, I sure did know about it because it seems like they postered the entire state! You need to keep your eyes open in this world. Not everything that is interesting happens on that little screen that keeps you oblivious to the world around you. Look up and around! Read on…

A few years back, David Tessier and a crew of locals put together an amazing production of Andrew Lloyd-Weber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. It was unlike any that I had seen before, and it was by far one of the most enjoyable of the many productions of it I’ve seen over the years, and I had the opportunity to experience it live with both Ted Neely and Carl Anderson reprising their roles from the 1973 film. This time around, Tessier is working with The Wilbury Theatre Group and will be presenting Jesus Christ Superstar for two nights only on March 30 and 31 at The Wilbury Theatre. The 2018 JCS band and cast includes David Tessier as Judas, Jared Robinson as Jesus, Shannon Hartman as Mary, Nate Goncalo, Paulo Sousa, Joe Auger, Ricardo Pitz-Wiley, Mark Carter, Valerie Westgate, Joe Short, Justin Grankewicz, Scott Morency, Sarah Leach, Tom Grace, Paul Sousa, Ava Callery, Sara Brennan, Julia Bartoletti, Rae Mancini, Phoenyx Williams, Dom Panzarella, Garret Mattson, Erin Erban, Tobias Andrews, Frank Moniz, Thomas Grace, Alex Tirrell and Jon Patrick Brennan. This is Rhode Island, after all, and chances are that you know someone in the cast/band, so you should get out to support this show. But you really will want to be there just because, like last time, I am sure that it will be something that you will never forget. Get your tix now for this show! For more, “walk across my swimming pool” to

Going to squeeze a couple of more places and shows in here before I run out of space! At the Pumphouse in Wakefield, there are two back-to-back performances that you should not miss. Up from Baltimore, The Honey Dewdrops hit the PH stage on Saturday, March 17. Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish, The Honey Dewdrops, present tight harmonies and accompaniment that includes clawhammer banjo, mandolin and guitars that get to the heart of the song. Hometown legend Sarah Potenza needs no introduction after her many appearances at Rhythm and Roots Festival and other iconic RI venues. Her performance on “The Voice” showed her talent to the world. The music she and her husband Ian write together is relentlessly entertaining rock ‘n’ roll. She’s touring the country now in support of her latest album, Monster. Sarah and Ian will be at the PH on March 18. If you have been waiting for a chance to make your own mark at the PH, then get there on March 31 for their monthly Pot Luck and Open Mic! For more, “Tear The Roof Off” and get to

Over across the Big Ol’ Braga Bridge in Fall Riv’ the Narrows Center has a couple of great shows on tap. The vintage Americana and ever-evolving sounds of the Dustbowl Revival come to the 3rd floor stage at The Narrows on the Ides of March (15th). On March 23, South Carolina-based indie folk duo Shovels & Rope, whose name sounds like the implements of a hangin’ and ironically have a song called “Botched Execution,” bring their soulful Johnny Cash and June Carter style harmonies to the Fall River venue. For more, “Gasoline” to

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

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