The Roots Report: Can You Hear Me Now?

Okee dokee folks… The other day my mother showed me that her mobile phone was broken and mentioned that she needed a new one. The broken device was her first ever mobile phone, and it was at least 10 years old. It still had an antenna! Mom is a bit stubborn when it comes to gadgets (and cars); she doesn’t like change and I am very much the same. I will use something until it turns to dust in my hands. I have a flip phone that I have had had for about six years now. I am often mocked for having an archaic apparatus, but I don’t care! It suits my needs and it is rugged. That phone was lost in the woods for two weeks and it still works. Anyway, my father had the bright idea of giving my mother his flip phone and he would just get a new phone. He wanted a smart phone. Ugh! So I took him to the phone store and we began the process. He picked out an inexpensive smart phone that seemed to make him happy, and then worked on the phone plan. You have to understand that my father rarely uses the phone. Most of the time it is not even on. I think its only real use is as a homing device so my mother can find him when they go to the casino. After about two hours of phone store he had his smart phone. Now I don’t think either one of them have used their new devices. Mom doesn’t know how to work the flip phone and I have no idea how to show my father how to use his smart phone. He mentioned something about wanting apps. Is he hungry? I will stick with my flip phone. I don’t really talk on the phone — I seriously hate it. I prefer texting, and my phone can do that, so I am good. I don’t want a device that is fragile; every smart phone I see has a cracked screen . I also don’t want to turn into a phone zombie like everyone else. You can take my flip phone when you pry it from my cold dead hands! Read on…

Back in the ’70s, the band Orleans was pretty hot. You remember them, don’t you? Hits such as “Dance With Me,” “Still The One” and “Love Takes Time” were radio mainstays. Their soft rock songs had great harmonies and catchy melodies. As with most bands, the ensuing years brought changes, breaks and side projects. Founding member John Hall had success with the John Hall Band and had a hit called “Crazy,” which is still on my list of all-time favorite songs. He also became a politician and was elected to the US House of Representatives for two terms. Hall still tours solo and gets together with his Orleans buddies for occasional performances. Hall recently released a memoir titled Still the One: A Rock’n’Roll Journey to Congress and Back. You can catch this rare area performance of Orleans on March 10 at The Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket.

If you are looking for something to do on St. Patrick’s day, March 17, that isn’t all that Irish, then you should check out the Femmes of Rock starring the Bella Electric Strings. They are a one-of-a-kind string act of four women who perform classic rock songs on violin, viola and cello. They cover such artists as Queen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and more. This high energy show will leave you in awe and is surely something that you will have never experienced before. For more about these shows and others, Reach over to

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about a show that I am playing on March 10. This isn’t me blowing my own horn; it’s really for the 10 other folks and the venue involved with the show. My band, Forever Young (Neil Young tribute), will be at the Greenwich Odeum with a band called Trinity (Crosby, Stills and Nash tribute). We have done this show a few times and it’s really a lot of fun. Trinity does such spot-on renditions of CSN’s material it gives me goosebumps! If you are fan of these legendary artists you will want to come to the show. We are all very excited for the show and hope you will come! While I am talking about the Greenwich Odeum, I will clue you in about more great shows coming up: The Zombies on March 8, Southside Johnny on March 16, Five For Fighting on March 17, Cherish The Ladies on March 18, The English Beat on March 24, Steve Earle on April 7 and Don McLean on April 13. Of course the schedule goes on and on. For more, Powderfinger over to

I recently wrote about open mics and I included a short list of some of them around the state. I got a little ribbing for neglecting to include the open mic at the Wood River Inn in Wyoming (yes, that is in RI!). So, here it is. The open mic at the Wood River Inn happens once a month on the first Sunday of the month and is hosted by Pete Vendettuoli (Free Radicals, Wilbur Hill, Grass Fed Men, Forever Young) and Tom Duksta (Rank Strangers, WRIU Folk DJ). The March installment takes place on Sunday, March 4 from 6pm until 10pm. So get out your guitars, mandolins and fiddles and get to The Wood! For more,

If you need to get your Irish on, then look no further than Blackstone River Theatre. Though it won’t be on St. Patrick’s day, it is in the month of March so it is in the ballpark. The Irish super group (no, not U2) RUNA, who have been enchanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music since their formation, will be at BRT on Saturday, March 3. On the 4th, Robbie O’Connell returns to BRT for a duo performance with fiddler Rose Clancy.  O’Connell was born in Waterford, Ireland, and grew up in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. In 1977, he joined the legendary Clancy Brothers with whom he recorded three albums. Clancy is a respected, high-energy musician playing fiddle, mandolin and banjo at concerts and festivals throughout the Northeast. On March 10, Irish vocalist Karan Casey hits the BRT stage. She was a founding member of traditional supergroup Solas, a band known for rousing tunes and striking renditions of traditional songs. Since Solas, Casey has carved out a unique and acclaimed place in contemporary Irish and folk music. The High Kings – Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden — will be serenading BRT audiences on March 11 for TWO shows at 4 and 8. The 4pm show is already sold out so get your tix now! For more about these shows, ceili over to

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

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