Roots Report: Happy Folking New Year

Okee dokee folks … This is my last column of 2015. This year really did fly by. Has anyone ever noticed that the older you get the faster time flies? Remember how summers seemed endless when you were a kid? Now, you blink and it’s over. I found that time passed much differently before I turned 30. It felt as if from birth to 30 years old took an eternity, but from 30 to where I am now (over 50) was a split second. Time is really relative. A may fly measures its entire life in hours. Some species of tortoises can live close to 200 years. They can have a mid-life crisis at the century mark. Even though we are granted a fairly adequate amount of time in this realm, it just never seems like enough.

This is the time of year when TV stations broadcast those depressing compilations of celebs who have died over the past year. We are shocked to learn that some of them were actually still around while others’ lives burned much too brightly and burned out too soon.

None of us know how long we will be here. We should all make the best of the time that we are given. We don’t need to make a mark or leave a legacy, but we all should at least try to be nicer and accepting of one another. In 2016 this will be more important than ever. It appears as though hate is becoming more prominent as we hear more and more of certain presidential candidates speak and encourage it. Evidently some humans are not evolving, but regressing. Evolution is real, so evolve or get out of the way! I am on a rant AGAIN.

Anyway, music is a good weapon against hate. Pete Seeger’s banjo had the words, “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender” inked onto its head. Then there is the Longfellow quote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Music can unite. Hopefully musicians will step up and write more songs about peace and love and understanding … you know, kind of like Nick Lowe. He said it perfectly when he wrote these lines forty years ago, “As I walk on through this wicked world, searching for light in the darkness of insanity, I ask myself, is all hope lost? Is there only pain, and hatred, and misery? And each time I feel like this inside, there’s one thing I wanna know, what’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?”

If you are going to make any new year resolutions, please plan to use your time wisely, do good and love. Next year will be done before you know it even began. Enough said … for now. Read on for where you can enjoy some great music that will make you happy.rootsF

Are you looking to ring in the new year with some pomp? Here are a few choices where you may do so. The Courthouse Center for the Arts in West Kingstown will hold its second annual New Year’s Party on December 31 from 8pm to 1am. In addition to heavy hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast at midnight, the evening will include non-stop music featuring the rock and blues band Neal & The Vipers, American roots singer/songwriter Grant Maloy Smith, and Hey Nineteen bandleader Dale DeJoy. For more, gavel to courthousearts.org. The very talented and multi-award winning Becky Chace has been low key as of late, but she is “singing in” 2016 with a New Year’s Eve concert at the Whaling Museum in New Bedford. It’s an earlier show, 7 – 10pm, so this can be the appetizer or main course for  your evening’s festivities. For more, harpoon over to whalingmuseum.org/calendar. The Parlour on North Main is bringing in the New Year with a bundle of great bands. Consuelo’s Revenge, The Dust Ruffles, and The Pegheads are all slated to appear. In addition, The Quahog Quire will be performing a traditional mummers play! For more, lounge over to theparlourri.com. What is being touted as the most epic and adventurous New Year’s Eve bash in downtown Providence is Chifferobe’s 2016 Leagues Under The Sea. This “underwater ball” will be set to the sounds of live jazz by New England’s finest Gypsy Jazz ensemble, Minor Swing. There will be glistening schools of fish, floating sea jellies, mermaids, brand new dance routines by Providence’s only vintage dance company, The TropiGals, and all emceed by Lulu Locks! Additional surprise performances TBA. Doors open at 9pm for an hour of cocktails and a complimentary raw bar by Walrus & Carpenter Oysters. There will be other treats and surprises in store for attendees! They recommend that you “seek out sailor attire, vintage gowns in blues and greens, and if you’re feeling particularly wild … we’d love to see a kraken or few. Of course, black tie and cocktail or vintage attire are encouraged as well.” All this happens at Aurora on Westminster St. For more, swim over to auroraprovidence.com

There are things to do this month BESIDES holiday shows and New Year’s celebrations. Here are a few. Go forth and support the music! The last open mic of 2015 is on Thursday, December 17 at The Mediator Stage, with host Elad Vilk, audio engineer Scott Lewis, and featured artist and producer of the Mediator Stage, Don Tassone.  They close out the year with a set of  Tassone’s originals called, “Songs For Seasons.” His show will be recorded live for later release on CD. Don says that he needs an audience for his live CD! The open mic performers are allowed three songs or 15 minutes each. Featured act goes on at approximately 9:15, right after a break for pie. Spoken word artists are also welcome (facebook.com/mediatorstage). The Church Street Coffeehouse at The First United Methodist Church located at 25 Church St in Warren hosts a weekly open mic with a feature every Friday night. The holidays are putting a damper on some of the shows, but you can get there on December 18 for the open mic when the featured performer will be Lourdes Pita. There is a minimal cover for operating expenses and they pass the hat for the featured performer. Doors open at 6:30pm, sign-up is at 6:40. Refreshments are available at family friendly prices (churchstreetcoffeehouse.net). Motif Music Award Winners, The Rank Strangers, will be at Nick-A-Nees on Wednesday, December 23. They bring their bluegrass sounds and hit the stage at 8:30pm (facebook.com/nickanees). You can start your year off right on Saturday, January 2 at Sandywoods in Tiverton with a New Year’s Celebration featuring Phil Edmonds and Fishel Bresler. They will be performing originals, Irish and Jewish melodies interposed with comedy (sandywoodsmusic.com).

That’s it for now. Hope that you start your year off in a good way. Enjoy and support music. Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com

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