Roots Report: Darkness Is Coming

Okee dokee folks … Daylight Savings Time will end in a few days. I heard a lot of jokes that involve Daylight Savings and politics, most involving setting the country back in time to the 1950s. I am sure we are all tired of politics now, and I don’t have very high hopes for this election. I will vote and I will vote for my candidate of CHOICE, not out of fear and not for any party obligation. Whichever way things go I am really hoping that — and I know that I say this a lot — protest music comes back into fashion. No matter who wins, there is a lot that needs to be said.

Earlier this year it seemed that revolution was inevitable, but complacency soon took over again. Instead of rallying against the status quo, folks just rolled over and accepted things. We need that to change and we need change in general, and the two major parties are not going to give it to us. In a way, I wish I was younger and had more energy to join in the street fight, but I will just have to use my words to protest.

We have evidently entered the Anthropocene epoch. This is when human activities have made a significant impact on the Earth, its life and its ecosystems, and tipped the balance. The status quo is killing us and the planet. Depressing, isn’t it? All I will say is seriously think about who you are voting for. We have been duped for far too long. In the words of Bob Marley, “Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight!” OK, I guess I should talk about music now. Read on…

Music at Lily Pads will present the folk duo Sally Rogers and Claudia Schmidt in a rescheduled concert in an intimate setting, Painted Karma, a block from Lily Pads on Friday, November 4. Schmidt and Rogers are celebrating their 35th year of singing together. They met in 1980, each touring separately, and quickly developed a friendship and musical sisterhood that, while interrupted by life choices and geographical distances, has endured. Their fourth CD (together) came out in May, and they weave intricate harmonies, dulcimers and guitars. For more, hop to MusicAtLilyPads.org

One of my favorite venues is the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River. This month, the Narrows celebrates its 15th anniversary with two weeks of musical celebrations, as well as a gallery exhibition that outlines the venue’s history. The exhibition, titled “TIMELINE: Celebrating the Narrows,” will be on display beginning November 5 and remain until the New Year. This photographic, video, audio and narrative exhibition will tell the story of the hard-working volunteers who helped and still help make the Narrows what it is: art, music and community. Relive the first open-mic performance, as well as sold-out concerts featuring some of the biggest names in music. The Narrows Center’s 15th Anniversary Concert Series includes nine spectacular shows, integrating familiar and beloved acts with new and rising performers. It will kick off on Wednesday, November 9 with blues goddess Samantha Fish, who has become a fan favorite among the venue’s young singer-songwriters. Thursday, November 10 welcomes a fresh face: Kat Wright and Indomitable Soul Band hit the Narrows stage for the first time, demonstrating the venue’s enthusiasm in supporting new names, as well as up-and-coming performers. There will be a double bill on Friday, November 11, with Girls, Guns and Glory, along with Rockabilly Hall of Famer Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys. On Sunday, November 13, the Blues Brunch is back by popular demand and will feature Neal and the Vipers and an all-you-can-eat buffet provided by Morton’s Fork Catering. Space is limited and tickets must be purchased by Friday, November 11 at 3pm. On Monday, November 14, Louisiana native and Delta Blues enthusiast Tab Benoit returns for his second performance of the year. The New Orleans spirit continues on Wednesday, November 16, with the Squirrel Nut Zippers. This band is bound to get the crowd dancing. On Thursday, November 17, Los Lobos joins the celebration with their annual high-energy performance that always sells out. The Friends of the Narrows Annual Event will be held on Friday, November 18, featuring contemporary Americana musicians Jeffrey Foucault and Kris Delmhorst. This invite-only, complimentary concert celebrates and thanks the special group of people who contribute a significant portion of funds necessary to keep the business operating. During this event, the Narrows will draw their Season Pass Raffle winners. Among the six potential prizes, the first two places include two free tickets to every concert for an entire year. First prize also includes five reserved tables. Season pass raffles will be on sale until this event and can be purchased online, over the phone or in the box office. On Saturday, November 19, the concert series will conclude with a performance by the legendary Tom Rush, a gifted musician and storyteller. Tickets are on sale for all of the concerts in the anniversary series. The Narrows Center is located at 16 Anawan Street in Fall River. The venue has free parking and a BYOB policy. For more,  bridge over to NarrowsCenter.org.

Common Fence Music presents Patty Larkin, folk-urban pop singer-songwriter and guitar slinger, on Saturday, November 5. Upon graduation from the University of Oregon, Larkin moved to Boston and devoted herself to music, busking on the streets of Cambridge and studying jazz guitar at Berklee College of Music and with Boston area jazz guitarists. Patty is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music, where she is now an Artist in Residence. Patty has earned 11 Boston Music Awards and has been honored by Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino with “Patty Larkin Appreciation Day” in recognition of her philanthropic contributions to non-profit organizations. Patti’s 13th album, Still Green, is a collection of new songs that “chronicle Patty’s search for relief, respite and solace.”

Also at CFM, on Saturday, November 19, is A Gathering of Fiddlers and Fishermen #18 with MC Mike Laureanno. He is a 2016 Kerrville New Folk Finalist and a 2016 Woody Guthrie songwriting contest winner. The Irish session, hosted by Jack Wright, Debbie Spitznagel and Tom Maguire, begins at 6:30pm with pre-show drumming  by Dennis Melucci and Dave Turano. This year’s line-up also includes Olivia Baxter and Elias Cardoso, Eye of the Sun Fife and Drum with Brad Maloney and Matt McLaren, Greg Ferreira, Ron Marsh, Timmy May, Dennis Melucci of Rhythm Circle Percussion Ensemble, Otis Read, The Tiffany Rozenas Family Band, Slackwater String Band, Mathilde and Julia Tash, Micky Scotia, Dave & Phil Turano, and Mike Fischman & Ed McGuirl. This usually sells out, so get your tix now! For more, stockade over to CommonFenceMusic.org

I am out of room so I will squeeze in a couple more must-see shows! Pianist/Composer Robin Speilberg will tinkle the ivories at the Courthouse Center for the Arts on Saturday, November 5 (CourthouseArts.org). One of the best singer-songwriter and vocalists around today, Patty Griffin will be at the Columbus Theater on Saturday, November 5. Griffin got her start in Boston’s coffeehouses and recorded two of the best CDs from the ’90s: Flaming Red and Living with Ghosts. She also performed with Robert Plante in Band of Joy. You really don’t want to miss this one (ColumbusTheatre.com). The Empire Revue presents the Fashion Show on Sunday, November 6. See what Keith Munslow and the Sparkling Beatniks have cooked up for this incarnation of the highly entertaining and hysterical monthly show (AS220.org). The Sweet Little Variety Show offers up its November show on Thursday, November 10 with The Dust Ruffles, dancer Heidi Martini, Closer to Home, Elizabeth Keiser and the RI Ukelele Armada. The Sweet Little Variety Show is a monthly feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, body-positive cabaret and is held at Aurora in Providence (facebook.com/sweetlittlevarietyshow).

That’s it for now. I hope that Rudy Cheeks makes a quick recovery. Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com

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