The Roots Report: Can You Lend a Hand?

Okee dokee folks… I would like to thank all the folks who made the fifth annual Providence Folk Festival such an amazing day — the volunteers, the performers, the sponsors (Motif being one of those!) and of course, the audience. Now let’s talk volunteers. The coffeehouse season is about to begin, and many venues operate with the help of volunteers. Folks have a misconception that there is a lot of money floating around in the music world, but on the smaller scale, and by that I mean coffeehouses and small acoustic music rooms, it is tough for artists and presenters to break even. That is why volunteers are so crucial. Volunteering is fun, helps others, helps keep live music venues running, builds a community and it’s just a good thing to do.

So if you go to see live music somewhere and they ask for volunteers, sign up! A friend of mine came out to see my band at the beginning of June and started helping to sell t-shirts. She had fun, and that lead to her working the merch booth all day long at the Providence Folk Festival. It was a lot of work, but she enjoyed herself, and so did the other volunteers who helped at the booth. Last weekend the Rhythm and Roots festival at Ninigret Park in Charlestown had more than 400 volunteers, and that is still not quite enough! So, here’s what you are all going to do: Go out and support live music and the venues. If they need help, step in and lend a hand. At least put your own damn folding chair away! Read on…

This is the transitional time of the year when summer ends (yay!!!). There are a few festivals left, and then the coffeehouses start percolating their new seasons. Here are just a few events and upcoming shows at some of the area venues.

On Saturday, September 15, from noon until 4pm, Local Brew’s 8th annual Fiddle ‘n’ Folk Fest will take place at Haines Park in Barrington (near the Cove Haven Marina). This year’s fest features Old Dog Daddy and the Dagnabbits, Golden Bantams, Mini-Magnolia, Chris Capaldi, Sunday Night Jammers, Hollow Turtle, Trio of Gnomes, Old Fiddlers Club of RI, storytelling by Len Cabral, food trucks, craft vendors, dancing and kids activities. There will be an all-level fiddle jam with Michelle Kaminsky from 10:30 to noon. Bring a chair and a blanket and enjoy the day overlooking Narragansett Bay. This year, the festival is part of Playing for Change Day, an international event where musicians and music lovers unite for a day of music around the world. The day’s events are free! For more, rosin up to facebook.com/FiddleNFolkFest.

I am going to plant the bug in your brain for a few shows and venues to check out this season. Get out, enjoy and support! At The Pump House is Saddle Up the Chicken on September 16, The Indestructibles on September 22 and Open Mic/Pot Luck on September 29 (pumphousemusicworks.com). Common Fence Music has Cowboy and Lady on September 15, The Lied To’s/Cardboard Ox on October 13 and Full Moon Festival on November 3 (commonfencemusic.org). Blackstone River Theatre has Mediaeval Babes on September 15, Emerald Rae/Torrin Ryan on September 22, Mary Lee Partington and guitarist Ed Sweeney/Chris and Merdith Thompson on September 29 (riverfolk.org). The Narrows Center for the Arts has The Garcia Project on September 14, NRBQ on September 22, Nils Lofren on September 26 and George Winston on October 26 (narrowscenter.org). The Zeiterion has The Music of Cream on October 6, Tower of Power on October 13 and Boz Scaggs on November 9 (zeiterion.org). The Route 44 Music Series has John Davidson on September 20 (HearInRhodeIsland.com). The Stadium in Woonsocket has Chicago Total Access on September 14, Summer of Love Experience on September 29 and The Little River Band on October 20 (stadiumtheatre.com). PPAC has Diana Ross on October 5 and Louis Black on November 8 (ppacri.org). At The Vets is Chris Botti on October 3, Mary Chapin Carpenter on November 7 and Lake Street Dive on November 11 (thevetsri.com). The Greenwich Odeum has David Bromberg on September 22, Jorma Kaukonen on October 4 and Average White Band on October 11 (greenwichodeum.com). Courthouse Center for the Arts has a Bob Seger Tribute on September 22, Hal Ketchum on September 27 and Maria Muldar on October 12 (courthousearts.org). Music in the Gallery at the Wamsutta Club has Quebec’s Genticorum on September 14 and James Keelaghan and Jez Lowe on October 5 (for info: korolenko8523@charter.net). The Park Theatre has Felix Cavaliere & Gene Cornish’s Young Rascals on September 22, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy on October 14 and UB40 on November 4 (parktheatreri.com). Rhode Island Music & Arts Festival, which will take place September 14 and 15 at the India Point Park in Providence, has Ripe, Passafire, Ryan Montbleau Band, Adam Ezra Group, Hayley Jane and the Primates, Yes Darling, The Big Takeover, Melt, Avi Jacobs and TJay & The Tallboys (grandfestivals.com).

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com

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