The Roots Report: Spring Roots Are Growing

Okee dokee folks… Officially we have about three weeks until spring. It may be hard to tell when it does arrive because of the screwy winter that we have had thus far. Flowers were blooming in the snow and bugs were buzzing. One day it was t-shirt weather and the next it was nine below. I never even got to take my snowshoes out! There really wasn’t enough snow and what we did have didn’t linger long. Now that I have written this, Mother Nature will probably take note and whack us with an April Fool’s blizzard again. There’s a lot of music coming up this spring, so I will dispense with the usual meandering rant and get right to it. Read on…

We’re dabbling in something new. If you’d like to check out any of these artists on Spotify, take a gander at this playlist:

I am thrilled about a show that is coming to the Greenwich Odeum this spring. Todd Rundgren!!! Other than seeing him perform as part of Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band, I have never been to a Todd show. That just whetted my appetite for more! I was so excited that I watched the FOUR-hour bio-video, “Todd,” on YouTube. If you are a Rundgren fan, then you have to watch it. Todd is known for songs such as “Can We Still Be Friends?,” “I Saw The Light,” “Bang The Drum All Day,” “We Gotta Get You A Woman,” “Real Man” and one of MY all time favorite songs, “Hello It’s Me.” You may also know him from his time in the Nazz (“Open My Eyes”), Utopia (“Love Is The Answer,” “One World”), or New Cars bands. Besides being an amazing musician and songwriter, he is a musical innovator, pioneer and genius. He produced albums such as Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell, XTC’s Skylarking, Patti Smith’s Wave, The Band’s Stage Fright, Grand Funk’s We’re An American Band, and many, many others. He built a million dollar home video studio (with his Bat Out Of Hell cash) on the cusp of the video revolution. His video for the song “Time Heals” was the eighth played on MTV. This is a must-see show and it is my TOP pick for the spring season. Rundgren will be at the Odeum in East Greenwich on Friday, May 20. I would not hesitate; get your tix NOW! Big kudos to the folks at the Odeum for bringing in this show. Also coming up at the Oedum are Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky on March 4, Jorma Kaukonen on March 6, Yesterday Beatles Tribute on April 1, Roger McQuinn on April 9, Playing Dead Grateful Dead Tribute on April 16 and Martin Sexton on May 7. For more, mink hollow over to theodeum.orgTodd_Rundgren_at_Revolution_Live

The Providence Performing Arts Center and the Veterans Memorial Auditorium both have a slew of great shows coming up this spring. But before I even get to that you will want to mark September 14 on your calendar and get tix for the Weird Al Yankovic show NOW. Ok, you may say, “Umm, why would I want to see him?” (Actually, someone did say that to me.) Weird Al is one of the BEST shows I have EVER seen. Check out my online review (8/18) of his performance at the Zeiterion last August. It was extremely entertaining and FUN, Mandatory Fun! In the meantime, you can enjoy performances by Diana Ross, Roseanne Cash, Gordon Lightfoot, Joe Satriani and Brit Floyd. And for you guitar geeks out there, you can worship at PPAC with Generation Axe — A Night of Guitars featuring Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi on May 8, and Joe Banamassa on May 21. For a complete listing of Vets and PPAC shows, Eat It over to PPACRI.org

If you are fan of Queen as I am, then you have two chances to experience One Night Of Queen. I was very fortunate to see the real thing a few times. Freddy Mercury is still unrivaled as a lead singer and showman. No matter who the remaining members try to plug into Freddie’s spot, it will never be the same. This is where tribute acts work. They try to give you a taste of the real thing instead of some other famous front man’s interpretation. This show promises “the Queen experience — the sound and the look, combined with the showmanship, pomp, style and incredible musicianship that is the hallmark of Queen.” Catch One Night Of Queen April 5 at the Zeiterion in New Bedford and April 9 at the Stadium in Woonsocket. Both are great venues to see a show. Coming up at the Z: A Saint Patrick’s Day Sojourn, The Gipsy Kings, Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, Doo Wop 12,Paul Rishell and Annie Raines, Antonio Zambujo, Bohemian Quartet. For more, Innuendo to zeiterion.org At the Stadium is Dublin City Ramblers, John Denver Experience, Charlie Daniels Band and The Summer of Love Concert, which focuses on the iconic music from between the ‘67 release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and Woodstock in ‘69. For more, Bicycle Race to stadiumtheatre.com

The Met and Lupo’s always have a full schedule. Some of the roots related highlights at The Met are Bruce in the USA Springsteen Tribute on March 4. It may not be the real thing but the music is and you will be a lot closer and more comfortable than in a stadium! Thursday, March 24, catch The Felice Brothers. On Tuesday, April 5, witness Jonathan Richman, best known as the founder of the Modern Lovers (Roadrunner) and as the “Greek Chorus duo” in the Farrelly Brothers’ film Something About Mary. Richman will be joined by Tommy Larkins on the drums. At Lupos on April 17 is Buddy Guy with Quinn Sullivan. May 13 brings in Kevin Roosevelt Moore, better known as Keb Mo’. There’ll be some great blues playing at this one! May 18 has The Rides featuring Stephen Stills, Barry Goldberg and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. For more, meet me at TheMetRi.com or Lupos.com.

Stone Soup always has great music scheduled into the spring season. Coming up on the Slater Mill stage on March 19 is Bill Harley with Marty Ballou and Rachel Panitch, on April 2 is Robinson & Rohe and Ian Fitzgerald, on April 16 is Bill Staines with Molly Pinto Madigan, on April 30 is Mary Ann Rossoni with Rick Demers, and the season closer is on May 14 with Tret Fure. For more, charnockite chowder to stonesoupcoffeehouse.com. Also at Slater Mill you can enjoy some jazz on Sundays. On March 13 it’s The Bobby Keyes Trio. Guitar instrumentalist and composer Bobby B. Keyes dazzles with his American roots fusion. On Sunday, April 17 is From Blues to BeBop, featuring Jay Geils. Geils has had a multi-faceted career including four decades as founding guitarist of the legendary J. Geils Band, co-founder of the Bluestime and as a jazz guitarist and trumpeter. On Sunday, May 15, it’s the Boston Jazz All-Stars, featuring Tim Ray. Legendary pianist Tim Ray, former musical director for Lyle Lovett and Gary Burton Quintet veteran, is joined by former Gary Burton Quintet rhythm section John Lockwood on bass and Marty Richards on drums. For more, Industrially Revolute to slatermill.org.

Wednesdays and Thursdays are never dull. Nick-A-Nee’s has the Bluegrass “Throedown” every Wednesday night. In March the pickin’ is by Best Ever Chicken on the 9th, No Spare Parts on the 16th, Sinner’s Pie on the 23rd, and the RaR String Band on the 30th. For more, Facebook Nick-A-Nee’s or just head to 75 South St in PVD. The Mediator Stage and Don Tassone present the Thursday Night Open Mic with Featured Performers. On March 10, Stephan Rose does music and standup, on the 17 is Mark Greenbaum and on March 24 is Jan Luby. You can add Monday to the mix and have a chuckle or two as well. Every Monday evening it’s “Rimshot In the Dark” comedy night at The Mediator Stage hosted by Stephan Rose and James Martin with special guests. 7:30-10pm, Comedy Open Mic at 9. Ba-dum-bum over to facebook.com/mediatorstage for more.

Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland has perhaps their strongest month of programming ever. March 4 has acclaimed Scottish fiddle/cello duo Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, while award-winning contemporary Celtic band RUNA performs on March 5. Pendragon celebrates St. Patrick’s Day on March 12 and the Paul McKenna Band, called “The best folk band to have come out of Scotland in the last 20 years” by The New York Times performs March 13. Grammy-award winning violinist Mark O’Connor makes an EXTREMELY RARE small venue performance March 19 with his wife Maggie O’Connor performing a show called American Classics. Fiddle over to riverfolk.org

The Courthouse Center for the Arts is continuing to bring great music to West Kingston. On March 5 is the legendary Tom Rush. On the 12 is Led Zepplin tribute Custard Pie. On the 19 is Joni Mitchell tribute with Debra Mann. On April 2 is Cheryl Wheeler, on May 7 is John Hammond, and on April 30 is Forever Young A Tribute To The Music Of Neil Young. Deliberate to courthousearts.org for more.

Common Fence Music keeps bringing the good stuff to Portsmouth and Newport County. David Wilcox is at the Channing Church on Saturday, March 5, Mo Kenney with Cricket Blue is on March 19, the rescheduled “A Gathering of Fiddlers and Fishermen #17” with Ilana Katz Katz is on April 2, John Gorka is on April 16, Ana Egge is on April 23 and RI Music Hall of Famer, Brenda Bennett & Blue Bamboo is on May 14. For more, common sense over to commonfencemusic.org.

Music at Lily Pads in Peace Dale breaks out of their winter hibernation and gets their concert season flowing on March 5 with The Honey Dewdrops and special guest Haunt the House. The music continues with The Alan Kelly Gang (from Ireland) on March 12, on April 16 is Roosevelt Dime with special guests Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards, on May 7 is Christopher Paul Stelling and special guest Jonah Tolchin, on May 15 The Providence Mandolin Orchestra performs at 3pm, on May 28 is Pascal Gemme and Yann Falquet with Kevin Murphy (from Quebec). Bullfrog to musicatlilypads.org for more.

The Narrows in Fall River has a constant barrage of quality shows. You can’t miss here. Highlights coming up are: March 12, Leo Kottke; March 26, Pousette Dart Band; March 31, Amy Helm; April 7, Milk Carton Kids; April 9, Aztec Two-Step; April 22, The Smithereens; April 27, The SubDudes; and May 14, Chris Smither. For more, Braga Bridge to narrowscenter.org

The Paskamansett Concert Series hosted by Russ Smith will present several shows at the historic Dartmouth Grange Hall in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts during the next few months. All shows are at 7:30pm on the second Saturday of the month. Glass Bottom Boat performs on March 12. On April 9, Paskamansett presents a split bill featuring blueswoman Danielle Miraglia and singer-songwriter Matt Borrello. The May 14 concert at the Dartmouth Grange features the Atwater-Donnelly Trio. Tisket-a-tasket to paskamansettconcertseries.weebly.com for more.

Here are a few random spring shows to add to the already long list. On the first Friday of every month at Historic Warren Armory, get moving at the East Bay Contra Dance. On March 4 is Bill Fischer and Dead Sea Squirrels (eastbaycontradance.com). On Sunday, March 6, from 4 – 7pm at The German Club in Pawtucket it’s Cash is King. Legendary country rebel Johnny Cash comes to life in this re-creation show that gives the true Johnny Cash experience (salsproductions.com). Every Sunday afternoon from 3 – 5pm at Artifact Gallery in Wakefield is the Peace Dale Skyline Coffee House with an afternoon of music today (facebook.com/artifactgallerypeacedale). On March 12, catch a St Paddy’s Concert with The Gnomes and The Poormen at The Parlour at 7:30pm (theparlourricom). On March 20 is The Gnomes at Roger Williams Park Botanical Gardens from 4 – 6pm (bccrwp.org). Johnny Watson Jr. and the Watson Blues Band on March 25 at The Parlour on North Main Street (theparlourri.com). Music in the Gallery Presents Vance Gilbert at the Wamsutta Club in New Bedford on March 25 at 7:30pm. If you’re into country music, then Stars With Guitars is for you. The concert featuring Trace Adkins, Easton Corbin, Jon Pardi and Lindsay Ell, takes place on Friday, May 20 at 7:30pm at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (DunkinDonuts.Center-RI.com).

Sorry if I left anything out, just way too much to fit! That’s it for now. Go Bernie!!! Thanks for reading. www.JohnFuzek.com

Leave a Reply

Prove that you are human *

Previous post:

Next post: