Okee dokee folks … phew! I am glad that last year is over and done! Hopefully 2013 will be much, much better! For all of you, too! I am looking forward to playing lots of music, writing lots of music, and listening to lots of live music! Oh, and using lots of exclamation points!!! Read on for some suggestions on how you should begin spending your year my way! Yes, please let my opinion be your guide! HA!
The State of RI, well all of humanity really, lost a great man recently. Richard Walton passed away at the end of December. I was going to write a lot about him here, but there is another section in this issue dedicated to him. I will mention that there will be MANY fundraisers and benefits in his honor this year and in years to come. In the meantime, you can join others at the Roots Cafe for an afternoon/evening remembering the friend, mentor, teacher, and conscience that was Richard Walton. In his Facebook post, Bill Harley writes, “Stories will be told, songs will be sung, and elbows will be bent. This is a time for us to remember and honor someone we can’t replace.” Head over on Saturday, January 19th from 3 pm until 8 pm at the Roots Cultural Center, 276 Westminster Street in Providence.
If you are in the mood for a LITTLE road trip, then you HAVE to get to Boston on January 29th to see Kathleen Edwards (www.kathleenedwards.com). If you read this column often, then you know how much of a fan of hers that I am. Just a little side note: some of us Kathleen Edwards’ fans have dubbed ourselves “KedHeads.” And if you know how much I hate to go to Boston, then you can also tell how much I love her. Because of Boston’s “close” proximity, RI tends to be lumped into the Boston market for many shows and tours. We miss a lot of great shows down here because of this. Don’t miss this one. The more fans she gets down this way the more likely she’ll play closer the next time around! But just remember, if we lived in Texas (thank goodness this is NOT Texas!) the 50-mile drive to Boston would be a quick trip to the market. Edwards’ 2012 release, Voyageur has been on many, many critics’ top pick list. She played at the Narrows last October, and it was easily one of the BEST shows I have seen anywhere in a long time. The curly, red haired Canadian will be at the Brighton Music Hall for this stop on her tour. This venue is a relatively small and intimate place to catch her live. It’s pretty easy to get to as well. You can find it at 158 Brighton Avenue in Allston. For more, voyage over to www.brightonmusichall.com
The Locals (neighborhoods eats) in Centredale is the host of a new RI Songwriters Association (RISA) Series, “Listen. Live At The Locals,” every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 7 pm until 10 pm. The Locals will feature live music from various RI/MA singer-songwriters. Locals’ owner, Andrea LaFazia, is a musician herself as well as a chef. You can often find Andrea singing and strumming at the end of her long day/night at the restaurant. The Locals has featured music in the past, but with Andrea’s hectic schedule, she found it hard to constantly coordinate acts. RISA has taken over the booking and about a recent show with Hannah Devine and Kala Farnum, Andrea says, “I am so, so, so happy with it all … I. loved. it. The people that were here were really friendly and fun and loved the food AND the music. The whole night really had the coziest vibe.” Scheduled to perform at The Locals over the coming weeks are Heather Rose, Earl Faria, Emma Joy Galvin, Kala Farnum, Hannah Devine, Joe Auger, Jacqueline Bartlett, Louis Leeman, Patti DeRosa, Paul Pasch, Mark Greenwood, Andrea LaFazia, Jacob Haller, Jan Luby, Dan Lilley & Mike Sullivan, Andy Kim, Sarah Windsor, Lisa Couto, Ray Cooke, Ian Fitzgerald, Jenny White, Steve Allain, and more. One special show that was just added is Marci Geller, a piano playing singer-songwriter from NYC on January 25th. For you early birds, Sunday mornings will also have live music. From 10 am until 1 pm, you can listen to acoustic music with your Sunday brunch. There is no cover at The Locals, but donations are accepted for the musicians. If you are a musician looking for a place to try out your talents, then The Locals’ Wednesday Night Open Mic with Joe Auger could be just the thing. Auger has been hosting open mics around RI for almost 20 years and The Locals is his current stage. The open mic at The Locals starts at 7:30 pm and goes until 10:30 pm. The Locals serves VERY yummy food and drinks. Centredale, for those of you who can’t place it, is the grey area between North Providence and Johnston. Smith Street and Mineral Spring Avenue. both begin (or end, depends how you look at it!) in Centredale. It is also easily accessed by exit 7A off 295 North – just a couple of miles up Route 44 East. For more, neighborhood over to www.facebook.com/Eat.At.The.Locals
While we are talking about RISA, I will mention that they are now in their 20th year as an organization. There will be a big celebration coming up later in the year, but if you can’t contain your excitement until then you can celebrate with many others at the anniversary for the Songwriters in The Round Shows at AS220. This will be a songwriter extravaganza! Over the past year, many, many, MANY songs have been written specifically for these shows. This will let you hear a lot of them in one marathon show. Performers on the roster for the big NINTH anniversary concert are: Joanne Lurgio, Colby & Keila, Dave Moretti, Mark Greenwood, Jan Luby, Hugh O’Doherty, Junko Ogawa, Kim Jennings, Jacob Haller,