Music

Cold Weather Concerts: December Music Roundup

Okee dokee folks… ‘Tis the season…for the war on Christmas! 

Every year I have to explain to people that I quit Christmas. I did this back in the mid ’80s. It’s obvious that I am all for the war on Christmas. I don’t exchange gifts, I don’t partake in any holiday festivities; in fact I ignore it all as much as possible. It’s the season of greed. It’s the season of excess. It’s a season of depression. Too much pressure is put on people during the holidays: financial, emotional, physical, spiritual. I just got tired of it all and quit. You can, too! This year is the perfect time to renounce the holidays. Opt out of family gatherings over COVID concerns or because the price of gas has made travel too expensive. Maybe suggest a Zoom get together then have your internet “mysteriously” malfunction. Explain that everything you wanted to buy folks is stuck on a container ship off the coast of California. Say that DeJoy has mucked up the postal system so much that he has taken DeJoy out of sending cards. Honestly, you really don’t need a reason at all — you’re an adult and you can just drop out. Save yourself while there is still time! If someone happens to wish you “Merry Christmas,” just do like I do, keep it simple and mumble, “You too” and scurry back into the house! Read on…

On December 4, Common Fence Music presents Hubby Jenkins at the Common Fence Point Center in Portsmouth. Jenkins is a multi-instrumentalist who loves to share his knowledge of old-time American music. He was an integral member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and later Rhiannon Giddens’ band. He has performed at festivals and venues around the world, earning both Grammy and Americana award nominations. 

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On December 18 at The Casino Theater in Newport, CFM brings in Nellie McKay to close out the fall season. McKay has won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum on Broadway in The Threepenny Opera, and her music has been heard on “Mad Men,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Weeds,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” Mountain Stage and A Prairie Home Companion, just to name a few. For more, “Ding Dong” CommonFencemusic.org.

The Pumphouse in Peacedale is back with indoor shows and has buckets of music for your listening pleasure. In December there’s: Paula Clare’s Special Edition — Dec 3, Mark Cutler — Dec 4, Steve DeConti Quartet — Dec 5, a special acoustic show by Forever Young on Dec 10, Eden Casteel and the Pumphouse Piano Bar — Dec 12, The Joint Chiefs, Dan Lilley with Amy Bedard, et moi on Dec 17, Dylan Sevey returns with the Gentlemen on Dec 18, Tish Adams and the Jingle Bell Jazz Jam with a Grocery List Grants benefit for musicians in need on Dec 23. Vandal the handle to PumphouseMusicWorks.com for more.

The 2021 Singing for Shelter will again be 3 weeks of short “living room concerts” on Facebook Live instead of an in person show. Local musicians will zoom their music to you in this telethon-ish music marathon. This all benefits Lucy’s Hearth and The McKinney Shelter. For more, beam over to: fb.com/SingingForShelterNewport

At the Z in New Beige you can deal or no deal to the point of no return. The Zeiterion presents the manic comedy of Howie Mandel on December 2 and the Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour of Kansas on December 10. I saw Kansas a few weeks ago in Connecticut and the band sounded better than ever.  Both shows could make this December worthwhile! Toto to Zeiterion.org for more.  

The annual Stand Up For Animals show at the Knickerbocker in Westerly is back after last year’s COVID cancellation. Help is needed for the critters even more this year. Stand Up For Animals happens on December 12 at 7pm and will feature the music of Marc Douglas Berardo, John Speziale & Friends, and fiddling by Craig Edwards. You can also enjoy the Dancing Santa and a dance contest. All proceeds support our furry friends. For more, woof, woof, meow: KnickMusic.com

The VETS in PVD has quite a few events on their schedule to get you through until the new year. Coming up: Billy Gillman — Dec 5, Black Violin — Dec 9, comedian Brian Regan on Dec 11 and much more. If you haven’t been to Veterans Memorial Auditorium in a while it’s high time you get there! For more, nunchucks and flamethrowers over to: TheVetsRI.com

The month of December and on through the end of February can be tough for local musicians. Between the holidays, football and hockey games, inclement weather, and pandemic concerns, attendance for music events can be light. Be kind to your local musicians this winter: Tip generously and help them out by purchasing a CD, t-shirt or whatever other product they have schlepped to a show! They WILL be grateful.

By the way, BRING YOUR VAX CARD EVERYWHERE! I have seen many people turned away at venues for not having proof of vaccination. If you are vaxxed, be proud and show that thing. If you’re not, stay home!

One more thing. If you have events that you would like to be considered for inclusion in my column PLEASE send them to me at least 3 WEEKS prior in an email, not a flyer, not Facebook. You all think I am a mind reader and instantly know what you are planning! Geez! That’s it for now, thanks for reading. www.JohnFuzek.com

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