J Kelley Band are releasing their debut album Burning Season. Burning Season reminds me of high-energy ’90s rock. “Ransom” sounds like the Gin Blossoms with an added thump.
I like the backing vocals on “Drying Out,” which gives a soulful texture to the driving pop that sounds like The Rembrandts meets Black Crowes. The title track has a smidge of a Neil Young feel if he was in a struggling band in 1996. On the other hand “I Don’t Want To (But I like You)” just screams 1980s Rick Springfield in the most awesome way! A tidbit about the Burning Season record that shows the music community coming together is that the album was financed by a cool record store in New Bedford called Purchase Street Records. Stop in and check them out — they are a huge supporter of local music and have a great selection to boot!
J Kelley Band will celebrate the release of Burning Season with album release show at Pour Farm in New Bedford on Thu, Jun 13, with Mitch Mellow.
The pride of RI, Sarah Potenza, burst onto the national scene from her stirring performances on the 8th season of “The Voice.” Potenza has since relocated to Nashville and continued to thrive in the music industry. Potenza recently released a new album, Road to Rome, that is her most confident sounding album to date! Don’t miss out on welcoming Sarah home!
Sarah Potenza will be at Chan’s in Woonsocket on Sat, Jun 15.
Start Making Sense
Start Making Sense are a Talking Heads cover band that are a great time everytime they come to town. You don’t have to be the world’s biggest Talking Heads fan to love this band. They slay the tunes and it is pretty much a giant dance party. I’m always amazed who I run into at Start Making Sense shows. They attract people from all walks of life.
Start Making Sense and Ruby Dear rock The Met Cafe on Sat, Jun 15.
The legendary singer of the J. Geils Band is one of my all time favorites to catch live. Wolf is still as dynamic and witty as ever as a front man and shows no signs of slowing down. Wolf does a mix of J Geils and solo tunes live. To be honest, I prefer Wolf’s solo material. A good diving-in point for Wolf’s solo catalogue is Midnight Souvenirs, which is an excellent double album. As always, Wolf will be backed by his longtime backing band, The Midnight Travelers.
Peter Wolf and The Midnight Travelers will rock the Narrows Center For the Arts in Fall River on Fri, Jun 28 and Sat, Jun 29.
Low Cut Connie
Never thought I’d make reference to Low Cut Connie twice in this guide (second reference is coming) but hey, that is sometimes how it works. Low Cut Connie is pretty much alternative rock with a sense of humour. For a diving-in point, check out the tune “Big Thighs, NJ” off their debut album, Get Out The Lotion. I listened to that tune non-stop when I first was got into Low Cut Connie. This is Low Cut Connie’s first appearance since rocking the Newport Folk Festival last summer.
Low Cut Connie will be at the Narrows Center For The Arts in Fall River on Fri, Jul 12.
The summertime tradition continues as the Electric Six make their annual return to PVD. Electric Six bring it with high-energy alternative alternative rock that fuses disco and hard rock. Think of the Electric Six as if KISS and Abba had a baby with lyrics that have the sardonic wit of Oscar Wilde. This show has become a must-see event, so don’t snooze on getting tickets. Check out the latest Electric Six album Bride of The Devil (Metropolis Records), which is excellent, to get primed for the show!
Electric Six returns to Alchemy on Wed, Jul 17.
For the 9th year in a row, Deer Tick will be playing post-Newport Folk Festival parties at the Newport Blues Cafe. Deer Tick usually plays three different sets over the course of the weekend that usually include special covers and rarities that they work up for that weekend. In addition to Deer Tick, the opening acts are usually from the festival. I’ve seen Jackson Browne go from headlining the festival to opening for Deer Tick two hours later. Some other guests that have performed at the Blues Cafe shows in recent years include J. Mascis, Billy Bragg, Low Cut Connie, Heartless Bastards, Tank & The Bangas, and so many more! Twain will open up the show at the Ocean Mist, and expect plenty of special guests from the Newport Folk Festival making surprise appearances over the weekend at the Blues Cafe.
Deer Tick will be at the Ocean Mist on Mon, Jul 22 and will be at the Newport Blues Cafe from Fri, Jul 26 through Sun, Jul 28.
Newport Folk Festival
Newport Folk Festival is a summertime staple in RI, featuring both legends and up-and-coming music from all over the rock. This year’s festival has a little something for everyone featuring jazz, jam, classic rock, indie rock, soul, reggae and even some folk! Some of the artists that I’m personally looking forward to seeing include Lucy Dacus, Lake Street Dive, Preservation Hall Band, Dawes, The Milk Carton Kids, Warren Haynes, Stephen Marley and Sheryl Crow. The festival is sold out, but there is a fan to fan ticket exchange website affiliated with the festival that offers the opportunity to purchase verified tickets from fans who cannot attend.
Newport Folk Festival returns to Fort Adams State Park from Fri, Jul 26 through Sun, Jul 28.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Amazing Royal Crowns and more!
The Cranking & Skanking festival headlined by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones comes to courtyard at The Met Cafe with a stacked lineup. A particular local interest for this show is the reunion of the Amazing Royal Crowns. This will be the Crowns’ first RI show since a surprise warm-up show at The Parlour six years ago. For the uninitiated, the Crowns ruled the area from the mid-’90s into the 2000s, helping to lead a rockabilly revival. For an official show, it has probably been close to 15 years since the Crowns have rocked the masses on their home turf. It is great news for all those “loyal to the Royal” that the Crowns will be rocking under the stars in The Met courtyard.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Amazing Royal Crowns, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Buck-O-Nine and more to be announced will rock the courtyard at The Met Cafe on Sat, Aug 10.
The Distillers and Death Valley Girls
This seems to be the summer of kick-ass female-fronted bands, which is a pretty awesome thing. The Distillers are doing their first tour in years and are pretty much a punk band with big sing-a-long choruses. Catchy for sure, but the reason I’m stoked about this show is the opener Death Valley Girls. Death Valley Girls tunes are dark and mysterious while still kicking maximum ass. Check out their latest album, Darkness Rains, to get up to speed!
The Distillers and Death Valley Girls will rock the ballroom at Fete Music Hall on Sat, Aug 17.
Ex Hex’s sophomore release, It’s Real (Merge Records), is my favorite album hands down so far of 2019. It’s Real is a bag of gems from the KISS-like arena strut of “Rainbow Shiner,” the power pop of “Another Dimension,” and straight Stones like rock of “Tough Enough.” I’ve been of big fan of the main songwriter in Ex Hex Mary Timony since the ’90s when she was fronting Helium. Her guitar playing style is unique and really underrated. This Monday will rock!
Ex Hex and Frankie and The Witch Fingers will rock The Met Cafe on Mon, Aug 19.
This isn’t music, but what rocks more than seeing Ari from “Entourage?” Whether as the Dean in “Old School” or as Ari, Jeremy Piven has kind of mastered the art of playing assholes. I’ve never seen him do stand-up comedy, but this should be a hoot!
Jeremy Piven comes to the Strand Theater on Fri, Aug 23.
Wicked Petty are a Boston-based Tom Petty cover band. They are excellent live and play a tasteful mix of hits and deep cuts. Wicked Petty generally do two long sets, so come early and stay late!
Wicked Petty will rock The Met Cafe on Fri, Aug 23.
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