Roots Report

Okee dokee folks…I have never been one to mince words when I write my columns, so why should I start this year off doing so? This OPINION is not going to be a popular one but it is mine and it’s what is on my mind today. I no longer love Providence. There, I said it.

About 15 or so years ago Mary Ann Rossoni and I wrote a song called, “My Heart Is Here To Stay (I’m In Love With Providence).” At that time I was a fan of the capital city. I received a grant back in 2010 and produced a CD and a live show to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Providence. I also started the Providence Folk Festival. Times have changed, the city has changed, and so have I.

Providence is for younger folks. College kids. Hell, most of the city is owned by RISD, Brown, and Johnson & Wales. Downtown is changing and adapting to their needs and desires. Rural folks like myself are generally not fond of cities anyway and we will tolerate them only on occasion. These occasions are becoming less and less frequent for me.


When I do make the rare foray downtown it is narrated by a lot of four letter words. Parking sucks. If you can find metered, street parking there is more often than not an issue with the meter. They are hard to read in low light and people of a more diminutive size have a hard time even seeing the screens at all. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. It’s like playing parking meter roulette.

If you can’t find street parking and opt to pay the big bucks, the paid lots have gotten stupid expensive. Where do they think we are, Boston? $35 to park? And the lot staff just take the money and leave after the lot is full.

This is what really irks me in PVD: the scooters and e-bikes that (just dumped) litter the sidewalks when not in use. When they are in use they are piloted by inept, rude, and lunatic riders. They swerve in and out of traffic either ignorant or disobedient of any traffic or safety laws.

Then there are the bike lanes that have messed up parking and made already crowded roads worse. I rarely see actual bikes in these lanes. The scooters and e-bikes just ride wherever they feel like anyway.

For these reasons and more, I am no longer a fan of Providence. I don’t even take gigs downtown anymore – I would rather drive an hour away to play than deal with Providence traffic and parking. Besides, most of the better venues are popping up in surrounding cities and towns anyway and I am happy about that.

Occasionally I will go into Providence but it takes something special to get me there. The only city sirens that call to me are the Providence Performing Arts Center or Veterans Auditorium and sometimes The Strand. They make the trip worth it but very little else does.

This is only my opinion but I am sure many folks will quietly agree with me. Of course I will still write about shows in PVD, everybody’s sirens are different. You can still love PVD, it’s OK. Read on…

So, I will start off with a show in, you guessed it, Providence! Ha! The Love Hangover is back on Friday, Feb 16 at the newly reopened Wes’ Rib House in Olneyville! Join hosts Ricky Rainbowbeard and Lyd Vicious for a boisterous evening of live music and naughty niceness hailing the afterglow (or aftergroan) of Valentine’s Day. Featuring duet performances by local luminaries like Beth Barron, Lights Out, and more TBA.

Whether you’re toasting your crush or roasting your ex, come out and enjoy an evening filled with love, laughter, and mouthwatering delights grilled up in Wes’ famous pit. Food and drinks served noon to midnight; music starts at 8pm. It’s all a benefit for the Sounds of Saving, a nonprofit on a mission to foster mental health and healing through music!

For more, ride the wave to:

Here’s another one in Providence. A benefit for THE WAVES OF HEALTH will be held on Sunday, February 11 from 2 to 6pm at B’z Community Bar. Music for the event will include the Berger Boys, members of the Free Radical band, and Three Legged Dog. Joe Salvo will be making the trip from New York to join in the effort. THE WAVES OF HEALTH is a nonprofit medical outreach organization whose goals are to support the health care needs of underserved communities and educate others about the medical challenges in the developing world. They will collect voluntary donations during the music.

For more, ripple over to:,, or contact Glenn Dewell at

Now here is a venue that I always talk about that should be on your music radar. The Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket. This is one of my favorite places to go. Parking is easy, it’s a beautiful venue with very friendly staff, and lots of great shows! Last year I interviewed Artimus Pyle of Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was a fun conversation, and I spent some time with him before and after the show. He was a riot! His band, The Artimus Pyle band is coming back once again February 10 for a night of Lynyrd Skynyrd music. Artimus is the band member that hiked through the woods to find help after the plane crash that took the lives of several band members and crew of Lynyrd Skynyrd. His band faithfully plays Skynyrd’s music and if you are a fan this is a must see show. Opening the night will be Soul Shine Allman Brothers tribute. Also on the schedule: Let’s Sing Taylor (Taylor Swift), Through The Doors and Piece of My Heart (Janis Tribute), Brass Transit (Chicago Tribute), Dave Matthews tribute, Femmes of Rock, Rhythm of the Dance, Fleetwood Mac Experience, Who’s Bad (Michael Jackson) and much more.

Monument over to for full schedule. That’s it for now. Listen to my podcasts at: motifri. com/rootsreportpodcast. Thanks for reading and listening.