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Roots Report

Okee dokee folks…There “Comes A Time” when I feel I HAVE to write about a concert that I am playing. This is not only for my benefit but for the benefit of the nine other folks who are playing as well as the hosting venue. I’m talking about the fifteenth anniversary celebration of my band, Forever Young: A Tribute to the Music of Neil Young happening at The Greenwich Odeum on Saturday, November 13. 

I never thought that a simple show I put together with friends would turn out to be such a successful and long-term collaboration. Back then, it was just a night where we took the pressure off ourselves and decided to perform Neil Young’s songs instead of our own. That show would (over) sell out, and led to offers from other venues to reproduce it. That original line-up included Mark Cutler, Becky Chace, Dan Lilley, Pete Vendettuoli, and me — playing in an “in-the-round” acoustic format. We later added bass and drums when we began to play theatres and concert halls. In our early days the band took home quite a few Motif Music Awards. Over the years the line-up has changed, but we have maintained our sound and stature. These days, besides myself, Lilley and Vendettuoli, (both Motif Award Winners for their other projects,) the band is rounded out by Amy Bedard, Gary St. Germain, and Sean Finnerty (who are both RI Music Hall of Fame members). 

We are a different kind of tribute — no one tries to mimic Neil Young’s voice. There is only one Neil Young and only he can sound like he does, anyone else just comes across like Jimmy Fallon’s foolish impersonation (sorry, it’s just bad). We present the music in our own voices. With five vocalists in the band, we all take turns with lead, while the others lend harmonies that add a Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young feel. Our band promo is always tagged with, “Forever Young takes you back, gets you singing and dancing; puts those Neil Young songs in your head to linger long after the show!” 

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This will be the first time in five years we will all be on the same stage again, and we hope you can make the show! Also coming up at The Odeum: John Waite, David Bromberg, Marshall Tucker, Maddie Poppe, Jill Sobule, Keb Mo, and more. For more, “Powderfinger” to: GreenwichOdeum.com

The Blackstone River Theatre’s (BRT) annual Homecoming Concert & Silent Auction fundraiser featuring Atwater~Donnelly, Cathy Clasper-Torch & Shelley Katsh, Stefan Couture, Andrew McIntosh & Kyle Forsthoff, Ed Sweeney, Kim Trusty, and the Vox Hunters takes place on Saturday, November 27th.  In addition to being their major fundraiser, it’s also a sampler of some of the acts who will be performing at future BRT events, and many are also BRT Heritage Arts Studio class instructors. There will also be a silent auction featuring CDs, jewelry, original artwork, Christmas items, and gift certificates. Paddle over to RiverFolk.org for more. You might want to mark these shows on your calendar as well: on 11/6 it’s good-time music and the barrel house hijinks of the Superchief Trio, the fiddle, vocal & guitar music of Hanneke Cassel, Keith Murphy, and Jenna Moynihan on 11/13; 11/19 delivers the cello and fiddle duo of Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, and on 11/21 Le Vent du Nord brings progressive francophone folk to the theatre. Masks and vaccination cards are required for ALL. 

I received a notice from Thomas Piche about a benefit concert at The Met in Pawtucket on November 7 & 8. The two night show will be a celebration of and a benefit for Tony Gomes. According to Piche, “Tony has been well loved throughout the musical community, as a musician, sound engineer, and good friend, he’s having health problems and could use the help…he’s been around since day one in the RI musical world.” This will be an all ages event and donations are encouraged. Scheduled to perform on Sunday, November 7, from 1-11pm are: Quarter Pound, Counterfeit Cash, Nolan Leite, Eastern Medicine Singers, Kenny Sharp, Dopey Lopes, The Schemers, Steve Smith and The Nakeds, Big Boom Daddies, Wild Combo, Rick Santos & Tommy Maher and friends. On day 2, Monday the 8th from 6-11pm, Greg Piccolo and Heavy Juice, D’Vottes, Ponyboy, and Calamity Brain are on the bill. For more, band aid over to TheMetRI.com.

Stone Soup is once again presenting shows, and their performance space is now The Music Mansion at 88 Meeting Street in Providence. They have a monthly schedule of shows through May 2022. They finish this year with shows by Illinois singer-songwriter Joe Jencks on November 27 and “Good Time Harmony, String and Groove band” Rani Arbo and Daisy Mahem on December 11. Most shows start at 7pm, doors open 6:30. All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more ladle a little: StoneSoupCoffeehouse.org or MusicMansion.org

For all of you who celebrate the holidays and engage in gift giving, you will want to make any music gear purchases NOW. I have been getting many emails from suppliers that some items are having supply chain issues. Though the holidays should not be based on material things, that is what it has become. You can always shop locally and purchase music and craft items from local artists and musicians, or at pop-up markets such as the Blackstone River Theatre’s Holiday Craft Fair and Festival on Saturday, December 4th from 9am-3pm. 

That’s it for now, thanks for reading. Hope to see you at The Odeum on Nov 13 when we “Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World!” www.JohnFuzek.com

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