Okee dokee folks… This thought popped into my head today. When my duo, Fuzek-Rossoni, began playing open mics over 35 years ago, one of the first places we played was the Stone Soup “Hoot.” The late Richard Walton ran things back then and one of the things he always said that wound up burned in my brain was “you have to pay your dues.” At the time, this was just annoying, as I had been playing around, doing gigs and open mics for years already, but this duo was new. I felt I had already paid a lot of dues. But, as I discovered over time, there are levels of dues paying. Every time you move ahead or vary things there are more dues to pay. Being a musician is a constant learning process. Things are always in a state of flux. But the one thing that never changes is paying your dues. A lot of people don’t understand that concept. Still, MAYBE 1% of musicians ever make it BIG enough to relax a bit. The rest toil at it constantly just to keep working. In simple terms, this means playing shit gigs for shit pay (if any), being told you suck (if no one tells you that you suck how will you get better?), playing to no one, doing a lot of driving, and staying up way past your bedtime. Repeat. It’s like achieving levels in a video game. I see musicians out there who REALLY work at things and I see others who seem to think they deserve more without the work. The only way to start paying your dues is to get out there and WORK, WORK, WORK, and PLAY, PLAY, PLAY! Read on…
Before I go any further I just want to toss a plug for the Rhode Island Folk Festival fundraiser. RIFF is free but requires money to produce! EVERY little bit helps!
Newport Live continues its summer tradition of presenting shows at the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown. The Sarah Borges Band that has been described as “walking that line between rock and country” lands on Friday, August 4. John Gorka, who has been writing and singing beautiful, quirky songs for nearly 40 years, will make you laugh or cry, maybe both, on August 31.
For more, start “Branching Out” to newportlive.org.
The United Theatre in Westerly is beginning to bring in some heavy hitting shows. You will want to get this venue on your radar. Jim Messina, of Loggins and Messina, Poco, and Buffalo Springfield, always delivers a great performance and will prove it once again on August 1. Recording artists and globetrotting journeymen Devon Allman (son of rock legend Gregg Allman) & Donavon Frankenreiter (professional surfer and musician) hit Westerly on August 7. Mike Love & The Full Circle with featured act SunDub, bound by their common ambition to inspire positive change in the world, deliver their message on August 18. The George Moore Cabaret Series presents Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano, whose electrifying combination of warmth, wit, and sensuality have made them the nightclub world’s most celebrated team, swing in on August 19.
For more, “Lahaina” to unitedtheatre.org.
The Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket invites you to relive all your favorite ’70s and ’80s soft rock hits as Boat House Row performs their Yacht Rock Experience at the Stadium Theatre on August 11. “Yacht Rockers” include Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Toto, and many more. Terry Lee Goffee returns to the Stadium to pay tribute to the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, on August 19.
For more, “Ride Like The Wind” over to stadiumtheatre.com.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium has plenty to coax you into a trip to the Creative Capital. Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, who “blend elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel, and blues in a convention-defying manner,” will captivate Vets audiences on July 29. If you’d like to hear the Eagles’ music but don’t want to wait until September, have to drive to Boston, and pay through the nose for tix, then see the next best thing with Another Tequila Sunrise on August 12. Laugh your ass off on August 24 with Ilana Glazer, and Jim Jefferies on August 26.
Don’t be Intolerant, visit thevetsri.com.
The Narrows in Fall River is always a great place for a summer show. They have that super-duper air conditioning to chill you right out. Jerry may be dead but his music lives on with the Garcia Project on July 29. Bela Fleck exposes his Bluegrass Heart on August 2. Last year I caught the Jesse Cook show at The Narrows for the first time. I was absolutely blown away by how good the music was. See why on August 4. Listen to the podcast I did with Jesse last year and hear a bit of the music and you will definitely WANT to go. Check it out through the QR code. Patti Griffin, who got her start in the Boston coffee houses, once again brings her soulful folk to Fall River on August 10.
For more, taper to narrowscenter.org.
Stay cool. That’s it for now.
Hear the podcast at motifri.com/rootsreportpodcast.