Roots Report

Okee dokee folks… I want to thank all who came out and supported this year’s Rhode Island Folk Festival. It makes me feel good that so many folks enjoyed this festival! If you missed it then plan for next year, it’s always the last Sunday in August. I am in the post-fest state now, trying to do math and make notes, so that is where my brain is and this is what I will write about today, in my usual roundabout way.

I recently had to get a new (used) truck to pull the festival trailers because my poor 22-year-old truck was rotting away. Dealing with the transition to a new vehicle is tough. When you drive something for almost a decade, it becomes an extension of you. I tend to “customize” my vehicles with things I make to suit my needs. I write a lot while driving so I always need a stash of index cards and a Sharpie close at hand. I made my own version of a console for my old truck, it held everything I needed and was quite handy.

That is just ONE example but there is much more. Now I have to do the same for the new truck.


Today, while I was making festival deposits at the bank, the teller, who I chat with every time I do my banking, commented on my new truck. She asked if it had air conditioning because she knew the AC in my old one had stopped working and, well, you all probably know how I feel about summer and the heat! I replied that it does have AC and I have been very happily using it. Then she said, “As long as it has a stereo, that is the most important thing.”

I think my reply baffled her. I never listen to the radio while driving. I like peace and quiet while I drive. I like to pay attention to the driving, part of the reason I still drive a stick, but I also like to think. This is why the Sharpie and index cards are so important. It’s amazing how many ideas pop into your head when you have peace and quiet – songs, projects, column themes, etc… People really should spend more time alone, thinking and creating instead of staring at their phones. It would make for a better world.

While towing the festival trailer home from Crescent Park the other night my head was bombarded with ideas and improvements for next year’s Rhode Island Folk Festival. I already have a page full of notes. Maybe I just like to make more work for myself or maybe I just want it to be the best event around! Thanks again! Read on…

The Greenwich Odeum on Main St in East Greenwich has a busy season ahead. The English Beat was just added for Nov 11. Comedian Paula Poundstone, who always keeps her audiences happy, will be there on Sep 22. Former Runaways member Lita Ford rocks the Odeum on Sep 17. Clannad, which U2’s Bono once called his favorite band, bids farewell when they play their final tour and stop in EG on Sep 23. Pam Tillis, country musician and daughter of the legendary Mel Tillis, takes the stage on Sep 24. The hilarious Vic DiBitetto takes you off the rails on Sep 29 & 30. Macy Gray and the California Jet Club fly in on Oct 1. I recorded podcast interviews with DiBitetto and Poundstone in the past and they are still online (

Oh, by the way, my band, Forever Young, will be there playing the music of Neil Young. This time we have invited the immensely talented Nicole Gauthier from How’s About Charlie, who were amazing at the RI Folk Festival last week. Nicole will be performing a set of songs by Joni Mitchell, all on Sep 15. For more about these shows, don’t “Save It for Later” go directly to

The Providence Performing Arts Center and Veterans Auditorium have quite a few great shows on their calendars this season as well. Killer Queen, a Queen tribute, brings their best Freddie to Veterans on Sep 20. At PPAC, Van “The Man” Morrison’s rescheduled, early spring shows will happen on Sep 22 & 24. Sandwiched between the Morrison shows is legendary crooner, Johnny Mathis. He will perform what is noted as his 88th birthday celebration concert on Sep 23. I had a great conversation with Mathis on the Roots Report Podcast. See the link below. On Sep 27, Jay Leno will cross the Newport Bridge and present “An Evening of Laughter” to benefit the RI Italian American Hall of Fame. That same night at The Vets the Nurse Blake Shock Advised Tour rolls in. For more about these shows head “Into the Mystic,” over to

Toad the Wet Sprocket, the band who got their name from a Monty Python skit and whose music ruled the airwaves with songs like “All I Want,” “Something’s Always Wrong,” and “Fall Down” in the ’90s, heads to Newport’s Jane Pickens Film and Event Center on Sep 22. Livingston Taylor and Tom Chapin pair up for a concert on Sep 23. While these two have iconic brothers they are nonetheless icons themselves. Liv is known for songs such as “I Will Be In Love With You,” and “City Lights,” and is an extremely entertaining performer. Tom Chapin hosted a TV show in the ’70s called “Make a Wish,” that I used to watch all the time. He has been a staple in the folk music world for over 50 years. The Chapins are a talented family and members recently performed shows in honor of the late Harry Chapin’s 80th birthday. For more about these shows, “Walk On The Ocean” over to •

That’s it for now. Don’t forget my podcasts at: and my concert photographs at /fuzeksfotos. Thanks for reading.