Roots Report January 2022: Another COVID winter

Okee dokee folks… Be prepared. Since so many folks are ignoring vaccine protocols and mask mandates, we are heading into another wave of COVID cancellations, if they haven’t already happened. Those quazy QAnon relatives that you may have had contact with over the holidays are the fool fuel for the virus. Folks don’t seem to understand that just because you are tired of the virus or don’t believe in science doesn’t mean it isn’t a thing. “It takes a village” that COOPERATES to beat it. This time around there probably will not be a total lockdown but events will be postponed or canceled and this will mostly hurt folks who work in the arts: MUSICIANS. Some places like Providence Performing Arts Center, The Greenwich Odeum, The Narrows and Blackstone River Theatre are examples of venues doing it RIGHT. They have strict vaccine and mask mandates and this will work in their favor. Kudos to them! Unfortunately, we have reached the point of impasse with the anti-vax community. They are probably going to die on that hill. PLEASE get vaxxed (to the maxx) and wear a mask. Read on…

A few years ago I wrote a column for the January health edition of Motif about hearing protection. This is a subject that I am very passionate about. As a musician who often deals with sound at a high level, I am careful to protect my hearing. I already deal with tinnitus which was surely caused by years of soaring decibel levels while working as a bartender in a nightclub and a manager of a pinball arcade. INVEST in a pair of good earplugs so you don’t spend your later years constantly saying, “What?” Do your ears a favor and read this! Hammer, anvil and stirrup over to: motifri.com/HearingProtection     

Despite the doom and gloom opener to my column, I am HOPING that music will continue uninterrupted in 2022. But who knows? Regardless, here are a few shows to look forward to. I certainly am. I am borrowing and modifying a line from the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” from the rock opera Tommy to remind you how to approach event attendance for the next few months: “Put in your EARPLUGS, put on your MASK, you know where to put the cork!”

At The Providence Performing Arts Center, it’s the 25th Anniversary Farewell tour of the musical RENT Jan 14 – 16, Jesus Christ Superstar is resurrected on Jan 25 – 30, the comedian who takes his shirt off, Bert Kreischer, brings in The Berty Boy Relapse Tour for April Fools Day, Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations on April 12, those cerulean painted guys, Blue Man Group, bang things on May 20, and get back with Ringo Starr on Jun 12. At Veterans Memorial Auditorium The Brit Floyd World Tour swings by on Apr 13, and the Nashvillian-comedian Nate Bargatze gives you the giggles on April 28. To find out “What’s The Buzz” about these shows and more: ppacri.org

Blackstone River Theatre has the Celtic tunes of Fellswater on Jan 22, Feb 5 – Mike Block Trio, Feb 19 – Windborne, Mar 6 – TALISK, Mar 18 – Teada, Mar 26 – Mile Twelve, and May 7 – Kevin Doyle’s Roscommon Soles. More shows are coming as well. For more, paddle over to riverfolk.org.

The Greenwich Odeum has blues guy Keb’ Mo’ on Feb 3 and funny guy Todd Barry on Feb 5. Heavy with The Band songs, it’s The Weight Band on Feb 11, Beaver Brown on Feb 12, Marky Ramone and Rock & Roll High School on Feb 18. Bobby Collins tickles your funny bone on Feb  26. You, me and Big Bad VooDoo Daddy make for a swinging good time on Mar 3. The superlative Marty Stuart brings it on Mar 5, and Crash Test Dummies “mmmm mmmm mmmm” on Mar 10. For more shows and info, yo-de-odeum to: greenwichodeum.com

At The Narrows Center on the other side of the big ole Braga Bridge, don’t fear the reaper or Albert Bouchard’s “Imaginos” & other Cult Classics on January 15, Chris Smither slides in on Jan 21, comedy’s cat lady, Paula Poundstone, hits the stage on Jan 22, Donna the Buffalo roams in on Jan 29, “Take The Hard Way” with the James Hunter Six on Feb 10. Tom Rush circles in Feb 18, Marcia Ball bounces her leg and tickles the ivories on Feb 24, Don Felder soars in on March 1, Bruce Cockburn wonders where the lions are on Mar 2. And enjoy some salvation à la mode and a cup of tea on Mar 18 with Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre-Aqualung 50th Anniversary Tour. For more, squeeze into narrowscenter.org

If you haven’t heard, the king of music lampoons, Weird Al Yankovic, will be at the Z in New Beige on April 29. You really don’t want to miss him. I am not kidding when I tell you that he is probably one of the most enjoyable shows I have ever seen. This WILL sell out. Also coming to the Zeiterion: Get The Led Out, Johnny A, Grace Morrison, Enter The Haggis, Rain: Beatles Tribute, Postmodern Jukebox, The Beach Boys, Little Shop of Horrors, Amos Lee, and much, much more. The Z is a quick 20-min drive from PVD and has lots of simple, available parking. Don’t be such a Rhode Islander, check it out! For more X Y over to: zeiterion.org       

That’s it for now. Plan on checking on any show before you head out. Verify that it is happening and what their COVID policy is. Better safe than sorry all around. PLEASE, don’t be a Covidiot! Thanks for reading. www.JohnFuzek.com