Roots Report

Roots Report: November 1 to 14, 2023

Freddie Mercury c. 1978. Photo shot by the author with a pocket instamatic camera.

Okee dokee folks… Today I saw lots of folks raving about and posting photos from the Queen concert over the weekend. Let me first say this, “THAT IS NOT QUEEN!!!” What they saw was a lame attempt to keep the Queen band name alive and make more money. Queen IS Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. That is the ONLY Queen there ever was and should be. I am steadfast in this belief. I am sorry but Adam Lambert is not fit to fill Freddie’s ballet slippers! He is a complete joke. Why Brian and Roger stooped so low to scrape up an “American Idol” winner I will never know. Sure, Lambert can sing but that is about it. I have watched videos of his performances with the band and I think it is a complete insult to the legacy of the band.

I grew up listening to the REAL Queen and going to their concerts. Mercury commanded arenas. Their songs and sound were big and HONEST and that cannot be replicated with the version out now. The band should have retired when Mercury died. The remaining members of Queen held a big tribute concert with guest vocalists and that is where it should have ended once and for all.

Then they made that horrible film. I am not even going to get into that. The remnants of Queen have just become a tribute act.


Too many acts are going on the road and milking the money out of suckers “jonesing” for a fix of nostalgic music. The Who, or as I call them now, “Half a Who” keep doing it. I don’t know why. I went to their farewell show back in the early ‘80s. KISS keeps doing it but we all know that Gene Simmons just cannot make enough money to be satisfied. He will find new ways of squeezing out KISS bucks. Foreigner is on a farewell tour. That band has ONE original member. They should have “farewelled” a long time ago. The Guess Who still play under that name even though the only original member is the drummer, the rest are just hired guns. I could go on.

If these acts want to go out and play, then please come up with a new name. If Queen wants to go out and play then they should call it “Brian May and Roger Taylor play the music of Queen”. Again, I am sure many won’t agree. Anyway…end of rant. Read on…

On Friday, November 3, Newport Live brings in award-winning folk artist, Anna Mieke, on tour from Ireland. This show will take place at the Colony House on Washington Square in Newport. “The Irish multi-instrumentalist and songwriter based in Wicklow, Ireland, toes the line between folk forms and vivid dreamscapes, drawing on traditional and contemporary motifs.” Opening the evening will be Brooklyn based multiinstrumentalist, Adelyn Strei.

On Saturday, November 18 at the Newport Art Museum, NL presents Phoebe Hunt. She will be premiering her new solo album, Nothing Else Matters. After years of writing, recording, and touring as a band member and bandleader, her latest recording features just her voice and fiddle. “Hunt interweaves her classical upbringing with Appalachian Old Time, Texas Swing, and a maturity of songwriting that creates an unfiltered, raw expression dripping with palpable vulnerability.”

For more about these two shows and more, Aquidneck to:

Last year I was fortunate to interview Joe Bonamassa and catch his live show. Being a guitar player myself I appreciate talented musicians and interviewing them is a treat. I must admit I went into the Joe Bonamassa interview a bit jaded. Yes, I had seen his concerts on PBS but he always seemed like a bit of a poser to me. I could not have been more wrong! Seeing him play live, I was wowed by his playing, his songs, and overall presence. His show GREATLY exceeded what little expectations I had. I am here to tell you that you should really give his show a shot. You will be amazed! He has a new live album, Tales Of Time. This fall, the band is releasing their first ever career retrospective, Loaded: The Greatest Hits 1994–2023.

Joe Bonamassa is at Providence Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, November 22. Also coming to PPAC are ‘90s rockers, Bush. The band has sold 24 million records, racked up 1 billion streams, and had big hits with songs, “Glycerine,” “Little Things,” and “Machinehead.” They exemplified the sound of the ‘90s. Bush will be making a stop at PPAC on Tuesday, November 21 at 7pm. •

For more about these and other shows at PPAC, Weybosset over to:

That’s it for now. Don’t forget you can listen to my podcasts and see my concert photos at