Roots Report: Better Than a Bad Date

Okee dokee folks… Are you single? Lonely? Well, we just got past the dreaded V-Day, and some of you may be looking for love or as Eddie Murphy’s Buckwheat says, “Wookin’ Pa Nub.” A local author sent me a copy of her book and asked me if I would be interested in writing a little about it. At first I was reluctant, but seeing as I had some experience with the subject matter I agreed. The book is called Stupid Cupid: A Survivor’s Guide To Online Dating and was written by Allison O’Donnell about her personal trials and tribulations with the process. I am sure that most people who have gone through this have some bizarre stories to tell. O’Donnell actually made hers into an enjoyable book. This tome chronicles O’Donnell’s foray into online dating and is divided into chapters that recount the individual dates or category of date type such as: “Houdini,” “The Psychotic,” “The Lurker,” “Pennywise,” “Mr. Clean,” “Coupon Carl,” “Mr. Roboto,” Ramblin’ Man” and lots and lots more. There are about 125 mini-chapters about these undertakings. O’Donnell puts a comic spin on already comical events. Having personally experienced the world of online dating, I can attest to the validity of these kinds of dating adventures. I probably could have written a book about the world from a male point of view. Man, do I have some stories! Most think that the guys on dating sites are bad, well, let me fill you in, there is equality in online dating! This is not a book that you need read only if you are single and want to date, though it should be a required tutorial before embarking on the crusade. It is an entertaining collection of stories about human interaction that will keep readers engaged. So, don’t let the title fool you, Stupid Cupid is not just for dating wannabes, it could also be used as a separation deterrent. Once you read what it is like in the land of 21st century courting, it may just scare you straight into permanent and blissful monogamy. The book is available to order online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or at your favorite local bookstore. Read on…

Common Fence Music is continuing to celebrate their 25th year of presenting folk and world music concerts and their winter/spring 2018 season begins with shows featuring Latin artists at both their Portsmouth and Warren venues. On Friday, February 16, Boston-based Brazilian/American folk group SÃ SOL bring Tropicalia-meets-Americana sound to the CFM Warren Sessions stage at Hope & Main. Formed eight years ago by the husband and wife duo of Jessica DaSilva (vocals, percussion, banjo) and John Garrett (vocal, guitar), the group performs original songs, transitioning effortlessly between lyrics in English and Brazilian Portuguese. Opening the show is Westerly singer-songwriter Glenn Kendzia of Wild Sun. Glenn performs with an honesty and passion that speaks to audiences and artists alike. On Saturday the 17th CFM presents their first-ever Valentine’s Latin Dance Night with Obertico Arias Y Su Alebreke at their Portsmouth Mainstage. Leading the seven-piece ensemble is Dominican Latin percussionist, vocalist and bandleader Luis Robertico Arias, who has been performing professionally since his teens. He has toured internationally with such bands as Los Hijos del Rey, El Equipo de Dioni Pernandez, Boni Cepeda, The New York Band and La Gran Manzana, and recorded with such artists as David Byrne. Audience members are invited to attend a free preshow salsa lesson with Sara Barker from 7:15 – 7:45pm. For more about the two shows, cha-cha-cha to

The Carolina Chocolate Drops
The Carolina Chocolate Drops

Some of you may remember the Carolina Chocolate Drops. They burst onto the music scene about a decade ago. I first heard them on NPR and was transfixed by their version of “Hit ‘Em Up Style.” I was fortunate to see the original line-up as well as a couple of the members perform solo. Nowadays, two of the founding members, Rhiannon Giddens and Dom Flemons, are touring solo. Though the CCD technically may still exist, Dom Flemons is no longer part of the group. I have seen Flemons perform solo at Common Fence Music as well as Rhythm and Roots Festival and both times he put on an amazing show. We are fortunate that Flemons will be in the area again on Thursday, March 1, as part of the Route 44 Music Series at the Harmony Lodge. Route 44 Music Series shows are intimate and  designed to work for those of you who don’t like late nights or to rush to make dinner before heading out. All bases are covered. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the show, and they let out by 9:30pm. For more, “Hot Chicken” to


There are a bunch of shows I want to let you know about but not a lot of room, so here goes! (Taking a deep breath…) The Knickerbocker in Westerly has Dave DeAngelis playing in the Tap Room on February 15, and in the main room on Saturday the 17th it’s Josiah Johnson from The Head and The Heart with Widower ( At Nick-A-Nee’s: Feb 15 is Nate Cozzolino; Feb 16 is Dan Lilley & The Keepers; Feb 17 is How’s About Charlie, youandeverything, The Guest House; Feb 21 is Rick Meir & The Ricktones; Feb 24 is Millrats; Feb 25 is Unity Trio with Max Goldman, Clay Nordhill and Marty Ballou; Feb 28 is Lizzy James & The Greystone Rail ( Get some “Green Grass and High Tides at The Greenwich Odeum on Feb 15 with the Outlaws; Feb 17 is Vagina Monologues, and on Feb 23 it’s the Slambovian Circus ( At Blackstone River Theatre, on Feb 18 is Seamus Egan Project; Feb 24 is The NY Mandolin Ensemble with Barry Mitterhoff with the L’Esperance Mandolin Ensemble; Mar 3 is RUNA; Mar 4 is Robbie O’Connell and Rose Clancy ( The Pumphouse Open Mic Potluck happens on Feb 24; Seth Burkhart is on Feb 16; Ian Fitzgerald is on Feb 17; Horse Eyed Men is on Feb 23; and on Mar 2, The Folk Support Group (Ed McGuirl and Mike Fishman) celebrate 30 years of music making together ( The Stadium Theatre has Pink Floyd Tribute The Machine on Feb 24 ( The Garde Theatre in New London has Andrew Bird  on Mar 2 and Lyle Lovett with Shawn Colvin on Mar 3 ( The 19th Annual Rhode Island Pride Goddess Show is at Stout Irish Pub in PVD on Mar 4 (

The Narrows in Fall River is auctioning off an electric guitar signed by some of the most respected guitarists and hosted at the Narrows. Signatures include those of Ronnie Earl, John Mayall, Walter Trout, Tab Benoit, Big Al Anderson, John Jorgenson, Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen, Leo Kottke, Coco Montoya, David Bromberg, Charlie Hunter, Reeves Gabrels, Mike Zito, Larry Campbell, Quinn Sullivan, Marty Stuart, Kenny Vaughan & Los Lobos. Send your bid to: Auction closes on February 28.

Entries are now accepted for the 23rd Annual USA Songwriting Competition. Songwriters and composers vie for a chance to win a top prize of $50,000 worth of cash and merchandise, such as music gear. Winning songs will receive radio airplay. Songwriters can enter in 15 different song categories such as pop, rock/alt, folk, R&B, hip-hop, jazz or instrumental. For more,  lyric to

It was a very sad day for many, many folks in the RI music community when we learned of the loss of our friend Sarah Good. She was a RI mainstay as a bandleader with her group, The Goods. Besides being a musician, she was an artist, entrepreneur, fashion and jewelry designer, ballerina, dog lover and all around great person. We will miss her tremendously. RIP Sarah.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.