The Roots Report: The Weather Is Cooling but the Music Isn’t

Okee dokee folks… We are in that grey (yes, I spell it that way!) area that is the end of summer/beginning of fall. We can thankfully, hopefully bid adieu to the heat of that nasty season of summer. The festivals and outdoor events begin to wind down and the indoor shows start kicking back up. This is the Fall Guide. So, get yourself a mug of pumpkin spice something (I don’t get the fascination), relax and read on to find out what is happening!

Music at Lily Pads in Peacedale returns to active status on Saturday, September 10 with the extremely fun Chandler Travis Philharmonic. Also joining the activities will be the good folks from Shady Lea Guitars in advance of their move to the Pump House in Peace Dale! Some of their fine handcrafted instruments will be on display, and some of their luthier artists will perform a tune or two on guitars that they handcrafted. The Chandler Travis Philharmonic is a 9-piece ensemble from Boston/Cape Cod that includes a horn section, string bass, keyboard, mandocello, guitar, drums, accordion and singing valet. “It’s possible they might be the missing link between the Kinks and Sun Ra.” You may be aware of Chandler’s other band, the Incredible Casuals, or of his earlier work with Travis Shook and the Club Wow; either solo or in one or another of these guises, he has appeared with Elvis Costello, Green Day, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, John Cale, Bonnie Raitt, NRBQ, the Beach Boys, the Replacements and George Carlin.

Also coming to Lily Pads is the Atwater-Donnelly Band featuring Cathy Clasper-Torch playing violin on Sunday, September 18. Saturday, October 1, brings back legendary fingerstyle blues guitarist, storyteller and all-around good guy Roy Book Binder with special guest Jim Chapin! For more,


Rhode Island Waterfront Events will present the Celtic Rock Festival on Saturday, September 10 starting at 2:30pm at the Alex and Ani City Center in Downtown Providence. Eileen Ivers is headlining the festival, which also includes sets by the Tartan Terrors and The Town Pants as well as local favs and multiple Motif Award winners, Pendragon. In addition to the eight hours of live music, the festival will feature plenty of libations including Guinness, spirited step dancers, thundering pipe and drum, hearty traditional Irish and festival fare, a marketplace of Irish artisan goods and a Celtic Rock KidSTOP, which will feature face painting for the wee ones. “We are looking forward to creating a little slice of the Emerald Isle in the heart of Downtown Providence for everyone to enjoy by featuring a variety of contemporary and traditional Celtic music with some additional cultural ingredients mixed in,” said Michele Maker Palmieri of Rhode Island Waterfront Events. A nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, musical star of Riverdance and founding member of Cherish the Ladies, the Grammy award-winning Eileen Ivers has established herself as the preeminent exponent of the Irish fiddle in the world today. Called the Jimi Hendrix of the violin, she is hailed as one of the great innovators and pioneers in the Celtic and world music genres. Rhode Island Waterfront Events will also be presenting Ziggy Marley on Friday, September 23, and the International Oktoberfest during the weekend of September 24 and 25 in Providence. For more, jig over to

The ever-popular, amazing and funny stalwart of the coffeehouse scene, Cheryl Wheeler returns to kick off Common Fence Music’s 2016-17 season in Portsmouth on Saturday, September 17. If you don’t know who Wheeler is by now or haven’t seen her yet, then you have been living in a bubble. She is a New England treasure. She can move your heart with beautiful ballads and then have you splitting your sides with her witty banter and comical compositions. She is a must-see for everyone. If you haven’t checked Cheryl Wheeler off your list of songwriters to see, then this is the time to do it. To put a cherry on top of this wonderful show, the award-winning Seamus Galligan is opening the concert. If you haven’t heard him or heard OF him, you should. He is a true troubadour akin to an acoustic Springsteen or Paul Simon. Common Fence Music is a great place to enjoy a show. No bad seats, you can bring your own food and BYOB (yes, adult beverages) and just have a great time. For more, “Shutcher Piehole” to

Down at the Courthouse Center for the Arts, one of my favorite acts of all time and one of my main musical inspirations, Aztec Two-Step, will bring their trademark sound to the West Kingston stage for the first time on Saturday, September 24. Rex Fowler and Neal Schulan will perform original songs from their 45-year collaboration and treat the audience to a sprinkling of their renditions of Everly Brothers and Simon & Garfunkel classics. Also at the CCA on Friday, September 23, Hey Nineteen, the Steely Dan tribute band will give you a taste of that Fagan/Becker sound. As if that isn’t enough, you can experience a Simon and Garfunkel tribute on September 16 with Maggie’s Guitar. They are a band from southeastern Connecticut that blends layered guitars with complex vocal harmony to play both original songs and covers of classics ranging from folk to rock. Recreating the rich harmonies and intricate melodies that became the soundtrack for a generation, Maggie’s Guitar presents its tribute to the music of Simon and Garfunkel. A second set will feature originals from the band’s recently released CD Crossing. Also appearing are special guests Last Call. For more, gavel over to:

The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center in New Beige presents Grammy Award winning Americana band Old Crow Medicine Show on Thursday, September 15. This platinum-selling roots band rose to fame through endless dedication to a unique country sound that appeals to both old-school country music fans and rock audiences alike. These six multi-instrumentalists were inducted into The Grand Ole Opry in 2013 and have played the world’s most renowned festivals and venues. Old Crow Medicine Show started busking on street corners in 1998, winning audiences with their boundless energy and spirit. They caught the attention of folk icon Doc Watson, who launched their career by inviting them to play at his festival, MerleFest, an annual tribute to the music of Doc and Merle Watson. Shortly thereafter, the band was hired to entertain crowds between shows at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Since then, the band has won two Grammy Awards, including Best Folk Album for Remedy in 2014 and Best Long Form Music Video for Big Easy Expressin’ in 2013.  For more, “Wagon Wheel” to

If you are a songwriter then this is for you! While songwriters increasingly have to look for other means of revenue for their music to survive due to diminishing sales, a streaming marketplace and an over-flooded internet, there are more opportunities than ever to benefit financially and gain exposure from getting your songs placed on TV, in film and games. Local songwriter Greg Lato presents the seminar “How to Pitch Your Music for TV/Film Placements” on Sunday, September 11 at Dean’s List Academy, 25 Esten St, Pawtucket from 2 – 4pm. In this unique and informative seminar, Greg goes through the process of pitching your music for TV/film placements to music supervisors, including how to find out what music supervisors are looking for, what they expect from your submission (eg, preparation, formatting, correspondence, protocol), how to seek out and gain more opportunities, and learn insider secrets of how to move your music in the right direction for scores and placement. For more, compose over to

Motif contributing photographer Richard McCaffery and Rick MoJo Farrell are having an exhibit at the Narrows that runs until October 15. Farrell, who is always photographing both local and national acts in the area, says,”It’s a select collection of works by Richard and me over the past several years at The Newport Folk Festival. Stop by to catch one of their fantastic concerts and check out our photographs.” Also at the Narrows, The Becky Chace band will be celebrating the release of their latest CD, Wire Girl, on Saturday, September 17. This show will be a split bill with Mark Cutler and The Men of Great Courage. For more, aperture over to

Local singer-songwriter Billy Mitchell passed away last week. He was a great guy, wrote funny songs and was a generous soul. You would recognize him from his smile and handlebar mustache. He was best known for his satirical look of RI life and the Baby Boomer Generation. “I Know A Guy” was one of his most popular songs. You may have heard him on John Depetro’s radio show. Wherever he is now I hope that he knows a guy. Billy will be missed.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.