1

Something Weird This Way Comes: NecronomiCon PVD is revived

Photo credit: Todd Chicoine / LASC

NecronomiCon Providence is a four-day convention held in the city Aug 18-21, calling itself the “International Festival of Weird Fiction, Art, and Academia.” Previously held every two years since 2013, due to the pandemic it skipped 2021 and resumes in 2022.

The name is a pun combining the “con” of convention with the fictional “book of the laws of the dead” imagined in the 1920s by horror author HP Lovecraft, native and resident of Providence.

“NecronomiCon has become this international destination for fans and devotees of Weird fiction, from Lovecraft up through myriad modern authors and artists who come to Providence as a nexus for the community of fans of Weird,” said Niels Hobbs, “keeper” (director) of the event. “Weird is one of those things that’s in the eye of the beholder, but I think of it as kind of a special Venn diagram overlap between horror, science-fiction and fantasy. But it’s also its own genre of fiction. Sometimes it’s easier to point to examples rather than definitions, but there are literally hundreds of active authors who could be, maybe, categorized as Weird in some way. Some of them are more horror, some more sci-fi.”

“Lovecraft’s work inspired a host of creative minds, most notably Stephen King, who declared him ‘the greatest horror writer of the twentieth century,’ as well as Guillermo del Toro, Neil Gaiman, Jorge Luis Borges, and Metallica,” according to a statement from the organizers of the event, which “includes discussion panels, academic talks, author readings, theater performances, gaming, film screenings, and a month-long art exhibition.” In an interview, Hobbs cited the Duffer brothers and their hit show “Stranger Things” as exemplars of Weird.

Guests of honor in 2022 include editor Ann Vandermeer, Argentine artist Santiago Caruso, writers Gemma Files and Cassandra Khaw, game designer Oscar Rios, Canadian filmmaker and critic Kier-La Janisse, British podcaster Jonathan Sims, and the convention’s own poet laureate Bryan Thao Worra. Over 2,000 attendees from over 20 countries typically attend.

The convention events take place at a number of different venues throughout the downtown area. “That’s one of the reasons why the official name of the convention is actually ‘NecronomiCon-Providence’ because it says much about Providence and the uniqueness of Providence and the weirdness of Providence. Rather than just have it, say, in the Convention Center where everyone’s stuck inside of a cement building, so it could be in Kansas as well as it could be in Providence, we actually make the people that come to Providence have to wander the streets and see an amazing city. We use something like a dozen different venues and that makes attendees and guests have to explore Providence, and we’ve never had complaints about that,” Hobbs said. The focus has evolved away from Lovecraft specifically and more toward the broader field of the Weird, Hobbs said, although “there’s very much Lovecraft at the root of it, people actually being able to come to a city and see the landmarks that inspired Lovecraft and places where he wrote.”

“One of the things we try to do is kind of overwhelm people with choices. So at any given time, there’s three or four different panel discussions going on. There’s probably other things happening. There’s film screenings… walking tours of Lovecraft-related sites, and any number of other things, and also just social interactions happening. It’s sort of two different things. If people are coming and attending the convention, try to just pop around and enjoy different things. There’s also gaming going on [where] people can drop in and play a game for a few hours. But we also try to have open programming that anyone from the general public can just walk in and check out some films, pay ten bucks for the day and you see all the films that are screening or pay five bucks and you can go into the vendor hall. Buy some Weird stuff for your Weird friends,” Hobbs said.

Asked, “How many capital-W Weirdos do you get versus lowercase-w weirdos?” Hobbs answered, “It’s one of the reasons why I think people enjoy Providence so much. I mean, Providence is such an amazing, quirky town. I think it’s such a beautiful, unique city. We have people come from 20 different countries usually, and they come and immediately fall in love with Providence history, its creative aspect. So they’re our kind of Weird I should say.”

Lovecraft, who died in 1937, has been widely criticized for racism and xenophobia (“HP Lovecraft: His Racism in Context,” by Michael Bilow, Aug 14, 2019). “It’s a challenge, but we really tried hard, especially over the last few iterations of the convention, to make people know this isn’t strictly about Lovecraft. There will never not be some aspect of Lovecraft in the convention there. There simply has to be, it would be silly to not include him. But for a while, we’ve been realizing there’s so much more to Weird fiction. There’s so much more to Providence than strictly Lovecraft that we can’t keep doing the same program over and over again. I come from an academic background, help stage science conferences and such. So my view is very much that of an academic: Lovecraft isn’t a sacred cow, he is somebody that we should discuss, warts and all. I think that there’s a lot – millions of people around the world – who revere his writing,” Hobbs said.

“People in Portugal consider Lovecraft one of the world’s preeminent authors, which is an astonishing thing. Coming to our store in Providence: we have people from China, we have people from Argentina, we have people from Spain, Italy, all these countries and from all these ethnic backgrounds that Lovecraft himself may have been, frankly, terrified of, yet they have found something special in his fiction. The convention really tries to give a home for everybody and acknowledge the flaws and, at the same time, acknowledge that he is this remarkable, influential author, and then also look beyond that to all the latest authors and the artists who are now expanding the field of fiction. Many of them don’t draw any influence [from Lovecraft], but they’re still kind of in the umbrella of Weird,” Hobbs said.

Asked to comment on the satirical Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, set in the 1950s and featuring an African American protagonist who is an ardent fan of Lovecraft, Hobbs said, “I personally think it’s great. I know there are some people that disagree and there’s also people that completely agree with me that think the book – and then the HBO series that came from it that Misha Green made – are amazing, and I think it’s the right blend of pastiche but also making it relevant and important and making some kind of commentary out of it.” Hobbs continued, “It gets some criticism because it includes a bit of modern politics. I don’t think that’s at all a bad thing. I think that anything that makes Weird fiction and Lovecraftian fiction relevant today, I think it’s a good thing.”

Jordan Peele, who is Black, and his Academy Award-winning (for Best Original Screenplay) anti-racist satire film Get Out also falls within the scope of Weird, Hobbs said. “Jordan Peele is another great example. He is an old nerd who grew up enjoying all the kinds of fiction. One of the things that he’ll say is, when he was a kid, it was hard to find that kind of Weird or sci-fi stuff, where he could see himself. Now there’s many more Black authors, Black filmmakers, artists that are starting to represent a much more complete picture. I personally, I’m kind of psyched that they incorporate Weird sci-fi, Weird horror elements. I’d love to get Jordan Peele to become a guest of honor for us.”

“When people come into our store [in the Providence Arcade] and they’re like, ‘What are you? What is weird fiction?’ We basically can list all these things that they’ve been watching that they’ve been enjoying for the past several years, past decades or more, going back to the Twilight Zone and before that, are absolutely things that fall under the umbrella,” Hobbs said.

Because of the pandemic, the convention itself has faced increased costs, and uncertainty affecting everything from supply chains to airline travel will have unpredictable effects. “When we first started selling passes, we were just excited to have something to look forward to. Now I think the realization is the practicality of travel, especially international travel, is challenging. I’m worried that our international participation won’t be as high as it has been.… We’ll see how we’ll do this year. It’ll still be a great convention, but I’m looking forward to 2024 when we can hopefully, fingers crossed, get back to something more normal. By ‘normal,’ of course, I mean Weird normal,” Hobbs said.

As to COVID-19 accommodation, “We are requiring mask-wearing indoors,” Hobbs said. “We now live in a world where there’s no guarantees, nothing that can foolproof protect us. People making the choice to attend, I’m sure, realize there is some risk, and we just have to do our best to try to mitigate that risk as much as we can. We’ve decreased some of the room [capacities]. We’ve actually spread things out more and require mask-wearing.” Exceptions to mask-wearing will be speakers while actually speaking, for whom it will be optional, as well as events involving active eating and drinking. “All the hotels have assured us that their ventilation systems are up and running well-filtered. It’s nerve racking to put on an international convention and not be able to assure some greater degree of normal safety, but, under the circumstances, I think we’re doing the best that we can.”

The convention typically has drawn over 2,000, but, Hobbs said, “I’ll be perfectly happy if we have 1,500 attendees who have a good time and stay safe. Keep it safe and enjoyable. We were on target to completely overshoot previous records, and we may still be there and we may still break previous records. But my bigger concern – as long as the bills get paid, which is a huge thing – is that everyone has a good time and stays relatively, reasonably safe as well.”

Although committed to running the convention in 2024, Hobbs said he may back away after that. “It’s an awful, arduous experience for all of us. None of us really get paid: a few people get expenses covered and stuff like that, and small stipends because they have to give up work or whatever. This has sort of taken its toll on a number of us mentally and physically.”

The final event closing the convention is a screening of the Lovecraft-inspired film The Dunwich Horror. “The film, it’s kind of grown on me. At first, I was like, ‘Oh, that film is just terrible,’” Hobbs said. “We do this thing that we’ve made a tradition now at the Columbus [Theater on Broadway] on Sunday night. It’s open to the public, $5 admission. We call it The Dunwich Horror Picture Show. It’s kind of our version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but even more weird. Not particularly musical at all, but a really strange 1970s psychedelia movie… which is based on a Lovecraft story, but it’s very much its own trip from the height of psychedelic filmmaking in 1970. And we screen it from a 35mm print which is slowly degrading more and more and more, and people recite their favorite lines, yelling at the screen as the movie is projected. We have a great time with that. So that’s Sunday night at 9pm.… You have a whole room full of people who all, to some extent, know it and can shout along their favorite goofy lines. And there’s plenty of goofy lines in it. Meanwhile, Big Nazo is waving tentacles in your face and you have a good Narragansett beer that you’re drinking. It’s a lot of fun and it’s the very last event of the whole convention. It’s kind of ‘All right, we’re done.’ Now we could just relax.”

When it was pointed out that it would take a lot of Narragansett beers to make that movie watchable, Hobbs said, “We actually are good partners with Narragansett; they’ve helped us out with a lot of stuff. Motif has been an incredible help for us over the years, too. The Providence Tourism Council, Providence Convention Visitors Bureau have been huge supporters and allies for us. We get a variety of private sponsors and public sponsors.”

NecronomiCon-Providence is run by the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council, a non-profit organization that also operates the store in the Arcade at 65 Weybosset St, PVD: weirdprovidence.org

Passes and tickets for the convention as day-passes for film screenings and access to the vendor hall are available on the web: necronomicon-providence.com/passes-and-tickets

Volunteers can earn free passes and other goodies: necronomicon-providence.com/volunteer




Rhythm & Roots Goes On: A brief history in Tradition

It’s 1978 and Chuck Wentworth is lugging vinyl records to WRIU to host his Monday night radio show Traditions. For the next 37 years, as the host of Traditions and WRIU’s roots music director, Wentworth will broadcast a weekly dose of renowned and emerging roots music from the towers of WRIU to the radios of RI.

“You know the thing about vinyl,” says Wentworth. “Back then all the stuff that came out was produced by maybe 20, 25 different labels… so you knew when you got some vinyl from one of these record companies it was gonna be good stuff and it was gonna be high quality.”

In 1998, when the opportunity arose to revive a long-running Cajun and bluegrass festival facing bankruptcy, Wentworth partnered with Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival producer Mary Doub to purchase the festival, and together, Wentworth and Doub founded Rhythm & Roots. 

After spending a year in the festival’s Escoheag location, Wentworth and Doub relocated Rhythm & Roots to its current location at Charlestown’s Ninigret Park. With a smoother, more level landscape and ample space for multiple stages, overnight camping and three days of festival parking, Wentworth and Doub were able to elevate Rhythm & Roots to the event they wanted it to be. 

“My company is Lagniappe Productions,” says Wentworth. “It’s a Cajun-French term similar to a baker’s dozen, meaning you get more than you expected. That’s our attitude in terms of working with the public, they buy a ticket to the event and we go above and beyond what they’d normally get in a festival experience.”

Like Traditions, Rhythm & Roots offers listeners everything roots music has to offer—blues, Cajun, zydeco, country, swing. “You name it. It runs the gamut. We try to put a diverse sampling out there for people.” 

Wentworth also assembles festival lineups in the same way he structured his long-running radio show. “I’ve used that knowledge to put together lineups. When I set a daily schedule, I try to get a diversity of styles going and somehow keep it all connected, to find a way to start with a bluegrass band, then go to some country music, then to blues, then some Cajun music, and just keep producing daily lineups like that. The festival has a great vibe. People come here year after year, they meet up with old friends…

“There’s no pressure, people just get to hang. They bring chairs and blankets and spread out. We’ve got about a dozen food vendors. We sell beer and wine and you know, people just relax and wander the grounds. We’ve got three stages, so you can get up and go from stage to stage and listen to different kinds of music.”

In 2015, Doub decided to dedicate her attention to producing the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival full time and sold her share of Rhythm & Roots to Wentworth. Wentworth continued to build the festival, staying true to his philosophy of giving people more than they expected, of giving them a better festival experience. 

In 2021, health concerns forced Wentworth to step away from Rhythm & Roots and cancel the festival; however, just as he and Doub came to the rescue of that long-running Cajun and bluegrass festival years ago, shortly after announcing the cancellation of Rhythm & Roots, Wentworth received dozens of inquiries from prospective buyers.

“I narrowed it down to this one group out of Hartford, CT, GoodWorks Entertainment. I looked at their history, we talked at length, and I felt they were on the same page with what I’d been doing. Their philosophy is pretty much the same and they’re expressing an attitude that they don’t want to change anything. They want to come in for at least the next couple of years and observe. They’re a family business, they’re active in their community. Those are the major philosophies that I saw and said, ‘Alright, this can work.’”

Although not at the helm for the first time in 24 years, Wentworth played an active role in the booking and logistics of the 2022 lineup; he focused on securing local and regional bands while GoodWorks secured national acts. “They’re handling about half the booking and I’m doing the other half. I’m very comfortable in the role I’m in now, a lot of the stress has been relieved.”

This year’s festival brings together over 20 artisan vendors, a dozen food vendors offering cuisines from all over—Korean chili bowls, Cajun and Creole specialties, Middle Eastern fare, gyros, tacos, ribs, chowder, clam cakes—and most importantly, a lineup of over 20 high quality rhythm and roots musicians from across the country, including Little Feat on their Waiting For Columbus 45th Anniversary Tour. 

“Friday night we’ve got an all New Orleans night… We’ve got four bands that are all from New Orleans, they’ll be kicking off the festival. I’m excited about that night,” says Wentworth. “You know, it’s a pretty solid year. I’m looking forward to seeing this thing go on.”

Rhythm & Roots Festival: Fri, Sep 2 thru Sun, Sep 4 in Ninigret Park, Charlestown. For more information and to purchase individual tickets or festival passes, visit rhythmandroots.com.




Mane Character Energy: Leo season’s fiercest, fanciest foodie finds

Like it or not, it’s Leo Season, y’all! From July 22nd to August 22nd every year, the planet becomes just a little bit more extra while those of us lucky to be born under this leonine sign all declare as one that “It’s MY birthday month!” Face it: for Leos, this stretch of time is a full blown party, and not just any spot will do for these ferociously fickle felines. As a Leo myself (August 15th, a national holiday, and the date of Motif’s food truck awards!), here are some of my faves for when I just need to celebrate and channel my Main Character Energy – which is stronger than normal around this time of the year.

Porch Dining at The Clarke Cooke House

Leos are all about getting glammed up and having a fabulous time, and what better way than to indulge at one of the last spots where a dress code is (thankfully) enforced? Yes, guys must don sport jackets, and gals are expected to reach similar levels of #fashion, but your efforts will be rewarded with effortless service by handsome, tuxedo-clad gentlemen (ok, purr), a menu of locally inspired delicacies (the Lobster with Sauce Poivre Rose is winsome without catering to the masses of seafood zombies on the wharf below), and of course, the Snowball in Hell, everyone’s favorite Newport dessert – a wine glass filled to the brim with house-made chocolate mousse, devil’s food cake, Callebaut chocolate, fresh vanilla ice cream and toasted coconut. Watch all eyes turn to your table as this towering trifle is presented, complete with a birthday sparkler — but don’t worry, Leo. You’re the sparkliest one in the room.

24 Bannister’s Wharf, Newport

The Boombox Karaoke

The overlap between manic theater kids and August birthdays is unsurprisingly common, and where else can one belt out “Little Girls” from Annie while sipping on a fruity, guava-y Love Cat sake cocktail served in an actual ceramic cat glass? The Dean Hotel is already a total vibe — the 52-room boutique hotel boasts a fantastic location and distinctive decor right in the heart of downtown PVD — and the swanky subterranean lounge is the perfect place to channel your inner diva. Private karaoke rooms are available, but in true Leo fashion, the main room is where the spotlight will truly shine on you. Also, “Little Girls” is my karaoke song of choice. #MissHanniganDeservedBetter #SorryNotSorry

122 Fountain Street, PVD

Secret Garden at Ocean House

Nothing says excessive like a champagne and crepe garden, and even though Westerly is a bit far, Ocean House is a total Leo mood, and I am so here for it. The Secret Garden pop-up runs all summer long, and no birthday visit is complete without a Smoked Salmon Crepe with a generous scoop of Royal Belgian Osetra Caviar and a Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé Watermelon Crush Swimming Pool cocktail, featuring fresh watermelon and Pop Rocks! They’re even open for private dining in their lush waterfront realm, and honestly, that sounds like an ideal birthday party to me!

1 Bluff Avenue, Westerly

Cara at The Chanler

IMO, Leos are the pickiest sign of the Zodiac, so when you subject us to a tasting menu that is completely Chef’s choice, you’re either in for an Oscar-winning tantrum, or a happy kitty, nibbling contentedly on foie gras. At Cara, it’s definitely the latter. With only four tables, guests are truly the stars of the show as they indulge in five or eight course menus of bespoke culinary creations. Executive Chef Jacob Jasinki is at the helm of this impressive Forbes Five Star dining experience, and between the seaside views and gastronomic greatness, this experience is not to be missed.

117 Memorial Boulevard, Newport




Motif’s 2022 Food Truck and Drink Award Nominees

RI has no shortage of fantastic food trucks, breweries and distilleries, and we at Motif can’t wait to celebrate them at our Food Truck and Drink awards this month. With nominees spanning 45 categories, we hope you can discover a new favorite food truck or brewery to try on your next night out. While we encourage voting for your favorites and there can only be so many winners, we appreciate each and every nominee and the creativity and craft they bring to RI’s food and drink scene.

Food Trucks

Burgers

Haven Brothers

Pit Stop

Rocket Fine Street Food

Everything “AN”

Atomic Burgers

Hot Dogs & Sausages

Big Dog Eats

Dogs on the Go

Plouffe’s

The Sausage Guy

Muzzled Hot Dogs

Saugy’s

Sam’s NY System

BBQ

GottaQ BBQ

Smoke & Squeal

Supa Dupa

Little B’s BBQ

Binge BBQ

Cheese & Cheesesteaks

Fancheezical

Dinolicious

Championship Melt

Big Dog Eats

Red’s Street Food

Rhodies Food Truck

Seafood

TrapBoxPVD

Newport Chowder Company

Shuckin’ Truck

Gansett Poke

La Costa Lobster & Tacos

Blount Seafood

Julio’s Gourmet Food Truck

Hometown Poke

Tacos

Tacofied

La Costa Lobster & Tacos

One2 Taco & More

Poco Loco Tacos

Macs Screaming Corn & Tacos

RaRa’s Surf Shack Beach Wagon

Latin & Caribbean Influences

Matilda

Gonzalez Food Truck

La Carreta

Gnarly Vines Food Truck

Spanglish

Burrito Bowl

La Guaguita Del Sabor

Bajas Enterprises

JA PATTY RI Catering & Events

Tacos Mi Rancho

La Birria

Asian Influence

Incred-A-Bowl

Nanu the Burmese Fusion

Lotus Pepper

Ming’s Asian Street Food

Italian Influence

Hook N Ladder Pizza Co.

Bird’s Nest Italian Street Food

Nonnie’s Kitchen

A Mano Pizza + Gelato

Moving Dough Wood Fired Pizza Co.

Mike & Lenny’s Bar Pizza

Vegan/Vegetarian/Cruelty-free

Nanu the Burmese Fusion

Vegan Suga

Lotus Pepper

Ming’s Asian Street Food

Like No Udder

Basil & Bunny

Juice Junkie

Potatoes

Hot Potato

Friskie Fries

Cluck Truck

ButterHead

Red’s Street Food

Breakfast & Brunch

Lu Lu’s Little Pancakes

Sunnyside on the Street

Oatmiel Café

The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles

Lemmiegetuhhh

Presto Strange O Coffee

Coffee

On the Rhode Cafe

The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles

Café Modesto

The Daily Grind

Presto Strange O Coffee Truck

COFFEE 911

The Salty Brew

Rise and Grind Coffee Truck

Dessert

Sarcastic Sweets

La Fruta Loca

Lu Lu’s Little Pancakes

Black Dog Donuts

The Cupcakory

Nessa’s Snack Shop

Jo Jo’s Cupcakes

O Boy

Twisted Churros

Shishkaberry’s of New England

Frozen Dessert

Kay’s Ice Cream

Atomic Blonde Ice Cream

Kona Ice

New England Frozen Lemonade

Chelsea’s Creamery

Tizzy K’s Cereal Ice Cream

Palagis Ice Cream

Hawaiian Jim’s Shave Ice

Mumsy’s Ice Cream

Cosmo’s Fresh & Frozen Treats

Milk Caffe & Catering

Alien Ice Cream

Food Truck with Storefront

Smoke & Squeal BBQ

GottaQ BBQ

Red’s Street Kitchen

Poco Loco Taco

Like No Udder

Friskie Fries

Graphics

RaRa’s Surf Shack Beach Wagon

Friskie Fries

Championship Melt

Hot Potato

Alien Ice Cream

New Truck

Coffee 911

Hook N Ladder Pizza Co.

Mumsy’s Ice Cream

Vegan Suga

Lemmiegetuhhh

Rise and Grind Coffee Truck

Everything “AN”

Nonnie’s Kitchen

Cosmo’s Fresh & Frozen Treats

All-Weather Warrior

Farm to Sandwich

Red’s Street Kitchen

JA Patty

Rocket Fine Street Food

Other Ethnic

The Village Greek

Pit Stop

The Ish

Pierogitory

Bem Bom Portuguese

Flip N Roll

Fieldstone Kombucha

Location/Festival

New Bedford Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival

Hope & Main’s Schoolyard Twilight Party

Food Truck Friday at Mulligan’s Island

Warwick Food Truck Nights

Food Truck Friday at Carousel Village

Food Trucks at Narragansett Beach

Providence Flea

Pop-up

The Perfect Sweet Shoppe

Mamma Lasagna’s

Biggest Little Easy Catering

Kenza’s Delights

Dips Dips

Butterbang Croissants

Bites by Bre

Sarcastic Sweets

Portable Not-Quite-Truck

Wally’s Wieners

Sweet B’s Donuts

Newport Chowder Co.

Tricycle Ice Cream

Poppin Minis RI

Outdoor Treat

Lemon

Iggy’s Doughboys (Various)

Sandcastles Sundaes

Gray’s Ice Cream (Tiverton)

Cold Fusion Gelato

The Inside Scoop

Three Sisters (Hope St, PVD)

The Wright Scoop

Blount’s

Locally Manufactured Food

Rhed’s Hot Sauce

Yacht Club Soda

Ocean State Pepper Company (spices)

Hustlers Swing Sauce

Beautiful Day Granola (granola)

Sacred Cow Granola (granola)

The Backyard Food Company (salsa)

Venda Ravioli lobster ravioli

Del’s Lemonade

Granny Squibb’s (iced tea)

New RI Food Product

Lost Art Kraut-Chi

PVD Pies

Sarcastic Sweets Beernuts

Anchor Toffee

Bootblack Syrup

Farmer’s Market

Lippitt Park (PVD)

Farm Fresh RI (PVD)

Brooklawn Park (New Bedford)

Burnside Park (PVD)

Burrillville Farmer’s Market (Burrillville)

Greene Farmers Market (Coventry)

Armory Farmers Market (PVD)

Goddard State Park (Warwick)

Fishermen’s Memorial Park (Narragansett)

Schoolyard Market at Hope & Main (Warren)

O’Connell Field (Attleboro)

Pawtuxet Village (Cranston)

Drinks

DIPA+

Ocean Loft by Shaidzon

Rhode Rage by Newport Craft

Stiff Sheet by West Passage

Captain’s Daughter by Grey Sail

Warren G by The Guild

Tonebender by Rejects

You Thirsty by Revival

The All Seeing Eye by Long Live

Liquid Hugs DIPA by Ragged Island

IPA

Evolver 4.0 by The Hive

Tiny Truck IPA by Ragged Island

Crawl, Walk, Run by Apponaug

Musik Express IPA by Narragansett

Object Permanence by Buttonwoods

Cranston Thug Life by Union Station Brewery

Galaxy Elixer by LineSider

What Even Is This? By Origin Beer Project

Trendy Name by Moniker

Tendril by Proclamation

Mayday NEIPA by Bravo Brewing

Tropical IPA by General’s Crossing

Kolsch

Ruby by Six Pack

Canal Street Crushable Ale by Grey Sail

Another Room Without A View by Proclamation

Koelsh by Trinity

Lager

Japanese Lager by Rejects

Meander Through by Apponaug

Irresistible Delicious by PVD Brewing Company

Is This Still Lawn Boy by Titled Barn

Chair 2 Light Lager by Sons of Liberty

Slater by The Guild

Burnout by Taproot

Donde Esta La Biblioteca by Ragged Island

Small Victories by Origin Beer Project

Mexican Dark Lager by General’s Crossing

Pale Ale

Rise by Whalers

Anthem American Pale Ale by Bravo Brewing

Observatory by The Guild

Doug White Ale by Union Station Brewery

Fox Point Ale by Narragansett

Independence American Pale Ale by The Hive

Sea and Sand by Shaidzon

Honey Hibiscus Wit by General’s Crossing

Flavored

Pumpkin Spice Ale by Lops Brewing

Blond Jovi by Linesider

Belgian Strawberry by Trinity

Blueberry American Wheat by Crooked Current

Blueberry Ale by Newport Craft

Light Ale

Debut Single by Moniker

Saison Des Fraise by Ravenous Brewing

Fresh Catch by Narragansett

House by Buttonwoods

Golden Ale & Blondes

Blueberry Blonde by Coddington

G’Day Mate by Buttonwoods

The Meg Blonde Ale by Twelve Guns

Golden Ale by Coddington

Pilsner/Pilsener

Station 3 Pilsner by Lops Brewing

Pilsner by Buttonwoods

Pawtuxet Pilsner by Apponaug

Bohemian Pilsner by Narragansett

PVD Pils by Long Live

Kōwhai by Tilted Barn

West Fountain Street by Beer On Earth

Buffalo Czech Pils by Shaidzon

State of Flow by Moniker

Grassroots Italian-Style Pilsner by The Hive

Lenni by Six Pack

Porter

Espresso Peanut Butter Porter by Lops Brewing

Blueport by Taproot

Marzanna by Beer On Earth

Reds & Browns

Bienvenu by Ravenous Brewing

Irish Red by Twelve Guns

Neopolitan Brown Ale by Crooked Current

Full Keel Brown Ale by West Passage

Sour

Lava Monster by Smug

Pinky Swear by Revival

Mango Vango by Foolproof

Flower Sour by Taproot

Monchito by Whalers

Frozie Cup Donut by Long Live

Sunrise Over Sea by Tilted Barn

Pastry Sour Key Lime Pie by Twelve Guns

Oyster Gose by Newport Craft

Stout

Coffee Milk Stout by Ravenous Brewing

Marshmallow Imperial Stout by Lops Brewing

Barrel Aged Imperial Stout by Rejects

White Stout by Crooked Current

Echo Lake Sunrise by Apponaug

Wear It Out by PVD Brewing Company

Wheat

Summer Sol by Tilted Barn

Summer Wheat by Coddington

Make This Romance Last by Proclamation

Cherry Wheat Ale by Bravo Brewing

Screaming Viking by Trinity

Easy Company Hefeweizen by Bravo Brewing

Holy Mountain by Beer on Earth

Miscellaneous Beer

Oak Aged Cask Barleywine by Norey’s

Stereo > Mono by Proclamation

Big Red Goat by Foolproof

Prosecco by Gooseneck

Malted Barleywine by Malted Barley

Ollie by Six Pack

Cabin Fever by Smug

Seltzers+

Peach Seltzer by Ravenous Brewing

Cannon & Anchor Hard Seltzer by Twelve Guns

Drift by Whalers

Cider

Orchard Blend All In by Sowams

Rhody Coyote by Newport Vineyards

Blueberry Vanilla by Tapped Apple Cider

Whiskey/Bourbon

Honey Chamomile Flavored Whiskey by Sons of Liberty

Puppy Bourbon by White Dog

Cornucopia Whiskey by White Dog

Bourbon by Working Man Distillers

Gin/Vodka

Rhodium Coffee Black Walnut Vodka by RI Spirits

Ornamental Gin by ISCO

True Born Gin by SOL

Rhodium Forager’s Gin by RI Spirits

Rhodium NRG Gin by RI Spirits

Other Spirits

Lella’s Limoncello by White Dog

Coquito Tropical by Papi’s Coquito and Tropical Juices

Battle Cry Single Malt by Sons of Liberty

Agave by South County Distillers

Favorite Beer Fest

Beervana (Cranston, October)

Craft Beer Races (Newport, July)

Newport Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival (Newport, October)

RI Brew Fest (PVD, January)

Witches Brew Fest (Smithfield, October)




Is This Jazz?: Newport Jazz Fest ’22

Each year as July edges closer to August, I feel my ears prickle at the prospect of enjoying yet another edition of the historic Newport Jazz Festival. Now that I have been fortunate to have attended the festival for over half of my life, it has become a tradition unlike any other I know: one that guarantees not only familiarity and a sense of “going home,” but also comes with the joy of knowing that out there at Fort Adams is a new sound waiting to break through and steal my heart and mind for the next year. This edition of the festival promises those same rewards, and even more so considering we’re shifting back to the more maximalist vision of a festival, away from the stripped-down version we all enjoyed last year. So to get you prepared, here are three picks for sets on each day that I think should be considered as part of your festival watching schedule.

The festivities begin on Friday July 29, a day packed with ambitious newbies and old legends alike. Collaborations abound this year and few are as exciting as the prospect of McBride’s Newport Jawn, which is run by Newport’s creative director and bass master Christian McBride, and will feature an all-star cast including Chris Potter and Vijay Iyer. Having seen nearly every McBride set I could over the last few years and considering the personnel he has lined up, I’m anticipating a musically adventurous set that blends the best of everyone’s capabilities. For another set of creative mastery be sure to check out Terrence Blanchard. Not only is he an amazing trumpet player but also a composer of the highest caliber, having penned several large-scale pieces, including award-winning operas. And of course, all the native Rhode Islanders will need to give some love to the deep and dirty funk of Lettuce which features RI’s own Eric “Benny” Bloom on trumpet. And if you haven’t had enough by day’s end, grab a ticket to go see Nate Smith + Friends at the official after-show benefit going down at the Newport Blues Cafe on Friday night.

On Saturday I implore you all to do whatever you can to see Sons Of Kemet. They have been one of my favorite new bands over the last couple of years, had one of my top favorite sets of any festival and this will be their last year as a group so this may be your last chance to ever see them play. If you dig heavy percussion and exciting blends of sound, be sure to dig Antonio Sánchez & Bad Hombre which is described on his website as Sánchez’s “sociopolitical electronica & drums exploration…in which Sánchez turns his political anger into a moving musical statement as a protest against injustice in our current political climate and as a tribute to every immigrant’s journey.” And as has become somewhat of a tradition for me, I need to suggest yet another set from Cécile McLorin Salvant. She is beyond comparison in so many ways that one just needs to witness her brilliance to fully grasp it.

Ending the festival on a high note, Sunday is bursting with magnificent musicians. For starters- although I’m not hip to their music right now- I’m intrigued by what Jazz Is Dead Presents has to offer. It’s a record label that has an impressive catalog with a mix of younger artists and older icons. It’ll be interesting to see what they bring to the festival. I caught the last few minutes of a PJ Morton set at a past festival and I truly regret not being able to have seen more of him so I am overjoyed to be able to watch him again. His virtuosity, his joy and his embracing of so many sounds and styles will surely make for many people’s favorite set of the weekend. And of course, there is no better or more fitting way to end this year’s festival than Celebrating George Wein, a tribute to the man who started it all and reshaped modern music history with his festivals and his spirit. This set features a truly insane line up with Christian McBride, Trombone Shorty, Hiromi, and that’s just the folks listed on the poster. With so many incredible musicians appearing over the three days I’m sure we are going to get a musical experience the likes of which are rarely ever seen.

As a reminder, bring lots of sunscreen, a water bottle and good walking shoes so you can fully enjoy what this year has to offer. For more information please visit newportjazz.org, where you will also find links to schedules, vendor lists and more. Hope to see you all at the Fort!

Ben Shaw is a local composer, performer, and writer. Find him at benjaminshawmusic.com and on Instagram at @benjaminshawmusic.




Live Music and Family Fun in the Sun: RI Blues Fest and Nashville RI Country Music Fest come back swinging

“Summer can be brief and fleeting in New England, so we’re always trying to find new ways to make the most of it,” says Michael Freidman, owner of Mulligan’s Island and host of two of RI’s up and coming music festivals – RI Blues Fest and NashvilleRI Country Music Fest. If you’re looking to have some summer fun with live music outdoors, both these festivals have something special to offer.

RI Blues Fest will be on Saturday, July 16 and Nashville RI Country Music Fest on Sunday, July 17, both running from noon to 9 pm and hosted at Mulligan’s Island in Cranston. Featuring line-ups that mix of local musicians and national ones, the festivals have something for everyone. 

As a large outdoor venue, Mulligan’s Island also has room for families to bring games, lawn chairs, tents and all the essentials. 

“People who come, they’ll bring chairs, they’ll bring blankets, they’ll bring umbrellas – sunbrellas,” says Freidman. “This year we’re actually going to be putting up additional tents to provide more shady space to families that maybe want to get out of the sun more, or adults who just love being outside but maybe don’t want as much direct sun.”

All other Mulligan’s Island activities will also be open during this time, including a mini-golf course, driving range, batting cages and more, giving attendees the option to switch things up for a bit during the festival if they so desire to. 

“This year we’ll have more activities for the kids like inflatables and other things,” Friedman adds, noting that while the majority of their attendees are typically a bit older, they want the event to appeal to young families so that they can bring their kids as well. 

Food and drink will be served, including craft beer, barbeque and several other food options. Something that distinguishes the music festivals at Mulligan’s Island from others is that participants are allowed to leave and return throughout the day, so if an attendee wants to dine elsewhere or just wants to get out of the sun for a little while, they have the option to do that and return later.

This year, Mulligan’s Island has also teamed up with the Park Theater so that the festivals will have an indoor alternative should there be inclement weather. 

Since their inceptions, the two music festivals have attracted attendees not just from RI, but from out-of-state as well. 

The RI Blues Fest began in 2018, when Freidman noted that though RI has many music festivals, there was a gap in the representation of some genres. 

“Blues music was not well represented in the spectrum of shows that were being promoted,” explains Freidman. “We went out and we found that we could attract really good talent both locally and nationally … and we just sort of rolled it out there.”

Noting the growth of popularity for country music in the state, it occurred to Friedman that Blues might not be the only genre of music that would benefit from a festival. Thus, in 2019, Mulligan’s Island hosted its first Country Music Fest. “We evaluated [that growth in popularity] as another opportunity to reach out to our audience and find talent that would perform and would appeal to those people who were coming out to Mulligan’s already. It’s been good and it’s been growing.”

This year, the musician line-up for Blues Fest will include Neal & The Vipers, Vintage R&B All-Stars with special guest Sugar Ray, Robin Kapsalis & Vintage #18, and Victor Wainwright & The Train. For Nashville RI Country Music Fest, performing musicians include Lauren King,  Country Wild Heart, Annie Brobst, Houston Bernard, and Tyler James & The Silks.

“Overall we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from both performers and the crowds,” Freidman reflects. “We’re always sort of tinkering with it, trying to learn what would be better going forward.”

Because the festivals are outdoors, there are no COVID-19 restrictions in place for these events. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit mulligansisland.com




Motif’s 2022 Music Awards Nominees: Who will take home the trophy?

With local music beginning to blossom once more following two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Motif is pleased to present our annual Music Awards! These awards compile nominees put forward by local venues, record labels, music writers and radio stations.

For being the smallest state, RI certainly has a never ending supply of fantastic music spanning all genres. This year, our list of nominees is especially exciting, featuring a blend of scene veterans and brand new talent. Every single band, singer, venue and album listed here represents the absolute best that RI music has to offer.

Along with the awards ceremony, which will be hosted at the legendary venue Fete Music Hall, there will be food, drinks and live music provided by Stefan Couture, returning performers School of Rock, and other acts.

No matter who you select in each category, it is important to recognize and appreciate just how much creativity, vitality and talent is present in RI music. Many of these acts have promising futures ahead, and it is always a joy to see how music from this state evolves and captivates ears and hearts worldwide. To all the musicians, venues, labels and audiophiles in RI, we salute you.

DETAILS: 

What: The Motif 2022 RI Music Awards 

Where: Fete Music Hall, 203 Dike St in PVD

When: July 18, 6:30 – 9:30 pm. 

Vote now through July 10 at: motifri.com/musicawards2022

And now, the nominees!

Americana:

Best Act:

Allysen Callery

Atwater-Donnelly

Dan Blakeslee 

The Huntress and Holder of Hands

The Low Cards

Man and Wife

Best R&B Act:

Boo City

Empress

Julie Rhodes

NiLa 78

Steve Smith & The Nakeds

Best Live Act:

The Co-Eds

Consuelo’s Revenge

High Planes

Julie Rhodes and the Electric Co

Museum Legs

Sharks Come Cruisin’

Steve Smith & The Nakeds

Vudu Sister

Best Country Act:

Charlie Marie

Lauren King

Nick Bosse and the Northern Roots 

Ward Hayden & the Outliers

Best Open Mic:

Askew

Hill’s Tavern & Grill

Musical Chairs with Al Keith at Java Madness

The Parlour

Sunday Series at the Updike in East Greenwich 

Best Singer/Songwriter:

Brian Shovelton

Jodie Treloar Sampson

Lauren King

Lee Zangari 

NiLa 78 

Sarah Kenyon

Stefan Couture

Best Vocalist:

Alexus Lee

Alison Rose

Amanda Salemi

Avi Jacob

Beth Barron

Christian Calderone 

J. Michael Graham

Jodie Treloar Sampson 

Lauren King

Tammy Laforest

Tara Hansen

Best Bluegrass Band: 

Four Bridges

Greystone Rail

High Planes

Ocean State Ramblers

Rock Hearts

Sinner’s Pie

Best Jazz Act: 

Ben Shaw

Birt and Harley

Chase Ceglie Quartet

Evening Sky

Greg Abate

John Allmark Band

Leland Baker Trio

Mutter

Best Concert Photographer:

Emily Gardner 

James Lastovski

Kerry Quinn

Lisa Gourley

Richard McCaffery 

Rick Farrell

Small Frye

Best Blues Act:

Adapter Adapter

Cannibal Ramblers

Duke Robillard Band

F & Blues Band

Helen and the Trash Pandas

Jake Wasson

Jonathan Grice

The Low Cards

Neal and the Vipers

Best Folk Act: 

Allysen Callery

Dan Blakeslee

High Planes

Jillian Kay

Laden Valley

Lee Zangari

Tammy Laforest

Best Street Band/Marching Band/Brassband:

Coyote Brass

Extraordinary Rendition Band 

Providence Drum Troupe

Undertow Brass Band

Best Festival:

Rhythm and Roots

RI Blues Fest

RI Folk Fest

Warren Folks Fest

Best Album (Americana):

Adapter Adapter – No Comfort

Ben Shaw – Seven Songs

GrandEvolution – Glow

High Planes – Ghost Town

Best Music Video:

Big Nazo – Space Transformation Station

Los Duderinos – Something Else

Glenn Thomas – Reassure Me There’s a Window (live)

Never Coming Home – South Station

Olivia Charlotte – Diagnostics

Toad and the Stooligans and Friends – Bless the Table (LIVE CYPHER)

Alternative:

Best Rock Band: 

Julie Rhodes and the Electric Co

Ravi Shavi

SEXCoffee

Sgt. Baker & The Clones

The Smoke Breaks

Sugar Cones

Best Act:

The Benjis

Bochek

The Quahogs

Ravi Shavi

The Silks

Viking Jesus

Best Jam Band:

Eclipse

Electro Politics

Future Phase

Guess Method

Best Indie Rock Band: 

Beauquet

The Benji’s

Heather Rose in Clover

Jets Can’t Land

Leiko

NOVA ONE

Ski Bunny

StarBath

Best Live Act:

Chance Emerson

David Tessier’s All-Star Stars

Israel Wusu

Jets Can’t Land

Ski Bunny 

The Z-Boys

Best Reggae Act:

Dudemanbro

Natural Element

Professor Roots

SoulShot

Best Ska Band:

The Agents

The Brunt of it

The Copacetics

Sweet Babylon

They Were Robots

Best Garage Band:

123 Astronauts

Andy Lampert

David Tessier’s All-Star Stars

PonyBoy

Shirley Drive 

Song Birds

Tony Jones & The Cretin 3

Best Noise Band:

Baylies Band

Department of Teleportation 

Loud Neighbors

Minibeast

Psychic Graveyard

Best Pop Punk Act:

Bubblegum Punk

The Callouts

Electric Paisan

FINE.

Never Coming Home

so over it

Stubborn Hearts

Best Post Punk/Gothic Act:

DIGITAL

Hope Anchor

Leiko

Vudu Sister

Best Punk Act:

GNARNIA

The Knightsville Butchers

The McGunks

Midnight Creeps

The Paraplegics

Vague Perception

We Own Land

Best Hardcore Act:

Anxious Wave

Blasphemaddicts 

Bullet Proof Backpack

Hammer Party

Reason to Fight

Best Metal Act:

Amitié

Churchburn

RHODE KILL

Shape of Rage

She Rides

Best Prog/Emo Act:

Bent Knee

Hemlok

Indelego

Leiko

Sleep Mode

Best Vocalist:

Bob Kadlec

Chris Smith

Craig Ferris

Dan St Jacques

Jess Moroney

Muggs Fogarty

Paul Everett

Rafay Rashid

Stev Delmonico

Viana Valentine 

Breakthrough Act:

Beauquet

Degenerates of Punk

Grip Bite

The Keegan Turner Band 

The Knightsville Butchers

Best Album:

Beauquet – Beauquet

Corinne Southern and The Constellations – Celestial Bodies

Darklands – Forgive Yourself

Grip Bite – GTFO

Nick Politelli – Examiner

Pavid Vermin – Cutting Corners

SEXCoffee – Devilish Kiss

The Paraplegics – Ramp it up

Triangle Forest – Triangle Forest

Viking Jesus – Before the Mutation

Best Cover Band:

The Carson Daily Project

Country Wild Heart

Don’t Tell Lisa

Loose Screws

RugBurn

Take it to The Bridge 

Wicked Rhode

Best Tribute Band:

Dirty Deeds – ACDC

Green Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Hey Nineteen – Steely Dan

Violin River – Grateful Dead

Wicked Petty – Tom Petty

Best Karaoke Night:

The Ave

Boombox

Chan’s

Hill’s Tavern

Hot Club

JW’s Pub

The Parlour

Sports Tap

Union Station Brewery

Best Alt Festival:

Pride 

PVDfest

Revival Fest

Scurvy Dog Mega Show

Favorite Sound Person:

Brian Cabral

Dan Baldwin

DJ Psycho Eddie

Glenn Alexander

Greg Rourke

Jerome O’Neal 

Mike Arruda

Tayte Street

Vinnie Bellows

Favorite promoter:

Amber Lynn

Greg Chihoski

Michael Panico

Mike Carp

PVD World Music

Rob Duguay

The Hammer Collective

Tom Weyman

Best Festival:

Scurvy Dog Mega Show

Revival Fest

PVDfest

Pride

Electronica:

Best Hip Hop Act:

Chachi Carvalho

DirtyDurdie

Israel Wusu

Jesse the Tree

John Hope

Spocka Summa

Toad & The Stooligans

Best DJ:

Caloric

Desi Renegade

DJ Coroking

DJ Pauly Danger

DJ Psycho Eddie

Sex on Decks

Best Dance Night:

Discotech

FReQ

Island Saturdays

Kink Night

Nokturnal 

Soul Power

Vertebrae

Best Electronic Act:

Artist Jackie

Baby: Baby: Explores the Reasons Why that Gum Is Still on the Sidewalk

Ceres

Droplets

Dvalor

KiSSiNG KONTEST

Muggs Fogarty

Triangle Forest 




The Central Falls Landing Makes a Splash: Kayak rentals, river cruises, educational programs and more

You don’t need to buy a boat in order to enjoy a relaxing afternoon exploring a scenic river. The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the City of Central Falls have been hard at work creating the Central Falls Landing, located on the corner of Madeira Ave and Broad St. It runs along the Blackstone River and has a variety of activities on water and land that will be enjoyable for adults and children alike. 

The Blackstone River is an asset to the community because it brings people together and connects them to nature. Bob Billington, president and CEO of The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, describes a typical boat ride on the river:“Lots of trees, lots of wildlife, lots of fish life, and turtles,” are highlights of the Explorer River Tour. This Nature and Heritage Tour runs on Sundays from 1 – 4pm and the boat takes off at the beginning of each hour. 

The Central Falls landing also hosts The Samuel Slater, an authentic 40-foot canal boat that replicates those popular in the Blackstone Valley in the early-to-mid 19th century. “The Slater was brought here in 2000, to celebrate the Millennium,” Billington says. “It’s there for the public to enjoy a cruise or an overnight on a British-built canal boat. It is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing evening on the Blackstone River.” Half a dozen people can ride on a cruise and up to four people can stay overnight. There’s even a kitchen and a bathroom with warm water.

Additionally, the Central Falls Landing also has many educational opportunities for kids and teens. 

First is the RiverClassroom which enables teachers to bring their students on board The Explorer to study wildlife firsthand. “They learn about river science — how to protect the river [and] how to check its life status to date,” explains Billington. “They love learning on the river. A highlight is our Remote Operated Underwater Vehicle. This is where kids can control the ROV and see what is living under the boat.”

Second, a program that enables any Central Falls or Pawtucket resident under the age of eighteen to get free kayaking lessons. Billington says, “They will have the life skill of paddling which they will take with them forever. They … learn river safety as well.” 

The Central Falls Landing provides life jackets and all other necessary supplies for participants. Billington explains that safety concerns are minimal, “We have our dam safety line across the Central Falls Dam and that makes it very safe for the public to enjoy Central Falls Landing.” Both programs aim to teach kids the value of the Blackstone River and generate interest in conservation efforts. 

After a long day on the river, people often find themselves feeling hungry; luckily there are two restaurants on location. For those interested in trying something new, there’s Shark’s Peruvian Cuisine and for comfort food, there’s Royal Fried Chicken. Both restaurants are excellent choices for those in need of a hearty meal.
For more information about tours, rates and bookings, go to rivertourblackstone.com.




The Central Falls Landing Makes a Splash: Kayak rentals, river cruises, educational programs and more

You don’t need to buy a boat in order to enjoy a relaxing afternoon exploring a scenic river. The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the City of Central Falls have been hard at work creating the Central Falls Landing, located on the corner of Madeira Ave and Broad St. It runs along the Blackstone River and has a variety of activities on water and land that will be enjoyable for adults and children alike. 

The Blackstone River is an asset to the community because it brings people together and connects them to nature. Bob Billington, president and CEO of The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, describes a typical boat ride on the river:“Lots of trees, lots of wildlife, lots of fish life, and turtles,” are highlights of the Explorer River Tour. This Nature and Heritage Tour runs on Sundays from 1 – 4pm and the boat takes off at the beginning of each hour. 

The Central Falls landing also hosts The Samuel Slater, an authentic 40-foot canal boat that replicates those popular in the Blackstone Valley in the early-to-mid 19th century. “The Slater was brought here in 2000, to celebrate the Millennium,” Billington says. “It’s there for the public to enjoy a cruise or an overnight on a British-built canal boat. It is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing evening on the Blackstone River.” Half a dozen people can ride on a cruise and up to four people can stay overnight. There’s even a kitchen and a bathroom with warm water.

Additionally, the Central Falls Landing also has many educational opportunities for kids and teens. 

First is the RiverClassroom which enables teachers to bring their students on board The Explorer to study wildlife firsthand. “They learn about river science — how to protect the river [and] how to check its life status to date,” explains Billington. “They love learning on the river. A highlight is our Remote Operated Underwater Vehicle. This is where kids can control the ROV and see what is living under the boat.”

Second, a program that enables any Central Falls or Pawtucket resident under the age of eighteen to get free kayaking lessons. Billington says, “They will have the life skill of paddling which they will take with them forever. They … learn river safety as well.” 

The Central Falls Landing provides life jackets and all other necessary supplies for participants. Billington explains that safety concerns are minimal, “We have our dam safety line across the Central Falls Dam and that makes it very safe for the public to enjoy Central Falls Landing.” Both programs aim to teach kids the value of the Blackstone River and generate interest in conservation efforts. 

After a long day on the river, people often find themselves feeling hungry; luckily there are two restaurants on location. For those interested in trying something new, there’s Shark’s Peruvian Cuisine and for comfort food, there’s Royal Fried Chicken. Both restaurants are excellent choices for those in need of a hearty meal.
For more information about tours, rates and bookings, go to rivertourblackstone.com.




Roots Report July 2022: Traveling out of state for shows? In this economy?

Okee dokee folks… The cost of gas is hurting us all. It is eating into the important things that I do – travel to gigs and cover concerts. I have tried to cut back on my driving in an attempt to use less petrol. I am angry at the greed that is fueling the increase. Record profits for the oil companies, Wall Street speculators, production cutbacks and not the Ukraine conflict are the real underlying causes. 

Despite the gas price gouging, I have ventured to a few out-of-town shows. I had my own sort of religious experience at Fenway last week when I FINALLY saw Paul McCartney in concert. It was well worth the price of the kidney I sold for the ticket to see a Beatle. He played a nearly three-hour show of songs I wanted to hear. My only complaints about the show had nothing to do with Sir Paul: Parking was a ridiculous $55, a bottle of water was $5 and a drink was $15. Crazy!!! The crowd did a good job of interfering with my McCartney worship — people, as I mentioned a couple of columns ago, STILL do not know how to behave courteously when they go to concerts!

Next up was the Chevalier in Medford, MA. It’s a nice 1900-seat theater just outside of Boston where we attended the Rubber Soul & Revolver Beatles Tribute Show with Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, Joey Molland, Denny Laine and Jason Scheff (photos on Facebook). This was a fun show and Todd once again proved why he is a god to so many folks. If you want to catch Rundgren playing his music close by, he will be at the Odeum in East Greenwich on July 15. You can hear my Roots Report Podcast interview with Rundgren here: MotifRI.com/RootsReportPodcast 

Also coming up at the Greenwich Odeum are: Jim Boggia’s Bruce Off-Broadway, Steve Earle and The Dukes, Molly Hatchet, and ASIA Featuring John Payne (David Tessier’s All Star Stars opens). I have podcasts coming up with a couple of these acts. Check the Motif site to find out who! For more about the Odeum shows, “Go” to GreenwichOdeum.com. Read on…

The East Providence 40th annual Heritage Days are coming up July 29 – 31 with a host of tribute shows that make it seem like a local Bonnaroo! Acts such as The McCartney Years, Tusk (Fleetwood Mac), The Machine (Pink Floyd), The Blushing Brides (Rolling Stones), Mr. Dynamite (James Brown) and Physical Graffiti (Led Zeppelin) will take the stage at Pierce Field over the 3 days. There is much more than music happening so be sure to “Ramble On” to: EPHeritageFest.TicketLeap.com

The 25th annual New Bedford Folk Festival will take place on Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10 after a two year COVID-19 hiatus. Known for the best in contemporary, Americana, traditional, blues and Celtic folk music, the NB festival will feature performers most requested over the past 25 years, including Tom Rush, Susan Werner, Cheryl Wheeler, Garnet Rogers, John Gorka, Abbie Gardner, Tony Trischka, Grace Morrison, RUNA, Roy Book Binder, The Vox Hunters, Vance Gilbert and many more performers on the festival’s seven stages. Food and craft areas are free and open to the public; the music stages require passes. For more “Walk Around Downtown” to NewBedfordFolkFestival.com

Indian Ranch on Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Webster, MA has been presenting events since 1946. It’s less than an hour from PVD and has a schedule of concerts running into October. Just some of the shows coming up are: Michael Franti & Spearhead, Little River Band, Ann Wilson of Heart, Three Dog Night, Rhiannon Giddens with Silkroad Ensemble, Tesla, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Collective Soul and Switchfoot, ABBA The Concert, Extreme and many others. For more about the venue and schedule, get “Out in the Country” to: IndianRanch.com

The RI Folk Festival is just two months away! Though the schedule is booked and everything is in the works there just never seems to be enough of certain things for this quickly growing grassroots fest. Volunteers are always needed for the day of show set up and load out, but the festival can always use committed folks who want to be part of the pre-fest planning. Quality craft vendors can, for a small fee, rent a spot to sell their work. And lastly, sponsors are always needed to provide the funding to keep this festival free. If you are interested in any of these don’t hesitate to contact the festival. There will be a fundraiser at Askew on July 8 featuring some of the board members who are performers as well as other guests. For more, get the folk over to RhodeIslandFolkFestival.com

Here is a quick list of some other shows that you may want to hit: Bill Maher at The Boch 7/9, Roger Waters at the TD Garden 7/12, Psychedelic Furs with X at the Strand 7/13, The Rocket Man Elton John Tribute at PPAC 7/16, David Bromberg at the Narrows 7/29, The Metal Bee Gees at The Met on 7/30, The Summer of Love Concert at The Stadium 7/30. They are all worth the trip.
I am always adding new Roots Report Podcasts — I just can’t help myself! Don’t forget there is so much more online that I produce for Motif — event reviews at MotifRI.com and lots of concert photos on the Motif Facebook page, Fb.com/MotifRI. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com