Fall Arts Preview: Sounds abound!

By CHRIS CONTI  |  September 12, 2013

AUSSIE POWER Mia Dyson, at the Sandywoods Center For the Arts on October 13.

Have you caught a show at the revamp-ed Columbus Theatre (270 Broadway, Providence, columbustheatre.com) yet? The Low Anthem’s Jeff Prystowsky and Ben Knox-Miller have set up shop with a fully functioning recording studio (Roz & the Rice Cakes recently cut their new album here, and a new record from TLA is on the way) and an intimate upstairs performance space (the recent Vudu Sister album release show was a blast). The schedule is in full swing; check out SEAN HAYES with THE BLANK TAPES on September 26;  BILL CALLAHAN  (the new Dream River drops on September 17) on October 4; limited seats remain for the BONNIE “PRINCE” BILLY show on October 11 (an absolute steal at $20), and SPIRIT FAMILY REUNION will play the upstairs stage on October 31 with HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF and THE DESLONDES .

The  Narrows Center For the Arts (16 Anawan St, Fall River, MA, 508.324.1926, narrowscenter.org) has a great slate of acts that make it worth the trek allllll the way over the Braga Bridge. The GRANDMOTHERS OF INVENTION will play Frank Zappa's One Size Fits All album plus other FZ classics on September 27; guitar players will get schooled by LEO KOTTKE (October 25); and hey hey, there's a Monkee — you can spend an evening with MICHAEL NESMITH on November 11.

Manchester 65 (65 Manchester St, West Warwick, 401.649.0164, manchester65.com) is a new venue with potential, and I imagine the old mill space will be crumbling when punk vets MADBALL hit the stage on October 19 with CHEECH , REASON TO FIGHT , and WISDOM IN CHAINS . Other noteworthy gigs include ska-pop vets THE ENGLISH BEAT (October 24) and singer-songwriter ZACH DEPUTY (November 23).

RI live dive fixture/Northern Lands bassist Aaron Jaehnig has a winner on his hands with the Parlour (formerly the Penalty Box, 1119 North Main St, Providence, 401.383.5858, facebook.com/ParlourRI). Jaehnig will reunite with Mandy Allan and the GIRL HAGGARD crew for a special show on September 28, and BARN BURNING and SHARKS COME CRUISIN’ roll in on October 19.

The Spot Underground (101 Richmond St, Providence, 401.383.7133, thespot providence.com) is actually above ground now, having relocated to “where the Keg Room usedta be.” The Spot is still heavy on the jam bands, but there is something for everyone just about every night of the week. FUNGUS AMUNGUS and CONEHEAD BUDDHA lay down the grooves on September 27, alt-pop locals FOR THE LOVE OF SLOANE play on October 4, and THE TOASTERS return on November 3 with THE CUSTIES and the return of SENIOR DISCOUNT . Your best bet is stopping by for 990WBOB’s Mondays on Blast held weekly with no cover charge.

The Ocean Mist (895 Matunuck Beach Rd, Matunuck, 401.782.3740, oceanmist.net) is a year-round beachfront dive that always pulls in some good shows; South Kingstown rhymer PHOKUS performs with local legend SWANN NATTY on September 27, and Nashville Pussy will throw down on October 18.

The Vets (1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence, 401.421.2787, vmari.com) is a bit quiet on the music front this season, but mark November 19 down for Soundgarden frontman CHRIS CORNELL , making a stop while on his “Solo Songbook Acoustic Tour” ($48-$58).

Blues, roots, and folk friends, here we go. Do you love cover bands? Well, the Brooklyn Coffee & Tea House (209 Douglas Ave, Providence, 401.575.2284, brooklyncoffeeteahouse.com) ain’t for you — only original material is allowed here. Stop by on the first and third Saturday of each month and kick back with the Rhode Island Songwriters Association (RISA) showcase, hosted by acclaimed singer-guitarist STEVE ALLAIN .

Stone Soup Coffeehouse (50 Park Pl, Pawtucket, 401.723.0354, stonesoupcoffeehouse.com) is located at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, with plenty of cozy charm and a full calendar of local and national folk and bluegrass acts. The new season kicks off on September 28 with a “Stone Soup Sampler,” a free show in conjunction with the ongoing Pawtucket Arts Festival featuring ALASTAIR MOOCK , SHUN NG , DANIELLE MIRAGLIA , and THE ROLLING ROOTS REVUE . Other attractions include GATHERING TIME and THE FOLK GODDESSES (October 19), ATWATER-DONNELLY (November 9), and a tribute night to Phil Ochs (November 23).

At Cady’s Tavern (2168 Putnam Pike, Chepachet, 401.568.4102, cadystavern.com), check out JOHNNY WATSON JR. on October 19, the TRAVIS COLBY BAND on October 25.

The Knickerbocker Café (35 Railroad Ave, Westerly, 401.315.5070, theknickerbockercafe.com) hosts an open mic night every Thursday, with no cover and a free CD recording of your performance. Nice! Head there to warm things up in mid-November, with Boston’s Girls Guns & Glory performing on the 15th followed by the Skatalites on the 16th.

Common Fence Music (933 Anthony Rd, Portsmouth, commonfencemusic.org) will kick off its 21st season this week (with shows scheduled through May 2014), loaded with folk, world fusion, gospel, and bluegrass acts. Catch singer-songwriter LORI McKENNA on September 28, the JAMMIN’ DIVAS on October 26, and a handful of New England’s finest will gather for ”The Horn of Plenty Music” on November 23, including ALLYSEN CALLERY , MICHAEL TROY , and WILL HOULIHAN .

Sandywoods Center for the Arts (43 Muse Way, Tiverton, 401.241.7349, sandywoodsmusic.com) is an intimate 150-seat “BYOB-and-picnic basket” venue with live bands scheduled every weekend, and well worth the drive. Upcoming shows include the APRIL VERCH BAND (September 29), eclectic world-fusion crew THE GNOMES (October 5), and Aussie roots-rock singer MIA DYSON teams with BECKY CHACE on October 13.

What goes better with a serious case of the blues than a scorpion bowl or three? The cuisine served at Chan’s (267 Main St, Woonsocket, 401.765.1900, chanseggrollsandjazz.com) is tasty, but we’re all about the bustling events calendar. Southpaw shredder COCO MONTOYA returns on October 12, and some big names will team up on October 25, with JAMES MONTGOMERY joining JEFF PITCHELL & TEXAS FLOOD , followed by the DUKE ROBILLARD BAND on October 26.

And you can’t miss the neon lights of the Greenwich Hotel (162 Main St, East Greenwich, 401.884.4200, greenwichhotel.com), which has some can’t-miss acts gracing the stage this fall, including PETER GENDRON with MIKE G. & ASSOCIATES on October 25 and JEFF BYRD & DIRTY FINCH on October 29. All shows are 21+ and there’s never a cover charge.
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