While Stone Soup may be one of New England’s most acclaimed and enjoyable venues for the acoustic music set, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to make financial ends meet. As I hinted a few weeks back, the Soup, which is now at St. Paul's Church, 50 Park Place, Pawtucket, is currently in the soup — money-wise. Attendance is down despite an always appealing lineup of talent. Historically, they’ve had a nice mix of national, local, and high-potential artists, a recipe that has sustained them for nearly three decades. Every so often, though, the Soup slumps. This is one of those times. They’re financially strapped and could use a cash jolt, either from your attendance or a donation. The former, of course, is easy and entertaining. The latter is pretty easy too, and tax-deductible. If you’re able, fork something over to the Stone Soup Folk Arts Foundation to Treasurer, Stone Soup, 41 Haley Road, Warwick, RI 02889. If you need to speak with a real person, call Stone Soup at 401.921.5115.
Shows are held every Saturday. This week it’s Mark Erelli, a credible artist and an incredible guitar player who manages to combine his dextrous steel-stringing with equally good compositions and melody. Erelli’s most recent release was 2007’s Innocent When You Dream, a covers album and his first all-acoustic effort. The disc, originally intended as a demo for friends and family, finds Erelli tackling material by Wilco, Shawn Colvin, Tom Waits, and Townes Van Zandt, etc. Prom¬ising roots and folk artist Ben Pilgrim opens the show.
Next week (the 12th) it’s fan faves the Kennedys. Maura and Pete are funny, sweet, and immensely entertaining, not to mention dandy musicians. On the 19th, Stone Soup presents Grammy winner/author/and storyteller Bill Harley. Bill won his first Grammy last year and is nominated for another this year. His highly anticipated return to Stone Soup will certainly boast wry, witty, and meaningful work for the whole family. So there’s a lot to get excited about. At the very least, if contributing support is not possible, patronize one of these fine upcoming shows. Every little bit helps.
On Thursday, January 3, Tor Johnson Records presents Firehouse 13’s first show of the New Year with ZEGOTA, RELICS (from western Mass), Prov’s own SPRING BREAK! NORTH KOREA, and THIEVES (from Danbury, MA). It’s a great night of trippy and colorful tuneage courtesy of FH13. Go to torjohnsonrecords.com for some extra info. LOLITA BLACK plays at AS220 on Friday. And speaking of Tor Johnson, their act SAINT JUDE will be kicking off their tour with metal mavens HOWL at AS220 on Saturday with Minneapolis noise punks SARAH JOHNSON and spring break! north korea. Call 401.831.9327. Also on Saturday, THEE WYLDE CARD DJS are back at Jake’s. Call 401.453.5253. On Wednesday at AS220 it’s TROOP OF ECHOES. You can catch their jazz/prog/rock/pop improv at myspace.com/atroopofechoes. COWGIRL, a Zox side project with violinist Spencer and bassist Dan, also plays that night.
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