OTIS AND FRIENDS I, Destroyer.
An impressive array of talented musicians including Bob Otis (DropDead, Lolita Black, and I, Destroyer) and Paul Everett (Hope Anchor, Blizzard of '78) are employed by Resources for Human Development, a Pawtucket-based, non-profit human-services agency that serves people with disabilities and enables their clients through "art-based and intellectually-stimulating activities" such as painting, photography and, of course, all facets involved with making the band, from songwriting to T-shirt silk-screening. Enter the first-annual Thunder In the Bucket showcase next weekend at the Blackstone, featuring more than 15 bands, all with ties to RHD as either a client or staff member (known as direct support professionals), forming an entertainingly diverse roster ranging. Where else could you see the Blizzard of '78 and I, Destroyer share the same stage?
RHD-RI encourages a "productive and effective high-energy environment," reads the mission statement at RHDRI.org, penned by RHD director and Von Doom singer/guitarist Ray Memery, who will debut his new Deadlands (Memery cites CCR and the Black Keys as sonic references) at Thunder In the Bucket. And be on the lookout for Mrs. Six Eyes, a client-led band that has performed at Lupo's and AS220. RHD was founded in 2004 and has blossomed under a caring and highly-talented staff.
"I wanted to be a part of RHD's growth, and focus on a rewarding 'career' for the first time," TBO'78 frontman Paul Everett told me. "I liked what was going on there, widening the clients' scope of life experience through art and music, and welcomed the opportunity to help create art and music with people as a livelihood.
"We have no shortage of talented clients and staffers. Whether it's drumming or singing or just making a beautiful racket, nearly everyone gets involved in musical noise-making at RHD. It's very rewarding to share that opportunity."
EVERETT AND FRIENDS The Blizzard of ’78.
Raising funds is obviously imperative during these ugly economic times, and Everett acknowledged Rhode Island's ongoing woes as "something you can rely on for yearly bad news. We have been hit by budget cuts and continue to get creative about trimming costs while not turning folks away or laying off staff," Everett told me.
And while raising capital remains an ongoing objective, Everett said, "Anything will help, but we are more focused on the opportunity to get out there and share what we do with others."
Bob Otis has been a vital cog in our music community for the past 20 years, from his pivotal punk outfit DropDead to the acclaimed Lolita Black and I, Destroyer. With more than 15 years of human services experience, Otis joined the RHD staff last year, recommended by fellow veteran Rhody musician Alec Redfearn. Otis is excited to debut new material from I, Destroyer amongst the roster of knockout in-house RHD talent, and is already anticipating future Thunder shows.
"We have wanted to do this for awhile. We're aiming to get more stuff going on in the community, and this was just a logical next step," Otis said.
"Come and see what we are all about. Open your mind to some really interesting and thought-provoking music and help support some people that are creating something positive and healing through art and music. It will be a night of truly unique and heartfelt entertainment."
See you on the 23rd.
BLIZZARD OF '78 + I, DESTROYER + KINTAAN + SPVRS + DEADLANDS + HEAD OF HORNS + TASTIC + many more | Saturday, January 23 @ 4 pm | The Blackstone, 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket | $7 donation | 401.726.2181 |www.RHDRI.org