A day for Packer
The late musician John Packer, who passed away in January, was not the kind of guy who would cotton to the sort of "tribute" concert being planned in his memory this Sunday at Bovi's, the venerable East Providence tavern and longtime home of great jazz and blues. Packer never saw himself as a special guy, just one of the working musicians who played it hard and played it right.
But contrary to John's modest appraisal of his own value, he was a special person. He inspired the best in others and never played a false note (he didn't always play the "right notes," but, as any musician can tell you, there are no "wrong notes," just false ones).
Some of John's pals and fellow musicians will be there at Bovi's, on Sunday, February 15 starting at 3 pm to play some tunes, swap some stories, and basically have a good time remembering our friend.
Among the featured bands and musicians will be Dave Howard and the High Rollers (first time they've gotten together in some time considering Dave's heavy touring schedule with Roomful, and the always-busy Tom Ferraro, who, when he's not guitar slinging, can be found pushing coffee beans to caffeine addicts in the Southern New England area), Duke Robillard, the High Rollers, the Timmy Taylor Blues Band, and the Radio Kings.
The best part is that proceeds will be donated to the Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Pawtucket. John Packer was a devoted advocate and supporter of arts education, so this is truly appropriate beneficiary.
Art tip of the week
Here's your P&J art show plug of the day, week or, in this case, next couple of months. An exhibition of recent works by Vo Dilun artist (and Casa Diablo regular) Lucia O'Reilly has been on display at the Newport Art Museum & Art Association (76 Bellevue Avenue) since January 10, running through March 22.
O'Reilly's pieces deal with religious expression and her admitted ambivalence with many aspects of spiritual tradition. The work references drawing, painting, quilting, beads, text, and a vast variety of recycled objects.
The artist describes it as "a kind of map of the psyche representing the stings and pleasures of the human condition." Of course, P&J don't know what the hell Lucia's talking about here, but we must admit that the images are striking. Just to make sure you're paying attention, Ms. O'Reilly uses as her jumping off point some of the more, shall we say, "controversial" passages of the Bible.
Maybe you'll be moved, maybe you'll be pissed off, or maybe you'll just want to have a beer with your superior correspondents across the street, at the bar of the historic Viking Hotel (this is always a good choice). We doubt, however, that you'll leave this show unmoved.
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