Mayor Taveras sure knows how to party. The capital city's Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism has co-sponsored more than 200 events over the past six months commemorating the 375th anniversary of Roger Williams arriving here and setting up shop in Providence. The final installment of the PROV375 Celebration takes place on Tuesday (the 22nd) at PPAC. It's a grand finale not to be missed, led by Deer Tick, the 'Mericans, the Barr Brothers, and more, as well as a special pre-show performance by members of the Rhode Island Songwriters Association, who will release their Singing About Providence disc at the show. Weybosset Street will be abuzz by 5 pm, with a people's choice food truck face-off (do your thang, Mama Kim's), an appearance by the ruckus-raising Extraordinary Rendition Band, a special WaterFire presentation, and a fireworks display. Even the Dancing Cop will be there. And best of all, tickets for the show start at just $3.75!
SOUNDS OF THE CITY The RISA disc.
Here's a peek at the Providence 375 lineup at PPAC: The 'Mericans boast a sometimes smooth, sometimes bristly, melancholic brew of melodic, guitar-driven roots, folk, and Americana. Their latest album, So Late It Hurts, is a nice winter warmer and worth looking up, while a Chris Daltry classic like the 'Mericans' take on "Pawtucket" (from his days with Purple Ivy Shadows) would sure sound nice filling the room.Also on the bill is Dominican collective Area 401, specializing in "danceable and romantic new wave Bachata music," as well as the Barr Brothers (Andrew and Brad), currently on tour behind their recent self-titled debut album. The Barrs, founding members of the Slip who grew up in Providence and now call Montreal home, have garnered positive press from CMJ, NPR, and Time Out NY, which dubbed their disc "Bon Iver-style . . . creaky, quiet, and sweet."
And hey, no other city but Providence could deliver Jeffrey Osborne and John McCauley on the same bill. Oh Hell Yes. (Imagine McCauley and Osborne flying high together "On the Wings of Love.") Deer Tick continue riding high behind their table-pounding, party-starting new album, Divine Providence, landing scores of national press and currently on yet another nationwide headlining tour (did you catch DT on Letterman last month?). The majestic halls of PPAC ain't ready for Deer Tick. This should be good.
Folk musician John Fuzek is a longtime purveyor of local music in our area and a pivotal organizer behind the Rhode Island Songwriters Association, as well as the non-profit Hear In Rhode Island organization, presenting local showcases and music workshops for more than 15 years. Fuzek put the call out to fellow RISA members in search of original Provi-centric songs, and a one-off show last month has spawned Singing About Providence, which will be available just in time for the show. Fuzek and friends paid out-of-pocket for the album production, and a Kickstarter campaign is underway to help offset the costs (a $10 donation includes a copy of the CD; go to Kickstarter.com). Singing About Providence includes tracks by Ed McGuirl, the Complaints, and spoken word artist Indigo Bethea. And no one spins a tale more uniquely than Jacob Haller ("The Ballad of Anne Hutchinson"). Veteran singer/songwriter Heather Rose marks a nice return to form with "Providence," "My City, My Skyline," and the standout track, "105 Miles," penned by RISA's Billy Mitchell. Rose dropped a line earlier this week: