In a recent YR meeting in a local bistro, our friends at The Urinal's Political Scene point out, the GOP 'utes held a straw poll for their party's presidential candidates, with Mutt Romney edging out alien hobbit Ron Paul by two votes. Rowley told Political Scene that those who voted had to pay a buck for the privilege, with some attendees voting as many as 10 times.

Paying to vote? If that isn't a Republican wet dream for 2012, what is? (But we'd like to first see voter IDs from you, Juan and Taneesha'a — and that elderly couple with the walkers and Medicaid cards, too.)


RHODE ISLAND MUSICAL MEMORIES

Big news this week in our little state is the announcement of the first induction ceremony for the new Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame (see "This Just In" for more details). The centerpiece will be a concert with two of the inductees. Roomful of Blues and John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band are a pair of the most popular and successful bands to ever come out of the Ocean State and they'll be rocking the Met in Pawtucket on Sunday, February 26. These bands feature some of Jorge's oldest friends. In the 1970s, J. shared numerous stages with both outfits and, needless to say, the stories he has could fill a book.

In 1971, Jorge met John Cafferty when the Beaver Brown Band was first forming and John had a side gig booking the music at the Rhode Island College coffeehouse. He booked J.'s then-band, the Fabulous Motels (an art-and-accordions outfit that, prior to the RIC gig, could only get itself booked at RISD where it was, for all intents and purposes, the house band). The Beaver Brown Band went on to play just about every club in the area and, for the next decade, built a strong reputation as one of the best bar bands in the Northeast.

The Beavers' big break came when they got the nod to provide the music for the big screen rock film, Eddie and the Cruisers, a hit that spawned a sequel (Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives!) and introduced their classic rock sound to the entire country, producing the single "On the Dark Side" that rose to #7 on Billboard's Hot 100.

They continued to put out strong albums, in particular Tough All Over, the title track of which is just as relevant today as it was more than a quarter-century ago. Cafferty and company continue to play regularly for their legion of fans around the country and, for the past 11 years, have hosted the Rock-N-Jock charity event here in Vo Dilun.

Roomful of Blues was a pioneer in big band R&B swing. Guitarist Duke Robillard and piano player Al Copley started the group in Westerly in 1967; since then, some 50 musicians have been in and out of the lineup. In the '70s, Roomful and Jorge's band, the Young Adults, played numerous shows together. Roomful's leader for the past couple of decades has been guitarist Chris Vachon who played in a band with J. and guitarist Thom Enright in 1980.

Here are a few fun facts about Roomful:

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