Welcome! Login | Register

Subscribe Now: Free Daily EBlast


MUSIC: A Tribute to Providence Takes Over The Parlour

Friday, January 24, 2014


The 'Mericans (Photo: Richard McCaffrey)

Rarely do you get to experience Providence's past & present music scene right before you eyes. Alt-folk rock & rollers The 'Mericans were celebrating the last night of their weekend bash for A Tribute To Providence at The Parlour this past Sunday in front of a packed house, it was the place to be adorned with musical treasures to see. If you don't know about A Tribute To Providence, it's a covers album The 'Mericans put out last year that is a full on examination of the music of Providence from the past few decades. The previous night had The 'Mericans playing the album in it's entirety that roared pure excellence. This time around shifted to the bands they honored with The Nonpareils,Allysen Callery, Arc Iris,The Figgs, Honeybunch, Reindeer,The Brother Kite and a rare Purple Ivy Shadows reunion taking over the stage. Sunday is usually full of football & cold beer, along with the brews there was plenty of wonderful tunes on tap.

Their first show in over a decade, The Nonpareils had a mellow pop sound that started things off perfectly. I enjoyed the subtle grooves from the lead singer's guitar along with the drums providing silky smooth rhythms, a tad different than what you usually hear out of local music in Providence these days. They did have a minor hold up in the beginning but it was more comical than disastrous. I won't hold it against them though, they were working out the kinks and I loved every minute of it. From what I saw by the constant applauding, everyone at The Parlour agreed with me. It may be a one time only thing but in today's day & age you never know, hopefully The Nonpareils will make their presence felt in The Creative Capital soon.

You gotta love that vintage 60's vibe from the keys in Honeybunch, they went up next and were a lot of fun to listen to. Another Providence act from decades back that has begun to resurface, Honeybunch had a few heads bobbing in the crowd. A little bit of pop and even some surf, this quartet were a dreamy act in the vein of The Byrds. The keys really had me hooked though, a spectacular dimension that gave Honeybunch a full rhythmic body. I hope I get to see them again, Honeybunch really sweetened the room with their performance.

Elegant, soothing and pristine are the best ways to describe the brilliance of Allysen Callery. She is one of the top singer-songwriters in Providence and she proved why tonight with sheer beauty in every song. What sets her apart from others is Allysen's way of channeling Joan Baez style folk with an Irish touch that resonates a rustic tone. I wish the crowd wasn't talking so much during her performance but that's always something you have to combat when you're on stage by yourself with a guitar. Keep your tabs on Allysen and go see her play, she's one of Providence's treasures who has to be cherished.

They might be from New York City but don't let that mislead you. The Figgs are as much as a local band in Providence in any other, and they've created an endless amount of roots to keep them the topic of conversation around here. You like rock & roll? Of course you do. The Figgs brought the ruckus with "Something's Wrong", "Embrace The Train" (which The 'Mericans played on A Tribute To Providence), a pumped up version of The Velvet Underground's "Cool It Down" and the acapella of "I Got The Drums" sung by drummer Pete Hayes highlighted a set by one of the best bands ever, yea you read that right. I obviously suggest you listen to The Figgs, why? Because they rule, they're awesome and it's rock & roll.

Lead by ex-Low Anthem member Jocie Adams along with having dual keyboards, Arc Iris were straight up powerful. Dream-pop with emphasis, they captivated the audience right from the start. So jazzy & multidimensional, they even brought a flute into the equation to liven it up. Both keyboards had such emphasis and originality that it had everyone mesmerized. I love Jocie's solo material but Arc Iris might be even better, go see them play and be amazed.

The grand reunion of Purple Ivy Shadows came up next and obliterated the senses. If you don't know, they were one of the biggest bands in Providence in the 90's. The 'Mericans' Chris Daltry taking the lead on vocals on guitar, current local photo icon in Frank Mullin on drums were joined by The Figgs' Pete Donnelly on bass lead the rest of the group into a prime alternative rock experience that was simply memorable. At one point they had Jocie and her significant other Zach Miller on dual sax and Matt Rozzero on dual drums with Mullin for a few shoegazy tunes that mirrored The Beta Band. It was one of the many moments that made this night so special, maybe Chris will get his old band together for a few more shows around Providence to reintroduce Purple Ivy Shadows to rest of the live music fanatics.

Purely electric, alternative rock act in Reindeer followed up and knew how to make heads spin. A group featuring musicians from Scarce, The Bevis Frond, Overflower & Swirlies riffed these high chords on their guitars that tingled my lobes and had me in a state of awe. A big Sleater-Kinney influence, I was absolutely impressed with how this New England rock act turned the amps up to full blast and got wonderfully emphatic throughout their entire set. With a few singles on their BandCamp page available for your listening pleasure, indulge into Reindeer and enjoy.

Finishing off one hell of a night was The Brother Kite, the premier alt rock band in Providence that always knows how to bring the goods. With songs like "Father To Son" and "Aching Heart" (Which The 'Mericans also played on A Tribute To Providence), the band's performance was the perfect cherry on top to a musical sundae. With an impromptu jam session lead by Chris concluding the festivities, this past Sunday at The Parlour will definitely hold up as one of the best shows of 2014 by year's end. To get a wonderful in depth look at the scene that is currently surrounding you, grab yourself a free download of A Tribute To Providence by The 'Mericans. While your at it, get yourself a Stuart Foster slider and a beer at The Parlour sometime soon. Tell Aaron & Greg I sent you.


Related Slideshow: 13 Biggest Music Stories in RI in 2013

Prev Next

13. Macauley + Carlton

Local music legend John Macauley of Deer Tick, and world renowned singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton came to Providence in January to headline a show to benefit The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence.

Here is music critic Rob Duguay's review of the show:

This past Saturday at the upstairs stage of The Columbus Theatre on Broadway in the heart of the West End of Providence, a magnificent display of music took place to benefit The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence. Deer Tick's John McCauley & Ian O'Neil, Vanessa Carlton, Smoota and Caroline Hecht were on a star-studded bill for an experience that was guaranteed to be a memorable one. It's always great when talented people come together for a worthy cause, and in this day and age this was needed more than ever. Read More

Prev Next

12. Carolina Choc Drops

Bringing an eclectic mixture of Piedmont blues, country, ragtime jazz, and traditional folk, the Carolina Chocolate Drops came into town to headline a Sunday night show at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in April.

GoLocal Music Critic was there for the show, and he claimed this to be one of the best shows he attended in 2013:

Class was in session Sunday night at Lupo’s as theCarolina Chocolate Drops provided a crash course in traditional African American music. Their style, which fuses Piedmont Blues, jug band country, ragtime jazz and traditional folk, delighted the crowd. Sounding straight out of a juke joint in Mississippi, (or North Carolina, where the band hails from), their music is infectious. Read More

Prev Next

11. Artistic Explosion

Featuring some of the best local acts from all different genres, GoLocal music critic Rob Duguay organized the first annual Artistic Explosion Music Festival, a week-long multi-venue show to raise money for Girls Rock! and the Rhode Island Music Educators Association. 

By all counts, the event was a tremendous success.

Read more about the event here

Prev Next

10. 24 Hour Music Project

For the second straight year, Kim "Giggles" Madden put together Providence's 24 Hour Music Project benefit. This year, all proceeds from the event and concert went to benefit music education in Rhode Island's public schools.

Rob Duguay was on hand for the CD release party in October:

One of the most inspiring things I've encountered in Providence is the 24 Hour Music Project. Started by Kim "Giggles" Madden last year, a star-studded compilation album of the Creative Capital's finest musicians benefits victims of domestic violence. This time around, another album was made to benefit music education in public schools, another noble cause with an ensemble cast of local musical talents. On Sunday at The Spot, the release of the second 24 Hour Music Project album was celebrated with an amazing show that had Dan Dodd, Dylan Sevey & The Gentlemen, Wake and Baker, P. Lowe, Galactic Alliance and Resin ED jammin' on two stages. There's no better way to spend your Sunday than supporting a great cause, and the Spot was the prime destination to do just that. Read More

Prev Next

9. Colexico at The Met

Tuscon Arizona's Colexico, according to GoLocal music critic Ken Abrams, sounds like "a Tex-Mex meal - you don’t always know exactly what’s in it, but it tastes delicious."

Well, Colexico paid a visit to the Ocean State in June, and Abrams was in the crowd for the festivities. 

Read Ken Abrams' Review Here

Prev Next

8. Buddy Guy

Since Park Theatre massive renovation and reopening, the Cranston venue has become a great spot for live music in Rhode Island, and have drawn some very impressive names. 

In October, blues legend Buddy Guy stopped by, and music critic Ken Abrams was there: 

Last Friday night at the Park Theatre, the nation’s leading ambassador of the Blues made a triumphant stop in Rhode Island. For the second consecutive year, Buddy Guy filled the Park to its 1006-seat capacity, a rare feat for a performer labeled a “Blues” artist. Before the night ended, it was clear why – he is one of the finest performers on tour today. Read More

Prev Next

7. The Temptaions

Legendary Detroit Motown band, the Temptations stopped by Cranston's Park Theatre in December, bringing with them their classics. 

Music critic Ken Abrams was front and center for this once-in-a-lifetime R&B experience:

A warm welcome greeted The Temptations Sunday night in Cranston as the Park Theatre hosted a sold out show by the legendary Detroit band. The award winning R&B group thrilled those in attendance with classic hits along with some new songs. Read More

Prev Next

6. Chris Cornell

Legendary Seattle grunge rocker Chris Cornell is known for rocking hard with Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, and Pearl Jam; but when he came into Providence in November, he left the wires behind for an acoustic show on the newly-renovated stage at The Vets:

Normally, one would think of Chris Cornell as the vocalist who can peel the paint off walls with Seattle legends Soundgarden, but recently he's been doing a solo acoustic tour that's been getting a lot of attention. This past Tuesday he made a stop at The Veterans Memorial Auditorium for an experience that exuded soothing songs that hit straight to the heart. Bhi Bhiman opened things up as well, it was going to a memorable evening. Chris Cornell at his genuine best, what more could you ask for? Read More

Prev Next

5. B.B. King

What could be better than a warm summer night in Newport?  How about when you are there to see THE name in Blues, BB King? Well, GoLocal Music criticRob Duguay was lucky enough to be in attendance for this show at the Newport Yachting Center in July:

As a live music fanatic, when I hear that a legend is coming through The Ocean State it's a no-brainer that I have to come check it out. When it's a bluesman like B.B. King performing, saying its a no-brainer is a vast understatement, it's more like a spiritual expedition. The King Of The Blues headlined a fantastic night at The Newport Yachting Center as part of The Sunset Music Series with Providence rocksteady soul group Boo City opening up the show, you knew it was going to be one of the top shows of the summer. The whole time I was here I had to remind myself that one of my favorite musicians of all time in B.B. King as well as pinch myself a few times. The guy is pushing 90 and still tours like he was in his mid-20s and still can strum Lucille better than anybody else, Newport was definitely the hotspot for a once in a lifetime chance to see a musician who will go down as one of the greatest ever. Read More

Prev Next

4. Bob Dylan at URI

Legendary singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan passed through the Ocean State in April, making a stop at URI's Ryan Center.  GoLocal music critic Ken Abrams made the trek down to South County for the show: 

Bob Dylan’s “Never Ending Tour” rolled into the Ryan Center on Monday night. The band is currently on a college campus swing, and featured a new addition, RI’s own Duke Robillard on lead guitar. Read More

Prev Next

3. Sir Elton John

A Dunkin Donuts Center crowed was graced by the presence of music royalty in November when Elton John came into Providence for an unforgettable 28-song performance:

Elton John made a triumphant return to Providence Saturday night, making the Dunkin Donuts Center the second stop on his Diving Board Tour. Expectations were high for the near capacity crowd and Sir Elton did not disappoint. He covered a number of hits in his 28 song set, including a full album side from “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Read More

Prev Next

2. The Who

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend; the remaining members of one of the most highly-celebrated rock and roll supergroup of all-time, the Who, finished up the US leg of their World Tour at the Dunkin Donuts Center in February:

On Tuesday at The Dunkin' Donuts Center in downtown Providence, rock & roll legends The Who rocked the joint for the last show of the United States leg of The Quadrophenia and More Tour that has been sweeping the globe since last year. Opening the night were Los Angeles' rock & roll souls Vintage Trouble and it was bound to be one of the memorable shows in Providence's music history. There are rock bands and then there's The Who, it was very clear that the best way to enjoy the first half of your week was to be at The Dunk on Tuesday. Read More

Prev Next

1. Newport Festivals

Summer in Newport -- shopping, beaches, sailing, dining, and LIVE MUSIC. Aquidneck Island comes alive when the weather warms up, and once you get beyond Thames Street, music festivals dominate the scene.  In 2013, GoLocal' music critics were on hand for three great music festivals in Newport:

Sunset Music Series- Featuring Chris Isaak and The Doobie Brothers

Celtic Rock Festival- Headlined by the Dropkick Murphy's 

Newport Folk Festival- Featuring Beck, John Macauley, and the Avett Brothers


Related Articles


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.



Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email