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MUSIC: Justin Townes Earle Thrills The Newport Blues Cafe

Friday, November 01, 2013


Justin Townes Earle, son of music legend Steve Earle, came to Newport and brought the blues. Photo: Shawn Schillberg.

In late October right by the water, there's no better place to be than Newport right? This past Tuesday at the famous Blues Cafe country-blues prodigy and son of music legend Steve Earle, Justin Townes was the top act on stage in the heart of beautiful downtown Newport. With Providence rock & rollers Smith & Weeden kicking of the festivities in acoustic fashion, it was destined to be a wonderful time. The Newport Blues Cafe was the prime destination for a pre-Halloween smorgasbord of illustrious musical talents, if you weren't here you weren't anywhere.

Smith & Weeden

Usually I'm accustomed to seeing Smith & Weeden turning the amps up as loud as they can possibly go and blowing the roof of of places, but their acoustic performance brought a mellow mood for perfect start. It was interesting hearing "Boys & Bands" & "Sunshine" unplugged in such an intimate setting. The acoustic version of "Stuck Out Here" reminded be a lot of Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage and the finale of The Velvet Underground's "Waiting For The Man" in homage to the late Lou Reed was truly something special. You might have to wait a little while, but word has got out that Smith & Weeden will be opening for Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons at The Met in Pawtucket on New Year's Eve. You can guarantee there will a lot going on that night but that just might be the hottest ticket in town.

Justin Townes Earle

Looking really hillbilly like with his flannel shirt tucked into his jeans while his tattooed arms acted as some sort of disclaimer, Justin Townes Earle started a resonating performance with "They Killed John Henry" and the emotional "Unfortunately Anna" for a rare up close and personal experience that let Justin really get into it with the audience. Joined by Calexico's Paul Niehaus on electric guitar and pedal steel, they played off of each other very well during the songs "Memphis In The Rain", "One More Night In Brooklyn", "Maria" and "Am I That Lonely Tonight" that were the highlights of the show. With Justin Townes playing solo on a bluesy rendition of Lightnin' Hopkins' "Automobile Blues" along with Niehaus joining for a finale of "Mama's Eyes" and a version of The Replacements' "Can't Hardly Wait", the initial performance was simply amazing and everyone wanted more. With an encore of "Nobody Knows You (When You're Down And Out)" and "Slippin' and Slidin'" with Niehaus rejoining Justin Townes on electric guitar, the whole place roared with applause to cap off a wonderful evening. Justin Townes Earle should be working on a new album soon so be on the lookout for it. While you're waiting, log on to newportblues.com and check out who else will be playing at one of the coolest places to see a show in Newport.  


Related Slideshow: 11 Great RI Halloween Parties

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Halloween Costume Party

Olive’s Bar on North Main Street in Providence is hosting a Halloween costume party “For the Grown and Sexy!” The party will be presented by the “Sophisticated Divas” with music by DJ J Scratch! Grab your tickets early and save $5.00. There will be prizes for the best costumes, and drink specials all night long! This is a 21+ event. October 25, 9pm-2am. 108 North Main Street, Providence. (401) 751-1200.

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Nightmare on Lambda St.

On October 25, Lambda Upsilon Lambda will be hosting its very own Halloween party at Ultra the Nightclub on Pine Street! College students from over 5 states are expected to attend this bash! Costumed girls that arrive before 11pm will receive free admission, and if you say “LUL” at the door you will receive discounted admission! This is a 21+ event. October 25, 10pm-3am. 172 Pine Street, Providence. (401) 454-5483.

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Kreepfest 2013

Come to the 1st Annual Kreepfest presented by Rambudikon this month to become part of a brand new Providence tradition! There will be over 20 bands performing, and featured guests include Our Last Night, The Venetia Fair & Trophy Wives! All bands are going to play at least one Halloween themed song. Come costumed (There are prizes!) and prepared for a long day of fun—this event begins at 1pm! This is an all ages event. October 26, doors open at 12:30pm. Last show ends at 11:20. Simon 677, 677 Valley Street, Providence.

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Nightmare on Richmond St.

Think you’ve got what it takes to come up with the best Halloween costume? If you do—you will have the opportunity to win $1,000 cash! This party, held at TWO clubs, will be among the best in the college scene this October, so pick up your tickets soon! Entertainment will be provided by Sharon Needles, called “fabulous” by Lady Gaga. Click here to buy your tickets now! This is an 18+ event. October 26, 10pm-2am. Ego, Loft 71 & the courtyard, 73 Richmond Street, Providence.

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Head over to Dive Bar on October 30 for a Nightmare Before Halloween party! There will be plenty of music and drinks to keep you going all night. The lineup features RKO Army, who will be performing a special Michael Jackson Thriller tribute! This is a 21+ event. October 30, 9pm-2am. 201 Westminster Street, Providence, (401) 441-3039.

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Nightmare on Broad Street

Luna Nightclub, one of Providence’s newest and hottest places for college entertainment, will be hosting a costume party on Halloween night! Make sure you get creative with your costume—there is a $250 cash prize for the best costume. Music will be by DJ CoroKing & DJ Rukiz. 18+ for the ladies, 21+ for guys. October 31, 10pm-2am. Luna Nightclub, 1206 Broad Street, Providence. (401) 339-8908.

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Creatures of the Night

This one is probably the most unique Halloween event of all! The 5th Annual Creatures of the Night event is an experience not to be missed. Come out on Friday, November 1, to join the fun with some post-Halloween madness. Big Nazo, an international group of visual performance artists will be on scene to intensify the night! Also, expect over 20 DJs, live music, multiple bars, confetti cannons, larger than life Halloween decorations and more! This is a 21+ event. November 1, 2013, 8pm-2am. Lupos Heartbreak Hotel, 79 Washington Street, Providence. (401) 272-5876.

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Fete Frights

Spice up your Halloween night this year with Church of Providence at Fete! Prepare for the Church’s biggest lineup to date.  Featuring B. Dolan and his band, Circle Takes the Square and Apathy!  There will be a rap battle featuring a cash prize with Sage Francis!  Providence’s favorite characters; Big Nazo will be on scene as well.  Tickets are only $10 with free parking. Fete Ballroom, 103 Dike Street, Providence. (401)383-1112  www.fetemusic.com

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New England’s own original jam band, born and bred at the University of Vermont in Burlington, is coming to nearby Worcester & Hartford CT for Halloween shows! On October 25 and 26, Phish will be performing at the DCU Center in Worcester; October 27 they will be at the XL Center in Hartford! Phish is classic New England college music—coeds know Phish for “Farmhouse,” “You Enjoy Myself,” “Down with Disease,” and more. Get you tickets and plan your pre-party now; this one is guaranteed to be an experience! All ages permitted.
October 25 & 26 @ DCU, October 27 @ XL Center. Doors open at 6:30pm in Worcester, open at 6 in Hartford. Show is 7:30pm. DCU Center, 50 Foster Street, Worcester. (508) 755-6800. XL Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Hartford. (860) 249-6333.

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Rí Rá Pub Costume Party

Rí Rá Pub, Providence’s favorite local Irish watering hole on Exchange Terrace has something special planned this October! Head down on October 25 for a Halloween Costume Party, with a prize package going to the best get up! There will be Halloween themed drinks and specials all night long. Fighting Friday and DJ Judah will perform! This is a 21+ event. October 25, 8pm-close. 50 Exchange Terrace, Providence. (401) 272-1953. 

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Halloween Music Festival

Finnegan’s Annual Music Block Party is in its second year this October! There will be 100,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space to party in! Featuring the best DJs in RI, including DJ Ayo and DJ Joint, this party heats up Halloween night! Drink specials and giveaways will be going on throughout the evening. Grab your tickets today and save $10! This is a 21+ event. October 31, 7pm-1am. 397 Westminster Street, Providence. (401) 751-0290.


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