R.I. Music Hall of Fame Announces 2015 Inductees

Saturday, February 07, 2015


The SchemersView Larger +

Mark Cutler, Emerson Torrey, and Jimi Berger of The Schemers (photo: Rick Farrell)

The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame has announced their inductees for 2015. The Class of 2015 honorees include “modern rock” favorites, jazz artists, garage rockers, and industry leaders.

Wide Range of Styles

80’s rockers The Schemers, led by well known RI guitarist Mark Cutler, lead the list of nominees that also includes Warwick native Brenda Bennett, who toured with Prince. Cutler’s other band, The Raindogs will also be honored.  

Legendary Newport Jazz and Folk Festival Founder George Wein, who this weekend is in Los Angeles receiving a Trustee Award at the Grammy’s, is also being inducted. Wein is known word wide as the father of the modern music festival.

Other nominees include big band leader Duke Belaire and promoter/manager Richard “Paco” Zimmer who founded Center Stage in East Providence. Three “garage rock” bands from the 1960’s - Georgie Porgie & The Cry Babies, The Others, and The Ascots - will also be inducted.

Actor/Singer Nelson Eddy, who was born in Providence in 1901 and went on to star in several movies in the 1930’s and 40’s, is also being honored. A classically trained baritone, Eddy is known for bringing Classical music to the masses. He also performed at the 3rd Inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

These artists and others join previous inductees to the Hall including Roomful of Blues, Tavares, Steve Smith and the Nakeds, The Cowsills, and Cheryl Wheeler among others.

April Concerts

The annual Hall of Fame concerts will be held at two locations this year. First up, Jazz artists will be honored on April 20th at Bovi’s Tavern in East Providence, where nominee Duke Belaire played his regular Monday night gig for over 30 years.

The second concert, scheduled for April 26th, is scheduled for The Met in Pawtucket, where the Hall is located. That show will feature performances from The Schemers and The Raindogs, Brenda Bennett, The Ascots, The Others, and an all-star jam session led by two of this year’s MVP sideman award winners, Marty Ballou and Marty Richards.

The Hall was established in 2011 and is located in the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket. Previous inductees include musicians from Rock to Classical, as well as music critics and industry leaders.

More information about the April concerts will be posted here. Be sure to check out the panels in the Hall, open to the public, next time you visit the Hope Artiste Village.


Related Slideshow: Top 5 Winter Concerts

If you think winter means a break in the concert season, think again. Some really big names are headed to the area over the next few months. GoLocal Music Critic Ken Abrams picks the Top 5 Winter concerts in this slide show. 

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Fleetwood Mac at the Dunk

Fleetwood Mac, one of the original super groups of the 70s, returns to the area with a show at the Dunkin Donuts Center on January 28. The band totally killed it at two sellout shows this fall in Boston and we expect the same from the legendary group when they play the Dunk.  Of course, the highlight for many fans will be the return of Christine McVie, who had been on hiatus since 1997. Check our review of the Boston show here for a little of what you can expect. Meanwhile, don’t stop thinking about this show.

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Indigo Girls at PPAC

The Indigo Girls were in the forefront of the folk-rock revival in the 1980s. They’ve continued to develop artistically with fresh harmonies and ever relevant lyrics. With over 14 million albums sold, they’re the only duo to have Billboard Top 40 titles in the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and 10’s. We’re looking forward to seeing how their usually stripped down sound plays when they are joined by the RI Philharmonic Orchestra at the Providence Performing Arts Center. The show is Friday the 13th of February, but we guarantee good fortune!

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Nick Lowe at The Narrows

The absolute coolest holiday show around comes to the Narrows Center on Wednesday December 17 as Nick Lowe brings his “Quality Holiday Review” to Fall River.  Along for the ride and backing Lowe will be Los Straitjackets, known for their Mexican wrestling masks and jammin’ guitar chops. Lowe is a well known producer and songwriter having penned hits like “Cruel to be Kind” and “What’s So Funny ‘bout Peace, Love, and Understanding.” Don’t miss this show next week at the Narrows Center. 

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George Clinton at Lupo's

The spectacle that is George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic is our funkiest pick for the Winter concert season. Clinton has been touring with a diverse group of musicians since the late 60s. He’s a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (the largest band ever inducted) and is coming to Lupo's on Friday February 20. They're even bringing along a new release – First You Gotta Shake the Gate. Good times are guaranteed for this one.

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Mardi Gras Ball at Rhodes

Laissez les bon temps rouler! Boogie down to Rhodes on the Pawtuxet on February 28 for the 23rd Annual Cajun and Mardi Gras Ball. The biggest party of the season is always a sell out and this year should be no different with headliners Beau Soleil with Michael Doucet and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Can’t wait another six months till Rhythm and Roots? Then don’t miss the Mardi Gras Ball.

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Honorable Mention I

Did we mention that it’s a really busy winter concert season?  The Dunkin Donuts Center has a rock show with Linkin Park, Rise Against, and Of Mice and Men on January 24. Another legend, Mr. Neil Diamond, will shake up the Dunk on March 10. Mother Falcon returns to the Columbus Theatre on January 11 and Uncle Tupelo co-founder Jay Farrar is there on February 8. And catch rocker George Thorogood at Cranston's Park Theatre on March 8. 

(Pictured: Neil Diamond)

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Honorable Mention II

Acclaimed Indie artist St. Vincent, who’s 2014 album made numerous “Best Of the Year” lists is coming to Lupos on Sunday March 7th.  Dianna Krall is at PPAC on March 4, on her “Wallflower” tour where she will re-interpret classic rock tunes. Other highlights include legendary party rockers NRBQ, who arrive at the Narrows Center for a pre-New Years Eve show on Tuesday December 30.  The Narrows Center also has a Winter Blues Festival over MLK weekend with artists including Selwyn Birchwood, Yound Neil and the Vipers and Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds.

(Pictured: St. Vincent)

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Coffeehouse Highlights

Common Fence Music in Portsmouth has its popular "Gathering of Fiddlers and Fishermen" on January 24 hosted by John Fuzek. You can also find folk-rocker Patty Larkin there on February 7. Stone Soup in Pawtucket has Marc Douglas Berardo with Tracie Potochnik and Steve Allain on February 7 and Roots performers Atwater-Donnelly visit on March 7. And Sandywoods has a Celtic holiday concert with Matt and Shannon Heaton on December 20.

(Pictured: Patty Larkin)


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