MUSIC: Vanessa Carlton, John McCauley Headline Non-Violence Benefit

Monday, January 14, 2013


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Vanessa Carlton added her star power to a benefit concert for the Institute for the Practice and Study of Non-Violence this weekend, in Providence.

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.

Columbus Collective member and Local 121's Bryan Minto, Owner of Supply & Demand Records and fellow Columbus Collective member Tom Weyman, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Congressman David Cicilline, Executive Director of The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence Teny Gross and Moses Brown teacher Sal Montero started off the night by thanking everyone for attending and encouraging people to get involved with the Institute to do what they can to stop violence in American society. A moving and inspiring way to kick off the show that set the mood for what was to be a special concert.

Caroline Hecht

Joined on stage by Route .44's Eric Dziembowski on upright bass, Caroline Hecht went up  with her pristinely beautiful voice accompanied by her subtle strums on  guitar captivated the audience right from the beginning. "Swallowed By Swells", "Maggie", "Apothem" and "Silent Shouts" highlighted a performance that hit straight to the soul. Caroline has a solo album out under the title Avenue Of The Giants, an amazing piece of music from one of the premier female singer-songwriters in Providence.

Ian O'Neil

You might know him as one of the guitarists and occasional songwriters for one of the hottest rock & roll bands on the planet in Deer Tick, but Ian O'Neil is also a magnificent solo musician in his own right. Like a modernized version of Lou Reed mixed with the mellow styles of Elliott Smith, Ian electrified the crowd on his acoustic guitar with "Buried Deep", "Walking Out That Door", "Your Fire Is With Me", "You're Not Spanish To Me", "Now It's Your Turn" and a rendition of Chuck Berry's "Maybellene". Ian is currently working on his own musical project called Dirt Naps that should have a debut album out later this year. Something to look forward to for any fan of Deer Tick and rock & roll in general.

Vanessa Carlton

One of the most famous female musicians out there today who has been hanging around Providence for the past few weeks, Vanessa Carlton, went up next on piano and exuded the sheer brilliance that made her a household name. "Take It Easy", "House of Seven Swords", "White Houses" and "Tall Tales For Spring" featuring John McCauley on guitar had the crowd roaring with applause with a few people standing and clapping incessantly. Vanessa will be working on new material in the next few weeks for a record that should be coming out in the near future, just another thing for any music fanatic to look forward to.

John McCauley

Providence's favorite son, the central nucleus of Deer Tick and in my opinion the greatest musician The Creative Capital has ever produced, John McCauley, went up on stage with his sky blue and candy apple red fender strat to an audience that was in a frenzy. Rocking the crowd away with "Daydreaming", "Unknown Face", "Baltimore Blues No. 1", "Houston, TX", a version of NRBQ's "Rain At The Drive-In", "Miss K" featuring Minto blowing away on the harmonica and then switching over to the piano to play "Goodbye Dear Friend", "Old Lady" and a very emotional rendition of "Christ Jesus" and finishing off the performance by going back to hid strat and playing "Ashamed" with the everybody singing along. John's other band Diamond Rugs put out a spectacular self-titled record last year and Deer Tick will be working on their fifth record in a few weeks to be released later in the year. So get the Diamond Rugs record and keep your eyes peeled for what Deer Tick will put out next.


With an impressive resume of working with Deer Tick, Diamond Rugs and even New York City's TV On The Radio, Smoota went on last with his soulful and sexy sound filled with groovy beats, synthy psychedelic notes on the keys, jazzy vibes courtesy of his trombone and even a tambourine. "Magician", "40 Days 40 Nights", "Pink Bra Playing Guitar", "These Are The Things (That Fuel My Desires)", "Ball Buster" featuring Minto on harmonica and "Aphrodisiac" had people dancing in the rows and digging the sensuality. It was Smoota's first performance out of his home base in New York City and he'll be embarking on a European Tour next month. Let's hope he comes back to Providence again to seduce crowds all over the city. It was a memorable evening all for peace, love and nonviolence that was a treasure to behold. Log on to for all the details on upcoming shows at Providence's West End haven for arts, music & entertainment.


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