video: Potenza Rocks on The Voice
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Rhode Island native Sarah Potenza continued her dominance on NBC’s “The Voice” last night, with a commanding take on the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic “Freebird.” Behind her Coach Blake Shelton, she took charge of the classic rock hit, as she battled to remain on the show into the next round.
Classic Rock Territory
Wearing a white suede fringe jacket (echoing David Crosby circa 1969), she began the song on acoustic guitar. The band kicked in, the tempo accelerated, and Potenza once again called up the ghost of Janis Joplin, along with Skynyrd founder Ronnie Van Zandt, as she belted out the 70’s anthem.
Potenza selected the song herself, according to Shelton, after the two exchanged numerous e-mails. It was a powerful performance, and as Adam Levine noted, her vocals replaced the dynamics of the famed guitar solo.
A Household Name
Potenza rode into the evening with lots of momentum, having breezed through the early rounds of the competition. Her throaty rock and roll chops and stylish eyeglass frames have taken viewers by storm and she has become an acknowledged favorite on the show.
Before taking the stage, she chatted with Shelton about her rise to fame and how she has become the talk of Rhode Island, noting “they named a pizza after me. And as an Italian American, I feel I’ve peaked.”
It’s now up to fans around America to vote – those votes will pick the top two winners from each team and the coach will pick one more winner of the three who remain on their team. Results are expected to be announced on Wednesday’s show. Stay tuned!
Ken Abrams review Roots, Rock and Blues on GoLocal. E-Mail him here.
Related Slideshow: Top 5 Spring Concerts
Has there ever been a more anxiously awaited spring? The beginning of the season means its time for GoLocal’s best picks in local music, our "Top 5 Spring Concerts." Check out our slide show of the Top 5, along with a few "Honorable Mentions" and then get out and enjoy some live music. And check GoLocalProv every Friday for our top weekly picks, “5 Live Music Musts.”
John Mellencamp at PPAC
John Mellencamp is playing the Providence Performing Arts Center April 16th on the final leg of his “Plain Spoken" tour of over 80 cities. Reviews from the tour have been spectacular, with critics noting the singer sounds better than ever. The “Voice of the Heartland” has some great stories to tell. His latest mostly acoustic album, Plain Spoken, has an Americana bent, and has been compared to Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. Special guest Carlene Carter opens for Mellencamp.
Lisa Fischer at Park
Grammy winner Lisa Fischer will be playing the Park Theatre in Cranston on April 4. You may not know her name, but you definitely know her voice; she’s been a background singer for artists as varied as Luther Vandross, Sting, and most notably, the Rolling Stones, who she’s toured with since the late 80’s. Her vocals on “Gimme Shelter” propelled her career, and landed her a central role on the Oscar winning film “20 Feet From Stardom,” a documentary about background singers (which by the way, we highly recommend). Fischer will be in town leading her top notch R&B/Jazz band Grand Baton.
Kacey Musgraves at Lupos
Country singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves will be at Lupos Friday March 27. Musgraves is a sassy upstart who made a splash with her hit “Follow Your Arrow,” a song that has become an anthem for many young country fans. The tune comes from her album Same Trailer, Different Park, which debuted at #1 on the Country charts in 2013. The album won a Grammy in 2013 for Best Country Album and Best Country Song in 2014 for “Follow Your Arrow.” Not too shabby a way to start a career!
David Lindley at Lilypads
One of the greatest sidemen in Rock and Roll history will be at Lilypads in Peacedale on May 16. David Lindley is well known for his work with Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and numerous others, live and in the studio. He’s always done his own thing as well, touring with just about every instrument ever fitted with strings. You’ve heard his voice before too, singing falsetto on “Stay” from the classic Jackson Brown album, Running on Empty.
Sandywoods Folk Festival
A new Memorial Day Weekend tradition begins this year with the Sandywoods Folk Festival. The first annual event with headliners like Antje Duvekot and Christine Lavin will be held “in the fields” at Sandywoods, an arts community in Tiverton. There’s a wide variety of talent scheduled over two days and the Festival jabs Newport with its “Pay What You Can” policy. (Not to mention, bottled water for only $1 a bottle!) All the details can be found here – be sure to get out and support some great local and national artists!
Honorable Mention - Rock
A whole bunch of rock shows are coming to town over the next couple of months. Lupos has Neutral Milk Hotel April 19, Scott Bradley's Post Modern Jukebox on May 1 and Of Monsters and Men on May 9. Twin River has shows with Sugar Ray and The Gin Blossons March 20, The Beach Boys April 17, and Steve Miller June 19. The Met has indie-rock supergroup Diamond Rugs on March 28 and legendary guitarist Richard Thompson April 19.
Mellow Rock in Kingston
The Courthouse Center for the Arts in Kingston has an impressive line-up of 70’s rockers this Spring starting this Saturday night March 21 with folk singer Melanie. Follow that on March 27 with the Pousette-Dart Band, Jonathan Edwards on April 18, and Pure Prairie League on May 2. John Ford Coley closes things out on May 30. And in between, the Center has RI’s top tribute band, Forever Young, interpreting the tunes of Neil Young on April 25, and the highly regarding Bluegrass Gospel Project on May 23. The soft rock beat continues into the summer with Livingston Taylor on June 27.
The Coffee House Scene
The local Coffee House scene remains busy until the annual summer break. Common Fence Music in Portsmouth has modern Bluegrass band Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys on March 28 and The Gnomes on April 18. Head to Stone Soup in Pawticket March 21 for Antje Duvekot and return on April 11 for Gordon Bok. Also, check out the Zoetical Festival with Rhode Island's own Arc Iris in residence at Aurora in Providence every Friday in April. Lots happening!
Rock, Folk, Jazz and More
The Narrows Center has Rock, Folk, Blue and Jazz royalty passing through this Spring. The Fall River venue has original Buffalo Springfield member Richie Furray leading his band on March 19, New Age pianist George Winston April 4, and Paul Barrere, Fred Tackett and the New Orleans Suspects on April 9. Suzzy Bogguss is there April 17 and Bruce Coburn visits May 11. A major Jazz show featuring the Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio with Kenny Barron and Ron Carter is scheduled for April 25.
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