Fall 2016 Pop Music Preview

Venues that had remained somewhat dormant during the hot weather become active once more with hip-hop, rock, country, blues, soul and more.

As summer ends and the temperatures drop, the music festival season slowly draws to a close. But the music doesn't stop; it just moves indoors. Venues that had remained somewhat dormant during the hot weather become active once more with hip-hop, rock, country, blues, soul and more.

Here are some of the highlights of the fall in and around Rhode Island. Remember that the music business can be unpredictable, so it would be wise to check with the venue before heading out. For a complete music rundown, check out the listings that follow this story.

 

Thomas Rhett, Sept. 20 at Dunkin' Donuts Center

Country star Rhett grew up on the music, since his dad is singer Rhett Akins.  His current album includes a song written by his dad, who also contributes guest vocals.

Rhett started out as a songwriter, writing or cowriting singles of Jason Aldean, Lee Brice and Florida Georgia Line. He released his first album, "It Goes Like This," in 2013.  Since then, he's released two more albums, "Tangled Up" and "Life Changes," and has had a total of 12 singles on the country airplay charts.

He enjoyed major success with his song "Die a Happy Man," a tribute to his wife that appeared on "Tangled Up," spent six consecutive weeks on top of the country airplay chart and was covered by the rapper Nelly in 2016.  It won Single of the Year awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association and was nominated for a Grammy as Best Country Song.

"Life Changes" was nominated for a Best Country Album Grammy (it lost to Chris Stapleton).  Recorded while Rhett and his wife were in the midst of adopting a baby from Africa and waiting for a second child to be born, it includes guest vocals from Maren Morris, country ballads and even a pop track with some electronic dance music touches.

1 La Salle Square, Providence; dunkindonutscenter.com.

 

Macklemore, Sept. 29 at McCoy Stadium

Rapper Macklemore will headline the Recovery Fest 2018 concert at McCoy Stadium on Sept 29.  The concert is put on by the Above the Noise Foundation, a New England nonprofit that puts on drug- and alcohol-free events and raises money to help organizations battling addiction.

Macklemore, who had his biggest successes with collaborator Ryan Lewis, has struggled with addiction himself and wrote about it on songs such as "Starting Over."  He has also done his best to deal with the contradictions of being a white man in the hip-hop world, and the inevitable charges of appropriating black culture. Despite himself, Macklemore became a villain to some — particularly after he won a 2014 Grammy for Best Rap Album over Kendrick Lamar.

Macklemore acknowledges the issue on songs such as "White Privilege" and "White Privilege II."  But his latest album, "Gemini," is more party, less politics.

The concert's opening acts are Fitz and the Tantrums, PVRIS and James Montgomery.

1 Columbus Ave., Pawtucket; recoveryfest2018.com.

 

Diana Ross, Oct. 5 at the Providence Performing Arts Center

If you don't know who Diana Ross is, you have probably just teleported in from another dimension. The supreme (or Supreme) diva is making a return visit to PPAC, which she last played in 2016.

Back then, she did a high-energy, glitz 'n' glamour show with several costume changes (think feathers and sequins) and plenty of hits culled from her remarkable 50-year career in show business: "I'm Coming Out," "You Can't Hurry Love," "Touch Me in the Morning." "Love Child," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and lots more.

Ross was never a soul belter, but she has a huge reservoir of charisma and certainly knows a thing or two about entertainment.

220 Weybosset St., Providence; ppacri.org.

 

The Breeders, Oct. 27 at The Strand

Alternative-rock heroines The Breeders started out as a side project for Kim Deal of the Pixies, Tanya Donelly (then still with Throwing Muses), Josephine Wiggs of The Perfect Disaster and Britt Walford of Slint. They recorded the first Breeders album, 1990's "Pod," in just 10 days. The lineup then morphed to Kim Deal and her sister Kelley, bassist Wiggs and drummer Jim MacPherson, who made "The Last Splash" in 1993 and had an indie rock hit with "Cannonball."

Rolling Stone calls Kim Deal "A rock genius with a powder keg of bittersweet melodies and fearless emotions forever ready to blow."

In 2013, the Deal sisters, Wiggs and McPherson, got back together for the 20th anniversary of "The Last Splash," and after the reunion tour decided to keep going and make a new album, "All Nerve," released in March 2018.

79 Washington St., Providence; thestrandri.com.    

 

Bettye LaVette, Oct. 27 at Greenwich Odeum

Soul and blues singer LaVette has the gift of making any song her own, whether it's The Who, Dolly Parton or Bruce Springsteen. Her latest is an album of Bob Dylan songs, "Things Have Changed," which she will perform in its entirety, along with other numbers from her 55-year career. Some of the Dylan tunes are familiar classics, such as "It Ain't Me, Babe" or "The Times They Are A-Changin' " Others are comparatively obscure, such as "Political World" and "What Was It You Wanted" from "Oh, Mercy."

The Guardian called her approach to Dylan "slinkily ferocious."

LaVette first recorded in 1962, but bounced around the music scene for decades — including a six-year run on Broadway in "Bubbling Brown Sugar" — and didn't really make her mark until 2003, when she released "A Woman Like Me."  Her star rose further with 2005's "I've Got My Own Hell to Raise," which saw LaVette covering female songwriters such as Aimee Mann, Sinéad O'Connor and Lucinda Williams.

Since then, LaVette has sung at the Kennedy Center Honors, the Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, a Carnegie Hall benefit celebrating the music of Aretha Franklin, and lots more.

59 Main St., East Greenwich; greenwichodeum.com.  

 

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nov. 7 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium

Carpenter, a graduate of Brown University, is an articulate singer and songwriter who enjoyed her biggest commercial success when she was marketed as a country artist in the 1990s, although she could just as easily be considered folk or folk rock. (She won five Grammys in country categories between 1992 and 1995.)  She's had hits with her cover of Lucinda Williams' "Passionate Kisses" and her own tunes — "I Feel Lucky," "He Thinks He'll Keep Her," "Down at the Twist and Shout" and "Shut Up and Kiss Me."

Earlier this year, she released an album called "Sometimes Just the Sky" that features new versions of some of her songs, including "This Shirt" from 1989's "State of the Heart" and "The Moon and St. Christopher," originally a duet with Shawn Colvin.

The title track is the only new song on the record, and comes from a speech by Patti Smith. Smith was listing some of life's precious moments, such as seeing an old friend after a long absence. But sometimes, she said, it's just the sky. The phrase stuck in Carpenter's head and ended up as a song title.

1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence; thevetsri.com.

 

Lake Street Dive, Nov. 11 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium

Lake Street Dive plays a mix of swing-era jazz, blues, old-school soul and 1970s pop, with the potent vocals of Rachael Price as a distinctive calling card.

The band originated at the New England Conservatory of Music, although Lake Street comes from guitarist/trumpet player Mike Olsen's hometown of Minneapolis.  The band got a break early in its career thanks to a YouTube video of them playing a jazzy version of The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" on a street corner in Brighton, Massachusetts, that received 5 million views.

The band began as a quartet, and recently added keyboard player Akie Bermiss. Their most recent album, called "Free Yourself Up," was released in May. Since the show in Providence is just a few weeks past Halloween, maybe Lake Street will favor the Vets audience with one of their Halloween covers, which in past years have included Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the B-52s "Love Shack."

1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence; thevetsri.com.     

Source : http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180915/rhode-island-fall-guide-2018-music-preview-includes-macklemore-thomas-rhett-diana-ross

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