Home of: H.P. Lovecraft, Throwing Muses, Monty Are I, Zox, Sage Francis, Billy Gilman, Family Guy, Debra Messing, Rhode Island Clam Chowder, Wizard rock bands Draco & The Malfoys and The Whomping Willows.
Fun Facts: State colors; blue, white, and gold, state song; “Rhode Island, It’s for Me,” state bird; Rhode Island red hen
This past weekend saw one of Rhode Island’s best-known events—the annual folk festival in Newport, RI— mark it’s 50th year. George Wein’s Folk Festival 50 featured performances by Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Neko Case, Mavis Staples and Iron & Wine. This years’ festival also marked the 90th birthday of co-founder, folk legend and Saturday night headliner Pete Seeger.
Located in downtown Providence, Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel hosts acts of all genres that are too small to play the Dunkin Donuts Center but too large for other local clubs. The 1,200 capacity venue is currently located on Washington St., but the locals all know that the original, smaller Lupo’s used to be located two blocks over on Westminster Street.
Also in Providence is AS220, a non-profit community art space with the goal of providing Rhode Island artists a chance to exhibit or perform their work in a judgment- and censorship-free environment. In addition to live music of all genres, AS220 boasts living, working and exhibition space for artists, a youth arts program, a bar and a taqueria! Stop by AS220’s annual Foo Fest on August 15th for a total sensory overload. The street outside the venue is blocked off to make for interactive art installations, food from local restaurants and 12 hours of original music featuring Providence noise rockers Lightening Bolt and the Sun Ra Arkestra.
Santa Mamba – With influences ranging from The Beatles to Ruben Blades, the members of Santa Mamba combine salsa, son, rock and reggae to create a truly genre-defying sound. Their song “Aroma” earned four Top 20 finishes in the OurStage Latin Channel this year.
The Jesse Minute -Female-fronted punk rockers The Jesse Minute have opened for the likes of The New York Dolls and Peelander-Z. “MILO” features lead singer Missa’s strong vocals over rocking guitars.
Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch – Alt. Country group Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch have been keeping themselves busy playing all over the Northeast and winning praise from Nashville publishers. Lead singer and songwriter Jeff Byrd has been compared to Ryan Adams and Paul Westerburg. Take a listen to “Raining Somewhere” and see if you agree.
RAS – Husband and wife duo RAS (Riders Against the Storm) might just be the next big thing in hip hop. Their song “Speak The Truth” won the Lennon Award in the hip hop category in last year’s John Lennon Songwriting Competition.
Check out these acts and other great Rhode Island artists in the playlist below!
Who are your favorite OurStage Rhode Islanders? Where do you like to see live music in Rhode Island? Let us know in the comments!