Rhode Island Music & Arts Festival

An annual event showcasing music, arts and local food in the beautiful India Point Park in downtown Providence, R.I.

 

Sept. 14 and 15, 2018

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On a primal level, we react to music through movement. A head-nod, a foot-tap, or a handclap certainly shows appreciation, but dancing seals the eternal bond between audience and musician. Siphoning the spirits of rock, funk, R&B, jazz, and pop through a kaleidoscope of unpredictable and virtuosic improvisation, Boston-based seven-piece Ripe consistently bring people to their feet. Most importantly, they prove that “dance music” in its purest form doesn’t have to come from computers and synthesizers. It can be an unstoppable groove or an extended moment of ecstatic release. Like those bodies moving on the floor, it’s the result of the energy, friction, and communication between living and breathing people. An inimitable and indefinable chemistry has separated and singled out Ripe since day one. Subverting any and all standard genre boundaries once again, their latest offering confidently continues that tradition. These seven musical soulmates —Robbie Wulfsohn [vocals], Tory Geismar [guitar], Jon Becker [guitar], Sampson Hellerman [drums], Josh Shpak [trumpet], Calvin Barthel [trombone], and Nadav Shapira [bass]—once again incite listeners to move on their independent full-length debut, Joy In The Wild Unknown


PERPETUAL GROOVE

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Perpetual Groove based in Athens, GA, rides an unending wave of momentum buoyed by an enthusiastic fan base and international critical acclaim. PGroove's music has evolved into a genre-bending, highly original sound that touches upon jazz-rock, neo-psychedelia, R&B, trance electronica, progressive rock, and anthemic arena rock. Their large catalog of original music offers something for everyone, but the band is also known for their eclectic range of covers; including everything from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to Rage Against The Machine's "Bulls On Parade". The addition of an intense, retina burning, intelligent light show creates an atmosphere unlike any other, assuring fans they'll get a highly polished, yet different show each night.
Perpetual Groove released their first album, Sweet Oblivious Antidote, in 2003 on Harmonized Records after their first year of solid touring. Besides being the top seller for The Home Grown Music Network that year (it outsold releases by Phish, Widespread Panic, and others), it was also voted HGMN Top Fan Pick for 2003. The buzz only got bigger on the 2004 follow-up record, All This Everything, which was produced by Grammy award winner Robert Hannon. LiveLoveDie, their third record was released in March of 2007 and represents a significant evolutionary departure in style for Perpetual Groove. Teaming up once again with Hannon and Tree Sound Studios, the band set forth to create a darker sonic landscape without sacrificing too much of that "PGroove quality" thanks in part to Butler's warm, soaring vocals. HEAL, released in 2010, firmly established Perpetual Groove as more than a jamband with its focus on well-crafted songs. Honey Cuts, an EP released later in 2010, featuring three songs that did not fit the theme of Heal.


 After years of consuming Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin, and Eggo waffles, Lawrence released their twelve-song debut LP,  Breakfast , in March of 2016. Led by siblings Clyde Lawrence, 23, and Gracie Lawrence, 20, the New York-based soul-pop group doesn’t shy away from the oft-maligned idea of “pop” music, but instead is on a mission to write the music they wish “pop” sounded like. The band blends old-school and new-school vibes, combining their love of The Beatles, Randy Newman, and Etta James with Beyoncé, Ben Folds, and Amy Winehouse to create songs that are as tender and soulful as they are explosive.  For  Breakfast , Lawrence teamed up with Grammy Award-winning producer Eric Krasno (Lettuce/Soulive/Tedeschi Trucks Band), and brought in several NYC soul/funk mainstays including Adam Deitch (Lettuce), Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy), and Maurice “Mobetta” Brown (Tedeschi Trucks Band) for guest appearances. After several tours and following the success of  Breakfast— which reached #6 on the iTunes R&B/Soul charts—Lawrence signed with Warner Bros. Records in November of 2016.

After years of consuming Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin, and Eggo waffles, Lawrence released their twelve-song debut LP, Breakfast, in March of 2016. Led by siblings Clyde Lawrence, 23, and Gracie Lawrence, 20, the New York-based soul-pop group doesn’t shy away from the oft-maligned idea of “pop” music, but instead is on a mission to write the music they wish “pop” sounded like. The band blends old-school and new-school vibes, combining their love of The Beatles, Randy Newman, and Etta James with Beyoncé, Ben Folds, and Amy Winehouse to create songs that are as tender and soulful as they are explosive.

For Breakfast, Lawrence teamed up with Grammy Award-winning producer Eric Krasno (Lettuce/Soulive/Tedeschi Trucks Band), and brought in several NYC soul/funk mainstays including Adam Deitch (Lettuce), Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy), and Maurice “Mobetta” Brown (Tedeschi Trucks Band) for guest appearances. After several tours and following the success of Breakfast—which reached #6 on the iTunes R&B/Soul charts—Lawrence signed with Warner Bros. Records in November of 2016.


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Taking their cues from a soul, blues, boogaloo, country and rock background, Wolf! seamlessly merge styles to create a party where everyone's welcome...one that you don't want to miss! This Brooklyn-based trio continue to find new and exciting ways to evolve and push what's possible with the classic guitar, bass, and drums formula while maintaining a fundamental groove that's both irresistible and undeniable. Wolf! strives to make great music, and life is too short to listen to bad music.


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It’s difficult to impart the roots-steeped, road-trippin' essence of the Adam Ezra Group into a single word, but front man Adam Ezra nonetheless keeps one in mind as something of a mantra: COMMUNITY.

To the musicians at the heart of AEG, community is epitomized by a belief they all share, one that has long doubled as a mission statement for the group: namely, that making music together is itself a form of grassroots organizing, capable of nothing less than changing the world. 

Such a groundbreaking concept makes all the sense in the world for a musical collective like AEG. After all, as Ezra sees it, the fans are really part of the band, active members of their movement who’ve always exercised a critical role in AEG’s ability to carry out its mission. This inclusive approach to musicianship, centered about respecting and celebrating their listeners above all else, Ezra insists, is what has allowed the group to explode out of their Boston-area origins to emerge as one of the most uniquely powerful, relentlessly entertaining live-music experiences in the country. 


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Led by the legendary Ryan Montbleau and commanded by the illustrious Hayley Jane, there is rarely a disagreement or power struggle within the project.  The two get along like peas and carrots.  Except for when they don’t.  But they do.  Yeah, sometimes.  Hayley, you’re ruining this bio right now.  Well Ryan, I told you to just let me do it!  That never ends well.  And you’re supposed to leave two spaces after the end of a sentence, I’ve had to go back and fix all of yours.  What? I have never heard of that in my entire life! Don’t fix that one.  Ugh, fine.  Let’s get back to writing about how great we are. 


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Since 2007, the New York six-piece The Big Takeover has been fulfilling the mission implied in their name: packing clubs in the city and upstate and building their brand and reputation on the road and in the studio. A far cry from the pop-punk of American ska, The Big Takeover take their cues from Desmond Dekker and the first wave of Jamaican pop music as well as from the soulful energy and sophistication of Motown. At the center of this tight, grooving ensemble is the live-wire singing and deceptively subtle songwriting of the Jamaican-born NeeNee Rushie, a powerhouse performer who makes the audience feel like accomplices more than spectators. Traditional and experimental, The Big Takeover’s global blend reveals deep fluency in reggae and world music, hints of soul, and a pop classicism that is their own thing entirely. In New York’s  musically hopping Mid-Hudson Valley, they are only the band around that is welcomed and honored at all the major national-circuit rooms: the indie/experimental haven of BSP in Kingston, the jazz and blues gem that is the Falcon in Marlboro, the classic rock mecca of the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock. The Big Takeover packs them all. On the road, the band has played nearly 700 shows, sharing stages with The Original Wailers, Jefferson Starship, Eek-a-Mouse, English Beat, the Slackers and more. The band was selected to participate in a
Converse Rubber Tracks recording session in Brooklyn NY, and toured around the US on their 4th studio record “Silly Girl”, in August of 2017. In October 2017, ‘Silly Girl’ was placed on Relix/Jambands.com charts, at #10. They are currently working on an upcoming release in the studio.


AVI JACOB

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Emerging folk/soul artist Avi Jacob's newest EP "Surrender" was produced by Simone Felice, producer of the Lumineer's "Cleopatra" and has gained many fans and great reviews from critics. Avi is a relentlessly honest writer, combining the inherent truth of songwriters like Bob Dylan with a soulful voice & catchy melodies. Avi has been touring the country opening for acts like Dr. John, Band of Heathens, MIPSO, SUSTO, & Zach WIlliams of the Lone Bellow.


GUEZ

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Passafire was formed in Savannah, GA, in 2003 by Ted Bowne and Nick Kubley, and have built a strong reputation within the U.S. reggae scene through relentless touring with fellow band members Mike DeGuzman and Will Kubley. Bowne doesn’t mind the grueling schedule and adds, “Touring is the best way to keep the buzz about the band going. What keeps it fun and exciting is the people we meet and places we get to see. We are in a new city every day so there’s always something to go see or do.” They continue to be a larger part of the U.S. reggae scene, even though musically they are often far apart from many of their peers in the genre, with a growing emphasis on alternative and progressive rock elements within their songs.


 Ryan Montbleau has been an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and bandleader for more than a decade, but with his new album I WAS JUST LEAVING, the New England-based artist has truly arrived. Contemplative and richly emotive, the album offers a glimpse into the often-lonesome life of the relentlessly traveling troubadour, a strikingly single-minded existence too often clouded by the blur of constant motion. Recorded at New Orleans’ Esplanade Studios over four days in January 2016 with producer Anders Osborne and engineer/mixer Mark Howard (known for his work with such icons as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Neil Young, and U2), the album marks Montbleau’s first full length release in the wake of a series of seismic personal shifts. Songs like “Bright Side” and the touching title track reveal a uniquely blessed artist who has truly found his voice, his gift for melody and a remarkably open-armed approach.

Ryan Montbleau has been an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and bandleader for more than a decade, but with his new album I WAS JUST LEAVING, the New England-based artist has truly arrived. Contemplative and richly emotive, the album offers a glimpse into the often-lonesome life of the relentlessly traveling troubadour, a strikingly single-minded existence too often clouded by the blur of constant motion. Recorded at New Orleans’ Esplanade Studios over four days in January 2016 with producer Anders Osborne and engineer/mixer Mark Howard (known for his work with such icons as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Neil Young, and U2), the album marks Montbleau’s first full length release in the wake of a series of seismic personal shifts. Songs like “Bright Side” and the touching title track reveal a uniquely blessed artist who has truly found his voice, his gift for melody and a remarkably open-armed approach.


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The Mallett Brothers Band's busy tour schedule over the past seven years has helped them to build a dedicated fan-base across the U.S. and beyond while still calling the state of Maine their home. With a style that can range from alt-country to Americana, country, jam and roots rock, theirs is a musical melting pot that's influenced equally by the singer/songwriter tradition as by harder rock, classic country and psychedelic sounds. Texas Hill Country Explore Magazine calls them “New England’s wildly eclectic crew of genre rebels.” Bill Copeland Music News says “Combining their authentic roots rock sound with a reflective lyrical style that perceives stories on the level of epic myth, it’s like William Faulkner has been resurrected with an electric guitar in hand.." While remaining fully independent, The Mallett Brothers Band has performed at some of the country’s top venues and festivals, including Austin Texas’s famed Continental Club; Alexandria, Virginia’s Birchmere (sharing the stage with Oklahoma red-dirt rockers The Turnpike Troubadors), New Hampshire’s Meadowbrook Pavilion (opening for The Allman Brothers Band, and again opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd); Nashville’s Bluebird; and Little Rock’s The Rev Room, to name a few. Festival appearances include FloydFest (Virginia), Hop Jam (Vermont), Nateva (Maine), The New England Country Music Festival (New Hampshire), Eastbound Throwdown (New York), and many more.


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Hayley Jane & The Primates combine Americana, soul and rock & roll with rich lyrical imagery that electrifies the heart. At the helm is rising star, Hayley Jane. She leads the band through an infectious live experience filled with powerful vocal range, vibrant dance choreography and dramatic performance that captivates her devoted fanbase. Hailing from Boston MA, the band was the winner of the 2014 New England Music Awards’ Roots/Americana Act Of The Year and has been performing at premiere venues and festivals across the country. Hayley Jane has also established herself as a strong female presence in the national music scene and was recently featured in the RELIX “Women Who Rock” Issue. The band’s first full-length album, Gasoline, was engineered by Brian Wallace of Sublime and released in 2014. The album was recorded during a West Coast Tour that kicked off at the iconic Whisky a Go Go and ended with a Monday Night Football performance at Qualcomm Stadium.


MELT

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Melt is an eight piece soul-pop group based in New York City.  Drawing on a wide array of influences such as the Jackson 5, Herbie Hancock, and the Grateful Dead, Melt makes pop songs with a unique and old-school flair. 

In April 2017, Melt released their first single "Sour Candy” which landed a #5 spot on Billboard's "Spotify Viral 50" chart during June 2017.  Today, “Sour Candy” has over 1.5 million streams across platforms.  Melt has continued to release two more singles, played several shows at east coast colleges, and traveled to Austin TX to play on the Southwest Invasion stage.  Using the coming months to record their first full EP, Melt is getting ready to bring their sound across the country.


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Singer/songwriter/guitarist TJay has been playing solo shows across the northeast, traveling with a loop pedal and acoustic guitar.  Along the way, meeting some of the best (and tallest) musicians in the Hudson Valley, TJay and the Tallboys was formed.  Incorporating Rock/Pop with Jazz and Blues, they draw on influences such as Steely Dan, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, and more.  Together they have been working their way quickly up the ranks, sharing the stage with well established artists such as The Doobie Brothers, Blues Traveler, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Rusted Root, Little Feat, The Neville Brothers, Dave Mason (of Traffic), Leon Russell, Chris Trapper (of the Push Stars), and more.  Speaking to a multitude of musical tastes, the upbeat show will keep your feet tapping and your senses engaged.


SixFoxWhiskey

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Boston-based SixFoxWhiskey has become a staple of the New England music scene since their inception in 2015, bringing a unique combination of funk and jam rock to stages across the country.  They’ve been picking up steam after prime time slot at Levitate Music Festival in 2017, on the heels of their most recent single, “Sun I’d Seen”.  After opening for some incredible acts like Ripe, Kung Fu, and the Rustic Overtones, they look forward to featured slots at major festivals and the release of 6FW, the debut full length album coming 9/21/18!


All the bands listed below will be performing at the 2018 Rhode Island Music & Arts Festival.  If the band has to cancel for whatever reason and does not perform there will not be a refund for tickets.  All ticket sales are final.