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Unique global musical styles and traditions with Berklee World Strings at The Towers

November 13, 2014

NARRAGANSETT—Move over, Beethoven and Mozart. Berklee World Strings is coming to town this weekend, and conventional classical compositions won’t be echoing through the halls of The Towers.
Instead, the orchestra, comprised of students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, incorporates styles and genres from around the world. Directed by cellist and Grammy winner Eugene Friesen, the international compilations played by the group are one of a kind.

Bach brings Christmas to Westerly

November 13, 2014

WESTERLY—Although the holiday season has not officially started, the 205 members of the Chorus of Westerly have been preparing for months. They are getting ready to perform “Bach’s Christmas Oratorio”—a classic musical telling of the Christmas story—Sunday, Nov. 23 at The George Kent Performance Hall in downtown Westerly.
“[Johann Sebastian] ‘Bach’s Christmas Oratorio’ is one of the warhorses of classical music,” said Andrew Howell, music director of the Chorus of Westerly, “and this piece is really something special.”

New fish ladders offer social, economic and environmental benefits

November 13, 2014

Construction at two fish ladders on the Saugatucket River has begun at last. In Peace Dale, Narragansett Dock Works has started changing the sluiceway floor height and the pitch in the lift system, which will reduce the occasionally volatile flow of water. As the current design reflects a time when our rivers once were home to fishes like herring, shad, salmon and even sturgeon, the force of water often proves too much for our bluebacks and alewives. Preliminary work has also started at the Main Street site, which is a more extensive renovation.

Get versed in the Caribbean’s culturally rich, and sometimes unsettling, history

November 13, 2014

The lure of the Caribbean Islands is strongest here in the northeast at this time of changing seasons. The warm tropical breezes and island sun calls to many of us as the temperatures begin to hover around the freezing point. The beautiful turquoise waters that appear in any given promotional piece about any Caribbean destination have an almost dream-like quality to it. A quick dip would not even be a consideration. A long and leisurely swim always seems to be the hope. There are dozens of reasons to wish yourself onto any one of the many lovely island getaways just a short plane ride away.

Guitars are golden in this week’s Ear Bliss spotlight

November 13, 2014

Guitar is the focal point of two recent releases in the Ear Bliss spotlight this week. A cult favorite of sorts, six-stringer Steve Gunn has been making brilliant albums since the mid-Aughts. His latest, called “Way Out Weather” with a full band in tow, may just be his finest. The Allah-Las play guitar-based rock rooted in the garage, surf and Latino rock sounds of 1960s Southern California. The band’s sophomore release picks up right where its stellar 2012 self-titled debut left off. Let’s dig in.

Steve Gunn
“Way Out Weather”
Paradise of Bachelors Records

Election reflection: The foxes are about to guard the environmental henhouse

November 13, 2014

A Note to Readers: And no, this is not a preface for an apology in which I explain why I wasn’t able to offer a fresh edition of the Journal. Rather, this is an announcement of an upcoming event that, I think, will be of exceptional interest to many readers, particularly those interested in art, birds, or both. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., I’ve arranged a program that features British artist and naturalist Katrina van Grouw, whose incredible book, “The Unfeathered Bird,” I wrote about last year.

Marty Stuart’s double disc set pits rough and rowdy against spirituality

November 6, 2014

Perhaps no artist in country music today has carries the traditional brand of the sound torch as well as Marty Stuart. A career that began as a 13 year old out of Philadelphia, Miss. hitting the road to play mandolin for Lester Flatt of Flat & Scruggs fame, Stuart has never looked back over a nearly 45 year music career. His latest album, a double disc affair called “Saturday Night/Sunday Morning” divides itself between rough and rowdy and spiritual. It is nothing but fine.

Read up on the blues to get acquainted with an authentic American tradition

November 6, 2014

There are as many creative outlets in this world as there are people. It never ceases to amaze me the many and varied interests that people occupy their time with to get along in life. The therapeutic value and relevance of hobbies and interests has been proven time and again to be real and meaningful, even life-changing or at times life-saving. Music in its many different forms is perhaps one of the strongest creative forces we have as human beings.

Desire, participation, enforcement prevent overharvesting of fisheries

November 6, 2014

Starting Jan. 1, 2015, necessary changes to the recreational and commercial striper fishery will begin. Coastal recreational anglers will be limited to a bag limit of one striped bass per day with a minimum size of 28 inches. While the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission did not reduce the minimum size as some had advocated for, the overall goal remains focused on reducing the striped bass mortality rate by 25 percent next year.

Nature’s classroom lends a hand for environmental lessons

November 6, 2014

When the first drops of chilly rain started falling at dusk on Halloween, I was safely under cover in an uncharacteristic place: the Crystal Mall in Waterford, Conn. I was there not to investigate unusual aspects of natural history but rather to finally get a new and much-needed pair of eye-glasses: all the better to see the natural world with. Alas, my vision, like all too much of the rest of my faculties, has not exactly improved with age, and when the new spectacles were completed and fine-tuned, I realized just how much detail I’d been missing.

‘Photography’ teems with diversity and skill

November 6, 2014

NORTH KINGSTOWN - It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Visitors will find themselves abuzz with thoughts conveyed by images featured at the Wickford Art Association’s latest exhibit.
Simply entitled “Photography,” the show displays 69 diverse photographs taken by residents of Rhode Island and beyond.

East Greenwich native presents cabaret show

November 6, 2014

EAST GREENWICH - Paraprofessional by day, performer by night, is the lifestyle for one East Greenwich woman who leaves at the end of the school day and enters her second profession as a Cabaret Performer.
Paraprofessional Maria Tavarozzi leaves her job at Hanaford Elementary School every afternoon to sing and dance, and most recently to prepare for her upcoming performance “Broadway and Beyond” at The Greenwich Odeum.

What lies beneath: URI surveys area waters

November 6, 2014

It takes Captain Tom Puckett a moment to decide on the most unusual fish he’s brought aboard the URI research vessel Cap’n Bert. Tall, lanky, and sporting curly gray hair, Puckett has been responsible for piloting the vessel most of the past 25 years. He chews Dentyne gum as he ponders the question. “I’d have to say the Atlantic torpedo ray. They can generate enough electricity to knock you out. Haven’t seen too many of them, though.” Today will be an example of the cliché, “never say never.”

New York’s Salmon River offers an ideal fishing getaway

October 30, 2014

Writing a fishing column requires lots of time looking to the water but not out the window, lest you see how much fun everyone else is having catching actual fish. In spite of this and my editor’s looming deadline, four of us waded into the Salmon River last week, a fast moving tributary of Lake Ontario, known for Pacific salmon, steelhead trout and fast rising waters.

Seegers sings his way from rags to riches

October 30, 2014

The story of the singer/songwriter Doug Seegers is a Cinderella-like one. We take a look at his debut recording for Rounder Records, which has been receiving rave reviews. Also in the Ear Bliss spotlight is a reissue of a mid-Aughts recording from Jimbo Mathus of Squirrel Nut Zippers fame. Let’s get to it.

Jimbo Mathus
“Jimmy the Kid”
Big Legal Mess Records

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