Westerly? More Like Wester-WHEE!

Moonie loves the town of Westerly – its beautiful beaches, its cute little shops, its Dave’s Coffee, and its budding music scene.

When he’s not grooving to nightly music at Perks and Corks, he’s around the corner at The Knickerbocker Cafe, enjoying crowd-drawing acts like Martin Sexton and Duke Robillard and, two of his favorites, Ian Fitzgerald and Haunt the House. Ian and Haunt the House will be playing the Knick again tonight, and you just might see a pink-haired dude enjoying the tunes and the holiday decorations.

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He does like to admire Ian’s hair (they have the same barber).

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And he loves when Warbler Roost’s Bessie Bee joins Haunt the House frontman Will Houlihan on beautiful songs.

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Last year Ian, Bessie, and Will brought the house down on a three-part harmony of “Good Night Irene.” Moonie was doing backflips.

He then ran around the corner to catch his friend MDB (“Emmm Deee Beee!” an excited Moonie is shouting over my shoulder). MDB, also known as Marc Douglas Berardo, was having his own holiday fun around the corner at Perks and Corks with his friends Phil Adams and Ken Serio.

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Tonight’s live music at Perks and Corks will feature The Free Radicals, starring Moonie’s friend Pete Vendettuoli. So if you do make it to the Knickerbocker for amazing folk, don’t forget to pop around the corner for amazing roots and rhythm right after!

PRONKity PRONK PRONK PRONK!

Hey, friends, guess-

"PRONK!"

“PRONK!”

Um, guess what-

"PRONK! PRONK!"

“PRONK! PRONK!”

Er, guess what tomorrow is-

"PRONK! PRONK! PRONK!"

“PRONK! PRONK! PRONK!”

Moonie, buddy, I thought we were going to give your friends a chance to guess what tomorrow-

"PRONK!PRONK!PRONK!PRONK!"

“PRONK!PRONK!PRONK!PRONK!”

Well, you’ll have to excuse Moonie. He’s a bit excited because tomorrow is PRONK! And that, of course, is his very favorite day of the year.

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Last year he wrote a 72-staza PRONK opus, which was backed by a philharmonic orchestra and three kazoos. (I’d still like a word with whomever taught him the word “badonkadonk.” Given that not too many words rhyme with PRONK, it features heavily in the verses.)

So of course we were happy to go to the PRONK Family Day festivities in late August to start getting psyched up for PRONK.

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Red Bandana Award

Each year, in honor of the late but great Richard Walton (a very nice man and humanitarian whom I fondly remember introducing all Stone Soup music acts while clad in his overalls, red bandana, and Santa beard), who held an annual community party featuring music and fun and food, people who improve the human condition are recognized in an award ceremony at Nick-a-Nee’s featuring – of course – music and fun and food. Today is the fourth annual Red Bandana Awards ceremony, which will recognize Sarath Suong of the Providence Student Union Movement and Artemis Moonhawk of the Mama Dreads Mission of Love. Congratulations to both winners!

Moonie and I have a conflict, but he did pull out some photographs of last year’s Red Bandana Fund awards, which he had enjoyed intently. Here he is checking out the stock of red bandanas for sale at the event.

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MDB(irthday)

Moonie’s friend MDB (“Emmm Deee Beee!” he shouted happily, recognizing the initials) had a birthday recently. Like a true music lover, he used that as an excuse to host a songwriter in the round with two of his talented friends, Abbie Gardner and Jesse Terry.

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And, like a true music lover, Moonie bought us tickets to the show, with his spiky pink head as close to the stage as he could get.

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‘Mericans at Bucket Brewery

Moonie has so many adventures that I sometimes fall behind on writing about them. Boy, did he have a fun one back in November!

He and I met up with friends at Bucket Brewery in Pawtucket, where our favorite Rhode Island band, the ‘Mericans, was set to rock a crowd of craft beer drinkers.

Whee!

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Inside, the brewery was decorated with glittery strings of lights that immediately attracted my shiny-loving dude’s attention.

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Even better, he spotted the ‘Mericans on a makeshift stage.

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Bob Fitzgerald

A couple of weeks ago Moonie and I had a wonderful evening at Brooklyn Coffee and Teahouse enjoying hot drinks and cool music. He was thrilled that the three fantastic acts included Bob Fitzgerald, a near-fixture at some of Moonie’s favorite open mics. Moonie and Bob’s son Ian, as you all know, go to the same barber ­čśë

Moonie really enjoyed Bob’s set. Bob has written some fantastic songs and played them so well that night on his 12-string guitar. My pink-haired punk was mesmerized from the first chord.

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He did shake himself out of enjoying Bob’s upbeat, bluesy songs to amble over to greet his good friend Marty. Marty and Moonie sure do love being sound engineers together!

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Moonie smiled and wiped away a little tear as Bob finished the last lingering note of “Slowly,” a song he’d written for his wife on their 39th anniversary. In a flash, he ran over to hug his pal, and Bob in turn had a big smile for my little sidekick.

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Between Bob, talented duo Colby and Keila, and the wonderful Lenny Solomon, I thought his little pink head was going to explode with happiness. Thanks to Bob and his fellow musicians for making Moonie’s night!

Greg Andreozzi

Moonie’s pal Greg Andreozzi is a sweet, soft-spoken man in person but a sparkplug on the music scene. Greg plays in all kinds of bands, including the KC Moaners and the Juke Joint Blues Band, but he’s most recognizable dressed in red, white and shiny, playing the rubboard and sometimes drums as well for none other than –

“ERB! ERB! ERB!”

Sorry about that; Moonie, who is reading over my shoulder, got a little carried away and started hooting. Yes, none other than Moonie’s favorite local street marching troupe, the Extraordinary Rendition Band. Moonie and I are used to seeing Greg in his badass sunglasses and gloves, strapped into a rubboard, turning his torso into walking percussion in a midst of merry musical misfits. But last Tuesday, at Joanne Lurgio’s wonderful weekly open mic at Pub on Park in Cranston, Moonie got a different view of his ERB pal. We’re used to him handling beats, but this time Greg, a multi-instrumentalist, chose strings – specifically, the autoharp.

And he played two absolutely beautiful instrumental tunes. Moonie’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped open in an “oh” as his normally rockin’ and rollin’ bud sat down to caress his corded zither, coaxing out lovely chords.

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Marty

Just as Moonie has a human best friend (me), his crow buddy Marty has a human best friend, Greg Klabon. Greg can be spotted managing sound at dozens of live music events each year for the Rhode Island Songwriters Association – and Marty can be found right alongside Greg, headphones on, concentrating on enhancing all the talented singers and songwriters who perform at Brooklyn Coffee and Tea House.

Moonie recently had a chance to catch up with his good pal Marty, who gave Moonie a tour of Marty’s┬áspecial little set of┬ásound equipment. Soon the two buddies were giggling over music jokes.

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“Why did the musician get arrested?” Marty asked.
“Why?” Moonie asked.
“Because he was in treble!”

They both hooted.

“Did you hear what happened when an E-flat walked into a bar?” Moonie asked.
“No, what happened?” Marty asked.
“The bartender said, ‘Sorry, we don’t serve minors in here!'”

They cracked up.
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MDB at Sneekers

In the 22 months Moonie has lived with me, he’s gotten used to seeing live music three or four times a week. We’ve been slipping making it out to so many shows lately, and when I got home from work on Wednesday he gave me a stern “stay there” look, ducked into his little Moonie workshop, and then came out wearing his fanciest footwear:

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“What’s up, little dude?” I asked.
“I’m wearing sneakers ’cause we’re going to Sneekers!”
“We are? What’s at Sneekers?”
“Emmm Deee Beee!” he shouted, running up and down the hallway in his comical kicks.

Moonie has been a big (for his size) fan of Marc Douglas Berardo – or MDB as I call him, or Emmm Deee Beee as Moonie even more enthusiastically calls him – since Moonie got to stay in his very first hotel room and dip in his very first pool when we saw MDB play Tupelo Music Hall in New Hampshire last spring. Since then, he’s seen MDB play everywhere from Waterfall Arts Center in Maine to the Providence Folk Festival to at least a half-dozen shows at MDB’s home base, Perks and Corks in Westerly. But to get to Sneekers, Moonie and I would have to cross state lines into Connecticut. It was rush hour and the show started in less than two hours.

“Let’s roll!” I said.
“Whee!” Moonie hooted, and then promptly tripped on his shoelaces.
“Um, buddy, I don’t think you actually need to wear sneakers to go to Sneekers,” I said, and Moonie happily kicked off the kicks, freeing his teeny toes. Read More