John Cafferty and Beaver Brown in the 80's

Thanksgiving weekend is always a big one for local music. The tradition of the “homecoming” show has nationally known local bands playing shows at hometown venues. This weekend is special – most of our “Six Picks” are well-known RI rock bands and members of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. Get out and rock!

The Original Schemers

The Schemers Saturday

America’s least appreciated Rhode Island born band is the Schemers. Lead singer/guitarist Mark Cutler has a voice that rivals the late Tom Petty, and behind their jingle jangle guitars on overdrive, every show is special. If you haven’t seen them in a while, check out the Parlour in Providence Saturday night. Music starts around 9 and as always, bring a can or two or food to contribute to their ongoing food drive. Details here.

John Cafferty and Beaver Brown Saturday

The Beaver Brown Band (above) ruled the world for a while in the 1980’s when they appeared on the soundtrack of cult movie favorite “Eddie and the Cruisers.” The band played rock shows up and down the East Coast but is most fondly remembered for late nights ‘On the Dark Side” at the beach bars around Narragansett and Newport. Remember those “Tender Years” and more Saturday night at the Courthouse Center for the Arts in Kingston. Details here.

David Rawlings and Gillian Welch (photo: Henry Diltz)

David Rawlings Saturday

Although he’s lived out of state for many years, David Rawlings is originally from North Smithfield. He plays RI often, and is a regular at the Newport Folk Festival, under his own name or with spouse and musical partner Gillian Welch. Saturday, he’ll be headlining at the Columbus Theatre. As always, his band is joined onstage by Welch for what will undoubtedly be a great night of Americana. Details here.

Roomful of Blues Saturday

Roomful of Blues may be the best-known band in this group. “Roomful” has been a Rhode Island institution for over 50 years, with many members coming and going over that time. Friday night, they return to a sold-out show at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River. Tickets are still available for Taunton native, blues-rocker Sarah Borges and her band, Saturday night, as she plays her annual “homecoming show.” Details on both shows here.

Deer Tick All Weekend

That’s right, RI’s reigning indie champs, Deer Tick, return to town this weekend for three sold out shows. Friday night, it begins at the Columbus Theatre with “Twice as Nice, An Acoustic Evening with Deer Tick” and then two nights at The Met on Saturday and Sunday. If you got sold out, don’t worry. A show has just been announced for December 29th at the Newport Blues Café. Meanwhile, check out Rob Duguay’s interview with John McCauley here.

Your Local Establishment Always

At Thanksgiving, we remind you to support local music year-round at your local bar/club of choice. Rhode Island is blessed with a great music scene, so get out there and see what’s happening. Look for our special “dive bar” edition of “Six Picks” coming soon! Rock on!

We present some vintage videos from our picks this week – starting with The Schemers on MTV

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RI’s own E Street Band – Beaver Brown on Solid Gold in 1984

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Deer Tick’s Latest

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Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines.
Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse," a roots/folk/rock radio show every Tuesday, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM. He is a former educator in the Scituate, RI school system where he taught Social Studies for over 30 years.
Ken is presently on the board of the Rhode Island Folk Festival and Newport Live (formerly Common Fence Music), a non-profit that brings diverse musical acts to the Newport area.