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Music royalty was in the house Sunday April 29th as the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2018. Several artists along with technical experts were introduced into the Hall in ceremonies that included three nights of concerts showcasing their work.
Jazz at Chan’s
The weekend-long event began Thursday April 26th at Chan’s in Woonsocket where pianist Mike Renzi and club owner and jazz enthusiast John Chan were inducted. It was a special night of jazz that featured the two-time Grammy award nominee Renzi’s great keyboard chops at Chan’s, the go-to destination for “Egg Rolls and Jazz,” along with rock, blues and more since 1977.
Folk at POP
Festivities continued Friday night April 27th at POP in Providence where folk musicians David Blue and Tom Ghent were honored. Blue, who passed away in 1984, was a highly respected singer-songwriter and a contemporary of folk greats including Bob Dylan and Eric Anderson.
He was represented in song by Grammy Award winner and RIMHOF inductee Bill Harley, who featured Blue’s anti-war song “More Good Men Going Down,” and RIMHOF member Mark Cutler, who played “Outlaw Man,” a song that became a hit for The Eagles.
Next up was Tom Ghent, the Cranston born Nashville based singer-songwriter who has written and recorded with numerous country artists including Kris Kristofferson. He played a powerful set set of originals including hits “Whiskey, Whiskey” and “Yankee Rebel Son.”
Blues and more at the Met
The honorees on Sunday April 29th included music educator and jazz performer Lloyd Kaplan, the late great guitar phenom Paul Murphy and blues legend James Montgomery.
The Hall also recognized the technical work of lighting experts Andrew Polin and Bob Morrissey, both well known in the music industry for their groundbreaking company Polico Lighting. The pair gained notoriety working shows with Boston, J. Geils, and the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. Leroy Bennett, also a lighting designer who went on to national fame with Prince, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga, was also honored.
The afternoon show at The Met featured a performance from blues great James Montgomery and his band. They played several favorites including songs from Paul Butterfield, a major influence on Montgomery. The night closed with an all-star tribute to Paul Murphy, featuring Greg Abate and Duke Robillard. Check out some photos of the proceedings below.