On a cold Saturday in the Jewelry District of Providence, Nick-a-Nee’s was hot hot heat.
During the day, folks gathered in an open-mic fashion, celebrating a milestone birthday for Brian Jablonski, the bassist from local band The Low Cards. I’ll refrain from revealing WHICH milestone, and instead tell you that Brian’s wife slyly arranged for some of his old-school friends to fly in from around the country; which made for part reunion, part bday shenanigans, and a whole lot of good music from the Low Cards, Corn Mo, and friends.
Nick-a-Nee’s is the perfect destination for such a formula.
For the nighttime lineup, the Z Boys and Julie Rhodes took over, entertaining stayovers from the daytime soiree, along with newcomers there to see the show and celebrate another birthday man, Mike Panico – one the biggest music enthusiasts/supporters you’ll ever meet.
By the time the Z Boys kicked off, they were playing to a packed house. The trio of guitarist Greg Burgess, bassist Amato Zinno, and drummer Ziggy Coffey put on a killer performance. Surf rock, jazz, latin infusion… whatever you want to call it, it was damn good. I was especially blown away by the drummer. He played solos that boggled minds and seemed effortless in some of the tightest drumming I’ve ever seen live. Check them out on Facebook and Bandcamp.
Coming off her Best New Artist win at the Boston Music Awards just 2 nights prior, headliner Julie Rhodes played to an eager crowd. She and her crew tore down the house, as usual. We danced, saluted birthdays, and danced some more. The highlight tracks for me that night were Faith, Holes, Hey Stranger, and her rendition of I Put a Spell on You, but I could make a case for any in the set.
Julie’s insanely rich vocals, backed by her incredible band (with horns, AND an epic wardrobe), command both your attention and your sway. She can make your knees buckle and your soul say goddamn all in one song.
Before closing out the night, she invited Greg Burgess of Z Boys, and Ollie Williams of Smith & Weeden to join her. The power and smoothness of Julie, Greg, and Ollie collaborating on Turtle Blues was icing on the cake, which was the perfect time for an actual cake to be passed around the room, because clearly, there was a lot to celebrate!
I ate cake off the community fork and am still spinning from the epitome of an awesome night of music in PVD.
Congrats to Julie and company on a great night and such well-deserved recognition last week!