A little snow didn’t stop fans from heading out Saturday night to support ailing musician Mark Cutler. And by fans, we mean the artists performing on stage, as well as the near sell out crowd in attendance.
Cutler, founder of the Schemers/Raindogs/Men of Great Courage and more, has been fighting throat cancer for the past few months, and although his prognosis is good, like many in his position, he’s facing huge medical bills and a loss of income. So his many friends and supporters in the musical community stepped up and organized “Too Many Stars,” a weekend of concerts to benefit Cutler.
The weather intervened, with the 2nd night moved to Sunday January 27th, but the 1st show went on as planned. Dozens of musicians performed Cutler’s songs, including several who’ve played in his various bands over the years. Each band played a three-song set, with members switching out frequently.
Neal and Vipers opened with a raucous set highlighted by a sweet version of the blues classic “Have You Ever Loved a Woman.” The band set the tone for night – great musicianship, Cutler’s astute songwriting, and a lot a love.
John Larson and the Silver Fields were next with a thunderous take on “Lonesome Pain,” followed by Tanya McIntire and the Professors belting out a trio of tunes “Bag of Tricks,” “Shame on You” and “Real Good Time.”
Dan Lily and the Keepers were up next, rocking the crowd with band favorites “Babydoll” and “Walkin’ in the Night.” Roots rockers Biscuit City followed, with a sweet take on “I Could Get Used to This,” and the recent hit “Come Out to the Woods.” Dopey Lopes then kicked things into high gear with a punk influenced set including “Lost in the Flood” and “Higher Road.”
Andy Stone and friends covered the early Schemers classic “High Fashion Girl,” and then The Men of Great Courage, Cutler’s current band took the stage. For the final set, Cutler joined his bandmates on guitar for crowd favorites “Nothing From Nobody,” “Doc Pomus Ghost,” and the Stones cover “Hip Shake.” All in attendance agreed, one of the best nights of music in a long time.
In sum, the various acts provided a nice take on the songs of Mark Cutler. Rocking steady, with a dose on streetwise RI, the universal themes in these song were front and center, beside an artist who has created a long resume of great music. No doubt, a lot more to come in the future!
Check out our photo gallery from WhatsUpRI photo guy Rick Farrell. For even more pics, click here.