The vibe was loose and light Tuesday morning at POP Emporium in Providence for a rehearsal of The Same Thing Project. The band recently released their debut album, Walks of Life Collaborations, a disc full of inspired music, written and sung by members of this diverse ensemble. They’ll be sharing tunes from the album at a Record Release Party Saturday June 22 at 6PM at POP.
What’s unique about this band is its membership, a rolling cast of characters from various walks of life. Most weeks, they meet as a songwriting workshop at the Artists Exchange, a school and performance space in Rolfe Square in Cranston. The sessions are run by RI music legend Mark Cutler, leader of acclaimed bands The Schemers, The Raindogs and Men of Great Courage. The workshop brings together a diverse group of folks including those with cognitive disabilities, making it a truly egalitarian collective.
At rehearsal, they’re having fun but with serious intentions. The sound may have some loose ends (so do The Rolling Stones), still, the songs resonate with this listener. There’s a suitable amount of “disorder in the house” on a couple of guitar driven rockers, a few sensitive ballads, and some folk-inspired sing-a-longs.
The harmonies carry nicely, and the band is truly a collaborative effort, with various members taking solos at different points. Although they certainly know how to rock, the Project reflects the essence of folk music – community centered, fully inclusive, with inspired singing in a spirit of celebration.
Cutler offered a heartening pep talk as the session closed…
“We’re all rock stars, we’re all songwriters, so when somebody asks what you do … tell them you’re a songwriter. Saturday night, it’s gonna be loose, but tight, but loose.”
Be warned, you might shed a tear or two of joy watching these musicians. Don’t miss this show – it’s poignant, inspiring and it rocks!
Click here for more on the Same Thing Project. Meanwhile, have a listen below.