Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 10-10-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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10 ENTERTAINMENT OCTOBER 10-16, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION CUMBERLAND – Legendary singer of Prince fame and Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame inductee Brenda Bennett will perform her new CD "Once Again" in order and in its entirety on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m., at the Blackstone River Theatre, 549 Broad St. Joining Bennett will be her co- producer and engineer on the album, George Dussault on guitar and vocals, along with Betsy Listenfelt on acoustic guitar and vocals, Sharlene Denardo on bass, Matt Demick on drums, and Theresa Ronan on keyboards. There will be a 30-minute opening set by "How's About Charlie," an acoustic vocal trio from Providence featuring Amanda Centrella, Nicole Gauthier, and Beth Killian. In the mid 1980s, Bennett, who had recorded and sung the world over as a member of the platinum-selling groups Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6, as well as one of the stars of the iconic film "Purple Rain," was to record a solo album under the guidance of her men- tor Prince. It never came to be. After a farewell concert in 2016, Bennett told journalists she planned to take it easy. The possibility of a second album after her solo CD of 2011, "A Capella," was not out of the question, but also not a priority. It was here when fate intervened, say promoters of her show. When Prince died in April of 2016, not only were his fans left shocked, but his for- mer associates and partners including Bennett were blindsided. While Prince was laid to rest, "a flame ignited inside Bennett and thoughts returned to that unrecorded solo album from the 1980s that Prince had discussed with her. What was once a destiny had became an afterthought and a missed opportu- nity. But was it?" states a release. "Tapping into the energy of her unfinished Prince-produced solo album, and armed with a historic backlog of material from that period as well as some strong new songs, Bennett embarked on the recording of 'Once Again,'" it adds. "Inspired by her grief and the legacy of her mentor, she dove into the sessions." The album that was never made in the 1980s was now going to be made. Encouraged by her fans' response, Bennett embarked on a creative jour- ney "that would put certain ghosts to rest, ignite new fires, close some of the doors to the past, and open new ones for the future." On why music lovers should attend her Oct. 27 performance, Bennett told The Breeze people can expect a diver- sity of music from different genres, including two songs she did when working with Prince. "I don't redo stuff very often any- more," she said. Bennett said that though some aspects of dealing with Prince's death have become easier in the more than two years since his passing, there are other times she still feels a "gutwrench- ing hole" at his absence, or becomes angry over the commercialism of his estate. She said she still often feels a "lightness of being," and often has good dreams about her old friend. "At times I feel him close by," she said. Just prior to Prince's death, he and Bennett had talked again about get- ting into the studio at Paisley Park to finally produce the solo album. "We'd gotten down to the point of talking about material," she said. Prince gave her a call and told her to "sit tight" and he'd get back to her soon about the album. Three days after that phone call, he was gone, she said. Bennett said she wasn't planning to move forward with the album after Prince died, but started getting com- ments "from left, right and center" about how she should do it for him. She said she and Dussault worked really hard on this album. The songs are the ones she "was going to bring to the table" before Prince's death. Bennett said she loves the Blackstone River Theatre and its inti- mate setting. This is not a club setting, she said, but a concert venue. "People who go to that kind of venue, they're music people," she said. "They're not there to just experience the moment and have some drinks." According to the release, "Bennett attacks the tracks with a furor and fire that expands on the more cerebral 'A Capella.' The recordings on 'Once Again' span from the '70s to the pres- ent and touch on many of the different styles that Brenda has sung throughout her career." The album closes with a "profound" reading of the song that Prince intend- ed for Bennett, "17 Days," featuring her son Dylan on co-lead vocals. "On 'Once Again,' Bennett reaches her full potential as an artist, singer, and musical force," states the release. "The 10 tracks unfold like a journey through time touching on loss, gain, power, love, life, and death. This album is a career best and a personal triumph. Prince would be very proud." Says Bennett, "Life's mysteries and highways are not always explained to us. We are met with certain destinies – some of which are fulfilled and some which remain open-ended, never to be chased. Some doors in life we are lucky to enter and close behind us while others stay slightly ajar, swinging and teasing with a taunting nag." Bennett joined the creative family of Big Noise LLC in Providence earlier this year. To purchase tickets, call 401- 725-9272 or go to www.riverfolk.org/ ticket-policy . For the official site, visit www.bignoisenow.com/brendabennett. html . Brenda Bennett honors Prince with album, local performance By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com Located on the East Side of Historic Providence Rehabilitation & Nursing Center 66 Benefit Street Providence, RI 02904 (401) 274-4505 www.hallworthhouse.org UNHAPPY WITH WHERE YOUR LOVED ONE IS LIVING? DON'T SETTLE! WE HAVE AVAILABLE BEDS AND… Above Average Staffing Ratios Newly Renovated Rooms Dynamic City Views WE BUY CARS Apollo Auto Sales Like New To You Since 1972 Nos Falamos Portugues Se Habla Español 625 BROAD STREET, CUMBERLAND 401-728-8998 • apolloautosales.com OVER 200 VEHICLES SOLD EACH MONTH… COME SEE WHY! 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