The music of Providence band Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes (winners of the 2012 BRU rock hunt) defies easy categorization but vocalist Roz is okay with being hard to describe. If no single genre can quite capture their sound, Roz has no trouble coming up with some useful adjectives “Our music is progressive . . . experimental, but really melodic and catchy.” Find out for yourself Thursday night, July 18th, for a free, late show at Murphy’s Law in Pawtucket (where bassist Justin works).
Even more exciting, Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes (drummer Casey Belisle and bassist Justin Foster) will be part of the upcoming Newport Folk Festival on Friday, July 26th. (Proving that genres are getting pretty squishy, the festival weekend lineup includes Trombone Shorty, Beck, and Amanda Palmer.) The Saturday and Sunday tickets to the Folk Festival sold out immediately so an extra day was added. Ben Knox Miller wasted no time in organizing “The Low Anthem presents Newport Homegrown” featuring Roz and the boys, Last Good Tooth, Death Vessel, and Vudu Sister on the Homegrown Stage. (BKM is on the verge of becoming an impresario, dare we say . . . a mogul?)
When asked recently about her influences, Raskin cited Gwen Stefani of the early No Doubt days with “her attitude, and the empowering way she commanded the stage” as well as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, anyone who could “tell a story with their voice.” Roz has been playing piano since the age of five. In high school she and her brother joined the Classical High Jazz Band which her father Allan Raskin, also a musician, started directing gratis due to budget cuts. (They have long since graduated, but Mr. Raskin just kept on doing it . . . for other people’s kids. Allan Raskin — Dose “Volunteer of the Week.”)
Raskin loves the Mars Volta and cites the Ben Folds Five album “Whatever and Ever Amen” as a pivotal inspiration and also wants people to check out locals the Volcano Kings and Omnivore (Glenna Van Nostrand).
After returning from SXSW last March, the Rice Cakes got down to writing and recording at the Columbus Theatre (some of it recorded live on the main stage) and hope to have a new full-length album by the end of September-ish.