Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Meet Me At THE MET Thursday Nights at 10

Meet Me at THE MET, a new, one-hour program featuring local, regional, and national music artists, will debut on WSBE Rhode Island PBS on Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 10 p.m.

Created by Rudy Cheeks and Nate Flynn, in association with Rhode Island PBS, the program will showcase the best Rhode Island music from the past 40 years. It will consist of live musical performances and interviews recorded at THE MET Café in Pawtucket. The initial series of 13 shows will air on Thursday nights at 10 through December on WSBE Rhode Island PBS (over the air on digital 36.1; Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, and Full Channel 08; DirecTV 36 / 3128HD, Dish Network 7776; in MA, Comcast 819HD and Verizon FiOS 18 / 518HD).Each episode will rebroadcast on the following Saturday at 2:30 a.m. and Sunday at 11 p.m.

Brown Bird October 3
"What we are trying to accomplish is to capture and unleash the energy and excitement of live musical performances in front of an enthusiastic audience," said Rudy Cheeks, the show’s host and co-creator. "Through this experience, we hope viewers will feel an appreciation for the creative community in Rhode Island and maybe help build the careers of local and regional musical artists," he said. "The arts have already proven to be a powerful economic engine and we'd like to add to that," Cheeks said.

Co-creator Nate Flynn added, "Today's video technology allows live performances to be captured in a much truer way. Small HD cameras can get close to the stage without affecting the performance and that lets viewers experience the feeling of being up close in a club through their television. Meet Me at THE MET is shot so that all you see is the stage and performers. We want viewers to experience what it's like to be standing 10 or 20 feet from the action on stage."

The initial series of artists represents a wide variety of genres, popularity, and experience, including some of today's most popular local artists, lesser known artists trying to make a name for themselves, and some of Rhode Island's better known musical veterans. The first five shows will feature:
  • October 3: Roomful of Blues and Brown Bird
  • October 10: Mark Cutler and Sarah Lupo 
  • October 17: Allysen Callery, Vudu Sister and Sara Azriel 
  • October 24: Rizzz and Tim Flynn's Area 51 
  • October 31: Northern Lands and Comic Book Keith 
"We are delighted to premiere ’Meet Me at THE MET’ on Rhode Island PBS," said David Piccerelli, president of Rhode Island PBS. “THE MET is a great local stage for live performances, and Rhode Island PBS is the bigger stage that amplifies those local voices. It’s that local connection that differentiates us from other TV stations, and how we engage and serve our community," Piccerelli added. "We’re collectively building an innovative experience, not just for Rhode Island PBS viewers, but one that will carry the Rhode Island music scene across the country,” Piccerelli said.

Mark Cutler October 10
The producers of the show have a long and varied history in the music and entertainment industry. Nate Flynn, a native of North Smithfield, is an international award-winning communications professional with experience in concert production, photography, and video and multimedia production. As a key member of the Brown Student Concert Agency, he worked stage crew for some of the world's most famous artists including Bob Marley, Blondie, U2, Dire Straits, the Kinks, Emmylou Harris, The Ramones, Dave Brubeck, Carly Simon, Pat Metheny, Bonnie Raitt, and Little Feat, among many others.

Rudy Cheeks, a native of Pawtucket, has had a 40 year career in music, radio, print journalism, film and television, including stints with the legendary Young Adults and Fabulous Motels, Comediac bad movie nightclub act (precursor to Mystery Theatre 3000), Club Genius television show, and was a radio host on several Rhode Island radio stations. He co-authors the popular Phillipe and Jorge column in the Providence Phoenix and is a member of the Pawtucket Hall of Fame.

Both Flynn and Cheeks are founding members of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame and serve on the Board of Directors.

Rizzz October 24
"I feel happy to have my memories of all the music in the ‘70s and all the musical changes and events and the evolution of it. It’s tragic there is no documentation of it,” said Rich Lupo of THE MET and Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in Providence. “We had these bands in the ‘70s that were a mixture of blues, rhythm and blues, and rock. Music goes in and out of style. Many of the groups around now – Deer Tick, Joe Fletcher and the Silks – are similar to the groups from the ‘70s. If someone documents these bands, it will be a history of music," Lupo said.

Meet Me at THE MET is made possible in part by funding from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and Washington Trust, with additional support from the Providence Phoenix, Imaj Associates, THE MET, WSBE, Litho Print, and Mojo Photography. For information about underwriting opportunities, contact the series executive producer Paula Gurney.

The series Web site,, features more information about the series, the host and production team, funding and volunteer opportunities, as well as the artists who will appear in the series.