THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28
Loudon Wainwright III w/Emily Cook Loudon Wainwright III collabed with Judd Apatow to create the soundtrack for the director’s 2007 hit comedy, Knocked Up; composed music for the British theatrical adaptation of Carl Hiaasen’s novel, Lucky You, and topical tunes for NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition; and acted in a range of films and TV shows, including but not limited to M.A.S.H., The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Parks and Recreation. In addition to all this, Wainwright is a prolific folk rock singer-songwriter who has released 22 studio albums, the most recent his 2012 mortality-themed Older Than My Old Man Now. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater) --LP
Florida Strawberry Festival Concert Series: Chubby Checker/Foreigner The Plant City fest kicks off its headline concert series with a dose of nostalgia; 1960 “Twist” hitmaker Chubby Checker opens with an afternoon set while the 1970s/80s-light prog rock of Foreigner (“Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold as Ice,” “Urgent,” “Double Vision,” “Jukebox Hero”) closes the evening. More info at flstrawberryfestival.com. (Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds, Plant City)--LP
Hard Rock Rising A global Battle of the Bands competition that takes place at 95 Hard Rocks around the world. Locally, this is the second of three Thursday night qualifying rounds. Scilter won the Feb. 21 round; Malaya, Fight Another Day and Hang ‘Em High contend on this night, and the last round takes place March 7. Each of the three bands that claim victory at the qualifying rounds compete in the March 14 finale. One winner advances to rep our city in the regional battle. (Hard Rock Café, Tampa)--LP
FRIDAY, MARCH 1
The Mantras CD Release Party Serving up a rich, tight marriage of prog rock, jazz, metal, blues and electronic music is North Carolina quintet The Mantras. First single “Kinetic Bump” off new album Jam Bands Ruined My Life! is an instrumental number marked by passages of keyboard zipping and sonic-scaping, grooving percussive-infused rhythms, and guitar textures ranging from waka-waka riffs and muffle-plucked note runs to point and shred solos. With a sound clearly influenced by Umphrey’s McGee, it comes as no surprise that the album was engineered and produced by Um guitar whiz Jake Cinninger at his Boondock Studios. (Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin)--LP
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk w/Roosevelt Colier Trio You’d think that nothing could outshine his pedigree, but Ivan Neville’s achievements are just about as impressive as his family tree. The 53-year-old son of Aaron Neville has played on records by Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, The Rolling Stones, and even went on tour with Keith Richards’ solo band, The X-pensive Winos. He brings his own hard funk-blues outfit Dumpstaphunk to the friendly confines of the Skipperdome, where SoFla-based pedal steel wizard Roosevelt Collier — who can normally be heard providing scorching guitar lines for The Lee Boys — supports. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa) —Ray Roa
WMNF Presents: Rocking the Ranch w/He’s My Brother She’s My Sister/Suenalo/Black Taxi/Dash Rip Rock/Damon Fowler Group/Mercy Brothers/many others An inaugural camping-style festival hosted by Tampa’s community radio station a little ways outside of town. The three-day bill features pretty much all bands that have played WMNF events in the past, most notably He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, the LA-based alt-folk rock quintet with a tap-dancing drummer; and No Depression favorites Dash Rip Rock. The Latter, a country-soulful roots rock trio from New Orleans plays two sets, one on Saturday night and the other on Sunday afternoon. Primitive campsites are included with three-day $60 admission; single-day tickets are also available (it’s about an hour drive each way). (Sertoma Youth Ranch, Brookesville)--LP
Bon Jovi Nearly three decades after 1986 breakthrough album Slippery When Wet gave the world karaoke staples like “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “Livin’ on a Prayer,” John Francis Bongiovi Jr. & Co. land in Tampa, not necessarily to revive the classics, but to promote their 12th studio LP, What About Now. The band’s “Because We Can Tour” takes its name from the album’s lead single, which is anchored by an anthemic chorus ripe for shout-alongs from devoted fans and their kids. (Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa) —RR
The Dags CD Release Party w/Al Torchia & The Tattered Saints/Greymarket Tampa’s own driving indie rock three-piece The Dags unveil the fruits of their labors, sophomore LP Modern Art, at this release party with high-powered heartland-flavored rockers Al Torchia & The Tattered Saints and experimental-psych two-piece Greymarket. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)--LP
Keb’ Mo’ & Los Lobos Singer, songwriter and guitarist Keb Mo, aka Kevin Moore, lays down a foundation of nice, easy-grooving contemporary blues and builds upon it with light pop, soul and funk-jazz textures. Los Lobos brings Tex Mex appeal to this co-bill, their own fusion of rock, traditional Spanish and Mexican music, blues, folk and R&B most memorably featured in the Richie Havens bio-drama, La Bamba and the Robert Rodriguez flick, Desperado. Both artists have three Grammys to their name and plenty of chops to their instrumental games. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)--LP
Tyler- I can't believe how talented of a writer you are. This article was beautifully…
Great interview! Give the interviewer a full time job! He's great!
The DJ was actually The Castle's very own DJ Tom Gold :)
Fabulous review Gabe! Too bad I missed it.