THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14
Less Than Jake Skip the routine date night dinner-and-a-movie, and enjoy funnel cakes, carnival rides, and a ska-mantic Valentine’s Day with Less Than Jake. The Gainesville five-piece puts on a punk-heavy ska show complete with sax and trombone. Best known for 2003 hit “She’s Going to Break Soon,” LTJ has been touring strong since 1992; though their last album of fresh material was 2008’s GNV FLA, 2013 comp Greetings and Salutations contains two brand new tracks. (Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa) —Shannon Kelly
Sheryl Crow w/Holly Williams Nine-time Grammy-winning songstress Sheryl Crow has been popping up all over this past year. Serving as bandleader on the Matt Damon-pirated episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. Discussing ex-fiancé Lance Armstrong on Entertainment Tonight after news of his performance-enhancing drug use came out. Performing a duet with Willie Nelson, “If I Were A Carpenter,” during a tribute concert in Austin honoring late country great Johnny Cash that was recorded and offered as a live DVD/CD release in August. Her last album, 2010’s 100 Miles to Memphis, found Crow abandoning her pop-rock roots in favor of a more soulful vintage sound. This is her first time back to Ruth Eckerd since her 2008 sold-out show. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)
Jane Monheit She’s collabed with Michael Buble, Ray Brown Jr. and Tom Harrell among others and has been kicking around the pop-jazz-cabaret scene since her 2000 debut. The vocalist with the sugared sultry delivery is hyping a forthcoming (out April 16) 11th album, The Heart of the Matter, which includes anything from The Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers/The Long and Winding Road” to her own take on the Sesame Street classic, “Sing.” The album also features Monheit’s first original tune, “Night Night Stars.” (Largo Cultural Center, Largo)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15
Alan Parsons Live Project For the next installment of its symphony rock concert series, Ruth Eckerd welcomes Alan Parsons, the pioneering producer, engineer, singer, songwriter and composer known for working on such influential albums as Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Beatles’ Abbey Road in addition to issuing his own catalog of well-regarded material. Clearwater is the only symphonic date on his current tour. Click here to read a Q&A with Parsons. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)
Acoustic Basement Tour Spawned from a successful stage at Warped Tour, the Acoustic Basement Tour presented by Vans features intimate, stripped-down sets of pop-punk, alt-rock, emo and post-hardcore music (both original material and covers) from Brian Marquis (Therefore I am), Geoff Rickly (Thursday), Vinnie Caruana (I Am The Avalanche/The Movielife), Koji, and A Loss For Words. (Crowbar, Ybor City) —SK
Jefferson Starship An intimate “almost acoustic” performance by the current incarnation of Jefferson Starship. The 1970s/early ’80s rock band is still piloted by its post-Airplane founding members, singer/guitarist Paul Kantner and multi-instrumentalist David Freiberg, and rounded out by longtime drummer Donny Baldwin, guitarist Slick Aguilar, keysman Chris Smith, and Cathy Richardson doing her best Grace Slick on lead vocals. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals w/Futurebirds Described as a “musically powerful and conceptually dazzling work,” Grace Potter & the Nocturnals’ fourth studio LP, The Lion The Beast The Beat, is full of catchy power-pop ballads and arena rockers produced by Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Wilco), and featuring a knob-turning sit-in by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys on the track, “Loneliest Soul.” Auerbach also helped write first single “Never go Back”; its video premiered on VH1 and helped further launch Potter’s sexy howl into the national spotlight. This tour around, Grace and Co. compile each night’s setlist based on song requests received via Twitter. Fans submit suggestions via twitter.com/gracepotter and use the hashtag #GPNsetlists. Athens country-psych rock sextet Futurebirds open. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)
Fishbone w/Whole Wheat Bread Serving a crazy fusion of ska punk and funk metal since ’79 is LA native septet Fishbone, their sound marked by quirky vocals, wailing brass, and heavy guitars with random melodic breaks. Jacksonville natives Whole Wheat Bread warm up the stage on Fishbone’s current tour. Drawing on their rap background, the three-piece flows rhymes on top of punk-rock instrumentals and choruses. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg) —SK
Carolina Chocolate Drops Among the very few full-time working string bands entirely made up of African American musicians are Carolina Chocolate Drops, which found their music embraced by new and appreciative audiences when fourth LP, Genuine Negro Jig, won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album at the 2010 awards. Their 2012 follow-up Leaving Eden offers more fresh arrangements of traditional folk, jazz and blues tunes. The core threesome of Don Flemons (4-string banjo, snare and bass drums, jug, guitar), Rhiannon Giddens (fiddle, 5-string gourd banjo, 5-string banjo) and Hubby Jenkins (5-string banjo, mandolin, guitar) are currently joined by cellist Leyla McCalla. (Ferguson Hall at Straz Center for Performing Arts, Tampa)
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.