This week in Tampa Bay area live music: Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, BB King, Man or Astroman? & more 

Concerts, Dec. 26-Jan. 1

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Jonathan Scales Fourchestra w/Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio
Three men make up Asheville’s Jonathan Scales Fourchestra: namesake musician Scales drives the jazz fusion train with his unique steel pan technique, drawing a more diverse palette of melodic timbres from the instrument than you’d hear normally in island music and trading poly-complex rhythms with bassist Cody Wright and drummer Phill Bronson, the latter also delivering straightforward beat support. Scales credits Bela Fleck's unconventional banjo technique as influencing his approach to the pans and his track “Lurkin’” was actually inspired by his early encounters with the artist as an obsessed fan, and Fourchestra’s self-titled debut (which dropped on Ropeadope Records this summer) features guest spots by two Flecktones players, Victor Wooten and Howard Levy. On this night, the instrumental trio alternates sets with choppy brassy drawling jazz-trained guitar rocker Bobby Lee Rodgers and his band; then the two perform together. (Ale and the Witch, St. Petersburg)

Vanguard 10-Year Reunion w/Bangarang/NoMore A Gainesville punk rock quartet active from 1998 to 2003 reunites for a few gigs this weekend — including this Pegasus date — while all the members are on hand at once (bassist Jason Jackman calls Tampa home but drummer Erick Charles lives in NYC, singer/guitarist Robinson Moore in LA and lead guitarist Brandon Dougherty planted roots in Naples). Vanguard’s four-part harmonies soar over forceful punk rock drive, evoking Bad Religion minus the crustiness. (Pegasus Lounge, Tampa)

DVBBS It’s hard not to judge brothers Chris and Alex Andre for the mild Jersey Shore-ness of their shared good looks. But the Canadian twosome who perform as DVBBS (pronounced “dubs”) come off as humble in interviews, and YouTube videos show a particularly animated pair that gets the crowd pumped up while knob-turning and churning out dramatic electro/progressive house music carrying hints of reggae, hip hop and pop. This date falls on the heels of dropping an international dance hit with American producer Borgeous, “Tsunami.” (Amphitheatre, Ybor City)

Teach Me Equals w/The Dull Blades/Mountain Holler This summer, Teach Me Equals collaborators, Sarasota-based couple Erin Murphy and Greg Bortnichak, took their self-styled ‘scrape rock’ (post-classical art rock driven by cello, violin and dual vocals) on the road, honing their live delivery, ensnaring fans, and getting a better handle on their co-songwriting skills along the way. Five months and one totaled camper later, the twosome return for a holiday break at home, and play a few dates before embarking on the next half of their national tour. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

Zach Deputy w/Kaleigh Baker Despite his relatively youthful age, I regard Zach Deputy as the Santa Claus of the one-man band world — he’s big, jolly, bearded, and spreads joy everywhere he lands with his funky hopping, island grooving, Motown soulful dance rock odes, which he builds live by looping his instrumentals on drum pads, percs and guitar. His deep booming vocals can hit falsetto notes, and he intersperses his singing with beat-boxing and MJ-style squeals. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

Grandpa’s Cough Medicine w/Mark Schimick
Forget the mountain-hewn Americana music of yesteryear. Instead, reflect for a moment on the outlaw bluegrass of Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, a trio from Jacksonville that prefers aggressive rapid-fire banjo and flat-picked guitar playing, walloping upright bass drive, and two-part vocal harmonies waxing on dark, cheeky and sometime lurid subject matter ala “The Murder Chord,” an ode about a man who’s possessed by evil music then compelled to kill his whole family. (Ale and the Witch, St. Petersburg)

Man or Astroman?
Fact: Man or Astroman? killed it at Orbit 19 Lounge earlier this year, backing 2013 full-length Defcon 5...4...3...2...1. Fact: You lamed out on the show because you thought Holiday was too far to drive. Fact: The quirky surf-space rockers are returning for NYE and throwing down at Ella’s. So. What are you waiting for? Get your fucking tickets, man, before this thing sells out! (Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, Tampa)

All Good New Year's Eve 2013: Florida Night Heat & Samurai Shotgun w/Djs Qeys, Mes, Silence & Soft Rock Renegades The usual All Good Tuesday night jams are boosted by live music and guest DJs during this spirited celebration of the New Year, with Florida Night Heat serving the usual drone, stoned n’ psychedelic-oozy rock n’ roll while Samurai Shotgun rips through an onslaught of their urgent funking hip hop. No cover to this NYE party. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

NYE with Donna the Buffalo A festive convergence of The Herd hits the Skipperdome to ring in 2014 with Donna the Buffalo. The New York roots-folk jam ensemble was founded nearly 25 years ago by co-songwriters Jeb Puryear (vocals, guitar) and Tara Nevins (vocals, guitar, fiddle, accordion, washboard, percs). This year they issued their first fresh full-length in five years and 10th album overall, Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday. A warm-up set of bright Americana by Rebekah Pulley Duo, featuring the local songstress hopping between keys and acoustic guitar as joined by collaborator/life partner Rob Pastore on double bass and steel guitar. A champagne toast, breakfast buffet and party favors for the midnight festivities are included in the ticket price. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

BB King New Year’s Eve The most significant elder statesmen of blues guitar lands at one of the oldest operating theaters in Florida to thrill Bay area NYE revelers with his accomplished fretwork, and those distinctive expressive axe tones so many bluesmen try to imitate but never quite achieve, and that King seems to draw out so effortlessly from his black Gibson, Lucille. This intimate holiday performance kicks off with a warm-up set by fingerstyle whiz Shaun Hopper. For those who can’t quite swing this date, King also plays a second show on Thurs., Jan. 2. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)

CLICK HERE to see a complete rundown of shows taking place this week and in the coming weeks.


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