THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7
The Soul Rebels The sounds of New Orleans fill the Ale and the Witch’s courtyard when Soul Rebels Brass Band bring their celebratory, horn-and-beats-driven mix of pop, soul, jazz, funk, hip-hop and rock to St. Pete. The eight-piece marching band-style ensemble is made up of percs men on bass and snare drums, trumpeters, trombonists, and players on sousaphone and saxophone. Their repertoire encompasses originals and a broad range of covers, including “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Annie Lennox and Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City.” (Ale and the Witch, St. Petersburg)
The xx w/Austra Tickets to this concert by British dream pop outfit The xx sold out weeks ago. If you haven’t worked out a solution yet, you’re probably SOL. Good luck. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)
Col. Bruce Hampton My first phone interview, ever, and the one that pretty much spoiled me for years to come because it was so damn fun and kooky, was with the inimitable Col. Bruce Hampton. The cosmic godfather of the alternative Southern music scene wields a mean guitar and has mentored and played with a veritable who’s who of musicians since his emergence in 1963. Aquarium Rescue Unit is his most well-known group, his jazzy jam-prog rock outfit with bassist Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers) and guitar extraordinaire Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic), among others. Since 2011, he’s performed with lap and pedal steel player AJ “Wunder” Ghent in Col. Bruce and The Realms of Ventilation, which hits Dunedin for two back-to-back nights that kick off Thursday. (Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin)
An Evening with Richard Marx AC pop-rock singer-songwriter Richard Marx returns to make up the date he missed in December, an intimate solo acoustic set full of hit ballads (“Hold On to the Nights,” “Right Here Waiting”), upbeat swingers and drivers (“Don’t Mean Nothing,” “Should’ve Known Better”), and the odd cover song (like the Stones’ “Wild Horses”). (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)
The English Beat Many in attendance at this Thursday night all-ages Jannus show likely weren’t even born at the height of The English Beat’s popularity. Formed in the late 1970s and among the leaders of the 2 Tone ska revival with their Jamaica-rooted music, the now over-50 ska band from across the pond infuses their hi-hat heavy repertoire with sultry saxophone, vocals by frontman Dave Wakeling and toaster Antonee First Class, and heavy keyboard magic. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg) —Kelsey Sunderland
Jake Miller w/Vers/Scott Aye Dealing in the genre of semi-childish hip-hop, while also joining the ranks of barely legal heartthrobs that girls are swooning over, is Florida-born Jake Miller. Though his lyrics are light and nowhere near as razor sharp as white rapper constituents like Macklemore and Eminem, he manages to evoke the sort of tween-aged positivity that pop-rap artists tend to overlook. Digital guitars, mid-tempo beats and simplistic chorus melodies are paired with inspiring lyrics that make it hard not to like this fresh up-and-comer. (Orpheum, Ybor City) —KS
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8
Leon Redbone His vocals wrap around you like a blanket of warm and golden nostalgia, his deep-cultured timbre and dancing cadence paired with pitch-perfect whistling and an acoustic guitar-bopping mix of folk-jazz, blues and ragtime. Leon Redbone is a cult Canadian export you likely know best for his television theme song work on Mr. Belvedere; what you may not know is that he survived a plane crash and never travels by air as a result. This is his first time back to the Bay area in several years. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)
Doctor P This British dubstep producer (real name Shaun Brockhurst) delves into glitch, house, drum and bass, moombahcore and moombahton electro-scapes, and has been issuing singles as Doctor P since the whistling sci-fi-fused wompage of 2009’s “Sweet Shop.” More recent note-shredded productions feature artists like Dillon Francis (“Music Is Dead”) and vocalist Eva Simons (“Bulletproof”). (Amphitheatre, Ybor City)
The Legendary JCs w/Nervous Turkey The Skipperdome roof might damn near blow right off when two acts featuring howling frontmen take to the stage — gritty punk-blues rockers Nervous Turkey (featuring harp-rager Ernie Locke), and high-powered funk-soul revue headliners The Legendary JCs, as commanded by Eugene Snowden. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)
Reel Big Fish w/Pilfers/Dan Potthast For those singles who hate Valentine’s Day, raise your glasses during “Beer” and toast a big “F!@# You!” to the holiday. Despite playing musical chairs with band members, Reel Big Fish maintains the trademark aesthetic of their “Sell Out” days on latest LP Candy Coated Fury. The title of the sextet’s seventh album sums up the classic Reel Big Fish sound: brassy upbeat ska punk music with a middle finger up to relationships. Drink up and skank your way into this painful pre-heart day weekend. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg) —Shannon Kelly
Merle Haggard w/Chris Janson A legend whose name is likely known to even non-country music fans, Merle Haggard has been doling out his brand of twang for five decades. Though he had part of his lung removed after a bout with cancer in 2008, The Hag was back on stage less than two months after surgery and maintains an active studio and touring career that has him playing upward of 60 dates a year. The 75-year-old country mainstay plays guitar and fiddle along with singing in a resonant drawl. (Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg)
I was fortunate to see Bonnie Raitt. Her stage presence was heart warming and her…
loved it! Well worth the $$.
Coastline was also held in West Palm Beach, on the following day (Sun., Nov. 10).