THURSDAY, JANUARY 3
Rock the Park w/Have Gun Will Travel/Florida Night Heat/Mountain Holler Some of CL’s favorite artists are slated to perform at the first Rock the Park of 2013. All three took home Best of the Bay award wins last year: Americana purveyors Have Gun, Will Travel (Best Local Roots/Alt-Country Act), psych-prog-grimetronic trio Florida Night Heat (Best Rock Band), and acoustic guitar-wielding solo artist Mountain Holler, the stage alias of set and setting/RedFeather musician Mark Etherington (Best MVP). (Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa)
FRIDAY, JANUARY 4
Guiltmaker Album Release w/Zulu Wave/The Future Now A nine-year tenure playing the local music scene ends this Friday when Guiltmaker simultaneously issues a new five-song EP of post punk-vibing alt rock, Hidden Affinity, and stages their final show, ever. Former drummer and long-time friend John Hayes visits from NYC to sit in on a few old songs, and a few high-quality indie rock acts — Tampa’s propulsive post rock outfit Zulu Wave and Gainesville-based fuzz-grunge seethers The Future Now — provide support. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)
Pops Series: Jump, Jive An' Wail The Florida Orchestra launches the second half of its 2012-13 season with a swingin’ presentation featuring LA dancers Minn Vo and Stefanie Klausman jump-jiving and lindy hopping to a mix of Charleston swing, big band, boogie-woogie, blues and other styles by American masters like Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Glenn Miller and Louis Prima. Victor Vanacore — whose resume includes stints with the likes of Johnny Mathis and Barry Manilow — presides as guest conductor for the three TFO pops concerts. (Friday at Straz Center for Performing Arts, Tampa; Saturday at Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg; and Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)
A2BAY B.A.S.E. Inc. Music and HeadNOKKA Media Group have teamed up to host an ongoing Tampa Bay-Atlanta hip hop artist showcase series fueled and funded by the artists themselves, and organized to create a more open channel of exchange and support between the two local scenes. The first installment of A2BAY features performances by Tampa-area rhyme-slingers Headnokka, Infinite Skillz, Waystid Talent, Hagan Lee and White Roux, and emerging Atlanta talent Shred TVT, BIGREC, and Sham Tha Insomniac. A similar showcase hits Atlanta later this year. (Orpheum, Ybor City)
Cassie and Maggie From the Cape Breton reels and Antigonish polkas of their Nova Scotia homeland, to Scottish jigs and original Celtic-inspired numbers, multi-instrumentalist sisters Cassie and Maggie MacDonald breathe fresh youthful energy into centuries of tradition, their 2011 debut LP, Fresh Heirs, earning a few nominations at the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Cassie plays fiddle to Maggie's piano and delivers sweet piping harmonies behind her younger sister’s soaring lead vocals. Cassie is also a talented (award-winning) highland and step dancer who executes moves amid the instrumentals, while Maggie plays guitar, banjo and accordion in addition to keys, and joins her sister in fancy footwork during their performances. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)
Marcia Ball w/Betty Fox The piano blues songstress whose sound is heavily dosed in Louisiana swamp and Texas boogie hits town on another round of dates backing her Grammy-nominated 15th studio album, Roadside Attractions. Best of the Bay-winning blues howler Betty Fox opens. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)
SATURDAY, JANUARY 5
Greensky Bluegrass w/Grandpa's Cough Medicine Rising amid the surge of indie bluegrass revival acts is Michigan-bred quintet Greensky Bluegrass, their pleasant collision of banjo, guitar, dobro, upright bass and mandolin marked by multi-part vocal harmonies and tuneful songwriting. New EP Handguns was laid down in between tours and straight-to-tape, with the same analog console used to record Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Free Bird” decades earlier. For fans of The Hackensaw Boys, Avett Brothers, and Yonder Mountain String Band. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)
Gold-Bears w/Rec Center/Nervous Systems Crash-bang garage fuzzy scorchers, dreamy droney shoegazy ballads, jangly noise pop boppers — Atlanta indie outfit Gold-Bears dispenses a mix of all three on Are You Falling In Love?. The foursome’s full-length debut dropped in 2011 via Slumberland Records, home to The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and Dum Dum Girls among others, and earned high marks from Pitchfork.com. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)
BB King w/Shaun Hopper The highly regarded bluesman who’s reigned over his genre for more than six decades plays fewer shows at age 87 and does so mostly seated, but BB King still averages 100 dates a year, singing his booming soulful verses and serving up fluid solos and vibrato shimmer from his center-stage throne amid the musicians of his tight horn-suffused backing band. And even when he’s not recording new material, he’s releasing it — B.B. King: Live At The Royal Albert Hall 2011 dropped in March — or he’s the subject of it, as with BB King: The Life of Riley Movie, a feature-length doc about King narrated by Morgan Freeman and made available on DVD in October. His return to Ruth Eckerd Hall kicks off the venue’s 2013 season; fingerstyle guitarist Shaun Hopper warms up the stage. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)
Excellent review, sorry I missed the concert.
I was fortunate to see Bonnie Raitt. Her stage presence was heart warming and her…
loved it! Well worth the $$.