We're about two and a half weeks from Ribfest in St. Petersburg, so it's a good time to catch you up on some lineup additions the festival has made over the past few weeks.
Joining headliners Huey Lewis and the News, the Doobie Brothers and Chris Young are a handful of new acts, including country-rock acts Parmalee (above) and Clare Dunn, southern-fried rockers the Fabulous Thunderbirds, local rock favorites the Greg Billings Band and the Millennials, a new rock group featuring Robin Taylor Zander, the son of Cheap Trick singer Robin Zander.
Here's the main stage lineup by day:
Friday, Nov. 11: Huey Lewis and the News, Greg Billings Band, the Millennials
Saturday, Nov. 12: Doobie Brothers, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Fire and Ice (Pat Benatar tribute), Blackberry Smoke, the Black Honkeys
Sunday, Nov. 13: Chris Young, Parmalee, Clare Dunn
-- British punk icons the Damned are preparing to celebrate their 40th anniversary with a tour that'll hit the State Theatre on May 13 (and the House of Blues in Orlando on May 12). Tickets are $24. Click here.
-- Brian McKnight, Johnny Gill and Al B. Sure lead the lineup for next year's Tampa Bay SoulFest on Jan. 15 at the USF Sun Dome. Tickets are $51.75 and up. Click here.
-- August Burns Red is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their albums Messengers with a tour that'll hit the State Theatre on Feb. 6. Also on the bill are Protest the Hero, In Hearts Wake and '68. Tickets are $22. Click here.
-- Pop Evil is also coming to the State Theatre on Jan. 14, alongside Red Rising Sun and Badflower. Tickets are $22-$25. Click here.
-- New Age superstar John Tesh is returning to Clearwater for a Christmas show at the Capitol Theatre on Dec. 11. Tickets to Tesh's Grand Piano Christmas show are $35 and up. Click here for details.
-- Jam-band heroes moe. are coming to Jannus Live for a two-set show on Jan. 26. Tickets are $21. Click here.
-- Jazz great Al Di Meola will perform at the Capitol Theatre on Feb. 13. Tickets are $37.50. Click here. …
It's never a good sign when a musician has to postpone the same performance twice due to health issues.
But that's what's happening with legendary piano man Leon Russell. The singer was set to perform at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre this summer before a heart attack forced him to postpone the gig until Nov. 17. Now the makeup date has also been postponed "while he recovers from major surgery," the venue said in a release.
Russell will now take the stage at the Cap on Jan. 26, the venue says, health permitting. Tickets to the July/November shows will be honored at the new date. Click here for details.
Now the Oklahoma psych-rockers are coming back, with a show on April 4 at Jannus Live. Tickets go on sale Oct. 28. Click here for details.
Wayne Coyne and his band of musical miscreants just announced a new album, Oczy Mlody, which drops Jan. 17. They've embarked on some strange musical directions over the years, but one thing's for sure: Their live shows are immersive spectacles not to be missed, with elaborate costumes, confetti, special effects and more. So this one should be fun.
Now comes word Jerry Seinfeld is returning to Clearwater.
The iconic standup and Seinfeld creator will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in January, the venue announced today. He'll perform at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 27. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Oct. 28. Call the box office at (727) 791-7400 for details.
These will be Seinfeld's first performances in Tampa Bay since a handful of gigs at the Mahaffey Theater in 2015. Those shows all sold out, so you'd better snap your tickets up quickly for his gigs at Ruth Eckerd.
Jason Isbell performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Oct. 19, 2016.
You don’t have to look hard to spot Bob Dylan’s influence on Jason Isbell – Dylan’s lyrics to Boots of Spanish Leather are tattooed on Isbell’s left forearm.
But the connection between them runs deeper than Isbell’s skin.
This was absolutely clear Wednesday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, where 1,600 fans got a master class in songwriting courtesy of Isbell, the latest and greatest New Dylan on the block.
The Alabama native wrung whoops of approval, appreciative ovations and likely a few tears from the Clearwater faithful as his words boomed through the auditorium, bouncing off the concrete walls and humming up from the audience between them.
Isbell’s got just as much Earle and Prine in him as Dylan. And like those rough-and-tumble bards, his songs are set in worlds of such rich, specific and painful detail that each felt more a short story – particularly when Isbell howls them out in his deep, rusty drawl. …
South Florida isn't the only market expecting an influx of celebrities campaigning for Hillary Clinton this fall.
Jon Bon Jovi will deliver a "Get Out the Vote" performance on Clinton's behalf on Nov. 5 in Tampa, according to our sister blog the Buzz. Details of the performance have not yet been announced.
This will apparently be a solo show. Bon Jovi the band already has a Feb. 14 date at Amalie Arena. And for the most part, the band likes to keep politics out of its act.
"We made it a conscious decision years ago not to bring that on stage with us," drummer Tico Torres said in a recent teleconference with journalists. "Any way you look at it, you're gonna piss half the audience off. And at the end of the day, I think the reason the booths have a curtain on them is it should be a personal entity of voting for whatever candidate you want. It should be kept that way."
Jon Bon Jovi's Tampa appearance, much like one by Jennifer Lopez coming up in South Florida, might feel a little bit like the Vote for Change performances of 2004, which included high-profile concerts like James Taylor and the Dixie Chicks at Ruth Eckerd Hall and Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M. in Orlando. …
When Mike Mills and celebrated violinist Robert McDuffie bring their new Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra to the Mahaffey Theater on Friday, you’ll only hear one song by Mills’ old band R.E.M. — a rendition of the 1992 song Nightswimming.
But that doesn’t mean rock fans should feel like outsiders.
“This is a fun show; it’s not a sit-on-your-hands classical concert,” the bassist said in a recent phone interview. “It’s a place where the audience can go and have a good time.”
It’s been five years since R.E.M. broke up, and this is Mills’ biggest solo project since. At the Mahaffey, he’ll be joined by McDuffie, a rock band and a 15-piece string orchestra, playing not just their Concerto but also selections by John Adams and Philip Glass. Mills anticipates there will be some R.E.M. fans in the crowd, but knows that classical music fans — and performers — will get something entirely different out of the experience.
“Especially when we work with the younger players, they really enjoy doing something outside of the canon,” he said. “They really enjoy getting outside the classical world. Bobby’s the rock star, not me.” …
Josh Ritter's folksy, soulful, literate brand of alternative Americana doesn't sound like music that always has a home on country radio. But that doesn't mean it'll never happen.
"There's a time for us where things come around, and maybe people start paying attention to the some of the stuff that has a little less shine," he said in a phone interview from his home in Brooklyn.
Not that he's up nights waiting.
"I support my family," he said. "I really love what I do. I'm able to record with abandon. My artistic life doesn't need to get bigger. I'm right now, personally, in my own way, at the top of my game."
On Wednesday, Ritter and singer-songwriter Jason Isbell will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Click here for details.
About a month after playing Tampa, Kanye West has announced he's planning a trip to Orlando.
The hip-hop superstar will bring his Saint Pablo Tour to Orlando's Amway Center on Dec. 6, according to the venue. Tickets will start at $26.50 and go on sale Friday. Click here for details.
Consider this a second chance to catch one of the must-see tours of the year. The Saint Pablo Tour features a stage swaying and dangling over a crowd of moshing fans, and in Tampa, the energy inside the building was emphatic. Here's our review of the September show.
Is it too much to hope Kanye has another rant chambered for us? Early Christmas present, maybe?
Adam Sandler, David Spade, Rob Schneider and Nick Swardson will be performing in Tampa.
Some of the biggest stars in comedy are coming to Tampa.
Adam Sandler, David Spade, Rob Schneider and Nick Swardson will be performing at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 11. Tickets start at a whopping $95, but hey, when's the last time a comic like Sandler or Spade came through Tampa Bay?
The show only promises "live performances" from all four comics, so maybe Sandler will bless us with a performance of The Hanukkah Song. Plus, they promise an appearance by "a special surprise guest." Let your imaginations run wild: Kevin James? Judd Apatow? Chris Rock?
Tickets to the group's Netflix-sponsored "Here Comes the Funny Tour" go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Go here for details: http://www.strazcenter.org/Events/Straz/Shows/1617_Comedy/Adam-Sandler
Before her show Sunday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Amy Schumer popped out with a camera crew to sign autographs and help register people to vote.
Coming into her performance Sunday at Tampa’s Amalie Arena, you knew Amy Schumer had to address the elephants in the room.
One was the fact that in her recent book The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, the 35-year-old comic called the city of Tampa “horrendous” adding: “I’m not scared about writing that, because I know for a fact that no one who lives there has ever read a book. JKJKJKJKJK, but kind of not K.”
The other was the biggest elephant of them all: Donald Trump.
After a week-plus in which the Republican nominee for president faced numerous accusations of unwanted sexual advances, you had to think Schumer, a victim herself of sexual assault and domestic abuse, would have something to say on the matter.
Did she ever.
This always had the potential to feel like a historic show – only a handful of comics have ever headlined Amalie Arena, and the Inside Amy Schumer creator is the first woman to do so. At least 10,000 fans turned out to see her. And they didn’t have to wait long for her to bring up the book.
A little more than a year after the death of his Eagles bandmate Glenn Frey, Don Henley will perform in Clearwater.
The classic singer-songwriter has just announced a Jan. 24 concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Live Nation announced today. JD and the Straight Shot will open. Tickets start at $98.75 and go on sale at noon Saturday. Click here for details.
According to his website, Henley "will perform songs spanning his entire career from the Eagles and his vast solo catalog, including songs from his latest release, Cass County." Maybe he'll offer a little tribute to his old bandmate Frey, too.
Last year's WQYK Guitar Pull was a surprising but welcome addition to Tampa Bay's crowded slate of year-end radio festivals.
For 3 1/2 hours, singer-songwriters like Lee Brice, Hunter Hayes and Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley performed acoustically and in the round, swapping stories and leading the audience on a journey of song at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
The Guitar Pull is returning in 2016, and WQYK-99.5 has just dropped the lineup.
Gary Allan (Nothing On but the Radio), Josh Turner (Long Black Train), Tyler Farr (A Guy Walks Into A Bar), Chris Lane (Fix), Chase Bryant (Take It On Back) and Kane Brown (Used to Love You Sober) will headline this year's Guitar Pull, Nov. 22 at the Mahaffey in St. Pete.
Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. through the Mahaffey's box office; proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay, Inc. Click here for details.
The unique and intimate format of the Guitar Pull -- artists taking turns trading songs throughout the night -- can lead to some fun moments. If you like hearing more than just music, this is a night not to miss.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies have just found their new Fight Song.
Rachel Platten will perform a free concert for the Tampa Bay Rowdies following their Oct. 22 game against the Ottawa Fury. The concert will start about 10 p.m. after the game, and is included with tickets ($25 via ticketmaster). Click here for details.
If you're not prepared to scream your guts out at Fight Song after (hopefully) a Rowdies win, where have you been? It's one of the biggest inspirational hits of the last year and a half, so much so that it's been adopted as Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign theme. Quite an accomplishment from a singer who endured a long, slow climb to the top.
"People love to say what is possible and what isn’t until someone breaks it, and then a new barrier is broken down, and everyone realizes, 'Oh, now that’s something I can do, too,'" Platten told the Times in an interview last year. "I’m really proud to get to represent that. You can keep chasing something for a long time, and your hard work will pay off."