Artist of the day: Radio-Free Carmela and the Transmitters
It's tough to know exactly what you're getting with a band named Radio-Free Carmela and the Transmitters. Experimental pop, a la the Legendary Pink Dots? Gypsyesque freak folk, a la Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes?
Surprisingly, this Sarasota group's music is much more grounded in earthy reality than one might expect. Carmela and company play bluesy, jammy Americana that veers from plaintive folk-rock at one moment to noodly guitars the next, sort of like 10,000 Maniacs covering Lynyrd Skynyrd. In addition to frontwoman Carmela, the band includes bassist Doug Conroy, drummer Dave Townsend, guitarist David Mishkin and dobro/mandolin player Jerry Sparkman.
Longtime local favorites, they've appeared on a variety of local and WMNF compilaitons, and played countless local shows. They'll keep that streak going on New Year's Eve when they open up WMNF's 1980 throwback concert at Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa. A dozen or so local artists will take the stage, performing as artists from 30 years ago. Radio-Free Carmela and the Transmitters will open the show at 7 p.m. as The Pretenders. Tickets are $25-$35. Click here for details.
Beyond that, look for them at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at a rare gig at the Beach Theatre in St. Pete Beach. Click here for details.
Photo: Benjamin Watters