This week in Tampa: The Almost, JJ Grey and Mofro, Great White and more
Carole Giambalvo's got the week off, so it'll be me, your humble Soundcheck editor, filling you in on all this weekend's heartiest, zestiest concerts.
After the jump: A look at shows by JJ Grey and Mofro, Shooter Jennings, Great White, Truckstop Coffee, Midnight Bowlers League, Irritable Tribe of Poets, hometown heroes The Almost, above, and more.
With Julliet, Thrown Alive
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Bourbon Street, 4331 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. $18-$25. (727) 843-0686.
Time was, you could talk about a Great White show and only mention their classic rock hits, like Once Bitten, Twice Shy. But those days ended on Feb. 20, 2003, when pyrotechnics at a Great White concert in West Warwick, R.I., sparked into a blaze that engulfed the entire nightclub, killing 100 people, including guitarist Ty Longley. The band continue to tour, often to raise money for families of the victims, but split in 2005 in part due to singer Jack Russell’s struggles with addiction. They’re now reformed — Russell and guitarist Mark Kendall are the sole original members, but drummer Audie Desbrow and guitarist/keyboardist Michael Lardie have played with the band off and on since the ’80s.
With Gentlemen Please, Old North East, Solia Tera
SATURDAY 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $6. (813) 248-4969.
Radiohead released In Rainbows on a pay-what-you-want platform, and it seemed to work out okay for them. But what happens when the band that attempts such an experiment isn’t a world-class alternative group, but a working-class alt-country collective from Lake Worth? Truckstop Coffee play southern stompers a la Whiskeytown or Slaid Cleaves, and if you want to download mp3s of their latest effort, For Dear Life, you can do so at whichever price point you like at truckstopcoffee.com. This is tentatively the band’s final show before whisky-voiced singer-guitarist Pete Stein heads off on a cross-country solo tour. Float him a couple of bucks so he can buy some ... uh, truckstop coffee on the road.
Midnight Bowlers League
With Sarge and the Aeromen, the Cadillac Bombers, Big Jef Special
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-2356.
Rockabilly vets Midnight Bowlers League celebrate their 10th anniversary with a blowout showcase featuring several friends and fellow throwback bands. Ten years after singer Tim Masters and guitarist Nafa, who worked together at a library, bonded over one of Masters’ re-built guitars, the group remains hardcore about its retro sound (think Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly). They restore vintage instruments, amps and mics to keep their sound as close to old-school as possible.
Irritable Tribe of Poets
With Ronny Elliott, Rebekah Pulley, Jim Beckwith, Ray “Rayzilla” Villadonga, Bob Brown, Rick Olsen.
SUNDAY 5 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10. (813) 971-0666.
Led by artistic director Rhonda J. Nelson, the Irritable Tribe of Poets are a group of poets and instrumentalists who perform spacey, free-form sets of spoken word backed by improvisational jazz, rock, gospel, soul and other strange soundscapes. During shows, poets (usually up to six) give guest musicians parameters as to what they want their backing music to sound like, and the musicians improvise behind them. “If you imagine a band that has a singer as the leader, it’s the same, except there’s a poet in place of the singer,” Nelson said. This show’s poets include Tampa poet laureate James Tokley, Melissa Fair and Bradley Morewood.
JJ Grey and Mofro and Shooter Jennings
With Earl Greyhound
SEPT. 24, 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20-$22. (813) 247-2555.
Is Skipper’s Smokehouse losing its grip on Tampa’s alt-country-blues market? Is it time to start worrying about the 28-year-old purveyors of smoked mullet? Probably not, but still, this is one show that seems like it would be tailor-made for Skipper’s ... and it’s going instead to Ybor City. You already know all about Shooter (son of Waylon) Jennings, above, as well as the swampy lap-steel hotness that is Jacksonville’s JJ Grey and Mofro. But Earl Greyhound is a real sleeper here. The Brooklyn blues trio when they opened for Taylor Hicks at the Tampa Theatre in 2007 (we had to be there for work, we swear), and trust us, they are not to be missed.
With This Providence, Anarbor, the Dares
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $14-$16. (727) 895-3045.
It was nice news when we heard Tampa melodic rockers The Almost, the poppier side project of Underoath drummer Aaron Gillespie, would be opening for The Used on a cross-country tour this fall. But then we saw that the bands neglected to schedule a Tampa Bay date, and we began to worry: Were The Almost getting too big for us? Turns out our fears were unfounded. As they gear up for the fall release of their album Monster, Monster, The Almost will embark on a short headlining tour, including this hometown show. Nice to know they haven’t forgotten where they came from.
With Jimmy Robbins, KSM
SUNDAY 5 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18-$20. (727) 895-3045.
If you ask us, we’d take Miley Cyrus’s real-life brother (Trace Cyrus of Metro Station) over her fake best friend (Musso, who plays pal Oliver Okin on Hannah Montana) in a street fight. But hey, we’re not 12, so what do we know? The mop-topped Mousekateer will fill the State Theatre with Radio Disney-friendly singalongs like the pulsing anthem Speed Dial and Hey, which we’re only slightly ashamed to admit we’re still humming.
With Southside Serenade, Not Tonight Josephine, Male Order Brides, Falling Awake, Killer Without a Cause, more.
SATURDAY Noon-2 a.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045, rocksolidpressure.com
The syndicated radio show Rock Solid Pressure hosts its seventh annual daylong festival giving 20 bands from around the Southeast, including artists from Georgia, North Carolina and Louisiana, a chance to play in front of executives and A&R reps from a handful of indie and mid-level labels. Among the local highlights on the bill are funky Riverview roots-rockers Southside Serenade, whose fun-loving acoustic college rock (think O.A.R.) has caught the attention of artists like Edwin McCain, Marc Broussard and Sister Hazel. Metal-tinged punks Not Tonight Josephine have been playing consistent shows around town in support of their recent EP, This Orphan Heart. There’s also a pre-party featuring bands like New Violation and Deshrived at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the State Theatre; tickets are $10.
Dive Bar Stalkers: Fri. With Butch Ryan Band. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.
DJ Baby Anne: Fri. With Gravity, DJ Coz. The Kennedy, 2408 W Kennedy Blvd. Tampa. Free for ladies 21 and older. (813) 259-9669.
Slow Claw: Fri. With The Tape Delay, The Tenant. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Magnolia: Fri. With Aperture, Holly Maddux, Sienna Shores, Weight of the World. Transitions Art Gallery at Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $8. (813) 382-3477.
Crank It Teen Night: Fri. With Shunda K. 6 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600.
Memphis Train Union: Fri. The Living Room, 680 Main St, Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-5202.
Doug Spears: Fri. With Rebecca Zapen. Sacred Lands, 1620 Park St. N, St. Petersburg. $8. sacredlands.info.
Popfest ’09: Fri. With Pathway to Providence, You Vandal, The Absentee Ballot, Stereo Six. 8 p.m. Neptune Lounge, 13 S Safford Ave., Tarpon Springs. $8. (727) 943-5713.
Burning Fair Verona: Fri. With Ovid’s Withering, False Demise, Sledgegrinder, Un-Load. 8 p.m. Brass Mug, 1441 E Fletcher Ave., Tampa. $5-$8. (813) 972-8152.
Halcyon: Sat. With My Little Trotsky. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12. (813) 971-0666.
Damon Fowler Group: Sat. 8 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $12. (727) 822-3590.
The Angelus Music Fest: Sat. With Victoria K., 10th Concession, JoDell, Wiley Fox, N’Kahootz, more. Noon to 4 p.m. The Angelus Inc., 12413 Hudson Ave., Hudson. $10. theangelus.com.
Car Bomb Driver: Sat. With Dead Cat Lounge, Degenerates. 8 p.m. Black Coffee Gallery, 113 E Brandon Blvd., Brandon. $6. myspace.com/blackcoffeegallery.
Julianna Zobrist: Sun. 7 p.m., Oakwood Community Church, 11209 Casey Road, Tampa. Free. (813) 969-2303.
Sandy Davis: Sun. With the Larry Camp Trio. 3 p.m. Catherine A. Hickman Theater, 5501 27th Ave. S, Gulfport. $15. ameliaeartheartproductions.com.
Maserati: Tue. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600.
Groove Stain: Thur. With Variety Workshop, Unmotivated, Junkie Rush. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-3045.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*