Details: Sunday 5 p.m. Busch Gardens, Tampa. Part of the park's Bands, Brew & BBQ series; included with general admission. buschgardens.com.
It's hard to believe Poison frontman and VH1 cougar-tamer Bret Michaels nearly died following a stage mishap at the 2009 Tony Awards. Had he met his maker that fateful day, at least he'd have done so knowing the world would never produce a bigger, cheesier, more beloved power ballad than Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Thankfully, Michaels is back and more bandana'd than ever. If you have a reality show you'd like to pitch him on Sunday, we're sure he'd be willing to listen.
Details: Friday 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Sold out. (727) 791-7400.
Brandi Carlile's fans turn out in force wherever she goes — this gig, featuring Carlile as part of an acoustic trio, sold out weeks ago. They're in for a treat. When the 30-year-old Seattle singer-songwriter played an acoustic set at last fall's Orlando Calling festival, her voice was textured and mesmerizing, yet as versatile as Muse's Matt Bellamy. The way she stomped, strutted and sang lovely songs like the plaintive Follow, you just know she'd have been a superstar in 1995. For now, a cult following will have to do.
Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival
With Buddy Guy, Curtis Salgado, Rich DelGrosso/Del Toro Richardson Band and more (Saturday); Janiva Magness, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Beverly McClellan and more (Sunday)
Details: Gates open at noon Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. Coachman Park, downtown Clearwater. Free general admission; reserved seating is $25-$30 for one day, $40-$45 both days. clearwaterseablues.com.
A free concert by the world's foremost Chicago bluesman, Buddy Guy? That'll get us up to Clearwater in a hurry. The 75-year-old guitar legend remains one of the funniest, bawdiest showmen on the international blues circuit, delighting in forcing his ax to yelp, howl, squelch and squeal like a stuck hog. Guy goes on at 8:10 p.m. Saturday, but don't sleep on the rest of the lineup — Beverly McClellan, who reached the final four on Season 1 of The Voice, performs at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Rockabilly Ruckus 2012
With Lee Rocker, Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys, Amy LaVere, Rocket 88, Twisty Chris and the Puddin' Packs, Ted Stevens Band, Hot Rod Hornets, Rockabilly Chicks, Morgan Bernard
Details: Saturday 4 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 971-0666.
Ladies, stick a rose in your hair, and fellas, douse that ducktail in pomade, because it's time for WMNF's ninth annual salute to the music of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. This year's headliners: Lee Rocker, the upright bassist from the Stray Cats, who promises to slap out Setzerless versions of Stray Cat Strut and Rock This Town; and western swing revivalists Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys. There's also a vintage car show at 3 p.m., but you need a ticket to enter, daddio.
Details: Friday 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $50-$75. (727) 892-5767.
With friends like Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick, of COURSE Gladys Knight won the Grammy in 1987 for That's What Friends are For. Whether performing with the Pips or entirely Pip-free, the Empress of Soul still commands a stage on smashes like Midnight Train to Georgia and her hit rendition of I Heard It Through the Grapevine. Knight has put her name, fame and fortune to good use opening a chain of chicken-and-waffle joints in the greater Atlanta area — which, let's face it, is exactly what the rest of us would do if we became rock stars.
Yonder Mountain String Band
With the Infamous Stringdusters
Details: Saturday 8 p.m. Jannus Live, Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 565-0551.
Before the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons made crossover "newgrass" cool, Yonder Mountain String Band was busy hoeing down with Frisbee-golfing frat boys in their home state of Colorado. Founded in 1998, YMSB has ingratiated themselves with the jam-band community by encouraging bootlegging at their concerts. Last fall, they even curated a festival in Arkansas with artists like Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and the Steep Canyon Rangers.
Times staff writer Jay Cridlin can be reached at [email protected]