Details: Friday 8 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $46-$103.95. (813) 974-3002.
"Buzz so big, I could probably sell a blank disc." With those words, much-hyped Canadian-American actor and artist Drake introduced himself to the hip-hop world on Best I Ever Had, the platinum-selling ode to one very lucky (and apparently sheets-skilled) lady. So how did a guy best known for his role on teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation come to dominate hip-hop in 2010? For one, the 23-year-old Lil Wayne protege proved that even in rap, charisma moves people more than sheer volume (so step aside, Lil Jon). Drake is a lover, not a fighter, with clever, antithug flows and a soft spot for simple ladies (Fancy). To that end, what woman doesn't love the line "Sweat pants, hair tied, chillin' with no makeup on/ That's when you're the prettiest/ I hope that you don't take it wrong"?
>> Rascal Flatts
With Kellie Pickler, Chris Young
Details: Saturday 7:30 p.m. 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $39.25-$79.75. (813) 740-2446.
A harmonious country act with major pop appeal, Rascal Flatts was among the first to give traditionally "down-home" country music some polish. Over a 10-year, 26-single career, the well-moussed trio has forgone rugged plucking and singing for a glossy, vocal-driven style, one that still manages to conjure up average-guy blue jeans and summer get-togethers. Rascal Flatts has influenced countless contemporary country acts, including Lady Antebellum, who played here earlier this week. New disc Nothing Like This is due out in October. Opener and American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler does a nice Dolly Parton impression, but as Randy Jackson might say, she's a little pitchy, dog.
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Details: Wednesday 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $62.50-$129.50. (727) 791-7400.
When the varied voices of Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and David Crosby come together, you realize why these guys never fared as well solo. One of the first-ever "supergroups," CSN's signature three-part harmonies, wistful folk-pop and AM-radio country tones were so dulcet, you'd forget the group was crying out for social change. To this day, each member has much to contribute live: Nash with folksy sing-along Teach Your Children and nimble Marrakesh Express; guitar virtuoso Stills with Love the One You're With and Southern Cross; and Crosby with hippie hymn Almost Cut My Hair and poetic ballad Guinevere. CSN influence has also run rampant in today's harmony-smitten indie acts like Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes.
Denise Moore CD Release
Details: Saturday 8 p.m. 442 Lounge, 442 Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $10. (813) 254-5373.
Leading local jazz lady Denise Moore will release The History of Jazz, an ambitious live disc recorded at the Palladium that covers everything from early New Orleans jazz to smooth jazz. Moore, who has played casually with folk acts, country acts, blues acts and so on, "really didn't get this going until I was 40," she says, after a friend told her to lead her own group. "And I went to what I love — jazz," Moore says. Moore recently was awarded an artist grant for music from the Hillsborough Arts Council.
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.