, Mary Chapin Carpenter
Details: Sunday 7 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $38-$58. (727) 791-7400.
Before the Faiths and Shanias ruled '90s country music with glossy, good-looking material, Ivy League-educated Mary Chapin Carpenter was winning over fans with a folksier, often meditative style. The two-step honky-tonk exception Down at the Twist and Shout helped her break out commercially, as did her appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, where she performed You Don't Know Me, a witty, self-deprecating ditty about being the lowly "opening act" (something every aspiring band should hear). After a bout with a serious illness in 2007, a gracious and celebratory Carpenter is back with The Age of Miracles, which features guests Vince Gill and Alison Krauss.
Details: Wednesday 6:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $10-$14. (813) 248-9500.
Released in June, Automatic Loveletter's Truth or Dare swaps its previous emo-slanting output for granular, shabby-chic rock songs. Clearwater's very own Juliet Simms goes lighter on clothing and heavier on her brassy, Joplinesque wail while her brother, Tommy Simms of well-liked local act Win, Win, Winter, beats up the guitar.
Details: Friday 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $29.65. (727) 565-0551.
Until Sublime acquired Brad Nowell sound-alike Rome to go on tour this year, your go-to act for live, Pacific Ocean-inspired reggae and rock may very well have been (or still be) Pepper. The well-oiled trio from Kona, Hawaii, offer not-so-serious tracks about house parties, ladies, green bottles and ocean breezes. New EP Stitches is slated for release in mid-October. It's a perfect way to extend the summer for a few more weeks.
With Point 6
Details: Sunday 6 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.
Latin quintet Del Castillo blew the roof off Tropical Heatwave (and perhaps the boundaries of traditional Latin music) with a zealous mix of rock, pop, flamenco and blues. With its fastidious Spanish guitar-work, the group conjures "images of Eddie Van Halen fronting early Santana with an assist from the Gipsy Kings," describes Rolling Stone.
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reach at carole. firstname.lastname@example.org.