We the Kings
With Hot Chelle Rae, the Downtown Fiction, the Summer Set, Action Item
Details: Tonight at 6. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.
Had Billy Joel vacationed in Florida, would he have done an album called Sunshine State of Mind? We'll never know. What we do know is that We the Kings' disc of the same name offers all the summer-ready material we've come to expect from our Bradenton boys. Crush tune Say You Like Me even gets a lime-and-coconut twist and a reggae groove. If you like your pop-punk with a sunny disposition and breezy melody, you'll like We the Kings.
Details: Friday 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.
There are bands out there built to inspire hope, faith and deep thought. Ballyhoo, however, isn't one of them. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) These reggae-rockers serve up a no-worries summer soundtrack like the best of the beach bands in their class. And they're from Maryland. The group's secret weapon is the sweet, melodic voice of lead singer and guitarist Howi Spangler. If you like the Expendables or Pepper, give Ballyhoo a whirl.
With Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside
Details: Monday 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12-$14. (813) 241-8600.
One part sepia-toned Americana artist, one part flapper jazz singer, Jolie Holland (founding member of the Be Good Tanyas) evokes Bessie Smith on a Texas bar crawl. See Give Me That Old Fashioned Morphine. Opener Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside offers retro swing with rough edges. VH1 highlighted the band in its feature on the Top Ten Bonnaroo Acts with the Fastest-Growing Fan Bases, and Paste recently gushed that "Ford's throwback vocals coupled with her band's neo-rockabilly grooves make for one heck of a show."
Details: Friday 9 p.m. Joyland, 5520 14th St., Bradenton. $20. (941) 756-6060.
He's a little bit country. He's a little bit rap. Not unlike Jason Aldean, who sold out last week's show at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, Colt Ford is a genre-crossing Georgia boy who can spit both Skoal and speedy verses. The former PGA golf pro has written songs with artists ranging from alt-country man Jamey Johnson to husky Atlanta rapper Bone Crusher, and has been known to give equal billing on his records to deer meat and daisy dukes. Don't be surprised to hear Ford's tailgate-ready collection of tunes at an SEC pregame party near you next season.
Details: Wednesday 7 p.m. South Bay Church, 13498 U.S. 301 S, Riverview. $10. (813) 677-0721.
When Clearwater's biggest breakout rocker of the '00s, Aaron Gillespie, released his solo album this spring, he called it the "straight-up worship record" he always wanted to make. And "straight-up" it is. On Anthem Song, gone is the cryptic screaming of his well-inked former metalcore act Underoath, and in is melodic pop-rock that finds Gillespie unabashedly joyful in his faith. As track titles I Will Worship You and You Are Jesus indicate, Gillespie put it all on the line to share his beliefs openly here, something bound to bring a mix of cheers and jeers from fans of the Almost and Underoath.
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details: Friday 9 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $22. (727) 565-0551.
Of all the Marley siblings, second son Stephen has the voice that most closely resembles his late great father's, as evidenced on tunes like You're Gonna Leave. But like Ky-Mani, Ziggy, Julian and Damian, this guitarist and producer also has a flair for a less-traditional blend of reggae, dancehall and hip-hop. You'll recognize the toasting single The Traffic Jam for its ragamuffin beatboxing and its "bom bom badaba bom bom be dom" chorus.