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Top live music for Tampa Bay includes B.B. King, Marcia Ball

B.B. King

With Shaun Hopper

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39.50-$79.50. (727) 791-7400.  

"If any of you gentlemen got ladies who like guitar music, don't let 'em come down front," B.B. King joked at a set in Miami. "Because when we put a little heat out there, the ladies start parading." King may be an 87-year-old with diabetes, but he's still got game. Just spend a few hours with King and Lucille, his affectionately named Gibson, and you'll see. Undoubtedly the greatest living electric bluesman, King bewilders with his staccato picking and note-bending know-how, even when sitting in an armchair on stage. Since he started recording in the late '40s, King has released more than 60 albums. The most recent of those is T-Bone Burnett-produced One Kind Favor, a blues burner that proves the thrill definitely ain't gone.

Chief Keef

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$25. (727) 895-3045.

Hailing from Chicago's South Side (or as he calls it "Chi-raq"), Chief Keef is a 17-year-old rap phenomenon shrouded in controversy. Keef, or Keith Kozart, blew up in 2012 while under house arrest by posting homemade videos of an assertive, often brutal, brand of hip-hop called drill that showcases Chicago gang violence. Hit I Don't Like (a favorite of high-profile rappers like TI and Kanye West) is a rant about things that irk the gun-brandishing Keef — snitches and fake sneakers, for instance. For the most part, the music is lunkheaded with simplistic beats, but it's also a fascinating window into the so-called murder capital of America. If you dare to go drill Saturday at State Theatre, act fast, because tickets are moving quickly.

Marcia Ball

Details: Friday 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $20. (813) 971-0666.

It's like a party on the bayou . . . just in the middle of north Tampa. Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist-vocalist-songwriter Marcia Ball stops in at Skipper's in support of latest Roadside Attractions, her fifth release for Alligator Records and the fourth to receive a Grammy nomination. Ball, who grew up idolizing swampy soul royal Irma Thomas, is now a queen of gulf coast blues herself. "From rootsy swamp pop and blues-drenched boogie woogie to languid ballads, Ball is equally comfortable with brash roadhouse romps and caressing love songs," says USA Today. Bonus: Look out for Ball's version of Randy Newman's Louisiana 1927.

The Almost

With All Get Out, Makeshift Prodigy, Ironwood, Paint the Town Red

Details: Wednesday 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $13-$15.

Rockers the Almost, the poppier project of Underoath drummer Aaron Gillespie, celebrate the release of Fear Inside Our Bones, their new disc due out early this year. It's a hometown show for locals Gillespie and guitarist Jay Vilardi, longtime players on the Tampa Bay scene who've perfected a kind of driving, melodic rock sound with a social conscience.

Rick Springfield

Details: Jan. 10 at 9 p.m. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. $46 and up. (866) 502-7529.

Your cassette tape with Jessie's Girl may have long since fried, but the man behind the iconic '80s jam powers on. Rocker Rick Springfield, a.k.a. General Hospital heartthrob Dr. Noah Drake, will offer a marathon of hits you shouldn't have forgotten, including Don't Talk to Strangers, I've Done Everything for You and Love Somebody, the heart-thumping anthem from his 1984 big-screen stinker Hard to Hold. Springfield has done this sort of thing at the Tampa Hard Rock before, so be warned — he's got the stuff to work his largely female fan base to a frenzy.

Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at

. Also playing

A2BAY (Atlanta meets Tampa Bay) Fri. 8 p.m. Featuring Spindiana Jones, Da Beav, Infinite Skillz, Headnokka, Shred TVT, BIGREC, Waystid Talent, White Roux w/ Paper Plane Gang, more. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$15.

Cassie and Maggie MacDonald Fri. 7:30 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 822-3590.

Tampa Bay Music Network Award Show and Concert Fri. 7 p.m. Featuring Desert Moon, Earl Brown's Eruption, Sobriety X, more. The Silver Dollar Saloon, 2520 N 50th St., Tampa. (813) 247-3300. And Sat. 3 p.m. Featuring Dakota Band, Chrome, Big Deal, Sons of Nuns, more. Screwie Louie's Porpoise Pub, 8701 Seminole Blvd., Seminole. (727) 393-7616.

Ben Prestage Sat. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.

Slimm Hustle Sat. 8:30 p.m. With Kno Sleep, Charis'Ma, Jay Livin. Pegasus Lounge, 10008 N 30th St., Tampa. $5-$7. (813) 971-1679.

Greensky Bluegrass Sat. 7 p.m. (two sets). Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.

Tribute to the King Sun. 2 p.m. Featuring Elvis tribute artist Dwight Icenhower, $15.50 and up. And at 7 p.m., featuring Blue Suede Review Band, $20.50 and up. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727) 587-6793.

The Pine Hollows Wed. 7 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969.

Top live music for Tampa Bay includes B.B. King, Marcia Ball 01/02/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 31, 2012 6:36pm]
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