WELL TRAVELED: Have Gun, Will Travel
In 2006, Matt Burke started recording songs at home as a solo side project from his indie rock band. He adopted a moniker that suited the music's rootsy, Americana style: Have Gun, Will Travel. Ten years later, the Bradenton group is one of Tampa Bay's most popular bands, releasing five albums and playing almost every major festival in town.
This weekend, the band celebrates its 10th anniversary by playing two full albums at two separate concerts over two nights in Ybor City. On Friday at New World Brewery, they'll do 2008's Casting Shadows Tall as Giants and 2009's Postcards From the Friendly City with opening acts Mercy McCoy and Max Norton and Friends. On Saturday at Crowbar, it's 2011's Mergers & Acquisitions and 2013's Fiction, Fact or Folktale with Lauris Vidal and RedFeather. Advance tickets are $10 and up via ticketfly.com, $15 and up at the door. Both shows start at 9 p.m.
We caught up with Burke to chat about the band's 10-year journey. Read the full interview here.
Was there a point where the side project became a full-time thing?
Honestly, before we even put out the first album, Casting Shadows, we had already decided that this was the thing now. We had said all we were going to say with the other band. The shows started getting bigger and people started coming out, and soon it was a full band, as opposed to just me doing a singer-songwriter thing.
This predates the Americana movement that's swept the world over the last decade, with Mumford and Sons, the Avett Brothers and the Lumineers. Did you see any bump from that?
I would say the broader awareness for American roots music definitely helped point people in our direction. There's been more appreciation for Americana music as its own genre. That's definitely helped us out.
Why structure the 10th anniversary celebration in this way, with two nights and four full albums?
I really enjoy an undertaking like that, where you actually have to dig into it and get your hands dirty and really put in some time. Doing two albums each night, you're giving a good solid hour-and-a-half performance each night, and it's a completely different show. You gotta put a little work into it, a little effort and I think people appreciate that.
O, BABY: ORLANDO SHOWS
A couple of weeks ago, it seemed like half the Tampa Bay music scene drove to Orlando for a concert by Father John Misty. What choice did they have? The dude wasn't coming here. Sometimes, O-Town just has Tampa beat on the concert calendar. It's happening again this week, as Orlando is brimming with concerts by artists who aren't coming here. Gas up for these gems:
Florence and the Machine (7:30 p.m. Saturday, Amway Center): Anytime you can catch one of the world's best live rock acts — especially in the wake of their excellent third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful — it's worth the trip. Get there early for opening act Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals, whose new album Malibu is one of the year's best hip-hop LPs. $28.50 and up. amwaycenter.com.
Deftones (7 p.m. Saturday, House of Blues): Few late '90s metal acts have aged as gracefully as Deftones, the California rockers known for droning, grinding soundscapes like Change (In the House of Flies). Their fan base has remained remarkably loyal — so much so that this show in support of new album Gore sold out a while back. Scour resale tickets at StubHub or Ticketmaster for a shot at getting inside.
PVRIS (7:30 p.m. Friday, House of Blues): If you missed PVRIS at December's 97X Next Big Thing, we can't blame you — they hit the stage at 11:20 a.m. But their fierce blend of synth-pop and pop-punk has won them a huge, still-growing audience. $18 and up at livenation.com.
Amy Schumer (8 p.m. Monday, CFE Arena): Not music, exactly, but the Emmy-winning standup and actor is still one of the biggest draws in comedy. $36 and up. cfearena.com.
GOD BLESS AMERICANA: Trampled By Turtles, Shakey Graves
It's a great week to live in St. Petersburg if you love fresh spins on traditional American music.
First up: Minnesota new-grassers Trampled By Turtles, above, return to Jannus Live tonight for their third local show in 18 months. Their seventh album, Wild Animals, cuts a mean rug on lickety-split tracks like Come Back Home and Western World, but it's their harmony-laden ballads — Hollow, Ghosts, Silver Light — that'll have you swooning over their musicianship and songwriting. Vermont trio The Devil Makes Three will open the show with their signature fiery blend of old-timey, boot-stomping bluegrass and swing. 7 p.m. at Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N. $25 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.
Then on Wednesday, Austin, Texas, songsmith Shakey Graves, right, comes to town armed with a quiver of indie rock, folk and rusted-out blues. In January, he got a fine moment in his hometown's spotlight when he appeared on PBS's Austin City Limits. His 2014 album And the War Came is as engaging as his live show, which can range from a one-man-band setup to a raucous trio or quartet. Opening is Philly singer Son Little, whose vintage-tinted soul, blues and R&B will leave you craving a headlining set of his own. 8 p.m. at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave. $18 and up. (727) 895-3045. statetheatreconcerts.com.