Saturday, May 26, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

SoundCheck: Amos Lee, Branford Marsalis among top music picks

. Amos Lee

With Adrien Reju

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $42.75-$52.75. (727) 791-7400.

The lineup at Blue Note Records once pushed the boundaries of avant-garde and hard bop jazz, but nowadays the 75-year-old imprint's roster reads like the playlist from Every Starbucks, USA. Amos Lee, an elementary school teacher turned world-famous singer-songwriter, is an exception to that rule. Any one of the 36-year-old's five Blue Note LPs definitely fit the easy-listening category, but there is something arresting and undeniable in Lee's crystal-clear, flawless croon, which he fully exercises on a new album, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song. The 15-track effort picks up where Lee's 2011 chart-topping LP Mission Bell left off, marrying the soul and pop ideals of past efforts with a heart-aching knack for storytelling and love for Americana (there is a lot of twang on Mountains), which suggests that Lee is just beginning to get comfy in his role as an important American songsmith.

. Branford Marsalis Quartet

Details: Tonight at 8. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $39-$59. (727) 822-3590.

Branford Marsalis was probably destined to be good at jazz. His father, Ellis Louis Marsalis Jr., is a famed jazz pianist and father to a troupe of jazz musicians that includes Branford's brother Wynton. Branford's mastery of the saxophone has earned him multiple Grammy awards as well as stints touring with Herbie Hancock and Sting and recording sessions with Miles Davis. Marsalis is a workaholic who even spent a couple of years as the musical director for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. He arrives at the Palladium in support of an excellent 2012 LP, Four MFs Playin' Tunes.

n Mobb Deep

With the Villanz, Queen of Ex

Details: Friday 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $18-$23. (813) 241-8600.

It has been about a year since Mobb Deep's last bay area appearance, but this gig is special for a few reasons. For one, it comes the same week as a double LP release, where Prodigy and Havoc present a new album alongside demos from their breakout 1995 sophomore LP, The Infamous. A pair of new tracks, Taking You Off Here and All a Dream, find Mobb Deep scowling while chronicling NYC street life on top of the familiar, renegade production that made them legitimate hip-hop royalty. Expect a possible sellout, and bank on a room packed with hip-hop heads paying tribute to some of the genre's living legends.

Eliza Gilkyson

Details: Friday 8 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 822-3590.

Thanks to her famous folk-singer father, Eliza Gilkyson didn't have to try too hard to break into the music business (dad Terry Gilkyson had little Eliza sing on his demos). The relatively easy in doesn't mean she has rested on her laurels, though, as evidenced by a career that has seen Eliza put out nearly two dozen releases while sharing stages with Pete Seeger, Jackson Browne and Kris Kristofferson and writing for others, including Joan Baez. Her brand of contemporary singer-songwriter fare is colored with a particularly political tint that sits front and center on her Grammy-nominated 2004 LP, Land of Milk and Honey, on which Eliza attacks the topic of tax dollars (Highway 9), tells the story of a "half-breed" American Indian (Ballad of Yvonne Johnson) and even records an unreleased Woody Guthrie tune (Peace Call).

Safety Harbor Singer Songwriter Festival

With Ben Taylor, Jennifer Knapp, Ryan Montbleau, Meiko, Andrew Belle, Jim Lauderdale, Emily Kopp, more.

Details: Main events Saturday-Sunday beginning at noon. Safety Harbor Waterfront Park, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane. $25-$40 (kids 12 and younger free with paid adult). (727) 724-1545.

Nestled between Tampa and Clearwater, the waterfront town is an ideal setting for this festival, a weekendlong celebration of food trucks, craft beer and the nation's best songwriting. Smoky-voiced Ben Taylor (the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon), Grammy winner Jim Lauderdale, Australian songstress Jennifer Knapp and the spicy and sweet offerings of Ryan Montbleau lead a two-day bill that includes more than 30 acts playing two stages. See safetyharborsingersongwriterfestival.com for details, including music tonight and Friday.

. Kitty

With E-Breezy, Alec Burnright, Jorge Alvarez, T-Spang, Word Ent, Entha Mob, Indigo, Supra Saint

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10-$15. facebook.com/thelocal662.

Redheaded tween rap sensation Kathryn Beckwith, a.k.a. Kitty, began glowing brightly in the Internet-fame ether when sites like Pitchfork caught on to the novelty of a Daytona Beach emcee who humorously raps about being a boy-crushing mall rat in suburbia. Endorsements from fellow hip-hop oddballs like Riff Raff and Danny Brown gave the self-proclaimed "rap game Taylor Swift" a final push into the bright lights (Rolling Stone placed her breakout single Okay Cupid at No. 17 on their Top 50 Songs of 2012 list), and she has wisely used her fame and online presence to stay connected with fans who hang on her every Twitter message and Tumblr post.

Times correspondent Ray Roa can be reached at SuburbanApologist.com.

   
Comments
Country comedy band performs at Dessert Theatre benefit

Country comedy band performs at Dessert Theatre benefit

The Sweeney "Family" Band, a musical comedy act that blends country, folk and gospel music with knee-slapping humor, will perform June 3 at the CARES Elfers Center, 4136 Barker Drive, New Port Richey. Doors open at 1 p.m., with the show starting at 2...
Published: 05/25/18
Watch Kenny Chesney’s new ‘Get Along’ video, filmed entirely at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

Watch Kenny Chesney’s new ‘Get Along’ video, filmed entirely at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

Were you at Kenny Chesney's concert on April 21 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa? Then there's a decent chance you might be in his new video.The country superstar dropped the official video for his new single Get Along on Thursday, and it was appare...
Published: 05/24/18
Sunset Music Festival, more outdoor concerts could be soaked by weekend rain

Sunset Music Festival, more outdoor concerts could be soaked by weekend rain

  Your Memorial Day weekend weather forecast is not looking good, with a big low pressure system, Invest 90L, hovering out in the Gulf of Mexico and threatening to dump several inches of water on Saturday. For music fans, it couldn't be coming at a...
Published: 05/24/18
An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

Recently I was asked to create a playlist for a summer beach party. An opportunity to procrastinate and mess around on Spotify for a few hours? Yeah, totally, when can I start?I like playlists that are diverse, not just in terms of genre (pop, hip-ho...
Published: 05/24/18
Tampa Bay Margarita Festival schedule, set times: When to see the Wallflowers, Everclear and more

Tampa Bay Margarita Festival schedule, set times: When to see the Wallflowers, Everclear and more

It's anyone's guess as to whether this weekend's ugly rains will hold off long enough for the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival to crack open some 10,000 bottles of tequila in Curtis Hixon Park.But if it does, you want to know when you can see your favori...
Published: 05/23/18
97X Barbecue schedule, set times: When to see Awolnation, Dirty Heads, more in St. Petersburg

97X Barbecue schedule, set times: When to see Awolnation, Dirty Heads, more in St. Petersburg

The 97X Barbecue Music and Arts Festival — formerly the 97X BBQ, formerly the 97X Barbecue, formerly … well, who can keep track of it all? — returns on Saturday to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, with a lineup that includes Awolnation...
Published: 05/23/18
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

It’s been 50 years since John Fogerty wrote Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since. "Back in the ’80s, I had a couple o...
Published: 05/23/18
Suwannee Hulaween lineup: Odesza, Jamiroquai, Janelle Monae and more

Suwannee Hulaween lineup: Odesza, Jamiroquai, Janelle Monae and more

For the second straight year, one of the most eclectic music festivals in Florida will be taking place in Live Oak.Suwannee Hulaween just announced the lineup for its 2018 edition, coming Oct. 26-28 at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, and it featur...
Published: 05/23/18
A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF’s US Festival tribute

A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF’s US Festival tribute

THE BEATS GO ON: Sunset Music FestivalAt last year’s Sunset Music Festival, the focus was all on crowd safety. After two fans died from drug overdoses at Tampa’s largest annual rave in 2016, organizers heightened security across the board, yielding a...
Published: 05/23/18
Review: Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Championship Tour’ brings good sportsmanship, great rhymes to Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Review: Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Championship Tour’ brings good sportsmanship, great rhymes to Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Do they give Pulitzer Prizes for concerts featuring golf cart rides, cartoon sports-card backdrops and a slam-dunking doggie mascot?If so, Kendrick Lamar might want to start clearing shelf space for plaque No. 2.Weeks after the rapturous adulation th...
Published: 05/23/18