Crossing the Atlantic with a seven-piece backing band to tour the far reaches of America -- when you're 46, no less, and your biggest hit is 15 years in the rearview -- "it makes no sense financially or otherwise," David Gray said in a recent interview. "But it's what we've done, and it's a glorious thing to be a part of."
It certainly was if you happened, on Monday, to be at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall, which the English singer and his band filled to and over the brim with robust, richly textured alt-pop music and evangelical energy. Twenty-two years into a career of ups and downs, it's possible Gray has never sounded so alive -- even though, as he admitted, his soulful pipes were a little on the fritz....
Train, Matt Nathanson to headline Mix 100.7 Mistletoe Show at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg09/29/14 Blog
By all accounts, last year’s inaugural Mix 100.7 Acoustic Christmas was a success, bringing adult-alternative hitmakers like the Goo Goo Dolls, the Fray, Colbie Caillat and more to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
There’s just one thing it wasn’t: Acoustic....
Zulu Wave -- one of Tampa Bay's best bands, and don't just take out word for it -- celebrated the release of their new LP Jagorilla Saturday night beneath the electric honeycomb of Attic Records in St. Petersburg. The ferocious outfit performed the entirety of the record in the arty, minimalist space, giving fans an up-close glimpse of the polymelodic sonic capital they've built up over the last few years of memorable live shows. As if that weren't enough, St. Pete's instantly recognizable (and not easily forgettable) Wolf-Face opened the show. Click the headline of this post for some photos....
Review: Despite rain, Reggae Rise Up Festival draws thousands to Raymond James Stadium for Rebelution, Steel Pulse, Collie Buddz and more09/28/14 Blog
Say this for lovers of the new American reggae movement: They're definitely not fair-weather fans.
A week after the Chillin' Music Fest packed Curtis Hixon Park, a different crowd -- or maybe they were just the same tri-colored, Jah-loving, reggae-rocking masses, relocated five miles east -- hit the mud-soaked north lot of Raymond James Stadium for Tampa's inaugural Reggae Rise Up Festival. And while thunderstorms and lightning tempered organizers' hoped-for crowd of 6,000, forcing an hourlong rain delay and an evacuation into RayJay, the fact that thousands remained by the end spoke to the ever-growing muscle of the genre....
Review / photos: Luke Bryan shakes, swivels and struts his stuff at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre09/26/14 Blog
Does Luke Bryan go home each night and study film of Magic Mike?
Seriously. For all the shade Bryan and his bro-country ilk take for singing about cutoff-clad honeys dancing on a tailgate, we must remember that no one in country music gets objectified -- and seems to enjoy it -- quite like Thomas Luther Bryan, Nashville’s hottest man-piece by a solid country mile.
Bryan spent most of his sold-out concert Thursday in Tampa -- the first of a two-night stand at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre -- wiggling and gyrating and swiveling his tightly denimed hips like Tom Jones on the Strip. All night long, fans couldn’t get enough. They could sell tickets to stand next to a dancing Luke Bryan for exactly one minute, and the line would be a thousand women long....
Ron Stoy stands behind the counter at the Sound Exchange in Pinellas Park, watching Creedence Clearwater Revival's Cosmo's Factory unspool on a reel-to-reel tape. Before him are a stack of reel-to-reels, each one decades old. The Beatles. Carole King. Sly and the Family Stone. Sinatra.
"You've got to realize that every record, back in the day, was mastered for tape," Stoy says. Indeed, as Up Around the Bend booms through the store, it's hard to argue it doesn't sound fantastic....
Ron Stoy stands behind the counter at the Sound Exchange in Pinellas Park, watching Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Cosmo’s Factory unspool on a reel-to-reel tape. Before him are a stack of reel-to-reels, each one decades old. The Beatles. Carole King. Sly and the Family Stone. Sinatra.
“You’ve got to realize that every record, back in the day, was mastered for tape,” Stoy says. Indeed, as Up Around the Bend booms through the store, it’s hard to argue it doesn’t sound fantastic....
David Gray talks about record-biz survival, loving the American landscape, U2's 'bulls---' album release and more09/23/14 Blog
My time with David Gray is coming to a close when, as we’re discussing the challenges of sustaining a career in an ever-changing record industry, I ask what he thought of U2’s Apple-assisted blanket release of their new album Songs of Innocence.
“I think it’s bulls---, with a capital B,” Gray says emphatically. “Whatever few bucks they took for that, it’s sounding a death knell for the ownership of music, and the meaning of owning music. It’s like, I don’t want their album, you know? I don’t want it to be forced into my entree. It’s like someone broke in and entered your house and put an album on the table. It’s like, can iTunes do that? It don’t want it. Go away.”...
Mere weeks after podcast titans Chris Hardwick and Marc Maron stopped by Tampa for the Oddball Comedy Festival, another big-name comedy podcaster has announced he's bringing his hugely popular road show to Tampa.
Doug Benson will bring his popular podcast Doug Loves Movies to the Tampa Improv at 4:20 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, according to his website. He'll also perform a solo stand-up show at 10 p.m. Nov. 20. Tickets to both shows are $18. Click here and here for details....
Maybe she'll sing her Glee rendition of Olivia Newton-John's Physical. Maybe she'll drop her tender Guatemalan love ballad from The 40 Year-Old Virgin. Or maybe she'll stick to songs from her recent Broadway run in Annie.
Either way, count us excited that Jane Lynch is coming to Clearwater. The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress and host of NBC's Hollywood Game Night will perform "a side-splitting evening of musical comedy" on March 29 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, according to the venue....
Hope this doesn’t kill your expectations, but the backstage scene at a Luke Bryan concert isn’t quite the lawless back-country bacchanal you might imagine.
“From my perspective, backstage, it’s a bunch of hurry-up-and-wait,” said singer-songwriter Cole Swindell, a frequent Bryan collaborator and tourmate. “We spend all day doing what we do and just getting ready to put on a show.”...
"It's very bright and classroomy in here," said a grinning Duncan Sheik, tilting his head back from his guitar to the pearly fluorescents dangling from room MUS 0119 of the University of South Florida's School of Music Concert Hall.
What the recital room lacked in concert atmospherics, however, it delivered in intimacy and uniqueness, as fewer than 50 music and theatrical students and guests were treated to a 90-minute master class and acoustic performance from the Grammy- and Tony-winning singer-songwriter....
Get ready for a ton of reggae-rock action in Tampa Bay. This Saturday brings the Chillin' Music Fest to Curtis Hixon Park, with Michael Franti and Spearhead, Stephen Marley (above), Pepper, the Expendables and more. And on Sept. 27, it's the Reggae Rise Up Festival at Raymond James Stadium, with Rebelution, Steel Pulse, Collie Buddz and more.
If you're going to either (or both) of the daylong festivals, you'll want to know the set times. That's what where we come in. Here, without further delay, are the set times and ticket details for the Chillin' Music Fest and Reggae Rise Up Festival:...
Sunshine Music and Blues Festival lineup: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dickey Betts, Grace Potter, Los Lobos and more09/19/14 Blog
For the past couple of years, the Sunshine Music and Blues Festival has been a relatively overlooked part of the Tampa Bay music-fest landscape. Odds are that won’t be the case in 2015.
Promoter Live Nation has unveiled an absolutely stacked lineup for the third annual Sunshine Music and Blues Festival, which returns to St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Jan. 17. Along with headliners (and festival co-organizers) Tedeschi Trucks Band, fans will see Dickey Betts, Grace Potter, Los Lobos, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, The Both (featuring Aimee Mann and Ted Leo), Rebirth Brass Band, Matt Schofield and Sean Chambers....
By now, most followers of the Tampa Bay music scene know all about the rift that split the organizing forces of St. Petersburg’s late, lamented Antiwarpt Festival, which last year led to a pair of competing local festivals on the same day — Don’t Stop St. Pete in St. Petersburg and the Plan B Block Party in Ybor City....