Overcast74° WeatherOvercast74° Weather

Jay Cridlin, tbt* Staff Writer

Jay Cridlin

Jay Cridlin is the entertainment and features editor for tbt*, and the editor of Soundcheck, a blog about music and concerts in Tampa Bay. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2002 and has been with the Times ever since.

Phone: (727) 893-8336

Email: cridlin@tampabay.com

Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

  1. Anberlin move Tuesday's concert from Jannus Live to the Ritz Ybor


    Anberlin's concert Tuesday at Jannus Live is a must-see show for longtime fans of Central Florida alt-rock. It's the second-to-last gig ever for the Warped alums, and fellow beloved Orlando-area act Copeland are coming out of retirement after four years to open the show. What's not to love?

    So this is big news for ticketholders: The show is moving from Jannus Live in St. Petersburg to the Ritz Ybor in Tampa....

  2. At end of newsman's career, 'family movie' celebrates tiny town where John Wilson got started

    Human Interest

    By Jay Cridlin | Times Staff Writer


    John Wilson has skydived with men who stormed Normandy, rubbed shoulders with Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in Saudi Arabia, looked a dying Ted Bundy in the eye. He does not cry at movies.

    On this crisp Virginia evening, he is sitting, dry-eyed, in the center of the Paramount Theater, Row L, Seat 11, for the world premiere of the latest film featuring his youngest son, Patrick, the Broadway and Hollywood star. Patrick is the film's male lead, the dreamy coal miner who woos an unlucky-in-love Ashley Judd. He's up there on stage, waving to a sold-out house alongside his wife, sons and brother Paul....

    Jenna Elfman took this photo of, from left, Mark Wilson, Paul Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg and Patrick Wilson on the Big Stone Gap set.
  3. Review: Gin Blossoms revive '90s nostalgia at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater


    Robin Wilson didn’t have to do much to get the Capitol Theatre on his side on Thursday -- spin through the driving hit single Follow You Down, toss a tambourine into the crowd, and soon enough, the first few rows were on their feet.

    “A standing ovation on the first song?” he aw-shucked. “Jess, this never happens.”

    “They must think we’re Better Than Ezra,” said guitarist Jesse Valenzuela. “They must think we’re Toad the Wet Sprocket.”...

    The Gin Blossoms perform at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on Nov. 21, 2014.
  4. Journey, Steve Miller Band coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa


    Go ahead and put those Steve Perry-Journey reunion rumors to rest for another year. The Don't Stop Believin' rockers are embarking on another tour in 2015, and it looks like Perry will be nowhere to be found.

    The good news? That tour will bring them to Tampa....

  5. Strawberry Festival lineup: Reba McEntire, Alabama, Loretta Lynn, John Legend, Kevin Costner, more coming to Plant City in 2015


    Eighty is a mighty big number, and so the Florida Strawberry Festival is pulling out all the stops to make its 2015 lineup one of its most memorable yet.

    Country legends Reba McEntire, Alabama and Loretta Lynn are among the biggest names on the 2015 Strawberry Festival lineup, which was released Monday. They'll be joined by some prime young country talent, including Hunter Hayes, Scotty McCreery and CMA New Artist of the Year winner Brett Eldredge. And adding some Hollywood glitz to the Plant City proceedings will be soul singer John Legend and actor Kevin Costner with his band Modern West....

    Reba McEntire
  6. Doug Benson brings 'Doug Loves Movies' podcast to Improv


    Two days after a solo show at the Improv, stoner comic Doug Benson brings his popular film-fan podcast Doug Loves Movies to the club at 4:20 p.m. Saturday. The podcast features a row of comic guests — which can range from local radio DJs to touring comics to movie stars like Seth Rogen, Simon Pegg and John Lithgow — talking about movies and playing movie-related games. The centerpiece of each episode is the Leonard Maltin Game, sort of a spin on Name That Tune using a film's cast list instead of a song's musical notes. It's named for its source material, Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide — and yes, the famed film critic himself is a regular Doug Loves Movies guest. Benson doesn't announce each episode's guests in advance, but whoever they are, they'll bring prizes for at least one lucky audience member. If you're hoping it might be you, be sure to bring a movie-themed name tag or sign. His solo show tonight is at 10 p.m. Tickets to both shows are $18 each. The Improv is located at 1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com. — Jay Cridlin, Times staff writer...

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Actor Doug Benson arrives at the Premiere Of HBO’s Final Season Of “Eastbound And Down” at Avalon on September 27, 2013 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
  7. Review: Ribfest, Lynyrd Skynyrd pack Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg with sweet, Southern hits (and ribs)


    Swiss scientists could sequester themselves in a lab deep beneath the Arctic tundra and not come up with a bigger, better band to headline Ribfest than Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    Skynyrd at Ribfest is Florida’s version of Dylan in the Village, Bruce at the Meadowlands. Just think of it: How many Ribfest patrons over the past quarter-century have probably yelled “FREE BIRD!” at whichever jukebox hero is manning that year’s Vinoy Park main stage? For once, those fans would actually get the response they desired....

    Lynyrd Skynyrd headlined Day 2 of Ribfest on Nov. 15, 2014 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.
  8. Countdown to Ribfest: The biggest lineups ever, and three bands still on the festival's wishlist


    Ribfest kicks off Friday in St. Petersburg with Daughtry, then leads into Lynyrd Skynyrd on Saturday and Thomas Rhett with Cole Swindell on Sunday. Click here for our full Ribfest 2014 coverage, including the lineup, set times, interviews and more....

    Florida Georgia Line has been on Ribfest organizers' wishlist ever since they instituted a "country day" in 2009.
  9. Gin Blossoms' Jesse Valenzuela talks food festivals, delivering the hits and more


    The Gin Blossoms have played some unusual Tampa Bay gigs over the past decade: Ribfest; Zoofari; Busch Gardens’ Bands, Brew & BBQ; Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival; the FARA Energy Ball.

    But do the Arizona-bred rockers consider a life filled with food-festival gigs a grind? Hardly.

    "How could it be a grind?" guitarist Jesse Valenzuela said in a recent phone interview from his home in Los Angeles. "I don’t really know anybody who thinks it’s a grind. And I have pals I came up with who are still working five nights a week in Phoneix playing shows – happy hour shows, wine bar shows. If you’re an artist and that’s your artistry – look, believe me, has there ever been a night in Akron, Ohio, where I thought, 'Oh, I could just go to bed tonight?' Sure. But by and large, no, it’s an honor. Making music’s a special gift."...

  10. Gin Blossoms bring their food-fest road show to the Capitol Theater

    Music & Concerts

    If you've seen the Gin Blossoms lately, you've probably done so with a plastic fork in your hand.

    The Arizona rockers have played a stunning array of local food festivals and galas over the past decade — ­Ribfest; Zoofari; Busch Gardens' Bands, Brew & BBQ; Epcot's Food and Wine Festival; the FARA Energy Ball.

    "You gotta be careful," guitarist Jesse Valenzuela said during a recent phone interview from his home in Los Angeles. "You gotta get your five miles of walking every day. If you eat ribs every night, you're not gonna feel great. And believe me, I've done both. I've had the all-rib summer."...

    Handout photo
  11. Why this could be the biggest Ribfest ever

    Music & Concerts

    There was the time Tom Whiteman was pulled onstage to take a bow alongside Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers, who had arranged for a bandmate to capture the moment on film. A few weeks later, the photo appeared in Whiteman's mailbox, autographed by Rodgers himself.

    There was the time Whiteman was driving Mr. Mister singer Richard Page back to his room at the Vinoy when he absentmindedly turned off the van radio. "He looks at me and he says, 'You just turned off my song. Would you turn it back on?' "...

    Two Ribfest attendees sample some of the fare at the 2012 Ribfest.
  12. Thomas Rhett's kitchen-sink country catches on

    Music & Concerts

    The formula seems simple enough: Take a Georgia boy with songwriting talent, have him pen a few hits for others, then give him a shot at the spotlight. Seems to be working just fine for Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert and Billy Currington.

    But what happens if, once a man goes down that road, he decides to take a couple of hard lefts?

    "I've always been the kind of guy that wanted to not be different just for the sake of being different, but to be different to challenge myself, to not want to do the exact same thing that everyone else is doing," said Thomas Rhett, a 24-year-old Georgia singer-songwriter and budding Nashville star....

    Rising star Thomas Rhett, who performed recently during the CMA Awards show, headlines Ribfest on Sunday.
  13. Sarah McLachlan coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    We're still waiting for that long-promised Lilith Fair revival tour. But until Sarah McLachlan gets off her duff and makes it happen, we'll settle for the next-best thing: A headlining concert by McLachlan herself.

    The Canadian piano-pop goddess will bring her spring tour to Tampa Bay with a stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall on March 29, the venue announced Monday. Coming in support of her new album Monsters, it'll be McLachlan's first tour stop in years -- but to Sarah-starved fans, getting to hear songs like Building a Mystery, Angel and Possession will be worth the wait....

  14. Big Guava Festival returning to Tampa for two days, not three, in 2015


    Tampa's Big Guava Music Festival is evolving. Again.

    The much-hyped festival, which brought names like Outkast, Vampire Weekend, Foster the People and Haim to Tampa this spring, will return on May 8 and 9 to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre and Florida State Fairgrounds, it was announced Monday....

  15. Coastline Festival returning to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park; Flaming Lips, Tove Lo, Echosmith lead lineup


    A year ago, Tampa hosted the inaugural Coastline Festival, a day of indie rock, food trucks and craft beer at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. The festival drew about 10,000 people — not bad for a first-time event.

    But in the months that followed, co-producers Live Nation and Ledge Entertainment had a falling out over Coastline’s future. The result: Live Nation rebranded, launching a similar event called the Coral Skies Music Festival; and Ledge, based in New Jersey, pressed forth on its own, slowly constructing a separate festival under the Coastline name....