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Jay Cridlin, Pop Music/Culture Critic

Jay Cridlin

Jay Cridlin is the Pop Music/Culture Critic for the Tampa Bay Times and 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


Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

Instagram: @cridlin

  1. Foreigner's Mick Jones talks about reuniting with Lou Gramm, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more


    Days after sharing the stage with his old Foreigner bandmates for the first time in 37 years, Mick Jones already sounded a bit wistful.

    “It was a great moment,” Jones said by phone on a day off tour from his home in New York. “We’ve been talking about it for a while, trying to figure it out. I thought it would be nice to celebrate the 40th anniversary with something special like that, and we were able to pull it together.”...

  2. This week's best Tampa Bay concerts: Lady Antebellum, Nickelback, Foreigner and more

    Music & Concerts

    FAMILY CARAVAN: Lady Antebellum

    After spending most of 2016 at home with their young children, the trio of Lady Antebellum is ready to bring family life on tour. "Got all the kids on the road; lot of baby pools outside the tour bus," singer Charles Kelley said in a recent phone interview. "It's going to be a busy summer, but we love it." The love shines through on Lady A's new album Heart Break, parts of which were inspired by Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood's time off the road with their families. Love, community and harmony have been constant themes throughout Lady A's decadelong career, which has reaped seven Grammys for hits like Need You Now and I Run to You. It's why Kelley — who grew up on rockers like Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles — remains devoted to Nashville music, despite Lady A's crossover success. "I think we all try to root each other along," he said. "There is definitely a down-home family atmosphere to the country genre, and that's why I'm proud to be in it." Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young open at 7:30 p.m. Friday. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $26.75 and up. (813) 740-2446.

    Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum.
  3. Hillsong Young and Free's worship music is a lot like pop. That's no accident.

    Music & Concerts

    Press play on Hillsong Young and Free's Youth Revival, and everything you hear might sound familiar.

    Real Love feels like a Zedd jam. Where You Are kind of sounds like Disclosure. Falling Into You isn't that far off from Paramore.

    All of that, says Alexander Pappas, is no accident.

    "I love the idea that anybody can take this music, our music, and slip it into a playlist at a party, and without people realizing it, they're hearing about Jesus," said Pappas, one of the singers and songwriters for the youth-ministry arm of contemporary worship music conglomerate Hillsong Church. "We love seeing and hearing stories when the songs are hitting outside the four walls of the church."...

    Hillsong Young and Free are performing at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Saturday. Credit: Rogers and Cowan
  4. Boyd Tinsley talks Crystal Garden, Dave Matthews Band, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more


    It’s time for Boyd Tinsley’s annual trip to Tampa. Only this year, for the first time since 2011 — and only the third since 1998 — he won’t be coming with the Dave Matthews Band.

    The group’s decision to spend Summer 2017 off the road enabled Tinsley, the group’s violinist, to tour with with Crystal Garden, a jam-rock group playing the Attic in Ybor City on Thursday and Friday. That’s exactly one year since DMB’s last concert in Tampa, and around the same time they play here every year....

    Boyd Tinsley performed with Dave Matthews Band at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa in 2016.
  5. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley talks family life, political songwriting and more


    Ten years after their first single, Lady Antebellum is still one of modern country's most successful crossover acts, thanks to inescapable mega-ballads Need You Now and I Run to You. All six of their studio albums have reached Billboard's Top 5, including the new Heart Break. And they're in the middle of a huge global tour that hits Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday....

    Lady Antebellum
  6. SoundBytes: Rufus Wainwright, Waxahatchee, the Zombies, Hollywood Undead and more


    -- Double the Wainwrights, double the fun! Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright is coming to Clearwater for a Valentine's Day performance at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets are $35 and up. Click here. And not to be outdone, Rufus's dad Loudon Wainwright III is also coming to Clearwater, for a show at Ruth Eckerd Hall's intimate Murray Studio Theatre on March 29. Tickets are $39.50 and up. Click here....

  7. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley talks family, songwriting and more before Tampa show

    Music & Concerts

    A while back at the Grammys, Charles Kelley found himself in the same room as Paul McCartney. The Lady Antebellum singer, a seven-time Grammy winner in his own right, couldn't work up the courage to say hello.

    "I've got 'All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise' tattooed on my arm," Kelley said, quoting the Beatles' Blackbird. "It was my first tattoo, and I'm a huge Beatles fan, and I think the song's just so beautiful. I got it in '09, when everything was really taking off in our career. I just couldn't believe it was happening. It was like: Man, my whole life was kind of leading up to this moment."...

    Lady Antebellum perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday. Credit: Eric Ray Davidson
  8. Linkin Park cancel tour, including Tampa concert, after death of singer Chester Bennington


    This news is not a surprise, but it is now official: Linkin Park has canceled their upcoming North American tour following this week's death of singer Chester Bennington.

    Bennington died by suicide Thursday in Los Angeles, about a week before Linkin Park was scheduled to begin their One More Light North American tour, which was to include an Aug. 19 stop at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. That show, and all others, has been canceled. Ticketholders will be refunded automatically, or at point of purchase. Click here for details....

    Linkin Park's Chester Bennington
  9. SoundBytes: Modest Mouse, Zakk Wylde, Baha Men and more


    -- For the third straight year, Modest Mouse is coming to Central Florida. The Portland indie rockers will play Hard Rock Live on Sept. 8. Click here.

    -- Who let the dogs out? We'll find out when the Baha Men -- yes, the Baha Men! -- come to the Summer of Rum Festival on Sept. 2 at Curtis Hixon Park. They've been added as openers for previously announced headliner Shaggy. Click here for details....

  10. A Day to Remember's Self Help Festival lineup bringing Underoath, Less Than Jake, more to Orlando


    Now that A Day to Remember are big enough to lead their own festival, they're wasting no time packing it with their fellow Floridians.

    The Ocala-born metalcore act has unveiled the lineup for the Orlando edition of their inaugural Self Help Festival, which takes place Sept. 30 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

    Tampa Bay's own Underoath and Gainesville's Less Than Jake will join ADTR at Self Help Fest, along with Streetlight Manifesto, Moose Blood, Real Friends, Dance Gavin Dance, Wage War and more....

    A Day to Remember played 98 Rockfest in Tampa in April.
  11. Cridlin: Linkin Park's Chester Bennington had a wail that stood apart

    Music & Concerts

    For all the old-timers' talk about how they don't make singers like they used to, about how rock vocalists of the 21st century can't hold a candle to the frontmen of yesteryear, here's a fact no hater could deny:

    Chester Bennington could flat-out wail.

    Didn't matter how you felt about Linkin Park, rap-rock, nu-metal or modern music in general. When Bennington sang — screamed, really, veins exploding from his neck and forehead, a look of fury in his eyes — you felt it at your core. Like Bon Scott or Kurt Cobain or Chris Cornell, Bennington had a voice that blazed through the speakers like napalm, searing everything in its path....

    Chester Bennington of Linkin Park  performs at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa for the 2014 Carnivores Tour. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  12. Chester Bennington, Linkin Park singer, dies by suicide at 41: Report


    Chester Bennington, the flame-throated singer of enormosly popular metal band Linkin Park, has died from suicide at age 41.

    According to TMZ, Bennington was found hanged at a private residence in Los Angeles Thursday morning. The singer, who has battled drug and alcohol issues throughout his career, was friends with Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, who died of suicide by hanging in May; Bennington performed Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah at Cornell's funeral....

    Chester Bennington performed with Linkin Park at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa in 2011.
  13. The Rocket Summer's Bryce Avary talks 'Do You Feel,' nostalgia, Fueled By Ramen and more


    Not long ago, Bryce Avary was flipping channels and noticed that MTV Live was playing an old special from Glastonbury 2008.

    “We played Glastonbury 2008,” said the singer and songwriter of the pop-punk band the Rocket Summer. “We played that festival on the record Do You Feel, that cycle. It is kind of a trip, because in a way, it doesn’t really seem like that long ago. But in another way, it’s like, Well, it was 10 years ago...”...

    The Rocket Summer
  14. This week's best Tampa Bay concerts: Shawn Mendes, Kehlani, Strand of Oaks and more

    Music & Concerts


    CANADIAN IDOL: Shawn Mendes

    Nature abhors a vacuum. That may explain the cometlike rise of 18-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes, who comes to Tampa on Tuesday.

    With the Jonas Brothers dissolved and Justin Bieber off clubbing, Mendes rolled off the Vine factory floor a couple of years ago ready-made to fill North America's void of fresh-faced, clean cut tween idols. He quickly notched a Top 10 single, Stitches, and a coveted slot opening Taylor Swift's 1989 World Tour, all before he was old enough to vote....

    Shawn Mendes, performing at Amalie Arena on 7/25/17.
  15. Randy Newman coming to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater


    With all the hubbub over the weekend about Disney developing an immersive Toy Story theme park in Florida, there's no better time to celebrate the fact that Randy Newman is coming here, too.

    The legendary Oscar-, Grammy- and Emmy-winning singer-songwriter is coming back to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on Nov. 19, his first local show since 2014. Tickets are $39.25 and up. Every ticket purchased includes a physical or digital copy of his forthcoming album Dark Matter, due in August....