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

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  1. Trace Adkins, Kenny G, Dave Koz, Christopher Cross announce holiday concerts in Clearwater

    Blog

    Talk about celebrating Christmas in July.

    Ruth Eckerd Hall on Tuesday announced a slate of holiday concerts there and at the Capitol Theatre, putting the 2014 holiday season on track to be the most music-filled yet.

    Trace Adkins (above), Kenny G, Dave Koz, Jim Brickman, Rockapella and the Manhattan Transfer are among eight holiday concerts that'll take place between Nov. 29 and...

  2. 2014 Warped Tour preview: We the Kings, Sleeping With Sirens, Issues, Sleeper Agent and more artists to watch

    Blog

    For its 20th edition, the Vans Warped Tour seems to be taking a look in the rear view. Most of the big names on this year’s tour, which returns to St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Friday, are playing their third, fourth, even eighth (!) edition of Warped. While not exactly a greatest hits package, it’s certainly got a taste of everything that’s made Warped so popular over the past two decades. For more on the show, click here. To help get your primed, click the headline of this post to start a slideshow of some of the Warped veterans (as well as a couple of newbies) you can expect to see on Friday....

    Falling In Reverse: This electrro-tinged post-hardcore act revels in the glammy grime of their native Las Vegas, and they can be kind of unbearable about it — borderline misogynistic single Bad Girls Club includes the lyrics, “ Follows me on Twitter, asking if I miss her, hashtag #SetMeFree.” Yeesh. Still, they’re quite popular in Tampa Bay, having played the 97X Backyard BBQ and filmed a music video, Raised By Wolves, at the State Theatre.
  3. Echosmith's Sydney Sierota talks Warped Tour, 'Cool Kids,' the pressures of pop stardom and more

    Blog

    Scan through past lineups for the Vans Warped Tour, and you’ll find the names of artists you can’t believe once played it.

    Katy Perry. Eminem. Pharrell Williams. The Black Eyed Peas.

    Someday in the not-too-distant future, we might be adding Echosmith to that list.

    “I would have never thought to be on Warped Tour, ever,” Echosmith singer Sydney Sierota said during a recent phone call from a Warped stop in Massachusetts. “It has had a stereotype over the past few years as (having) more screamo bands or harder bands than us, but (Warped founder Kevin Lyman) is trying to broaden the genres even more lately. I think we’re one of the bands he’s kind of experimenting on that with, because we’re definitely not the most expected type.”...

  4. For a great brunch cocktail, look beyond the Bloody Mary

    Bars & Spirits

    I hate Bloody Marys.

    These are fighting words, I know. Many swear by the Mary and its curative properties, others plot their entire weekends around some gargantuan build-your-own-Bloody Mary bar some unholy temple of tomato juice that garnishes drinks with bacon, pickled eggs, fried cheese, pig's feet, raw oysters, undercooked chicken, fermented durian or cartoon-style fish head and skeleton....

    Left: The Hemingway Daiquiri at Elevage at the Epicurean Hotel. Above: The Bourbon Milk Punch at the Brick House Tavern and Tap.
  5. At early Rays games, fans can wake up and tailgate

    Events

    People think of tailgating as inherently autumnal, as tied to the sport of football as shoulder pads and letter sweaters. True, you can tailgate a baseball game, but it's not the sort of pastime you build a day around.

    Or is it? Consider this: The Tampa Bay Rays play a number of afternoon games throughout the season, usually starting around 4 or 1 p.m. But every so often, on just a handful of occasions a year, the Rays schedule their first pitch for 12:10 p.m. On those days, the parking lots open for tailgating shortly after 8 a.m. ...

    Fill ’er up in the Trop’s party deck  before a day game and you can watch batting practice — in peace.
  6. Spice up that Starbucks order with some spirits

    Food & Dining

    Most of the time, dumping a mini bottle of Irish whiskey or vodka into your morning coffee probably isn't a the healthiest idea. But there are days when a well-crafted eye-opener may just be the thing you need to get you up and running. And in this age of adventurous craft cocktails, why not have a little fun with it? So we went down to our local package store to pick up some single-serve mini-bottles, then stopped by Starbucks for coffee and more. We're mighty pleased by the results of what we're calling the Starbucks Singles Program — so much so that we can't wait to try this again in the fall for pumpkin, peppermint and egg nog season. Here are a few of our favorite combos, but feel free to experiment on your own. Your results may vary, especially after more than one or two of these. — Jay Cridlin cridlin@tampabay.com...

  7. Review: Dave Matthews Band digs deep, goes big for career-spanning set at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blog

    You could argue the gimmick of Dave Matthews Band's 2014 summer tour -- two sets, one acoustic, one electric -- was engineered to ward off whiffs of the band becoming a legacy act.

    This has never seemed like it might be a problem. The band's catalog is deep enough, its setlists diverse enough, that they can draw 15,000 fans to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on a muggy, muddy Wednesday without batting an eye. They've played this venue 10 of the last 11 summers, and no one has ever complained. Why change?...

    Dave Matthews Band performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on July 16, 2014.
  8. Mary Chapin Carpenter coming to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

    Blog

    The music world is all abuzz about where Garth Brooks' big comeback tour will take him, so as long as we're on the subject of mid-'90s country, let's spend a couple of minutes on Mary Chapin Carpenter.

    The singer-songwriter is best known for her endlessly hit-spawning 1992 album Come On Come On -- Passionate Kisses! He Thinks He'll Keep Her! The Hard Way! I Feel Lucky! -- but her entire discography is littered with sweet, folksy songs about love and loss and hard lives. Anyone who thinks Kacey Musgraves or Brandy Clark is the be-all-end-all of authentic country folk in 2014 needs to take a deep dive into Carpenter's catalog....

  9. Steve Martin, Martin Short, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, more coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

    Blog

    Well, Happy Monday from the Mahaffey Theater! The St. Pete venue decided to brighten up your week with a massive announcement of concerts, comedy shows and stage and special events, all coming to the theater starting in September.

    Among the highlights: A joint conversation and Q&A by Steve Martin and Martin Short on Sept. 7; a motivational afternoon led by comic-turned-mogul Steve Harvey on Oct. 18; a Christmas show by Kenny Rogers on Nov. 30; a holiday spectacular featuring Peabo Bryson, Dreamgirls' Jennifer Holliday, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Dayne on Dec. 9; a concert by soul legend Smokey Robinson on April 12; and a live, interactive cooking presentation by Dinner: Impossible Chef Robert Irvine on April 19. Concerts by Patti LaBelle, Terry Fator, Ramsey Lewis and Philip Bailey and more are also in the works....

  10. Interpol, Macy Gray coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

    Blog

    As always, we must issue the following headline-based disclaimer: Interpol and Macy Gray are NOT touring together. Though who wouldn't want to hear an ominous post-goth rendition of I Try, or a funkadelic, freakadelic version of Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down?

    No, the turn-of-the-millennium critical darlings are touring separately. But coincidentally, both announced shows at Jannus Live on Monday....

  11. Lauryn Hill coming to the House of Blues in Orlando

    Blog

    While Lauryn Hill is deep into the throes of her live-performance comeback these days -- it's been three years since a much-ballyhooed concert at the Ritz Ybor, one of our favorite shows of 2011 -- her history of erratic behavior and legal troubles means that for us, any public L.Boogie sighting counts as a stop-the-presses moment....

  12. Coral Skies Festival lineup: Cage the Elephant, Julian Casablancas, City and Colour and more

    Blog

    A year after debuting as the Coastline Festival, Live Nation's newly reinvented Coral Skies Music Festival will return to Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Oct. 25, and the lineup is once again heavy on indie rock acts.

    Cage the Elephant and Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas are the biggest names on the just-unveiled lineup, along with Bleachers, City and Colour, Tokyo Police Club, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Hold Steady, Wild Cub and Junior Prom. Rounding out the bill are two acts that will be familiar to Tampa Bay music fans: Guitarist Benjamin Booker, a former Tampa resident who this year has toured with Jack White and performed on The Late Show with David Letterman; and Good Graeff, the Sarasota indie-folk-pop group that has exploded on the local scene in the past year....

    Julian Casablancas
  13. He's a 'Real American': Hulk Hogan talks about Hogan's Beach and his status as an American icon

    Bars & Spirits

    First came the photo: Hulk Hogan, American wrestling icon, with arms outstretched against the stars and stripes, with the words, "One nation, one team," and the hashtag #LetsDoThis.

    Then came the video: Hogan again, in a 51-second, WWE-style clip, roaring and flexing and exhorting the U.S. men's soccer team to take care of business in the World Cup.

    Thousands of posts and retweets later, Hogan's status as a global symbol of American badassery was reaffirmed. Not that it was ever in doubt....

    Legendary wrestler and sports icon Terry Bollea, a.k.a. Hulk Hogan, poses for a patriotic portrait at his restaurant and bar Hogan’s Beach in Tampa.
  14. Chillin' Music Fest to bring Michael Franti and Spearhead, Stephen Marley, the Expendables to Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa

    Blog

    Seems like just the other day Rebelution sold out two straight nights at Jannus Live, and we delved into how Jannus and St. Pete as a whole had become a central clearinghouse for all things related to America's modern alt-reggae-rock movement....

    Michael Franti
  15. Hulk Hogan talks Hogan's Beach, the Fourth of July, being an American icon and more

    Blog

    First came the photo: Hulk Hogan, American wrestling icon, with arms outstretched against the stars and stripes, with the words, “One nation, one team,” and the hashtag #LetsDoThis.

    Then came the video: Hogan again, in a 51-second, WWE-style clip, roaring and flexing and exhorting the U.S. men’s soccer team to take care of business in the World Cup....

    Hulk Hogan shows off his patriotic side at his bar and restaurant, Hogan's Beach in Tampa.