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Downhome concert brings Florida Folk to life

FLORIDA SONGWRITERS _ The Sarasota Friends of Florida Folk will present well-known Florida tunesmiths James Hawkins and Steve Blackwell in concert at 8 tonight at the Visual Arts Center, 707 N Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Hawkins is known for his humorous narrative, while Blackwell paints fascinating musical portraits of Florida natives. Tickets are $8. Call (941) 377-9256.

ROCKABILLY RUMBLE _ Rockabilly music will be in full swing beginning at 8 tonight at Gyland's Grill and Bar, 1302 Eighth Ave. in Ybor City, with six bands taking part in the Rockabilly Rumble. Headlining the festivities are the Belmont Playboys, the Blue Moon Boys, the Vipers, Skinny McGee & the Mayhem Makers, the Skirt Lifters and the Thrusters. Tickets are $8, and the show is open to all ages. For more information, call (813) 242-6260.

MR. BUNGLE _ For the band's third album, Mr. Bungle went crazy with sound effects, doses of hard-core rockabilly, and even what might be described as schmaltz. Putting it live on stage has been an even bigger challenge, but lead singer Mike Patton, formerly of Faith No More, is up for it. Mr. Bungle appears in concert with Dillinger Escape Plan at 8 tonight at the State Theater in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $15. For more information, call (727) 895-3045.

CLARENCE CARTER _ Stroke it to the left, stroke it to the right, Clarence Carter's playing at the Blues Ship Sunday night. That's right, the man whose song Strokin' has become an immortal line-dance tune is bringing his bluesy, pop vocal stylings to the Blues Ship Cafe, 1910 E Seventth Ave., Ybor City. Tickets are $18 advance, $25 at the door. The show starts at 8 p.m. For more information, call (813) 248-6097.

RONNY ELLIOT _ Tampa's musical sage with '60s roots returns to Skipper's Smokehouse at 5 p.m. Sunday. Joining Ronny Elliot for an evening of blues-based boogie with a twisted country twang are his band the Nationals, Hangtown and the Leonard Croon Band. Tickets are $5. For more information call (813) 971-0666.

TY HERNDON _ After his first two albums went gold, Ty Herndon's third, Big Hopes, seemed destined to be a success. The best single from the album came equipped with one of those country music titles that can't be denied: A Man Holdin' On (to a Woman Lettin' Go). A Mississippi native, Herndon has a clear, strong voice and emotional lyrics. He will be appearing 10 p.m. Thursday at the Round Up in Tampa. Tickets are $15. Call (813) 855-1464.

BLESSID UNION OF SOULS _ They're all over the radio with the pop-culture-laced Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me), and on Wednesday, Cincinnati rockers Blessid Union of Souls will be all over Frankie's Patio in Ybor City. These guys have some devoted fans _ Cindy Crawford declared she was happy to be called "phat" (that's a compliment) in their lyrics. Now touring in support of their latest album, Walking Off the Buzz, the Cincinnati rockers are pursuing a more raw, bass-heavy sound. Check out the tune Standing at the Edge of the Earth, which was originally supposed to be the title song to the movie Armageddon before Aerosmith won the lead spot. Tickets are $8 advance, and $11 day of the show, which starts at 9 p.m. Call (813) 248-3337.