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This week’s best Tampa Bay concerts: Little Big Town, Joe Bonamassa

Judy Collins, Gregory Porter, Ledisi, Dermot Kennedy and a Seminole Heights music festival also lead the way.
Little Big Town will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Feb. 26 and 27. [Sandbox Entertainment]


One thing Little Big Town has going for them: They don’t play by the same rules as other country acts. From Girl Crush to Day Drinking to The Daughters, the vocal group has subtly nudged country’s boundaries as much as any other mainstream group. And they’re taking a measured approach to touring behind their meditative new album Nightfall. Instead of headlining a shed for an army of, well, day drinkers, they’re spending two nights digging into their catalog in theaters, giving dedicated fans a double dose of their harmonies. They might be setting a precedent for young Nashville acts on how to age and tour gracefully. Caitlyn Smith opens. $49 and up. 8 p.m. Feb. 26 and Feb. 27. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.


When Joe Bonamassa comes to town, he knows exactly where he wants to set up shop. “Ruth Eckerd Hall is our jam,” the guitarist said recently by phone. “It’s such a great venue, and it’s such a great experience for the fans. It’s really our home in Tampa Bay. If that stage could talk.” High praise from possibly the biggest star in blues. The former child prodigy, who got his start touring with B.B. King, is now an industry unto himself, selling a slew of merch, packing venues everywhere and leading his own cruise. He could probably play larger venues, but he goes where he wants. Don’t question it. $87 and up. 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.

Joe Bonamassa will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Feb. 24 and 25 in Clearwater. [Courtesy of Marty Moffatt]


Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns had a moment last year thanks to Joker. Back in the day, Judy Collins gave it two moments. Her Grammy-winning version charted in both 1975 and 1977, turning it into a major hit. She did that a lot with other artists’s songs (Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides, Now; the Byrds’ Turn! Turn! Turn!), but each one she made her own, in her own eclectic way. And she always retained an affection for Sondheim; she released an album in his honor in 2017. At 80, she’s still singing Send in the Clowns like no one else. Kirsten Maxwell opens. $33.50 and up. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.

Judy Collins will perform at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on Feb. 23. [Courtesy of Miller Mobley]


Whether you’re into jazz or R&B, you can’t go wrong checking out Gregory Porter and Ledisi. Since her surprise Best New Artist nomination in 2008, Ledisi has racked up nearly a dozen more nominations. So respected is she as a vocalist that she appeared in Selma as the original queen, Mahalia Jackson, counseling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the song Take My Hand, Precious Lord. Porter, meanwhile, has won two Grammys for Best Jazz Vocal Album, and in perhaps an even sweeter prize, last year he recorded a version of Make Someone Happy with Jeff Goldblum. Goldblum isn’t part of their current tour, but with singers as good as Porter and Ledisi, who needs him? $39.50 and up. 7 p.m. Friday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 892-5767.

Gregory Porter will perform with Ledisi at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Feb. 21. [Courtesy of Ami Sioux]


A busker from the British Isles? Check. Soulful songs? Check. Sold-out crowds everywhere he goes? Check. Dermot Kennedy may or may not turn out to be the next Ed Sheeran, but at 28, he’s on a roll, having played every major festival and scored a viral hit in Outnumbered. He’s been on the next-big-thing list for a couple of years now, and his string of packed tour dates this spring suggests even bigger things are yet to come. 7:30 p.m. Friday. Sold out. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 390-0397.

Dermot Kennedy performs on NBC's "Today" show in 2019. [NATHAN CONGLETON | NBC]


Can’t wait for the Gasparilla Music Festival in March? Tide yourself over with the Heights Unites Music and Arts Festival, a celebration of community in one of Tampa’s hippest ‘hoods, Seminole Heights. Out-of-towners Spam Allstars, Jacuzzi Boys, the Woolly Bushmen and You Blew It!'s Tanner Jones will perform, but there are also a slew of quality Tampa Bay locals, too, including the Hummingbirds, BC, Kristopher James, Little Sheba and the Shamans, Will Quinlan, Joshua Reilly, Rahim Samad, Sun Signs and Vetnough. Plus, there’s Brew Bus beer on hand. Try their Hazelnut Spread Imperial Milk Porter and get a taste of all the fun the cool kids are having in the Heights. $20 and up, kids younger than 12 free. 2 p.m. Saturday. Brew Bus Brewing, 4101 N Florida Ave., Tampa.

Spam Allstars will perform at the Heights Unites Music and Arts Festival on Feb. 22 in Tampa. [Courtesy of Spam Allstars]