Yonder Mountain String Band serenades at Jannus Live + more concerts this week

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Gladys Knight The Empress of Soul is returning to town to perform from her catalog of hits that encompass the sounds of pop, R&B and AC. She’s a seven-time Grammy winner and an accomplished actress (she most recently starred in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, and had a cameo on NBC’s comedy 30 Rock). She also has her own personal entertainment corporation and a restaurant in Atlanta known for its chicken and waffles. Is there anything this woman can’t do? (Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg) —RF

Jimkata w/Folly Dean This indietronica rock outfit has been building up quite the local fanbase. Jimkata hails from Ithaca, NY, and is on tour raising funds to record a follow-up to their 2011 Ghosts and Killers EP, currently offered on a pay-what-you-can download basis at jimkata.com. Check out the foursome’s New Wave-flavored jams at their Bay area stop and donate to the cause. (Crowbar, Ybor City) —LP

Brandi Carlile Acoustic Trio Brandi Carlile is an alt country and folk rock singer-songwriter from Seattle who taught herself to sing and play piano, and was on Rolling Stone’s “Top 10 Artists to Watch” list back in ’05. Since then she’s toured with the likes of Sheryl Crow, Maroon 5 and Ray LaMontagne, and had her songs used on Grey’s Anatomy. She’s known for her intense performances and mixes it up between involved orchestral sets (as on her latest release, Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony), and intimate acoustic forays, as her setup at this Clearwater show. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater) —RF

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18
Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival: Buddy Guy w/Curtis Salgado/many more (Saturday); and Janiva Magness w/Ronnie Baker Brooks/many more (Sunday) Binge on fried shrimp, crab cakes, oysters, crawfish and other fresh catches as served by a few dozen seafood vendors while savoring some searing-hot blues by a range of local and national talents. Axe ace Buddy Guy rolls out the headlining licks on Saturday, and brings vet status to the weekend’s bill; while on Sunday, California’s modern blues vocalist Janiva Magness offers up her more country and Motown-fused sizzle. Free admission. (Coachman Park, Clearwater) —LP

Matt Woods & Devon Stuart If you enjoy a generous helping of twang with your indie rock, Ale & the Witch welcomes two country-leaning acoustic guitar-slinging singer-songwriters who’ve both earned praise from locally-based, nationally recognized music blog Ninebullets.net — Nashville’s Matt Woods, and Devon Stuart, from Gainesville, who’s on an extended break from his full-band, The Takers. This is a free and early (6:30-8:30 p.m.) show. (The Ale and the Witch, downtown St. Petersburg) —LP

VNV Nation w/Straftanz Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson are the creative forces behind VNV Nation, a Germany-by-way-of-England synth pop duo that’s been producing dance music for more than two decades and draws on a range of styles — industrial, trance, EBM and future pop among them. Automatic, their eighth LP, dropped last year and this tour supports. (Orpheum, Ybor City) —LP

Yonder Mountain String Band w/The Infamous Stringdusters/Grandpa's Cough Medicine The newgrass quartet — acoustic guitar, banjo, bass (electric and standup) and mandolin — draws on a huge repertoire of originals and quirky covers by artists ranging from Zappa to Hendrix to Phish, displays impressive musical chops via quick-paced and oftentimes synchronized plucking, picking and strumming of their respective instruments, and adds poignant, perfectly harmonized vocal melodies to the mix. CL writer Andrew Silverstein called Yonder Mountain String Band’s show last February “one of the most intriguing sets of live music I've seen in recent memory.” (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg) —LP

Heartless A sludgy, skull-crushing grindcore outfit from Pittsburgh touring behind a 2011 LP, Hell Is Other People. As you might imagine by the title, it’s intense. (Local 662, St. Petersburg) —LP

WMNF Rockabilly Ruckus w/Lee Rocker/Big Sandy and the Fly-rite Boys/The Amy Lavere Rockabilly Band/Morgan Bernard/Hot Rod Hornets/Ted Stevens Band/Rocket 88 WMNF kicks off its ninth annual Rockabilly Ruckus with a vintage car show followed by a day packed with retrofied performances, from the double bass prowess of Lee Rocker (who’s played with the likes of George Harrison, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell and Keith Richards), to the California country boogie of Big Sandy. (Skippers Smokehouse, Tampa) —LP

Noel Paul Stookey You know the singer-songwriter from his tenure as one-third of folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary (“Puff the Magic Dragon,” “If I Had a Hammer”); he’s been rolling solo since the band broke-up in 1978 and has released a handful of albums. The last was 2007’s Facets. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg) —LP

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19
Voices For Children Benefit w/FunkN8 A brassy, funky fundraising concert to benefit the local nonprofit that serves as a champion for foster children with its Guardian ad Litem programs. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa) —LP

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