B.B. King reigns in Tampa, Galactic funks up St. Pete + more of the week's best concerts

THURSDAY, JANUARY 5
Rock the Park w/The Lambasters/Serotonic/Between Bluffs The first 2011 concert of the outdoor music series features sets by blues-fueled rock nÕ rollers The Lambasters, led by the harmonica raging and vocal bellowing of Ernie Locke; jazzy funky jam rock outfit Serotonic; and Between Bluffs, an upbeat folk-roots pop ensemble that infuses its sound with funk and ska flavors. (Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa)

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
The Black Honkeys w/Henry Lawrence & Angie Campbell On the latest edition of The Black Honkeys' First Friday Soul Revue, the brassy Motown revival group is joined by Semis guitarist Billy Summer and Next of Kin keyboardist John Dash Dixon, and on vocals, "Big Soul Man" Henry Lawrence, a former NFL player (offensive tackle for the Raiders) who revisited his musical background when he retired; and "Rock 'n Sou" singer Angie Campbell. (The Local 662, St. Petersburg)

Jack Williams South Carolina singer-songwriter and folk circuit regular for 50-plus years, Jack Williams is a musicianÕs musician whose friendships with two late great artists — Harry Nilsson and Mickey Newbury — helped shape him into the artist he is today. Williams draws on folk, rock, jazz, R&B, classical and pop music from the 1930s, '40s and '50s in a style described by Americana/roots authority No Depression as "equal parts folk storytelling and Tin Pan Alley songcraft, delivered with the impassioned soul of an old blues singer." (Hideaway Cafe, St. Petersburg)

Damon Fowler Group Palladium Theater kicks off the New Year and its Side Door music series with a two-night stand of shows (on Friday and Saturday) by premier roots-blues-soul rocker Damon Fowler. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

Doug E. Fresh From showing a Mineola rabbi how to do "The Chanukah Dougie" to getting down wi's still relevant even though he hasn't issued a new record since 1995. The rapper/producer earned the title of "Human Beat Box" in the 1980s for his clever oral simulations and special vocal effects, and he appears at Jannus as part of the venue's Old School concert series. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

Marcia Ball w/Wendy Barmore Last year saw the release of Marcia BallÕs 15th studio album and her first attempt at writing or co-writing the entire thing with help from famed producer Gary Nicholson (Delbert McClinton, T. Graham Brown). Roadside Attractions — nominated for a 2011 Grammy — was inspired by her many years on the road, and she's called it her most personal album to date, "full of short stories and tall tales." The throaty drawling vocalist and lively mistress of the ivories has a groove-laden sound soaked in the bluesy stomp of Texas (where she was born) and the swampy boogie of Louisiana (where she was raised and currently resides). (SkipperÕs Smokehouse, Tampa)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 7
The Absurdity of the World Party Local jam bands unite to raise funds for WMNF. All sonic bases seem to be covered, from the roots rock leanings of The Human Condition to the hip-hop swag of Green Sunshine to the reggae-fused grooves of The Commoners to the classy jazzed-up appeal of Shoeless Soul. Also on the bill: COPE, Juanjamon Band, Skull and Bone Band, Honey Henny Lime, funkUs, and Noah Broe and the Groove Co. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

B.B. King The King of Blues lands in Clearwater and rings in the New Year with his slow-burning well-seasoned style of playing. He draws out his trademark tone in wailing solos that reveal his fluid command of his beloved Gibson hollow-body guitar, Lucille, belting out songs like "The Thrill Is Gone" and other American blues-book standards with his smoky vocal resonance. He's been active for more than six decades, and though B.B. King celebrated his 86th birthday last year, he shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

Galactic w/Corey Glover and Corey Henry Galactic's brass-fused funk and jazz is steeped in the sounds of the quintet's native New Orleans, but the band has a forceful rockin' edge and is known for experimenting with hip-hop, electronica, R&B and world music in their dynamic arrangements. Stanton Moore holds down the tight rhythmic fort, Rich Vogel delivers B3 grooves, Ben Ellman adds high-end vibrancy on harmonica and tenor, bari and soprano saxophones, and select guests bring vocals into the mix. Galactic is currently finishing up a new studio album, Carnivale Electricos (out Feb. 21 via Anti-), which is inspired by the links between Mardi Gras and the mega-carnivals of Brazil. This tour, they're joined by vocalist Corey Glover (of Living Colour) and trombone player Corey Henry (of Rebirth Brass Band). (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

Rebecca Zapen The St. Pete-based singer/songwriter (who sings in a lovely clear-toned soprano and plays violin, guitar and ukulele) crafts a lush style of folk pop with jazz and bossa nova undertones. Zapen is on a tour of Florida promoting her fourth studio album, the home-and-family themed Nest, which includes a lounge-cool cover of Robert Palmer's "Addicted To Love." Zapen performs at Gram's Place on Saturday and The Independent on Sunday. (Gram's Place, Tampa)

Matt Burke / Lauris Vidal / Devon Stuart / Michael Claytor It's the return of the Citrus Circuit Tour, a traveling showcase of Florida talent originally conceived by alt folk troubadour Lauris Vidal to celebrate the state's diverse musical culture. On this run, Vidal is joined by two singer-songwriters who've broken away from their main roots rock projects to do the solo thing — Matt Burke (Have Gun, Will Travel) and Devon Stuart (Snakehealers, Takers) — and Michael Claytor, who plays banjo and guitar in his folk pop/Americana outfit. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 8
The Walker Brothers w/Little Girl and the Dreadful Snakes A Tennessee-by-way-of-Tampa bluegrass group led by brothers Jarrod and Cory Walker (the former on mandolin, the latter on banjo, guitar and dobro). Also on the bill with the Walker Brothers: Little Girl and the Dreadful Snakes, a Lakeland roots/Americana four-piece fronted by upright bass player Cheri Hornsy. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

Reggae Sunday w/Lefty at the Washout Columbia, S.C.-based six-piece Lefty at The Washout headlines this Reggae Sunday bill with their breezy, made-for-kicking-back blend of surf and reggae rock; local like acts Burning Tree and Tyson Marshall support. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

Jackie Bristow The New Zealand native alt country/roots songstress opened for Aussie fingerstyle guitar whiz Tommy Emmanuel on her last stop in town. This time around, Bristow (who currently resides in Austin) is the featured act and is celebrating the release of her second album, 2011's Freedom. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

MONDAY, JANUARY 9
B.J. Barham Yes, it's Monday, but how can you resist a free show presented by New Granada that'll get you home before bedtime? B.J. Barham is the singer, songwriter and frontman of North Carolina's American Aquarium, an alt country and Southern rock five-piece; for this performance, he plays a solo acoustic set of his material. Start time is 8 p.m. sharp; no openers. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

TUESDAY, JANUARY 10
Annie Wenz / Grant Peeples / Ronny Elliott A singer-songwriter showcase with an "in the round" format, which means all three performers share the stage at the same time and each takes turns playing selections from his or her repertoire. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

Akron/Family w/Bad Weather California Akron/Family synthesized eleme'nts of their earlier lo-fi freak-folk sound with their more recent crunchy-progressive rock drive in last year's S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT. Their fifth album and second effort as a three-piece deviates between moments of wild noise and sublime serenity, and was among my favorites of 2011. Live shows are high-octane affairs with plenty of experimentation and improvisation. A must-see. Click here to read Ray Roa's story on the band. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

CLICK HERE to see a complete rundown of shows taking place this week and in the coming weeks.

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