CL's picks for the week's best shows

The Wailers, Southern Culture on the Skids, Mojo Gurus

THURSDAY, DEC. 28

SUSAN TEDESCHI & DEREK TRUCKS The king and queen of the contemporary-blues prom? Weaned on gospel and R&B, a young Tedeschi added a new flavor to New England's folky singer-songwriter scene throughout the '90s; these days, she's got a worldwide reputation for bringing her own bent to the blues and records for the renowned Verve label. The son of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks, her husband, Derek, is well known to Florida audiences; he's been making appearances with his dad, with others and on his own — and developing a trademark jam-rock slide-guitar style — since before he was a teenager. (Tampa Theatre, Tampa)

FRIDAY, DEC. 29

THE WAILERS After his death, Bob Marley's band spent most of the '80s unable to record and release their own music due to miles of Marley-related legal red tape. Still, the band continued to tour on its universally recognized name. The Wailers struggled to find their own sonic identity throughout a spate of '90s albums, but nonetheless remain a celebrated live act and reggae touchstone. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

'70s SOUL JAM This is one of those oldies package tours that come through Ruth Eckerd Hall on a regular basis, and it seems to be a popular one. The Windy City's Chi-Lites plied a version of Philly/Memphis smooth soul to score 11 Top 10 hits during the early '70s, including the ballads "Have You Seen Her" and "Oh Girl." Perhaps the best known of these three acts, Philly's The Spinners actually got their start as a Detroit doo-wop act before moving on to soul fame with hits like "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," "Then Came You" and "Rubberband Man." And last but not least, Philly hometown boys The Stylistics achieved immortality via "You Make Me Feel Brand New." (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

THE FIXX And as the alternately ironic and sincere admiration for all things '80s continues, so does the tour schedule for this British New Wave/pop-rock act. Though they only completely faded off the radar for six or seven years in the '90s, The Fixx last achieved airwave ubiquity with the '83 album Reach The Beach, which spawned the hits "One Thing Leads to Another" and "Saved by Zero." (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

MATTEO/FIGMENT & ILLINGUIST/WILSON/PROPHET/MR. E./TLO Matt Kelly, dude behind Spooky*Maceo Productions and Porch magazine, steps out at The Tavern as Matteo this weekend, headlining and bringing together this long lineup of local hip-hop. Kelly's a veteran of the area spoken-word scene, slinging coffee shop-hop all over Sarasota. Maybe this night could help save what's become a rather moribund hip-hop scene of late. (The Tavern on Main, Sarasota) —Cooper Levey-Baker

SATURDAY, DEC. 30

BARRINGTON LEVY & FRANKIE PAUL Dancehall vocalist Levy emerged from that reggae subgenre's early days and spent much of the '80s defining its identity. For most of the decade, his name was synonymous with the style, and his loverman duets with various female singers are particularly beloved. Fellow salad-days dancehall star Frankie Paul gained notoriety as a multi-instrumentalist, as well as for his impressive vocal range; these traits were as responsible for his being nicknamed "Jamaica's Stevie Wonder" as his visual impairment. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

SUNDAY, DEC. 31

SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS Twang-rock diehards, faux-redneck ironists and women's wig aficionados rejoice — your prayers begging for something you'd actually like to do on New Year's Eve have been answered. Now in their 11th year, North Carolina white-trash fetishists Southern Culture on the Skids may be past their moment in the pop-culture spotlight, but they continue to bring a good time (and fried chicken) to any stage they grace, and you can rest assured you're gonna hear the hits. Apt local support comes courtesy of smirkingly smarmy surf-lounge specialists The Vodkanauts. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

SEVENDUST While never quite breaking through into the upper echelons of heavy-music stardom, Atlanta's Sevendust have nonetheless nurtured Next Big Thing status and been the best band to play early on a bill featuring bigger names for a decade now. Most of the band's five albums — the most recent being last year's titled-with-hope Next — have been critically acclaimed, largely due to singer LaJon Witherspoon's prodigious vocal talent. Come get '06 pounded right the fuck out of ya. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

DONNA THE BUFFALO Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, Donna The Buffalo's gotta play WMNF's annual New Year's shindig at St. Pete's Coliseum. Straddling the lines between roots, jam, Americana and more obscure seminal styles like Zydeco, it's DTB's earnest vocals and harmony work that really set the band apart from the pack. NOTE: Those fans who don't make it tonight will have a chance to see the band the next night in Tampa, at Skipper's Smokehouse. My bid for the ideal one-two combo is heading up to the Skipperdome for Southern Culture, passing out under one of those overturned dinghys, and waking up in time to catch Donna on Monday. (Coliseum, St. Petersburg)

JAKE OWEN A Florida native, Owen got his start crooning country covers for free beer at bars while attending FSU. A move to Nashville and a lengthy period of songwriting and schmoozing led to a deal with RCA, and his debut album Startin' with Me — an effort steeped in familiar contemporary C&W tropes — came out this summer, led by the single "Yee Haw." (Dallas Bull, Tampa)

MOJO GURUS To a lot of longtime Bay area music fans, Kevin Steele is still that guy who used to sing for Roxx Gang, the local glam-rock combo that made a brief national splash during the late '80s. And that's more than a bit of a shame, because his stomping, swampy roots-a-billy act Mojo Gurus — whose third album, Shakin' in the Barn, was released last year by Universal Records subsidiary Empire Musicworks — is one of local music's more underrated no-frills rock 'n' roll good times. They'll be holding court all night tonight at St. Pete's blues HQ Ringside Café; your $10 cover gets you a champagne toast at midnight and a copy of Shakin'. (Ringside Café, St. Petersburg)

DUMBWAITERS/THE VERA VIOLETS/GIDDY UP, HELICOPTER!/PIRATE PRUDE Seems like there's something for everyone going on tonight — apparently, you can ring in the New Year with the genre of your choice. If indie-rock (or having your mind blown or your ears blown out) is your thing, and you want to be assured of an almost completely jackass/ party novice-free evening, then the Skatepark of Tampa is where you need to be. In addition to what's sure to be another incendiary set by visionary local experimental-rock endeavor Dumbwaiters, you'll get oceans of shoegaze from The Vera Violets, ultra-original sounds from Giddy Up, Helicopter!, and spiky, arty atmosphere from Pirate Prude. (Transitions Art Gallery @ Skatepark of Tampa, Tampa)

PUNK ROCK RECORD SWAP When Sound Idea owner Bob Suren says "No Zeppelin" in his e-mail, he means it. And he doesn't just mean "No Zeppelin" — he means "no mainstream arena bullshit at all, thanks, because it won't fly here." Brandon's most stringently D.I.Y. record store hosts its more or less once-a-year record swap/flea market of underground sound from noon until 3 p.m. Sound Idea is located at 113 East Brandon Blvd. (Sound Idea, Brandon)

E-MERGE CD RELEASE PARTY St. Pete nu-metal holdout E-Merge celebrates the coming out of its new EP The In Between. Asylum 414, Syfur and UnSAID round out a brutal bill. (Boomerz Boiler Room, Seminole)

January

6 Marcia Ball/Bettye Lavette Tampa Theatre

9 Greyboy All-Stars Jannus Landing

12 Tab Benoit Skipper's Smokehouse

13 Chris Botti Ruth Eckerd Hall

16 Glenn Miller Orchestra Ruth Eckerd Hall

17 Johnny Mathis Ruth Eckerd Hall

17 Rod Stewart St. Pete Times Forum

19 Senses Fail/Saosin/Alexisonfire/The Sleeping Jannus Landing

19 Guy Davis Ruth Eckerd Hall

20 Joshua Bell Ruth Eckerd Hall

21 Chuck Brodsky Octagon Arts Center

21 Dave Brubeck & Ramsey Lewis Ruth Eckerd Hall

26 Claire Lynch Band w/Jack Williams Palladium Theater

26 The Fray w/Mute Math Ruth Eckerd Hall

28 David Bromberg & Angel Band Skipper's Smokehouse

30 Richard Gilewitz Skipper's Smokehouse

February

1 Dark Funeral/Enslaved/Abigail Williams State Theatre

1 Jack Jones Ruth Eckerd Hall

2 Bottle Rockets Skipper's Smokehouse

7 Bobby McFerrin Ruth Eckerd Hall

8 Chicago Ruth Eckerd Hall

9 & 10 Less Than Jake State Theatre

14 Joe Bonamassa Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

14 Huey Lewis & The News Ruth Eckerd Hall

17 Julio Iglesias Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

19 Irish Rovers Ruth Eckerd Hall

22 Justin Timberlake w/Pink St. Pete Times Forum

23 Liza Minelli Ruth Eckerd Hall

March

2 Patti LaBelle Ruth Eckerd Hall

3 Doo Wop VII Ruth Eckerd Hall

7 & 8 Engelbert Humperdinck Ruth Eckerd Hall

20 Paul Anka Ruth Eckerd Hall

25 Bobby Vinton Ruth Eckerd Hall

Scroll to read more Show Previews articles

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.