Review: Clearwater Jazz Holiday fans get a little wet, then smacked by Hurricane Grace over the weekend (w/ photos)

We almost forgot about Daryl & Gregg

click to enlarge Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

The Clearwater Jazz Holiday has been doing its thing for 36 years, and on Saturday, the penultimate night of its 37th edition, most fans wouldn’t let a couple hours of rain keep them from having their “Red Red Wine.”

UB40 — legendary pop-music beneficiaries of the 2-tone ska movement — were called in and confirmed less than four days before their set after tonsil problems forced original Saturday headliner Daryl Hall to bow out last minute on doctor’s orders. They made sure that the fans who stayed got their money’s worth, playing until almost midnight as fireworks lit up the night sky during an encore. Coachman Park laid much more bare than it had been during daylight hours (there aren’t a lot of places to hide from rain out there in GA), but the good vibes that followed the remaining Saturday crowd to their beds spilled well into Sunday.

REVIEW: CLEARWATER JAZZ HOLIDAY 2016

Brooklyn-based outfit The Lone Bellow are headed to Dave Cobb’s Nashville recording studio to work on a new album, but before their session Zach Williams and Kanene Pipkin showcased vocal prowess that made it unclear whether they were a vocal group or bonafide rock outfit.

click to enlarge The Lone Bellow plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
The Lone Bellow plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

It was warming to see Williams’s parents in the crowd as he told innocent stories about his time working on boats off the coast of our great state. The Georgia native possesses one of the more powerful deliveries in his band’s genre, and Houndmouth would showcase a different kind of dynamism as they took to the stage for their first Bay area appearance without longtime keyboardist Katie Toupin who amicably parted ways with the band in April of this year, less than a month after they played Gasparilla Music Festival.

Toupin’s vocals are an integral element of the Indiana band’s breakout 2015 LP Little Neon Limelight, and it was nerve-racking to imagine their harmonies and dynamic suffering without her, but — with all due respect to Toupin — it sounds like the boys will be just fine. Caleb Hickman won’t ever be able to live in Toupin’s vocal tone or timbre, but he carries his own just fine, especially alongside two new saxophonists, Graeme Gardiner and Curio Key Club’s Drew Miller who add another texture to Houndmouth’s already classic-but-new rock & roll aesthetic. The core trio — guitarist Matt Myers, Zak Appleby on bass , and drummer Shane Cody — possess the same easygoing rapport (with Cody deadpanning more than a few hilarious quips that seemed to fly over the crowd’s head) and Myers seems to have found another layer of the already sturdy Stratocaster sound he does jaw-droppingly well.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

The boys said Clearwater Jazz Holiday was the “best festival we’ve played,” but things were about to get even better for the devotees hanging on for Grace Potter.

The 33-year-old arrived in Clearwater fresh off a stay in Joshua Tree, and her fiery set was an easy indication that it was a cosmic experience. Her reputation as a world-class live performer precedes her (yes, the shoes came off), and she did not disappoint switching effortlessly between material on her 2015, poppier solo debut and more familiar cuts from her days with the Nocturnals. The ease with which she commands her Hammond B-3 is almost offensive and nearly all bets are off the table when Potter straps on her open-tuned Gibson Flying V.

Potter kicked off her set wishing Greg Allman — who cancelled his Clearwater Jazz Holiday set due to healthy concerns — all the best, but we’re willing to be he’d be proud of the way she carried the American rock tradition in his stead.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge The Lone Bellow plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
The Lone Bellow plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge The Lone Bellow plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
The Lone Bellow plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge The Lone Bellow plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
The Lone Bellow plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Grace Potter plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

click to enlarge Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016. - Kamran Malik
Kamran Malik
Houndmouth plays Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida on October 16, 2016.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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