This week in Tampa Bay area live music: Blackberry Smoke, Speedy Ortiz, The Wailers & more

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click to enlarge Blackberry Smoke - David McClister
David McClister
Blackberry Smoke
  • David McClister
  • Blackberry Smoke

Blackberry Smoke
Charlie Starr might have the most impressive set of mutton chops in the South; his shaggy facial hair has a life of its own, not to be outdone by his rippling mane and rugged Easy Rider fashion sense. His Blackberry Smoke bandmates share his style — late ’60s dirt rocker threads, faces with varying degrees of fuzz, long luxurious hair. Their music is a corresponding blend of rambling country rock and harder Southern rock crustiness, with Starr’s warm and dusty hillbilly drawl soaring or crooning over top. The Atlanta quintet has been together for more than a dozen years but only recently signed to Zac Brown Band’s Southern Ground label, and issued a well-regarded full-length, The Whippoorwill, in 2012. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)

Nicki Parrott and Rossano Sportiello Australia-born, NYC-based jazz vocalist and mistress of lowend sounds Nicki Parrott spent a number of years playing double bass in the Les Paul Trio until the guitar master’s passing in 2009, and has a few dozen albums to her credit, including three issued last year alone. One of those, It’s a Good Day, was a collaborative effort with respected jazz pianist Rossano Sportiello and drummer Ed Metz. Both join Parrott for this Side Door Jazz program. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

Mike Dillon Band w/The Wyllys/The Porch Sessions
The appropriately self-styled “electronic vibrophonic go go punk funk rock jazz screaming being,” Mike Dillon, is an underrated, underappreciated, excessively talented musical powerhouse whose avant tendencies on drums and vibraphone (he can play both at once and not for novelty’s sake) have brought fine flavor to projects like Garage A Trois, Les Claypool's Fancy Band, the Dead Kenny G’s and Critters bugging among others. His own sonic style is cheeky, unhinged jazz fusion and punk-kicking groove-jiving rock n’ roll that gets plenty funky in latest recording, Urn, issued on Royal Potato Family in 2012 with his current lineup of savvy talents: trombone player Carly Meyers, drummer Adam Gertner and bassist Patrick McDevitt. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

Green Sunshine w/Legacy (Birthday Bash)/Holey Miss Moley A three-act Friday night showcase and birthday bash for Legacy, aka Sean Maloney, who’s among the play-record-loop-and-layer variety of one-man band; his instrumentals on effected acoustic guitar and percussion are paired with singing, scatting, beat-boxing, mouth-trumpeting and various other blowing tones. Also of note: Green Sunshine, a quintet that dropped a superb full-length last year, Interstellar Funk Patrol, that mixes hip hop, funk and psychedelic soul into an intoxicating energy-pumping brew. (Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin)

Marching Fourth Marching Band The Fat Tuesday party-turned-touring ensemble from Portland otherwise known as M4 has brass and percussion-powered sounds, but that’s where tradition ends, and a cirque playful and sexy marching band begins, replete with Steampunk/burlesque uniforms. Seven horn players, five drummers, a bassist and guitarist deliver a groove-oriented sound that hops from swampy NOLA funk, jazz and rock territories into more exotic or unexpected locales — ska, Brazilian, metal, gypsy, klezmer, Bollywood — as accompanied by the vibrant stilt acrobatics and choreographed dance of M4’s own performance troupe. A must see. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

Tom Rush The folk singer, songwriter and guitarist with the distinguished ‘stache hits town backing a recently issued two-disc CD/DVD release, Celebrates 50 Years of Music, which features a December 2012 concert Rush organized to commemorate his half-century as a professional musician. Rush — who James Taylor once said is “not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences” — has a relaxed narrative style, deeper-toned vocals and a repertoire that includes originals (like his best known single “No Regrets” and amusing YouTube sensation, “Remember Song,” which has more than 6.2 million views since its original upload in 2007), and trademark covers by contemporaries like Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell and others. (Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, Tarpon Springs)

The Sinderella Ball w/Psykotribe w/Dementia/Worlds Divide/Hate Tank/Virginia Rose Band/Tribulations A ball free of pretension and full of locally-cured metal as presented by Tampa Bay Metal Scene and Sick World Radio. Growling and roaring Dana Darkly leads the sign-of-the-horn-spurring festivities with her intense grinding outfit, Psykotribe; other similarly aggressive acts fill out the bill. As far as what you should be wearing, the Facebook invite stresses, “This is a ball as well as one bad mutherfucking metal show so we expect you to dress accordingly!!” Everything will be broadcast live at (Local 662, St. Petersburg)

The Duppies w/R[email protected]/The Snails/Control This! Every act on this bill touches on ska and/or rocksteady sounds, and all are worthy of your attention. Gainesville’s Duppies have a buoyant way about them, their brassy bouncing music carrying strains of melodica and harmonica. The Bay area’s own [email protected] delivers the expected high-octane, three-horn-fueled attack as piloted by lead toaster Jason Nwabacharocha while The Snails, from Philly, ease back with a mellow sun-drenched sound influenced by vintage Jamaica jams and rock n’ roll, and treated with a dose of soul. And finally, Orlando-based Control This! is the roots reggae-imbued outfit of one-time Toasters' sax player, Jeff Richey. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

click to enlarge Speedy Ortiz - Shawn Brackbill
Shawn Brackbill
Speedy Ortiz

Speedy Ortiz w/Grass Is Green/Sweet Divorce/…Y Los Dos Pistoles Last year proved a stellar one for Speedy Ortiz, a Western Mass. foursome that evokes the feel of ’90s era indie rock, mixing sweetness with grit in their distortion-laden garage odes. Debut full-length Major Arcana — recorded at Justin Pizzoferrato’s Sonelab studio (Dinosaur Jr., Chelsea Light Moving) — was endorsed by respected outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Stereogum to, and the album landed on numerous Best of 2013 lists, including a few by local tastemakers. Frontwoman/guitarist Sadie Dupuis has that Liz Phair style of discordant-dulcet vocals, pretty with a sardonic edge like the girl who smiles to your face but sneers behind your back. Dupuis is finishing her MFA in Poetry at UM-Amherst, and her lyrical turns reflect a literary mind who can be cheeky, absurd and pop cultural ala “Taylor Swift,” which finds her satirizing the pop star while alluding to abortion and name-dropping influential German kraut rock outfit Can. “I don’t write in a narrative way and am more concerned with use of language than meaning,” Dupuis has said about her lyrical style and the tarot-inspired meaning behind Major Arcana’s title, which is ‘major mysteries.’ Speedy Ortiz stops at Mojo for a cheap ($8) in-store on this night with some strong warm-up from both national and local talents. CLICK HERE to read more about Speedy Ortiz & listen to their latest track. (Mojo Books & Music, Tampa)

Katharine McPhee
She may have lost her season of American Idol to Taylor Hicks, but her star was born on that reality singing show and she’s maintained her foothold with three full-lengths (including a holiday album), several film and TV roles (among them, the Adam Sandler comedy House Bunny and NBC’s few-season musical drama Smash), and most recently, has been in the studio working on another solo LP that’s due out later this year. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)

The Wailers If you don’t know The Wailers, you probably don’t know reggae music. Seriously. The iconic reggae outfit was Bob Marley’s band starting in 1963, and the remaining members continued performing and producing music in the years following his death in 1981. The current Wailers lineup is many times removed from the original; the only holdover is current band leader, bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett, who’s joined by a six-piece that includes, among others, son Aston Jr. on organ and vet keysmith Keith Sterling (Soul Syndicate, The Upsetters). (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

The David Mayfield Parade w/DieAlps!/Damien Suomi The bearded, bespectacled elder brother of Jessica Lea Mayfield plays mandolin and guitar with flatpicking flair. David taught his sis the few chords that drew her into music, performed as her sideman when she recorded with Dan Auerbach and toured with the Avett Brothers, and the two are still frequent collaborators. After fronting the band Cadillac Sky for a few years, he ventured out to record upbeat solo debut The Parade, his sweetly mournful, lightly nasal vocals set against ambling alt roots odes. Self-produced and released sophomore full-length Good Man Down dropped last April with help from a Kickstarter campaign that raised $18k (more than double his goal). He used the extra funds get adventurous, both in production and sound, bringing strings and horns into the mix, inviting a small but impressive roster of guests to join him (Seth Avett, Mayfield’s bluegrass guru Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and country rocker Dierks Bentley), and touching on easy-going ’70s-style country rock, barren dusty Old West Americana (like “Another Year” with its lovely yet eerie gospel-tinged vocal harmonies and outlaw appeal), and trippy cinematscopic roots rock, ala “Was It Only Me,” which builds from quietly slinking whirls of strings, acoustic guitar and vocals to an electrified, rocking and riffing conclusion. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

Leo Kottke
An acoustic guitar extraordinaire with expert finger-picking chops and nearly five decades of experience to draw upon, Kottke is that rare folk artist who compels with his instrumental mastery (on his signature pair of six- and 12-string Taylors) and the occasional deep crusty vocals. The stage is where he shines, however, his sets interspersed with plenty of stories, anecdotes and humor. Capitol Theatre is likely the best room in town to hear all the nuances of Kottke’s playing, with its impeccable acoustics and airy yet intimate atmosphere; might be why his 2010 stop at the venue sold out. Get yer tickets now. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band Yes, the band name is a little silly, but when you hear the music of Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band — nasty hip hop-informed funk with thick and grinding basslines, heavy grooving backbeats, and blasts of urgent trombone — and the cheeky turns their music takes (“The Booty Band has got your trunk fallin’ off”), it all makes a lot more sense. The Asheville five-piece incites hardcore booty shaking on their current tour supporting third and latest full-length Onward!. (Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin)

Gretchen Peters
The Club Jaeb concert series showcasing noteworthy roots artists opens the second half of its 2013-14 season with Gretchen Peters, a Nashville songstress who has writing credits for the likes of Martina McBride (her track “Independence Day” won a Best Country Song CMA for McBride in 1995), Trisha Yearwood, Neil Diamond, Etta James, Patty Loveless and Bryan Adams. The twangy folk material she’s kept for herself stretches over eight full-length solo LPs; the most recent was 2012’s Hello Cruel World. (Jaeb Theater at Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa)

Permanent Makeup Record Release w/Priests/Nude Tayne
We awarded Permanent Makeup a Best of the Bay award last year for their full-length debut of strident avant post-punk, The Void … It Creeps, because it fucking rocked our faces off. They’ve crashed and banged into 2014 with some fresh material on a 7” jointly released by New Granada Records and bassist Chris Nadeau’s own DIY label, No Clear Records — "Suggestion" on side A, "Gibbering, Slobbering" and "Die Kissinger" on side B. The 7 p.m. release show at Planet Retro is free, but you should bring a gas donation for dark, creepy female-fronted No Wave act Priests, from DC, and you should definitely bring some extra dough for a copy of the 7” and whatever ever other vinyl that might tickle your fancy. (Planet Retro, St. Petersburg)

Ska Goes Solo Tour w/Chris Demakes/ Ryan Eldred/Jay Tea Ska Goes Solo finds the frontmen of three reputable ska-punk bands — Chris DeMakes from Gainesville’s Less Than Jake, Ryan Eldred of New Jersey’s Catch 22, and Jay Tea from Arrogant Sons of Bitches out of New York — strip down to play solo acoustic style sets, coming together at the end to get skanky for a few tunes. No telling whether this tour will gain traction the way that The Revival Tour has for the punk/alt country circuit. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

Paul Geremia w/Belmont Jones Rural and folk blues troubadour Geremia hits town with his finger-picking chops (on six and twelve-string guitars), instrumental know-how (on harmonica and keys), mix of witand poignancy, and 10 albums worth of original tunes spanning more than four decades along with a hoard of covers by, among others, Jelly Roll Morton, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Charlie Patton. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

For a complete breakdown of concerts happening this week and beyond, click here to visit our music listings page.

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