CL Interview: Lauris Vidal, the Citrus Circuit Tour.

Vidal has been doing the solo musician thing full time for the past few years. Recently, after a gig with a few other Florida area bands, Vidal came up with an idea to pool their energies and tap into new audiences — create a Florida circuit to celebrate and draw attention to the state’s original and diverse musical culture.

And thus the Citrus Circuit Tour was born. The participating bands share rides and gear, and each hosts the others in their respective home towns. Have Gun Will Travel headlines in Tampa with Vidal, The Takers, and Truckstop Coffee providing support.

Vidal has a pretty positive outlook for a musician working the regional angle, not necessarily an easy feat. “I think you just can’t lose your hunger. And the grass is not greener. It can’t get more green and lush than it is here, on so many levels.”

The show takes place this Saturday, June 27, 9 p.m., at New World Brewery, Ybor City, $7 (21 and up).

Musicians tend to disparage their local music scenes, but when it comes to Florida, neo-folk troubadour Lauris Vidal (pictured, photo by Charles Brewer III) says they likely don’t know how good they’ve got it. He didn’t. The 31-year-old Daytona-based musician (who plays guitar, tenor banjo, lap steel and a ukulele he crafted from a banjo neck and cigar box) grew up here, but spent five years performing for DC’s thankless audiences. “It was so cold and closed in DC, and you had to work so hard for no appreciation at all,” he told me during a recent phone coversation.

While the Sunshine State may seem like a cultural dead end, Vidal says Floridians are generally open to original music, including his own brand of shambling, Southern gothic-tinged roots. “Coming back here and playing and having people of all ages really appreciate it, and show it, felt amazing. It’s one of the reasons why I want to work so hard in Florida and help Florida’s national reputation.”


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