Circus comes to town

Plus: Vagabond Swing, Black Tusk and more ...

click to enlarge Vagabond Swing - Geoff J. Johnson
Geoff J. Johnson
Vagabond Swing

THURS 15

Blueprint w/S.K.I.P./B.C./Prince Golden The last time Blueprint was in the area, he opened for his Rhymsayers labelmates Atmosphere in Orlando, but delivered a great set that could've easily been a headliner's. So it's not surprising to see him now taking the lead spot on a five-date mini-tour through the Sunshine State. Lyrically, Blueprint is on point, but it's his experimental, synth-laden beats (which he produces himself) that really set him apart. His Orlando performance was refreshingly musical for a hip hop show; he played with a live bassist and rocked a keytar himself for most of the songs. Hopefully this tour offers more of the same. (Orpheum, Ybor City) —Christopher Spata

Judy Collins & Arlo Guthrie: Home for the Holidays Two celebrated folk music icons/veteran social activists unite for a "Home for the Holidays" tour. Judy Collins celebrated the 50th anniversary of her debut, Maid of Constant Sorrow, this year, and also issued a brand new record, Bohemian, comprised of her classy songbird interpretations of material by artists ranging from Shawn Colvin to Joni Mitchell. Arlo Guthrie, son of Woody, is best known for his narrative style and 18-minute ode, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree," and has released a few dozen albums over his 44-year career. Both artists perform selections from their respective repertoires and join each other for a couple of numbers as well. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

Fedde Le Grand The Dutch DJ/producer became an overnight sensation on the electronic music scene with his 2006 hit "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit," and continued on with a string of remixes that cemented his spot as one of the top house DJs in the world. He's beloved by the "handbag house" crowd (a subgenre that takes its name from groups of girls dancing around a pile of their purses on the dance floor), and produces uplifting, vocal house music full of big electro crescendos. A perfect example: 2011's "So Much Love," which overflows with sparkling good vibes. (Amphitheatre, Ybor City) —CS

Vagabond Swing w/The Jim Morey Band Direct from Lafayette, La., Vagabond Swing dishes out a progressive and idiosyncratic mix of jazz, folk, bluegrass, ska/punk, gypsy swing, Latin and Afrobeat that's imbued with an experimental circus rock vibe. Their first record, 2011's Soundtrack to an Untimely Death, is marked by wailing trumpet drama, percussive-intense rhythmic drive, bouncy acoustic bass grooves, gruff and booming vocals, mandolin and violin melodies, some programming embellishments, and a little exotic melodica. The septet is known for staging vibrant and energetic live shows. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

FRI 16

The Chariot w/Vanna/Former Thieves/The Greenery/Listener Atlanta-based outfit The Chariot combines elements of metal, mathcore, hardcore punk and post-hardcore into an aggressive brew. The band has been through a dozen or so lineup changes since its inception in 2003; currently, lead vocalist Josh Scogin is the only original member. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

Little High Little Low w/Redfeather/Hunter and Avery/Halibut Ramblin' Rose presents a night of Florida folk-infused music headed up by Little High Little Low, a Gainesville bluegrass-leaning five-piece, along with psyche-roots duo Redfeather, saccharine-soulful Hunter and Avery, and purveyors of sweetly poignant folk-pop, Halibut. (Ramblin' Rose Upcycle, St. Petersburg)

We Are Defiance w/Tom Denny/My Ticket Home/Wolves Among Men/many more Ocala metalcore outfit We Are Defiance is celebrating the release of their debut, Trust in Few, in March wia Tragic Hero Records with production assistance by Tom Denney (formerly of A Day to Remember). Like acts support. (Transitions Art Gallery @ Skatepark of Tampa)

Thomas Wynn & The Believers w/Davin McCoy & The Coming Attractions The ruggedly soulful Southern classic rock power of Orlando's blazing jammy six-piece, Thomas Wynn & The Believers, is built upon the chemistry of Wynn and sister Olivia, his lower rasping drawl a great compliment to her throaty-sweet gospel-tinged harmonies. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

Woody Pines If there's ever a good time to use the word "hootenanny," this has to be it, as Woody Pines combines rockabilly, country blues and folk into a swinging, high-energy sound that feels old, but not outdated. The band includes upright bassist Zach Pozenbanchuck, Lyon Graulty playing clarinet and guitar, drummer Mike Gray, and Woody on guitar, harmonica and vocals. (Ella's Americana Folk Art Café, Tampa) —CS

Dar Williams w/Jill Sobule Acclaimed singer-songwriter Dar Williams hits town on the precipice of the release of her newest album, In the Time of Gods, due out via Razor & Tie in April. The guitar-strumming chanteuse grew up with an interest in mythology; her own collection of songs offers a modern twist on stories about gods, monsters and heroes, looking deeply at where and how they fit into contemporary society. "You look at these stories from 3,000 years ago and realize the same crap is going on today," Williams laughed in a recent interview with CL. Lyrically intelligent, introspective and often wittily poignant, Williams, who has been recording music since the mid-'90s, pairs her words with gorgeous melodies. And she promises to rely heavily on her vast array of material at her concert in Clearwater. Read the complete interview with Williams at cltampa.com/music. (Capitol Theatre, St. Petersburg) —Tiffany Razzano