Top 8 concert picks in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice and Englewood
This week will feature a diverse array of musical styles being performed live locally. Sure, there'll be plenty of the blues our area is known for hosting, including Billboard blues album chart-topping musicians as well as a free, three-day festival featuring some acclaimed names in the genre. Yet this week you'll also hear reggae, rock, pop, folk, and at least one musician whose sound defies categorization. A 16-time Grammy winner who's had a hand in some of the biggest songs in past decades across multiple genres is also among the musicians visiting our area. Here are this week's highlights. Event details are subject to change.
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Guitarist, singer-songwriter and former Anna Maria Island resident Damon Fowler returns to Manatee County this weekend to play Bradenton restaurant and venue Cottonmouth. Fowler recently released "Live at the Palladium," recorded at the St. Petersburg venue, and 2021's "Alafia Moon," which topped the Billboard blues album chart and earned a Blues Music Award nomination for Blues Rock Album. Along with his solo career, Fowler has played in the bands of founding Allman Brothers Band members Dickey Betts and the late Butch Trucks, and in the group Southern Hospitality with Grammy-nominated pianist Victor Wainwright and fellow Floridian J.P. Soars. 7 p.m. Friday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton; $12; 941-243-3735; facebook.com/cottonmouthsoul
Singer, writer and multimedia creator Joseph Keckler performs two nights joined by "an intimate musical ensemble" in The Ringling's Art of Performance series. Keckler has earned praise from publications including the New York Times, saying he "has the sensibility of a magician, a trickster’s dark humor and a formidable musical and literary erudition," and the Village Voice, which once named him "Best Downtown Performance Artist," while claiming the "title can't begin to do all Joseph Keckler's many talents justice." He also toured with Sleater-Kinney in 2019, with the indie-punk group citing him as an inspiration for their song "The Future is Here." 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota; $10-$35 (members save 10%); 941-359-5700; ringling.org
Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival
Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival will return to J.D. Hamel Park this weekend, offering three days of food, drink and live music, including some big names in the blues. South Florida guitarist/singer-songwriter J.P. Soars and his band the Red Hots, which earned four Blues Music Award nominations last year including Band of the Year and B.B. King Entertainer for Soars, are scheduled to play Sunday. Set to perform on Friday is Crystal Shawanda, a Canadian-born country singer who later switched to the blues and has won two Juno Awards, Canada's equivalent of the Grammys. 4-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday; J.D. Hamel Park, 199 Bayfront Drive, Sarasota; free admission; 941-487-8061; paragonfestivals.com
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Steve Forbert returns to Fogartyville this weekend. Forbert rose to fame in the late '70s, including his 1979 album "Jackrabbit Slim" and its piano-driven No. 11 hit "Romeo's Tune," which has been recorded by other musicians including Keith Urban. Forbert earned a Traditional Folk Album Grammy nomination for his 2002 full-length “Any Old Time,” paying tribute to country pioneer Jimmie Rodgers, and most recently released last year's album "Moving Through America." 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show Saturday; Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota; $30, $27 members, $15 students ages 13 and up; 941-894-6469; fogartyville.org
Fayuca, Jakob Nowell, Jason DeVore, Neverless
St. Pete Tacos & Tequila Festival presents this concert featuring four reggae and rock acts at Bradenton's Oscura. Phoenix reggae-rockers Fayuca perform along with Jakob Nowell, son of the late Sublime frontman Bradley Nowell; Jason DeVore, frontman for Arizona punk band Authority Zero; and Sarasota's own Neverless. Food truck Smokin Momma Lora's will be on-site serving tacos, and attendees will be entered into a raffle to win a signed copy of "The House That Bradley Built," an acoustic compilation featuring Fayuca, Nowell and DeVore, among others. 7 p.m. Tuesday; Oscura, 816 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton; $20 advance, $25 day of; 941-201-4950; facebook.com/oscuralive
Troll Music's live music lineup this week will include multi-instrumentalist and composer Rachel Flowers. Born 15 weeks prematurely and permanently blind, Flowers began picking up melodies from her musician parents at two years old and started playing by ear soon after, with her life story chronicled in the 2017 documentary "Hearing is Believing." Flowers has released albums including 2021's "Bigger on the Inside," with a sound that blends such genres as jazz and progressive rock, and befriended other musicians including Cuban jazz artist Arturo Sandoval and the late Keith Emerson of progressive rock group Emerson, Lake & Palmer fame. 8 p.m. Wednesday; Troll Music, 628 E. Venice Ave., Venice; $30; 941-484-8765; trollmusic.com
David Foster and Katharine McPhee
Married musical couple David Foster and Katharine McPhee will perform together in a concert at Van Wezel. Foster is a 16-time Grammy-winning musician, composer and producer involved in some of the best-known songs of the '80s and '90s, producing hits including Whitney Houston's rendition of "I Will Always Love You" and Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" and co-writing tracks like Chicago's "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" and "You're the Inspiration." Meanwhile, McPhee rose to fame after coming in second place on "American Idol" season five, continuing to both sing and appear onscreen on TV shows such as "Smash" and "Scorpion." 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; sold out; 941-263-6799; vanwezel.org
Ghost Town Blues Band
Memphis blues-rockers Ghost Town Blues Band play their first of two dates at Englewoods on Dearborn (the next show takes place a week later on Feb. 9.) The group topped the Billboard blues album chart with their 2019 full-length "Shine," but draw their sound from a variety of genres fitting their home city's rich musical history, including a "hip-hop trombone player." One of the group's self-professed influences is the Allman Brothers Band, with their 2018 live album "Backstage Pass" featuring a cover of the ABB classic "Whipping Post" as well as the Beatles' "Come Together." 6 p.m. Thursday; Englewoods on Dearborn, 362 W. Dearborn St., Englewood; $10; 941-475-7501; englewoodsondearborn.com
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This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Best live music concerts near me in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice