Top 8 Favorite Sarasota-Bradenton-Charlotte Concerts, Oct 28-Nov 3
After playing the Blues Appetizer concert at last year’s Bradenton Blues Festival, Crystal Shawanda will be returning to the area for a headlining show at Englewoods on Dearborn. A native of Canada, Shawanda has won two Juno Awards – the national equivalent of the Grammys – and received numerous nominations including Indigenous Music Album, Country Recording and New Artist of the Year. She first rose to prominence as a country musician in the late 2000s before switching to the blues, winning her second Juno Award that year for her album “Church House Blues”. 7 p.m. Thursday, October 28; Englewoods on Dearborn, 362 W. Dearborn St., Englewood; $ 7; 941-475-7501; englewoodsondearborn.com
The Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center’s concert season continues as they welcome Time Sawyer from North Carolina. The band has a modern folk-rock sound reminiscent of North Carolina band The Avett Brothers, with a bit of bluegrass for good measure. Receive praise from outlets such as No depression and Huffington Post, and having performed at festivals such as MerleFest and FloydFest, the band’s most recent full-length album is â€œMountain Howdyâ€ of 2019. 8pm Thursday; Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota; $ 18, $ 15 for members, $ 9 for students $ 13 and over, virtual stream $ 10; 941-894-6469; Fogartyville.org
JP Soars and the Red Hots
South Florida guitarist and singer-songwriter JP Soars will perform at the Charlotte County Irish Pub and Celtic Ray Public House this week. Soars, who was nominated for the Contemporary Blues Male Artist Blues Music Award earlier this year, recently released the feature film “Let Go of the Reins” produced by Tab Benoit in 2019, its follow-up to “Southbound I-95” by 2018. Alongside his solo career, he also performed in the Southern Hospitality supergroup with Grammy-nominated pianist Victor Wainwright and compatriot Floridian Damon Fowler. 9 p.m. Friday; Celtic Ray Public House, 145 E. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda; 941-916-9115; celticray.net
Big Al and the heavyweights
Louisiana blues group Big Al and the Heavyweights will be heading to Bradenton Southern Restaurant and Food Court in Cottonmouth this week. The group is led by “Big Al” Lauro, who performed in the 90s with Warren Haynes of The Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule as an unknown blues group. Big Al and the Heavyweights often pay homage to their Louisiana home on their records, including tracks like “Cajun Roux” and “Hey, Hey Mardi Gras”, most recently released in 2018’s “World Full of Trouble”. 7:30 p.m. Friday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton; $ 10 up front, $ 15 per day; 941-243-3735; facebook.com/cotonmouthsoul
The Blue Rooster of Sarasota, which hosts performances by national and local blues artists, is slated to host Castro â€œMr. Sippâ€ Coleman, also known as â€œThe Mississippi Blues Childâ€ and who has released his new album â€œSippnotized “earlier this year. A beginner in gospel, Coleman then successfully moved on to blues, with the guitarist and singer-songwriter winning the Best Band Award and the Gibson Guitar Award at the Memphis’ International Blues Challenge in 2014 and winning the Best New Artist Debut award. Blues Music in 2016. Residents of Sarasota-Manatee may also remember the artist from his prominent place at the Bradenton Blues Festival in 2018. 8 pm Saturday; Le Coq Bleu, 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota; $ 20; 941-388-7539; blueroostersrq.com
Apple butter express
Cottonmouth is also set to host The Applebutter Express this weekend, a group with local ties and national audiences. The self-proclaimed “ukulele funk” group includes married couple Kyle and Shannon Biss, who met at a Bradenton record store in the 2000s. The group was selected to perform at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in 2012 and featured her song “Hey My Brotha” in Reese Witherspoon’s movie “The Good Lie”. 7:30 p.m. Saturday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton; $ 10 up front, $ 15 per day; 941-243-3735; facebook.com/cotonmouthsoul
Celtic Ray Public House’s live music lineup this week also includes bluesman Frank “Bang” Blinkal. The performer started out in the blues hub of Chicago, working at Buddy Guy’s Legends club before joining the blues legend’s band as a touring guitarist for five years. These days he’s a frontman himself, having released albums such as “The Blues Don’t Care” in 2016 under the name Frank Bang & The Cook County Kings. 9 p.m. Saturday; Celtic Ray Public House, 145 E. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda; 941-916-9115; celticray.net
Guitarist, singer-songwriter and former Anna Maria Island resident Damon Fowler (aka â€œDemon Howlerâ€ to get into the Halloween spirit), plays Big Top Brewing Company for his Blues & Brews series. Fowler scored a No. 1 Billboard blues album with this year’s feature â€œAlafia Moonâ€, taking its name from the Alafia River in Hillsborough County, near where he now lives. In addition to Southern Hospitality, Fowler also performed in the groups of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band, Dickey Betts and Butch Trucks. 3 p.m. Sunday; Big Top Brewing Company at Cock & Bull, 975 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota; 941-371-2939; bigtopbrewing.com
If you are a local musician and would like to be considered for this list, please send an email to [email protected] with your event information at least a week in advance. Show times are subject to change; check sites / pages in advance to confirm or for questions about COVID-19 protocols.
Email entertainment reporter Jimmy Geurts at [email protected]. Support local journalism by subscribing.