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Pinellas popsmiths perform at Palladium

Bill DeYoung



Ed Woltil, left, and Kirk Adams. Facebook photos.

From the silver-lining-in-a-cloud file: In a weird way, Friday’s Palladium Side Door concert with Ed Woltil, Kirk Adams and their respective bands is a direct result of Covid-19’s arrival in town in 2020.

“I think the pandemic kind of brought us closer together,” explains Woltil, a veteran Tampa Bay singer/songwriter who has framed diplomas from several key bands of the new wave era, including the much-loved Ditchflowers. “It sort of landed at a time where we were becoming friendlier. We’d only done a couple of things together, and I always knew he was sympatico, influence-wise.”

Adams, who arrived here from South Florida in the late 1990s, is likewise a tunesmith with a finely-tuned early for melody, harmony and hook.

“The first couple years of pandemic times, Kirk and I would meet almost every week and have coffee at Black Crow,” Woltil says. “And just freely converse about everything. And we started doing some recordings together, collaborating in that way. We’re planning a project together – we have a pool of songs that we’ve just kinda started.”

Adams remembers when he first saw Woltil, at an in-the-round songwriter event at the Hideaway Cafe. He’d gone to see his friend Rebekah Pulley perform. “And I was like ‘Holy shit, who’s that guy?” Adams recalls. “He had such great sophistication to his music and yet a lot of sincerity. Often when people are clever, it doesn’t get the heart – but he really is a great songwriter.”

The Kirk Adams Band was a regular draw at numerous clubs – including the Hideaway.

“Because of the pandemic, a lot of things slowed down for me, business-wise,” Adams relates. “But like a lot of people, I got a new perspective on how I wanted to spend my time. So I’ve been concentrating more on doing the quality shows, and doing more original music. And it’s been great. I feel pretty good about it.”

The Hideaway became ground zero for the Kirk Adams Band’s “quality shows” (and remained so until it succumbed to the tsunami of rising rents in St. Pete and shut down last April). There, Adams was able to play deep-track material from each of his albums (he’s recorded five) and debut new songs in front of a devoted audience. “They didn’t have to come,” he marvels. “It wasn’t lost on me what an opportunity it was.”

At the same time, Woltil was concentrating on recording – he, too, has a sizeable discography – and producing in the studio for others. “With the technology now, it’s so easy to do production work wherever you are,” he says. “And I’m fortunate to know people who want to work with me in that way; and I can do my own work that way. I do love that work, but I’m not exactly ready to retire from live performance either.”

What he is ready to leave – for a while, anyway – is Florida. Six months ago, Woltil and his wife Laura bought an apartment in Madison, Wisconsin, in order to be near their daughter, son-in-law and twin granddaughters.

Their St. Pete house will soon go on the market.

The Woltils plan to stay in Madison for a year or so, and then see what happens.

“It’s funny,” Woltil says. “I have this song called ‘Everything Must Go,’ and I’ve been thinking a lot about it. This is not an ‘everything must go, say goodbye to Ed Woltil forever’ kind of thing. We still have a lot of family, friends, musical connections and all kinds here.

“But we like to travel. We’ll be coming and going quite a bit.”

Tickets and information available here.


The Ed Woltil Band

Ed Woltil – guitar, vocals

Steve Connelly – lead guitar

Rob Pastore – bass

Dave Hamar – drums

TJ Shaff – keyboards


The Kirk Adams Band

Kirk Adams – guitar, vocals

John Holt 3 – bass

Matt Walker – guitar

Joey Interrante drums

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