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Your weekend arts forecast: Alison Krauss, Randy Rainbow, TFO Pops

Bill DeYoung



Alison Krauss has 27 Grammy Awards, more than any other female artist. Photo: Capitol Records.

Alison Krauss is back among us Sunday, without her longtime band Union Station, headlining the fourth and final day of the 2019 Clearwater Jazz Holiday (which is, clearly, about more than jazz) at Coachman Park.

Alison Krauss has 27 Grammy Awards – the most of any female artist, of any genre, in history.

More than two decades after the Illinois fiddler player with the angelic soprano became the darling of bluegrass, then country, then what came to be known as Americana, she remains a peerless artist.

She played an enormous role in the across-the-board success of the mountain-music soundtrack to the Coen Brothers’ film O Brother Where Art Thou.

You might also remember that Krauss made a best-selling duet album, Raising Sand, with Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant in 2007. She’s worked with pop artists as diverse as Sting, Phish and Taylor Swift.

Krauss, who just came off a cross-country tour with Willie Nelson, has a seven-piece band (not called Union Station) this time out. According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, in a review of her Little Rock show Oct. 9, the band included acoustic guitar, electric guitar, acoustic and electric bass, banjo, mandolin, drums, dobro and piano.

No, the great dobro player Jerry Douglas is not with her on this go-round.

The set, it was reported, consisted of songs from throughout her illustrious career, including “The Lucky One,” “Sawing on the Strings,” “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You,” “When You Say Nothing at All” and “Down to the River to Pray.” She covered Nelson’s “Angel Flying too Close to the Ground” and the John Hartford chestnut “Gentle on My Mind.”

Krauss’ most recent album, the decidedly retro-country Windy City, was released in 2017.

There are, of course, other headliners at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, including Chicago (or what’s left of Chicago), Blood, Sweat & Tears (don’t get me started), Boyz II Men, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Marcia Ball and the Soul Rebels. Krauss’ opening act, on Sunday, is the Yonder Mountain String Band.

There’s even a few jazz artists in the lineup. The festival begins today (Oct. 17). Details and tickets are here.

Randy Rainbow

The Rainbow connection

Randy Rainbow, who visits the Mahaffey Theater Saturday, is one of the hottest commodities in musical satire at the moment. His platform is YouTube, where millions regularly check out his blistering mock-interviews with politicians, celebrities and others who find themselves in the news for one reason or another. He is – well, let’s just say it – one of the current administration’s most consistent (and hilarious) critics. Rainbow’s “interviews,” notably, turn into elaborate parodies of musical theater numbers.

“Now that I’m on tour and I’m traveling the country, I’m getting to hear firsthand from people what they’re taking from the videos,” the Emmy-nominated commentator told CNN. “And I understand how cathartic they are for people … I think it’s testament to how healing and important, especially in times like this, humor is.”

More info, and tickets, located here.

Pops in the Park

Pops in the Park

Without question, the top free event of this October weekend is Saturday’s pops concert in Vinoy Park (Top o’ the Pops?). The Florida Orchestra, under the baton of Daniel Black, performs at 7 p.m. Donations of canned good for Tampa Bay Harvest are requested (but not required). Fireworks o’er the bay will follow the concert.

Early arrivals are recommended, as the seats tend to fill up fast. Pre-concert festivities begin at 5 p.m. TFO has thoughtfully arranged a continuous open-air shuttle (with wheelchair lift) between the Sundial parking garage and the park, free, from 5 to 10 p.m. Here’s a handy map of the shuttle route and all its stops.

The concert re-appears at 7 p.m. Sunday at River Tower Park in Tampa (sans the pyrotechnics).



In the theater

The serio-comedy Vietgone continues at American stage, as does the ghostly The Turn of the Screw at freeFall. The St. Petersburg Opera Company is at the Palladium Friday and Sunday (and Tuesday the 22nd) with The Merry Widow. FYI, the cast of that orchestrated operetta includes, among the national and regional opera singers, Tampa Bay’s favorite comic actor/singer (and sometime drag performer) Matthew McGee. Just thought you’d want to know that.

And now, this

The Johns Pass Seafood & Music Festival is back for three days of fun and flounder Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This beach-town family tradition (opening bell is 3 p.m. Friday) includes arts and crafts vendors, food trucks and vendors, live music from local performers, a 5K and more. Organizers estimated 225,000 visitors in 2018. Info is here.

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s 5th annual SHINE Mural Festival officially begins Friday, with more than 30 artists – local, regional, national and international – creating new wall-works all over the city, in eight days. We wrote about SHINE here and here this week, and will have more – much more – coverage in the coming days.

The Tampa Bay Latin Film Festival opens with a reception and preview Friday at the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art. Screenings are pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday, at the AMC Sundial theaters, with an awards ceremony scheduled for Saturday night at the Gilbert Chapel Gallery. We’ll have more on this important event Friday in the Catalyst; for now, here’s the website with all information on the screenings and special guests.

The Morean Arts Center (719 Central) is throwing a fundraising bash Saturday, from 7 to 10 p.m. Considered by the Arts Alliance as an official SHINE-week event, Burn: Morean Street Party will take over 7th Street (that’s the outdoor part), the Chihuly Collection, Morean Glass Studio and the arts center itself. Here’s the deal: Live music, food trucks, body painting, fire dancing, artist demonstrations (including glassblowing, in the dark no less), interactive art creations by “street-style” artists BASK, JUJMO, Daniel Lloyd-Miller and Kodi Thompson and more. Tickets start at $50 here.

  • Are you a performing arts space, large, small or in-between, an art gallery, a bookshop or any place where public cultural events take place? Please put us on your email list – we can’t publicize you if we don’t know what (or who) you are! The address is bill@stpetecatalyst.com. Thanks!
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