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Your weekend arts forecast: Boogie and/or woogie with Wainwright and Wirtz

Bill DeYoung



Savannah's Victor Wainwright plays the Palladium Friday. Photo provided.

Welcome to a relatively slooow late-summer weekend. Let’s not call these the Dog Days, however, because the things that are happening are anything but dog-like:

Victor Wainwright, from Savannah, is a blues, stroll and boogie woogie piano player whose roots go deep into the fertile soul of Southern music – R&B, soul, rock ‘n’ roll and da blooz. Wainwright and his explosive band, Train, perform Friday (Aug. 20) at the Palladium. This is electrified Americana at its most fraught and flavorful, a six-piece powerhouse, including Memphis horns.

Opening the 8 p.m. show will be Rev. Billy C. Wirtz, another piano man gifted with flying fingers and a deep-seated soulfulness. The Florida-based Wirtz, who got famous in the 1980s for his polysyllabic (ie using a lot of words, and using them fast and melodiously) tunes about rednecks and ‘rasslin, is also a musicologist with an encyclopedic knowledge of American roots music.

He is the host of Rhythm Revival on WMNF.

Tickets for the Friday concert are here.

And here’s the Right Reverend Wirtz on The Catalyst Sessions from July 2020:

The other stuff

Ward Smith

St. Pete comedian, actor and singer Ward Smith commands the Palladium stage Saturday, with an all-comedy revue featuring Mike “America’s Funniest Teacher” Rivera, Lou Angelwolf, Pat Largo and Aniera. Tickets are here.

Next week, Smith’s Off-Central Players debut with the dark comedy Rasheeda Speaking, at 2260 1st Avenue South. More on this in the Catalyst before the Aug. 27 opening.

Texas singer/songwriter Steve Earle, still an American music powerhouse, returns to Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre for an 8 p.m. show Sunday with his band the Dukes. Tickets are here.

Although there’s just a week or so left in the run of freeFall Theatre’s interactive walk-through show The Rose and the Beast, over at Tampa’s Straz Center Shout! The Mod Musical is in its very first Jaeb Theatre weekend. Read all about Shout! here.

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Steve Earle (center) and the Dukes are at the Capitol Theatre Sunday.

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