Top 6 concert picks for Sarasota-Bradenton-Charlotte: Feb. 3-9

·4 min read
Sean Chambers.
Sean Chambers.

Sean Chambers

Sarasota restaurant and blues venue The Blue Rooster's live music lineup this week features Sean Chambers. The Florida blues rock guitarist and singer-songwriter last year released the full-length "That's What I'm Talkin About: Tribute to Hubert Sumlin," with Chambers spending years in the legendary Chicago blues musician Sumlin's group as a bandleader and guitarist. Chambers continued on to a successful solo career, with "That's What I'm Talkin About" and his previous 2018 full-length "Welcome to My Blues" both cracking the Top 10 on Billboard's blues albums chart. 8 p.m. Friday; The Blue Rooster, 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota; $15; 941-388-7539; blueroostersrq.com

Ben Prestage.
Ben Prestage.

Bradenton Cigar Box Guitar Festival

Bradenton's Village of the Arts neighborhood hosts this festival showcasing the titular instrument, with live music at restaurants Cottonmouth, Ortygia and Birdrock Taco Shack, as well as Downtown Bradenton Public Market. Ben Prestage, a self-described "Florida swamp blues" musician and one-man band who can play multiple instruments including the cigar box guitar, will perform along with other artists such as Steve Arvey, the Bradenton-based bluesman and skilled cigar box guitarist. Other musicians playing the event include Stumpy Joe, Memphis Lightning, Kristine Jackson, Meg Williams, Travis Bowlin, Devin Neel and Mark LeClair. Friday-Sunday; Village of the Arts, 1227 12th St W, Bradenton; prices vary (some events ticketed); facebook.com/americancbg

John Ford.
John Ford.

John Ford

After recently playing Bradenton's Cottonmouth and Sarasota's J.R.'s Old Packinghouse Cafe, Cincinnati singer-songwriter John Ford visits multiple other Sarasota-Manatee venues this weekend. Ford describes his sound as a blend of the blues of the 1920s and 1930s, Robert Johnson and Son House, a bit of 1940s country and a pinch of gospel rhythm. 7 p.m. Friday; Troll Music, 628 E. Venice Ave., Venice; 941-484-8765; trollmusic.com; Noon Saturday; Stottlemyer's Smokehouse, 19 E. Road, Sarasota; 941-312-5969; stottlemyerssmokehouse.com; 7 p.m. Saturday; Bunny & Pirates Bazaar, 12404 Cortez Road W., Cortez; 941-281-2582; bunnyandpirates.com; Noon Sunday; Pesto, 8799 Cortez Road W., Bradenton; 941-201-4167; pestoflorida.com

Ghost Town Blues Band.
Ghost Town Blues Band.

Ghost Town Blues Band

Celtic Ray's live music schedule this week includes Memphis' Ghost Town Blues Band, who visit the Irish pub and venue while touring Florida. The band topped the Billboard blues album chart with their latest release, 2019's "Shine," but draws their sound from a variety of genres, 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." 9 p.m. Saturday; Celtic Ray Public House, 145 E. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda; 941-916-9115; celticray.net

Selwyn Birchwood.
Selwyn Birchwood.

Giving Hunger the Blues

The annual music festival and fundraiser for Mayors' Feed the Hungry Program returns this year, taking place at Nathan Benderson Park with a lineup including two of Florida's most acclaimed blues artists. Selwyn Birchwood, who's signed to Alligator Records and released the Billboard blues album chart-topping full-length "Living in a Burning House" on the renowned label last year, performs along with fellow Blues Music Award winner Albert Castiglia. The lineup also includes Big Night Out, Jeremy Carter Quartet, Frankie Pineiro & The Cole Hazlitt Quintet, Ariella, Panama Drive and Fogt's Music All-Stars. 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday; Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota; $25 advance, $35 day of, $100 VIP; facebook.com/givinghungertheblues

Valerie Simpson.
Valerie Simpson.

A Tribute to Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul

This show paying homage to the late legendary singer Aretha Franklin features a variety of jazz, gospel and soul musicians, including ones with ties to the Queen of Soul. That includes Grammy-nominated and Songwriters Hall of Fame-inducted performer Valerie Simpson, who along with her late husband Nickolas Ashford penned tracks such as "You're All I Need to Get By" and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" that were recorded by Franklin (and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell before her.) She'll be joined by Damien Sneed, a musician, vocalist and composer who toured with Franklin. 8 p.m. Wednesday; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; $37-$77; 941-263-6799; vanwezel.org

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This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Top 6 Sarasota-Bradenton-Charlotte concert picks, Feb. 3-9