Top 6 Favorite Sarasota-Bradenton-Charlotte Concerts, Nov 25 – Dec. 1

Johnny rawls

Soul-blues musician Johnny Rawls continues to play local headlining dates before performing at the Bradenton Blues Festival next month, including at Centennial Park in Venice for a Friday night concert series. Rawls won the most recent two of his many Blues Music Award nominations earlier this year, nominated for Soul Blues Male Artist and Soul Blues Album for last year’s “Where Have All the Soul Men Gone”. Prior to this album and 2019’s “I Miss Otis Clay” paying homage to the late Blues Hall of Famer, Rawls released 2018’s “I’m Still Around”, which won the Soul Blues Album Blues Music Award. 7 p.m. on Friday; Centennial Park, 200 W. Venice Ave., Venice; free; 941-484-6722;

Have a weapon, will travel.

Have a weapon, will travel

Bradenton Americana Have Gun’s band Will Travel, who recently performed a “The Last Waltz” / National Independent Venue Association fundraising tribute concert at the Straz Center in Tampa, will perform a regional show at the Blue Rooster in Sarasota. The group are one of Sarasota-Manatee’s most acclaimed musical groups, earning NPR and No Depression articles, and appearing their songs on “The Good Wife” and “The Ranch” TV shows. Have Gun, Will Travel’s most recent studio album was “Strange Chemistry” of 2019 and also released the “Raw Materials: Home Demos” collection last year. 8 p.m. Friday; Le Coq Bleu, 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota; $ 15; 941-388-7539;

Ben Prestage.

Ben Prestage

The Blue Rooster’s live music lineup this weekend will also include solo group Ben Prestage, “Florida swamp blues and Deep South music”. Growing up in rural Florida, Prestage then lived in Memphis where he learned to play drums simultaneously while singing and playing other instruments as a street performer, a setup he would bring back in the Sunshine State. Although he is a favorite of the Florida blues circuit, he has also developed a national and international following, touring Europe in the past. 8 p.m. Saturday; Le Coq Bleu, 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota; $ 10; 941-388-7539;

Blues Backtrack Band.

Blues Backtrack Band

South Bradenton’s restaurant and food court, Cottonmouth, is once again hosting the Backtrack Blues Band for a show on its patio. Formed in 1980, the Tampa Bay-based Chicago-style blues group is still going strong four decades later, with the group performing at the San Diego Blues Festival earlier this year alongside names such as Larkin Poe and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. . Releasing their debut album “Dress It Up” in 1983, Backtrack Blues Band released their latest “Your Baby Has Left” last year. 7:30 p.m. Saturday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton; $ 10, $ 20 day of; 941-243-3735;

Gary Drouin.

Gary Drouin

Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille continues its Blues Brunch series, featuring a brunch menu and live music from artists of the genre, with this month’s episode starring Gary Drouin. (Mattison’s will also be hosting a Blues Brunch during the Bradenton Blues Festival.) Also known as “Guitar Gary,” the Sarasota blues guitarist has performed in bands such as the Memphis Rub Band and was part of the blues jam that started at the old Five O’Clock. Club in the 80s. Call the restaurant for reservations and visit their website to see the full brunch menu. 11:30 am Sunday; Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille, 101 Riverfront Blvd. # 120, Bradenton; 941-896-9660;

Dave Koz.

Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour

Winter holiday celebrations have now got off to a strong start, including the annual Christmas tour of smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, who is visiting this week. Koz released several Christmas albums during his career, including “December Makes Me Feel This Way” in 1997 and “A Smooth Jazz Christmas” in 2001, the latter of which earned him the first of his nine Grammy nominations. Koz is joined on this tour by guitarist / singer Jonathan Butler, trumpeter Rick Braun, saxophonist Richard Elliot and singer Rebecca Jade, performing Christmas classics as well as a Hanukkah medley. 8 p.m. Tuesday; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; $ 32 to $ 87; 941-263-6799;

If you are a local musician who 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.

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