Cigar City Funk & Blues

Posted by admin on May 16th, 2012 filed in batman, photography, travel

I spent last Saturday at the Tropical Heatwave festival in Ybor City and have been wanting to share the experience. I hadn’t even heard of the festival until a couple weeks ago, but my new favorite blues partner recommended it and, happily, a friend who’s attended Tropical Heatwave for over 20 years had some extra tickets available (Thanks Charlie!).

We arrived a little late, but still with plenty of time to exhaust ourselves dancing. Though there were few swing-danceable shows, blues dancing is pretty versatile and works for rock, funk, blues and hip-hop tunes, so we started at the Cuban Club, dancing to Beebs and Her Moneymakers (GREAT funk/hip-hop group). There wasn’t much room to work with, but we danced each song until we needed a water break and breather on the balcony.

After Beebs left the stage, we took a minute to do a shoot with Batman:

 then moved downstairs to check out Lipbone Redding and the Lipbone Orchestra (folk/blues/soul) while waiting on the next band – Rocket 88 (rockabilly) – to set up.

Rocket 88 was a great show, but too fast to dance to. The Lipbone show, however, was a favorite for the night. It was perfect music for bluesing, the venue had a great dance floor and it wasn’t too crowded. Plus, we received some unique compliments I won’t soon forget.

Following those shows, we wandered around a while in search of food and other bands, then took a shortcut through the Scientology Tampa HQ campus, ending up at the New World Brewery where we found Greenland is Melting (punk/folk/bluegrass). I could have listened to them all night, but there was nowhere to dance! We even tried wandering back out to the sidewalk to find a better surface, but when that didn’t quite work, we moved on.

We stopped for more eats at the Stone Soup Company, then backtracked to the Ritz where we visited their Sideroom to see the Infinite Groove Orchestra, while waiting for the main act to start. Though the Sideroom was carpeted, there was plenty of room to dance (as long as you stayed behind the group of dancing hippies) and we thoroughly enjoyed bluesin’ to the work of their talented musicians (esp. the sax and upright bass players). Even picked up some pics of Batman:

Switching to the main room, we claimed a spot up front, just to the right of the stage, by the speakers and security guards. I had never hear of JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound (soul from Chicago), but they put on a fantastic, energetic, funky show and I’ll be seeking them out again soon.

Infinite thanks to Will for all the WONDERFUL dancing. Looking forward to attending the festival again next year!

One Response to “Cigar City Funk & Blues”

  1. Jim Says:

    I love your blog posts. You are so funny and free. And, Batman always adds a special dimension.
    Your biggest fan:-)

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