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Jay Cridlin, Pop Music/Culture Critic

Jay Cridlin

Jay Cridlin is the Pop Music/Culture Critic for the Tampa Bay Times and tbt*, and the editor of Soundcheck, a blog about music and concerts in Tampa Bay. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2002 and has been with the Times ever since.

Phone: (727) 893-8336


Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

Instagram: @cridlin

  1. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    "I didn't give up," he clarified afterward. "I've just been married for 21 years. How many of y'all are married? So you know what I'm talking about: She's the boss."

    Hill smiled and rolled her eyes the way spouses often do.

    "That's okay," she assured him. "It takes two."...

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  2. Paul Rodgers replacing ZZ Top on Ribfest 2017 lineup


    In looking to replace the ailing ZZ Top, Ribfest found some good company in Bad Company.

    Singer Paul Rodgers will headline the opening night of Ribfest 2017, Nov. 10 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. One of the great classic rock voices, he'll deliver hits from his bands Bad Company (Bad Company, Feel Like Makin' Love, Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy) and Free (All Right Now)....

    Paul Rodgers
  3. Review: Bruno Mars' charisma glitters like gold at Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Nothing in this world should be as easy as Bruno Mars makes it look. Not singing, not dancing, and certainly not playfully seducing more than 17,500 starry-eyed Tampa fans with one of pop music’s best bands at your back.

    But that’s Mars for you, barely 32 and perhaps unparalleled as pop’s do-it-all man of the millennium.

    Mars’ concert Thursday at Amalie Arena was about the 95th stop on his seemingly infinite 24K Magic World tour, and you better believe all that polish gleamed. On blazingly bright display at the center of his crisp, clean stage, Mars gave a wily, winking but never less than incandescent performance, earning those 24 karats in spades....

    Bruno Mars performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Oct. 19, 2017.
  4. In a world of pop queens, Bruno Mars is the king. He plays Tampa on Thursday

    Music & Concerts

    For a few years now, pop music has been completely and utterly dominated by women. Taylor! Beyoncé! Adele! Katy! Gaga! They're everywhere! And they're all goddesses, each and every one!

    Perhaps for that reason, we don't spend nearly as much time as we used to talking about the boys. Oh, sure, there's a lot of male talent near the top — Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Drake, Shawn Mendes, Sam Smith, the Weeknd — but few of these acts pop off the screen like their female counterparts. All the ladies may be YASS KWEENS, but who among these dudes carries himself like a king?...

    NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 22:  (Editorial Use Only) Bruno Mars performs onstage during Bruno Mars: 24K Magic World Tour at Madison Square Garden on September 22, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Atlantic Records)
  5. Tampa Bay concerts this weekend: Blues Traveler, Conor Oberst, Nick Fradiani and more

    Music & Concerts

    STILL HOOKED: Blues Traveler

    Blues Traveler's Run-Around is 23 years old. Even more amazingly, Blues Traveler just turned 30. Yes, John Popper and company really have been around that long, slinging their unique brand of harmonica pop to hordes of sack-hackin' hippies across the country. And aside from the 1999 death of founding bassist Bobby Sheehan and addition of a keyboardist a year later, their lineup has mostly stayed intact. Their 30th anniversary tour, which hits Jannus Live at 8 p.m. Friday, is a chance to relive their heydey on the H.O.R.D.E. Tour as Popper uncorks solo after solo on hits like Hook and But Anyway. Los Colognes open at 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 565-0550.

    Blues Traveler, performing 10/21 at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg.
  6. ZZ Top cancels 2017 tour, including Ribfest date in November


    Bad news, ZZ Top fans. Once again, the Eliminator is heading into the garage for repairs.

    For the fourth time in four years, the legendary Texas rock trio has postponed a Tampa Bay tour date due to illness on the part of bassist Dusty Hill. This time, it'll impact their Nov. 10 date headlining the opening night of Ribfest.

    Hill "is addressing a tummy ailment and is following a directive to lay low for the next few weeks," the band said in a statement. They do expect to resume heavy touring in 2018, leading up to a 50th anniversary celebration in 2019....

  7. Kenny Chesney coming to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    Used to be you could set your watch to a Kenny Chesney concert at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium.

    The tight-jeaned country superstar has played there plenty of times over the years, including a three-year stretch in 2011, 2012 and 2013. But he hasn't been back since, and five years is way too long a wait....

  8. Billy Joel coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa


    Do we Floridians even realize how good we have it when it comes to Billy Joel?

    There are cities and countries on the map that go years, even decades, without a tour stop from Joel. Meanwhile, he's good for a concert in Tampa (and Orlando, and South Florida) at least once every couple of years. The man has sold out Amalie Arena seven times, most recently in January 2016.

    Get ready to make it eight. The 68-year-old Piano Man will return to Amalie Arena on Feb. 9 for yet another concert of huge piano-pop hits. Tickets are $49.50 and up. Click here for details....

    Billy Joel last performed in Tampa in 2016.
  9. Michael McDonald talks writing with Kenny Loggins, retiring from the road and more


    The highlight of this year's Clearwater Jazz Holiday might be the Avett Brothers, or it might be Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, or it might be the one-two Motown combo of the Four Tops and the Temptations.

    But let's be honest: The biggest highlight will probably be the rare opportunity to see Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins perform together....

    Michael McDonald
  10. As Faith Hill and Tim McGraw come to Tampa, here's why their love fascinates and endures

    Music & Concerts

    Eight years ago, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill stood on the sidelines of Raymond James Stadium, waiting for Hill's cue to perform America the Beautiful before Super Bowl XLIII. He held her hand and they kissed as the Steelers, Cardinals and a television audience of 150 million waited in the wings.

    I couldn't tell you if any of this made it to air, though, because I didn't see it on TV. I was standing a few feet away, watching Hill and McGraw cuddle live....

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw perform during the “Soul2Soul” World Tour at Staples Center on July 14 in Los Angeles.
  11. Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins: Yacht rock paradise at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Music & Concerts

    Frosty wine coolers and a misty sunset sea breeze. White linen pants and a tilted captain's hat. Coconut milk and an awful lot of rum.

    Memories of the smooth, soft-rock '70s are thick with tantalizing pairings, some best left in the faded, crackling Polaroids of youth. But there's a doozy that's never quite left the public's favor, and honestly never should:

    Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins....

    Kenny Loggins performs during Little Kids Rock Benefit 2016 at Capitale on October 5, 2016 in New York City.
  12. Conor Oberst, Johnnyswim concerts moved out of State Theatre over construction issues


    Two more concerts -- including one this weekend -- have been moved out of the State Theatre in St. Petersburg as the venue continues to experience scaled-down crowd capacity following recent construction.

    Saturday's concert by Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Cursive's Tim Kasher has been moved to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. Tickets purchased for the old venue will be honored at the new; otherwise they're $30.50. Click here for details....

  13. SoundBytes: Kevin Hart, Anthrax, Darlene Love, Yandel and more


    -- Happy early New Year's Eve, everyone: Kevin Hart is bringing his "Irresponsible Tour" to Orlando's CFE Arena on Dec. 31. Tickets go on sale Friday. Click here.

    -- Speaking of Orlando: An enormous Puerto Rico hurricane relief benefit concert is happening there on Thursday, organized by reggaeton star Yandel. "Puerto Rico: Somos Uno" will take place at the Amway Center; artists tapped to appear include Alexis y Fido, Wisin, Zion y Lennox, Jerry Rivera, Nacho, Jencarlos Canela, Jowell y Randy and many more. Tickets are $25 and up. Click here....

  14. Reviews: Beck's 'Colors,' St. Vincent's 'Masseduction' thrive in vibrant, alternative pop worlds

    Music & Concerts

    Flash back, if you will, to Aug. 25, 2015, and one of the more unusual stops on Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour. That night in Los Angeles, Swift brought out guests St. Vincent and Beck to perform the latter's single Dreams.

    Swift probably respects both artists a lot. Maybe she liked the song, too. But there's no doubt she also hoped to earn critical cred by having two of alternative music's coolest, most creative polymaths collaborate live on her stage....

    St. Vincent attends the Special Escape Room Experience created by Spotify for St Vincent and their biggest fans to celebrate forthcoming album "Masseduction" on Oct. 4 in New York City.  (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Spotify)
  15. Review: Florida Georgia Line, Nelly cast off headlines, party all night at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


    The encore was really the point of it all. This was the part of Florida Georgia Line's sold-out concert Friday at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Amphitheatre where the duo was joined on stage by their unlikely tourmate Nelly, who performed his 2002 chart-topper Hot In Herre, followed by their collaborative pop-country behemoth Cruise to close the night.

    Naturally, 19,000 fans in cutoffs and snapbacks leaned in and howled along, emboldened by countless Bud and Corona tallboys. Which means that if anyone had any objection to the party up on the stage, it went totally unnoticed....

    Florida Georgia Line performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Oct. 13, 2017.