Looking for live music? Here are some of my best bets for touring bands, original tunes, big acts and otherwise cool shows this December in Southwest Florida. I’ll add more as venues announce new shows.
This list focuses mostly on original music and interesting concerts. Check individual venues for cover bands and other shows.
- Every Sunday:Songwriters Circle, weekly event where local songwriters get together, perform their original songs and get feedback from the group. Anyone is welcome. Just bring your guitar! 2-5 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 1: Mare Wakefield and Nomad, the duo performs story songs that explore “hope, heartbreak and barroom brawls,” accompanied by piano and accordion. Karen Cohen opens. 7-9:30 p.m. $10-$15.
- Dec. 11: Songwriters on the Plaza, monthly outdoor acoustic concert in the downtown Fort Myers library’s Cornog Plaza. The December lineup features local songwriters Kim Mayfield, Andy Getch and Bob Williams. 6-7:30 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 13: Songwriters at Sunset, monthly outdoor acoustic concert in the large beach gazebo at Lovers Key State Park. The December lineup features local songwriters Houseboat Jim, Bill Steel and Keith Parker. 3:30 p.m. Free.
The Americana Community Music Association Listening Room inside All Faiths Unitarian Church, 2756 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. americanacma.org
ALLIANCE FOR THE ARTS
- Dec. 16: Bluegrass in the Theater, join fellow acoustic-music lovers in the Foulds Theatre for three hours of live music by bands from Southwest Florida and beyond. The December lineup features Paddle Faster, Captain Joe & the Bottom Feeders and Hwy41. Presented in partnership with the Acoustic Music Society of Southwest Florida. 2 p.m. $15.
Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. 939-2787 or artinlee.org
- Dec. 9: Mannheim Steamroller, the ever-popular classical rock act returns to Artis-Naples for its second show in two months. They’ll be joined by Herb Alpert and Lani Hall. 7 p.m. $69-$99. This show is close to selling out.
Artis-Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. 597-1111 or artisnaples.org
BARBARA B. MANN PERFORMING ARTS HALL
- Dec. 7: Home Free, the YouTube stars and chart-topping vocal group performs a holiday concert called “A Country Christmas.” 7:30 p.m. $20-$50.
- Dec. 13: Chris Isaak, the pop singer brings his holiday tour to Fort Myers. 7:30 p.m. $45-$67.
- Dec. 15: Kenny G, the pop-jazz superstar brings his saxophone and his “The Miracles Holiday & Hits Tour” to Fort Myers. 8 p.m. $39-$99.
- Dec. 16: “The Midtown Men Holiday Hits”: The Midtown Men features four stars from the original Broadway production of “Jersey Boys,” the musical based on the life and music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They return to Gulf Coast Symphony for this show featuring holiday songs and stories, plus their renditions of 60s’ hits by The Beatles, The Temptations, The Four Seasons and more. 7 p.m. $29-$85.
- Dec. 19: Celtic Thunder, the popular theatrical Irish singing group performs. 7:30 p.m. $41-$94.
Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall, 13350 FSW Parkway, south Fort Myers. 481-4849 or bbmannpah.com
THE BARREL ROOM
- Every Sunday: Joe Delaney & Don Mopsick, the jazz duo performs every Sunday for The Barrel Room’s Jazz Brunch. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free.
- Every Thursday: The Dan Miller & Lew Del Gatto Quartet, featuring trumpeter Miller (who has toured and recorded with Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis and more) and saxman Del Gatto (formerly of the Saturday Night Live band) playing jazz every week in this local quartet. 7-10 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 8: Biscuit Miller and The Mix, Indianapolis blues-funk-soul act led by two-time Blues Music Award-winning bassist Biscuit Miller. 9 p.m. $10.
- Dec. 15: Rockin’ Jake Band, blues, funk and zydeco act from Southeast Florida featuring Rockin’ Jake on harmonica and vocals. 10 p.m. $5.
- Dec. 21: Mark Telesca, West Palm Beach blues singer, guitarist and bassist known for expressive musicianship and storytelling lyrics. 9 p.m. $5.
- Dec. 22: TC Carr & The Bolts of Blue, Tampa Bay blues singer/harmonica player and his band. Carr is known for his accomplished, unique harmonica style.. 9 p.m. $5.
- Dec. 28: Selwyn Birchwood, Tampa bluesman known for fiery guitar playing and soulful singing. He won the world-renowned International Blues Challenge in 2013. 9 p.m. $10.
- Dec. 29: Ari and the Alibis, Grammy Award-nominated Sarasota jazz/funk/soul fusion five-piece led by singer Ari McManus. 9 p.m. $5.
The Barrel Room at Twisted Vine Bistro, 2214 Bay St., Fort Myers. 333-2225 or barrelroomfortmyers.com
- Dec. 21: Group show, rock concert featuring local acts The Freecoasters, Feeled Trip, The Kyle Anne Band and The Camaros. 8 p.m. to midnight. Free.
Beach Records, 16120 San Carlos Blvd., Unit 10, south Fort Myers. 878-7806 or facebook.com/BeachRecords
- Dec. 3-4, Swampcandy, Maryland duo that plays what it calls “pig drinkin’, whiskey eatin’, foot clappin’, hand stompin’ American music.” Their sound is influenced, they say, by everything “from Robert Johnson to Radiohead,” along with primitive blues, pre-war folk sounds, field hollers, gypsy jazz and ragtime. 7 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26: Scotty Bryan, local trop-rock singer/guitarist who plays obscure Jimmy Buffett tunes, other trop-rock covers and his own originals. 6:30 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 7: Marty Stokes Band, local band known for its raw, ferocious blues power. 7:30 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 8, 15 and 29: Brother Love, local blues band that plays covers and originals. 7 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 14 and 28: Mike Imbasciani and his BluezRockers, the young Southwest Florida bluesman has been singing and playing guitar professionally since age 5. 7:30 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 20: Deb & The Dynamics, popular and long-running local blues and soul band. 7:30 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 21 and 27: Kate Keys Band, Englewood rock/blues band that plays covers and some originals. 7:30 p.m. Free.
Bert’s Bar & Grill, 4271 Pine Island Road, Matlacha. 282-3232 or bertsbar.com
BIG BLUE BREWING
- Dec. 7: The Freecoasters, locals who play a catchy, danceable mix of reggae, soul, pop and ska, including covers and originals. 8:30-11:30 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 8: Mike Imbasciani & his BluezRockerz, the young Southwest Florida bluesman has been singing and playing guitar professionally since age 5. 8:30-11:30 p.m.. Free.
- Dec. 15: The Electric Mud, Fort Myers rock act with lots of big, 70s-style riffs. The band says its music sounds “like a couple wizards throwing lightning bolts around.” 8:30-11:30 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 21: Sheena Brook, local country singer-songwriter who competed in March 2017 on “The Voice.” She’s a regular at local venues and festivals. 8:30-11:30 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 22: Betty Fox Band, Tampa blues/funk/soul act led by powerhouse singer Betty Fox. 8:30-11:30 p.m. Free.
- Dec. 29: The Marty Stokes Band, local band known for its raw, ferocious blues power. 8:30-11:30 p.m. Free.