Robert Earl Keen performs his own brand of country music at the Britt Festivals on July 1. - Britt Festivals

No shortage of good grooves

Fans of blues, acoustic music, folk, country and/or rock should be able to find something to their liking in the coming week at the Britt Festivals in Jacksonville.

Singer Joan Armatrading will perform in a show starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 29. Amos Lee is set to open.

Armatrading, who is known as a vocal virtuoso but is also a songwriter and a skilled guitarist, is touring in support of "Into the Blues," an album of music based on what the title suggests.

Songs on the CD are derived from blues but make no pretense of blues purity. The album is too produced-sounding for that, with multiple vocal tracks backed by layers of processed sound.

"Play the Blues," for example, is an update on a '70s soul groove, while on a tune like the rambunctious "Something's Gotta Blow," Armatrading demonstrates some flashy, but tasteful, guitar chops.

Armatrading has reached the stage of her career in which she plays the likes of the Royal Albert Hall in London and garners honorary degrees, including a doctorate in music from Birmingham University in England, among other honors.

Philadelphia native Amos Lee is a young songwriter who wrote the songs on his album "Supply and Demand" while on the road the last few years opening for the likes of Paul Simon and John Prine.

Tickets are $46 reserved, $32 lawn and $21 (children).

David Bromberg performs with the Angel Band at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 30, with Dougie MacLean opening. Bromberg was a highly regarded acoustic guitarist of the 1970s who blended blues, country, jazz, folk and classical music and appeared as a sideman on more than 100 albums by top artists. But he turned his back on his music career abruptly and disappeared for most of the 1980s and '90s.

But this is not the usual music-biz story of bad decisions and burnout and substance abuse. What Bromberg took up was making violins.

He took it up seriously, dissolving his band and graduating from the Kenneth Warren School of Violin Making. In the years that followed he toured sparingly, usually alone.

These days Bromberg's violin shop is alive and well in Wilmington, Del. But he's performing again. His new CD, "Try Me One More Time," got a three-and-a-half-star rave from USA Today, which called him "a master with nothing left to prove to himself or others."

Bromberg is being joined this time out by the Angel Band, an acoustic outfit specializing in Americana. Opener Dougie MacLean is probably the best-known interpreter of Scottish music performing today.

Tickets are $42, $29 and $17.

Robert Earl Keen, who comes to town Sunday, July 1 (the show starts at 7:30) may be the most successful singer and songwriter you don't know. His stuff gets recorded by Lyle Lovett, the Dixie Chicks, George Strait and a host of others, and he tours and appears on TV — but you just don't hear him doing his songs on the radio.

"As time goes by, it becomes a greater and greater curiosity," he says in a press release. "I literally can play a 90-minute show and almost everybody in the room will be singing every song."

Keen's "What I Really Mean" was the No. 2 American album of 2005. He comes from the one-guy-with-a-guitar-and-a-story tradition of American music, and you never know what will pop up on his set list.

Opening for Keen will be The Waybacks, an acoustic quintet from San Francisco that plays genre-bending music with a (sort of) bluegrass feeling.

Tickets are $38, $23 and $16.

Coming to town at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 5, will be The Moody Blues. The ground-breaking '60s rockers played a high-energy show to a full crowd at Britt four years ago.

Unlike some bands from back in the day, with one or two original musicians owning the name and hiring sidemen, the Moodys at the core are three of the original four guys. Look for polished versions of all those old hits.

Tickets are $46 lawn and $32 for children. Reserved tickets are sold out.

At press time plenty of tickets remained for all shows except The Moody Blues for whom only a few tickets remain.

Visit www.brittfest.org, or call 773-6077.

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