Musical spring and summer: Your definitive guide to outdoor gigs along The Emerald Coast

Jessica Coker

Spring and summer are seasons of music on The Emerald Coast. Beginning this month, Northwest Florida becomes outdoor concert central, offering weekly shows until late August. With multiple concert series and songwriters festivals, it’s possible to carry a tune all spring and summer long.

The Bud & Alley's Spring Music Series:

Kicking off concert season on The Panhandle is Bud & Alley's Spring Music Series which starts April 4. Tickets are $25 before the show and $30 the day of the show. Doors open at 4 p.m. the day of each show. Bud & Alley's Restaurant is located at 2236 East County Highway 30A. Call 850-231-5900 or find them here.

April 4: Mary Gauthier with Scott Nolan and Joanna Miller: Mary Gauthier joins Scott Nolan and Joanna Miller to kick off the musical season at Bud & Alley's. Gauthier has released six albums in the more than 20 years she's been in the business. Known for her emotional and moving lyrics, Gauthier spins her alternative, folk and country sound into something very unique. Nolan and Miller, who are also performing as the show’s opening act, will join Gauthier on stage playing their blend of rock-and-roll and blues music. For more information on Gauthier, visit marygauthier.com. For more information on Nolan and Miller, visit their page.

April 13: Holly Williams: Williams, the daughter of Hank Williams, Jr. and the granddaughter of Hank Williams, Sr., will entertain guests with her smooth, American, country twang. Holly is joined on her albums by friends such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jakob Dylan, the grandson of Bob Dylan. For more information on Williams, visit her page. Williams was originally scheduled to play April 12, but that has been changed to April 13.

April 19: Willie Sugarcapps: Will Kimbrough, Anthony Crawford, Savana Lee, Corky Hughes and Grayson Capps make up the band Willie Sugarcapps. The band describes their unique sound as "deep southern, Gulf Coast country blues, folk rock and stomp-and-roll," with the instrumental sounds of the mandolin, banjo and ukulele. For more information on the band visit their page.

April 26: Jennifer Steele: Paying homage to one of the greats — Patsy Cline — Steele, along with a live band, will perform the artists most famous songs. Steele is locally recognized as the director of the Cultural Arts Alliance and the co-founder of Seaside Repertory Theater.

Americana Under the Stars — Topsail Hill Preserve State Park:

Thursday nights until July 11, make your way to Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for the Americana Under the Stars concert series. This new weekly concert series will feature singers and songwriters from across the country.  Located at 7525 West Scenic 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, admission to the park is free, with a suggested $5 donation to the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. From 5 to 6:30 p.m., local musicians are welcome to take part in the open-mic-showcase, the featured artists will take the stage at 7 p.m. For more information on Topsail Preserve State Park call 850-267-8330 or find them here. Guests are invited to bring their own food and beverages.

April 4; May 9; June 13; July 4: Lucky Mud: Maggie and Mike McKinney of Lucky Mud are the Florida-based duo who plays acoustic Americana music with a Southern flair. The duo is scheduled to play four shows at Topsail. For more information on the band and their lyric-based music, visit their page.

April 11: Larry Mangum: Join native-Floridian Larry Mangum for a musical night under the stars. Known for his Americana and Contemporary Folk music, Mangum has released seven albums of original music and two live albums since 1980. For more information on Mangum, visit him here.

April 18: Ron Johnson: Folk musician, singer and songwriter Ron Johnson, of Jacksonville will plays an adults-only show for guests 18 and older at Topsail. For more information on Johnson, visit him here.

April 25: Bryan Kennedy: Country musician Bryan Kennedy has music in his blood, growing up with record producer Jerry Kennedy and Linda Kennedy as influences. Linda was recording songs as a teenager and Bryan got his musical start plugging songs for his father. Bryan has written hit songs for Garth Brooks, Billy Currington and Kenny Chesney. For more information on Kennedy, visit him here.

May 2: Jerry Mincey: Jerry Mincey joined his first band at 14-years-old, originally identifying himself as a rock musician, Mincey has since made the move to folk music. Mincey frequently plays colleges and other tours. For more information, visit him here.

May 16: Grant Peeples: Dubbed a "guitar-slinging poet," Peeples entertains guests with his combination of folk and country music he calls "Leftneck." Peeples said he is "a vegetarian that watches NASCAR, a tree-hugger that keeps a gun under the seat." Visit his page.

May 23: Rebekah Pulley: The soulful Indie-rock and folk musician, Pulley, and her band mates Robert Pastore, Max Norton and Stephen Grant Wood for this show. Pulley has been entertaining crowds with her Norah Jones-like voice been for about 12 years. Visit her here.

May 30: Bob Patterson: Join folk musician Bob Patterson as he entertains the crowd with his songs about Florida's culture and history. Visit him here.

June 6: James Hawkins: James Hawkins will entertain concert goers with his indie-pop style of music. Hawkins is known for his moving love songs. Visit him here.

June 20: Kelly Hundley: Blues and classic rock musician Kelly Hundley will play an acoustic, solo show at Topsail. Visit them here.

June 27: Jackson Creek/Dunn Deal: Bringing his southern and folk sound to Topsail, Creek is joined by the country and folk duo Carolyn and Jim Dunn for a show under the stars. Dunn Deal has been playing music together since 1975.

July 11: Brian Smalley: Florida singer, songwriter and guitarist Brian Smalley makes his way to the stage for an acoustic folk and Americana show. Visit him here.

Spring Fling Concerts — North Barret Square in Rosemary Beach:

This weekly, free, all-ages concert series kicked off March 28 and ends May 16. Every Thursday, all shows start at 6 p.m., grab your blanket and make your way to North Barrett Square in Rosemary Beach.

April 4: Chase Rice: The southern rocker takes the stage April 4. Formerly a NASCAR pit crewman, Rice is the definition of country music. The singer, songwriter and guitarist's first full-length project, "Dirt Road Communion," debuted at No. 6 on the iTunes country charts. Influenced by both rock-and-roll artists as well as country artists, Rice is the songwriter responsible for the Florida-Georgia Line No. 1 song in the country, "Cruise." Visit him here.

April 11: Gravy: Playing their New Orleans funk rock music, Gravy takes the stage April 11. Visit their page.

April 18: Rosco Bandana: The Mississippi-based band will got their start after winning a local "Battle of the Bands," sponsored by Hard Rock. The first band signed to Hard Rock Records, Rosco Bandana's genre is a combination of country, Americana, blues and rock-and-roll. Visit their page.

April 25: Dangermuffin: Dangermuffin band members Steven Sandifer, Mike Sivilli and Dan Lotti have recorded four albums in their five years playing music together. Dangermuffin is known for playing a combination of country, calypso and rock. Visit their page.

May 2: The Giving Tree Band: Led by brothers Todd and E Fink, The Giving Tree Band is best known for their arsenal of instruments they use in their rock-and-roll performances including slide guitars, banjos, violins and pedal steels. Visit them here.

May 9: Humming House: Reflecting tunes from eras gone by, Humming House features a wide array of instruments. Everything from a parlor guitar, viola, electric guitar and even a singing saw give Humming House their unique sound, a mix of bluegrass, swing, rockabilly and Irish music. Visit them here.

May 16: Luella and the Sun: Bringing their sound to Rosemary Beach, Luella and the Sun is a Tennessee, minimalist band. Join Luella and the Sun as they play gospel, rock-and-roll, blues and everything in between. Visit their page.

Groovin' on the Green — Carillon Beach in Panama City:

This free concert series kicks off in April. Guests are welcome to bring snacks, beverages and chairs to the shows. The series is sponsored by The Carillon Beach Institute in Panama City. Located at 115 Carillon Market Street in Panama City Beach, they can be reached at 850-234-7819. Shows begin at 7 p.m.

April 1; August 12: Cabo Rock: The Destin-based band will entertain with rock-and-roll favorites such as Journey, REO Speedwagon and Kansas. The seven-piece band will take the stage April 1 and August 12. Visit their page.

May 26: Todd Sparks & Shrimp Boat Cowboys: Todd Sparks is known along The Gulf Coast for his upbeat, beach-inspired music that is Florida all the way through. Visit them here for more information.

June 3: Latitude 29: Local band Latitude 29 is known for party, dance and tropical music, Latitude 29 will entertain guests of all ages with it's combination of traditional instruments and non-traditional such as the kazoo. Visit them here.

June 10: Tidewater: Americana group Tidewater plays both classic country songs, as well as today's country hits. Visit this Panama City Beach band here.

June 17: Saluda: Saluda brings their one-of-a-kind southern rock and rock-and-roll sound to the beach this summer. Band members include Bruce Butler, Joel Makison, Chris French and Jay Gurley. Visit them on Facebook page.

June 24: Jones & Company: The Destin-based jazz band Jones & Company is a four piece band that has been voted best band in numerous entertainment magazines. Visit them on Facebook.

July 8: Sin Wagon: Join Sin Wagon, with lead singer Natalie Reynolds, for a musical night of country, rock and blues music. Find them on Facebook.

July 15: Barbwire: Barbwire band members include Jimmy Ross, Gary Looper, Casey Looper, Ben Ponder and Ricky Ponder. The local country and bluegrass band can be found here.

July 22: Beach Mice: Join the Beach Mice as they play their popular beach and top 40 hits in Panama City Beach this year. For information on Beach Mice and the band members Jacob Mohr, David Pretlow, Drew Powell and Roberto Padron here.

July 29: Ebb Tye'd: Rick Tye, Lucinda Tye, Greg Miller and Darrell Simmons make up local band Ebb Tye'd. The band is influenced by Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley among others, playing their tropical rock and beach music since 2007. Visit them on Facebook.

August 5: Tony Vegas: Blues, jazz and jam band musician Tony Vegas picked up a guitar in 1959 and has been playing music since. Visit him here.

August 19: Legacy: Join Legacy as they entertain concert goers with their homegrown reggae and rock-and-roll music. Visit them here.

August 26: Emerald Gold: The Navarre-based Emerald Gold band will play their classic rock and rhythm-and-blues. Visit them here.

Concerts in the Village — Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation:

Voted one of the top ten things to do in Northwest Florida by Florida Travel & Tourism Guide, the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation 18th annual Concerts in the Park start May 2. All shows begin at 7 p.m., tickets are $8 for adults, free for children 12-and-under and free for MKAF members. Located at 4323 Commons Drive West in Destin, this ten-week series will take place at the MKAF’s new Dugas Pavilion and Village Green.   May 2: Fountain City Players: Opening night will showcase the Fountain City Players and their soulful favorites like Motown, rhythm-and-blues, jazz, reggae and pop. Visit them here.

May 9: The Michael Stacey Band: The modern-country twang of The Michael Stacey Band is known for their high-energy theme party concerts, The Michael Stacey Band plays southern and classic rock, Motown, oldies and party music. Find them here.

May 16: Ron Adams: Ron Adams is known locally for his Elvis Presley act. Adams will take guests on a historical journey of American music with his show "Reflections." Visit him here.

May 23: China Grove: This Florida-based Doobie Brothers Tribute Band takes the will play a show of the legendary band's most famous songs. Visit them here.

May 30: Déjà Vu: Playing both classic and modern rock, beach and dance music and favorites from decades gone by, Déjà Vu was formed in 1997.

June 6: The Mike Veal Band Stump the Band from over 200 top artists: The band's motto is: "You name it, we'll play it!" Playing hits from more than 200 artists, join this good time band for an exciting night. Visit them here.

June 13: The Craig Woolard Band: Join the band as they will entertain concert guests with their top 40 hits and beach music. Visit his page for more information.

June 20: Heritage: Local band Heritage will play their Hawaiian-pop, reggae and rock-and-roll music. Visit them here.

June 27: Alter Eagles: This Eagles tribute band will take the MKAF stage playing the iconic bands most well-known songs. Visit them here.

July 3: David Seering, Patriotic Tribute: Playing a tribute to America for the fourth of July, the pianist wraps up Mattie Kelly's musical summer. Visit the Sinatra-inspired musician here.