Weekend preview: God bless Americana from Florida

20+ things to do in South Florida this weekend and beyond.

The Gravel Kings’ new EP, “Lure,” is a rollicking revelation that hugs the contours of country, folk, rock and Americana, with stories of love, longing and leaving that burst with graceful harmonies and just the right amount of twang.

It is music that Pandora might logically slip between the Lumineers and Mumford and Sons, songs that would be right at home on a jukebox in Americana capitals such as Nashville, Asheville, Athens and Austin.

The Gravel Kings aren’t from any of those places. The quartet’s home has always been Fort Pierce.

Singer-guitarist Zack Jones acknowledges that his band’s sound is an anomaly in a South Florida music landscape largely framed by EDM and Latin music. But when he listens to the music on “Lure” or the Gravel Kings’ excellent 2014 debut “Arrows and Maps,” he hears the soundtrack to another Florida, of afternoons fishing, camping and air-boating.

“We’ve been asked several times whether or not we’d be interested in moving to another place as a band, because they feel like our sound would fit better in those places,” Jones says. “At the end of the day, we live in a tropical paradise. We’re comfortable here.”

The Gravel Kings will celebrate the release of “Lure” 9 p.m. Saturday at Propaganda in Lake Worth on a bill with Pathos, the Helmsmen and Myles Patrick. Tickets cost $6.50 at GravelKings.com.

Jones and bandmates Joey Johnson (guitars, banjo, dobro), Aaron Teems (bass) and Doug French (drums), will hit the road after this weekend’s shows (including Friday at the Distillery in Stuart and Sunday at Spacebar in Orlando), but are scheduled to play the Haunted Pirate Fest in Boynton Beach on Oct. 22 and the Kelsey Theater in Lake Park on Nov. 4.

After breaking with “Arrows and Maps” label Decades Records, the Gravel Kings are releasing “Lure” independently. The five songs were produced in the St. Cloud studio of James Paul Wisner, who has worked with pop heavyweights such as Paramore and Dashboard Confessional.

The result is a more polished, bigger sound, especially on the opener “You Were Loved,” the interplay of Jones’ buoyant vocal and Johnson’s deft picking elevated by a layer of organ.

Tour dates in support of “Arrows and Maps” would often see the Gravel Kings booked with acoustic acts. Jones, who came up through the local punk scene, says the Gravel Kings had too much volume for those settings. The band feels even louder now, he says.

“[Wisner] brought out a huge sound that we were looking for that we didn’t know how to put down,” Jones says. “Not to say the old stuff was bad, but we’ve been on a search for our sound, and I think we’ve finally found it on this one.”

For more information on the band and “Lure,” visit Facebook.com/GravelKings

CAVE DWELLING

O Cinema in Wynwood  hosts the only South Florida screening of “Nick Cave: Once More Time With Feeling,” a one-night-only event on Thursday (Sept. 8) at 9 p.m. in more than 650 theaters around the world. The performance film traces the writing and recording of “Skeleton Tree,” the 16th studio album by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, set against the backdrop of the July, 2015 death of Cave’s 15-year-old son. “Skeleton Tree” will be released Friday. Tickets: $12. Info: O-Cinema.org.

WEEKEND RUN

You will not have a more rewarding (or poignant) outing this weekend than the 2016 Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday morning. This 15th annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation will include waves of local firefighters (and other first-responders) who run in turnout gear as a salute to Siller. On 9-11, the young firefighter and father ran nearly two miles through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, 75 pounds of gear strapped to his back, before being picked up on the other side and taken to the World Trade Center, where he disappeared. The run begins at 7:30 a.m. at Huizenga Plaza, at Las Olas Boulevard and Andrews Avenue. Advance registration is $30, ages 15-17 $15. Race-day entry costs an extra $5. Info: Tunnel2Towers.org.

RESPECTABLE 29

You can still trust Respectable Street, at 29 years old, to throw an anniversary block party long on youthful vigor. Saturday’s spectacular in downtown West Palm Beach is headlined by the exuberant Dan Deacon, aided by a who’s-who of  South Florida-spawned talent, from Surfer Blood and Beach Day to Astari Night and Tremends, among many others. Admission is, remarkably, free, there’s a preparatory free open bar inside from 8 to 9 p.m. and free pizza. Info: Facebook.com/RespectableStreet.

FINS UP

Got my Jarvis Landry jersey, know my Koa from Carroo and have finally learned how to pronounce Ndamukong (if not Ifo Ekpre-Olomu), just in time for Himmarshee Public House’s season-opening block party for the Miami Dolphins game against the Seattle Seahawks at 4:05 p.m. Sunday. The 16-foot LED TV will be in the street, as food and drink specials are hawked, giveaways are given and DJ Mark Gallo spins. The party starts at 1 p.m. Info: Facebook.com/PublicHouseFTL.

WEEKEND BEER

At noon Saturday, Due South Brewing in Boynton Beach will begin offering two new variations of its popular Mariana Trench Imperial Stout, a bourbon barrel-aged version and another called Java Mariana Trench, melded with the fresh, potent brew of Argyle Coffee Roasters. As you might expect, Java Mariana Trench, and comes with a one-per-person limit on these bottles, which go for $17. Info: Facebook.com/DueSouthBrewing.

POPULAR SHOWS

Every once in a while we try to remember to pause and acknowledge the diverse musical environment that is South Florida.  The three toughest tickets this week are probably Australian EDM experimentalist Flume, who’s sold-out show on Friday at the Fillmore Miami Beach prompted a second performance on Saturday, which also looks like a sell-out (FillmoreMB.com);  country star Miranda Lambert at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach on Saturday (LiveNation.com); and Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s  “Pet Sounds” tour stop at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood at 8 p.m. Wednesday (MyHRL.com).

WEEKEND DJ

As if he hasn’t had enough going on as the drummer for the Roots and “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon,” and co-producer of the “Hamilton” soundtrack, Questlove on Tuesday started “Questlove Supreme,” a weekly three-hour venue for his broad musical tastes on Pandora. He told Forbes magazine: “Pandora is really open, proactive and very interested in my vision for what a radio station could be. My DJ sets I play Benny Goodman to Drake and all stops in between.” On Saturday at 11 p.m., Questlove will test the crowd with a DJ set at Basement Miami (2900 Collins Ave.) in Ian Schrager’s swank The Miami Beach EDITION. Tickets: $20 advance, $30 at the door. Info: BasementMiami.com.

SO NICE

One of the best things about the Rio Olympics was the reacquaintance with the irresistible allure of the bossa nova. OK, maybe it’s just me. No, wait, it’s not. Downtown Boca's Brazilian Beat is the name of a free Brazilian Independence Day celebration at Mizner Park Amphitheater with the requisite food, cocktails, dancing and a concert by the dazzling Bebel Gilberto (hoping she does “So Nice"). The party, a co-production of the city and the Rhythm Foundation, begins at 6 p.m. Info: MiznerAmp.com, RhythmFoundation.com.

MOON DANCE

Margate Under the Moon returns 5-10 p.m. Saturday, gathering 15 food trucks, craft beer and cocktails, local vendors, and art and crafts bazaar, kid’s activities and live music at Margate Boulevard and 441. Admission and parking are free, as is beer for the first 100 people at the CRA tent. Music will be by the Grateful Dead tribute band Crazy Fingers and reggae modernizers Artikal Sound System. Info: MargateFL.com. This is an Indie Craft Bazaar joint, the same hip folks who put on Food in Motion, which returns to downtown Fort Lauderdale's Peter Feldman Park 5-11 p.m. Friday. Info: Facebook.com/IndieCraftBazaar

GET YOUR SWEDE ON

You’ve got a few more weekends to work on your submission for the fifth annual Swede Fest Palm Beach, hosted by the Palm Beach Film Society on Oct. 15 at the Kelsey Theater in Lake Park. To jog your memory, the amateur film festival , which puts a spin on the comedy “Be Kind Rewind,” is a celebration of no-budget shorts, also known as swedes, that pay intentionally awkward homage to an iconic Hollywood film. Submissions must be under three minutes and no stronger than PG-13 (even if the source material, say, “Goodfellas,” is not). It’s free to enter a swede, and the deadline is Sept. 30. Tickets to Swede Fest Palm Beach, an irreverent evening of watching the best swedes complete with red carpet, are $12 in advance at TheKelseyTheater.com, $15 at the door and free for filmmakers. For information on swedes and how to enter yours, visit SwedeFest.com.

HAPPY HOUR OF THE WEEK

Apothecary 330, the buzzy cocktail bar inside PizzaCraft in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Himmarshee District on Wednesday will throw a happy-hour fundraiser for the FLITE Center (Fort Lauderdale Independence, Training and Education), which provides support for youth aging out of foster care. Running from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the evening includes live music, cocktails, light bites and raffles. Tickets, which include one free drink, are $15 in advance at FLITECenter.org, or $20 cash at the door. 

A NEW JAM

A new live music series comes to the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum in Delray Beach 8-11 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, with the debut of Shed Sessions. Emceed by the discerning Ian Caven, the Shed Sessions are “a throwback to the days when live music ruled, and …  jamming would take place in the proverbial ‘shed,’ or any other intimate space, where enthusiasts could literally feel the music.” Spady Museum musical director and drummer Tovah Lovely will lead the new Spady House Band, which also includes Jimmy Copeland and Beto Rubinelli. Vocalists, lyricists and musicians are encouraged to sit in and improvise. Admission: $10 (members free). Info: SpadyMuseum.com.

OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS 

Country singer Claire Petrie plays a free show on the Pompano Beach Great Lawn 7 p.m. Friday (PompanoBeachArts.org) … Miami-based prog-funk outfit  Electric Kif is at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton 9 p.m. Friday (Facebook.com/Electrickif) … Anthony Green (Circa Survive, Saosin) brings his tour to the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale 7:30 p.m. Friday (CultureRoom.net) … The Valerie Tyson Band will show their soulful side at Blue Jean Blues in Fort Lauderdale 9 p.m. Friday (BJBLive.com) … Blues guitarist Selwyn Birchwood plays the Funky Biscuit 8 p.m. Saturday (FunkyBiscuit.com) … Eddy Balzola and Oriente bring fresh Cuban jazz to Hollywood’s  Boulevard Heights Amphitheater 7:30 p.m. Saturday (VisitHollywoodFL.org) … Zouk explorers Kassav energize the North Beach Bandshell on Miami Beach 7 p.m. Saturday (NorthBeachBandshell.com) … Eclectic soul singer LaVie will do a 9-11 remembrance concert during Soulful Sundays at Ali Cultural Arts  in Pompano Beach 6-9 p.m. Sunday (AliArts.org) … Boca Raton alt-country duo 33 Years play Dada in Delray Beach 10:30 p.m. Wednesday (33Years.com) … Jake Shimabukuro, cool on the ukulele long before the ukulele was cool, plays Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse 8 p.m. Wednesday (ParkerPlayhouse.com) … Grammy winner Robi Draco Rosa brings the heat to the Fillmore Miami Beach (FillmoreMB.com) 8 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 15) …

Get daily updates on South Florida entertainment and things to do at SouthFlorida.com, on Twitter at @BenCrandell and Instagram /BenCrandell. Email: bcrandell@southflorida.com.

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