Archive for August, 2011

The Bahamas in Technicolor

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The Bahamas tease us in many ways. They sit so close to the United States that you feel as if you can reach out and touch them. The Bahamas are so close but a million miles away from the everyday.

Here is a beautiful video featuring the Abaco Islands and Harbour Island or the Bahamas. It was produced by Cinematographer / Photographer, Ryan Lightbourn.

The images are powerful, the music is seductive and you’ll be wanting to walk on water to get to this terra firma.

The Bahamas in Technicolor from Ryan Lightbourn on Vimeo.

Have a good Sunday Castaways.

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Feeding the People

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I’d like to ask for some help, and I’m not entirely sure the right way of doing it. I’m a little awkward about stuff like this.

One of my passions is gardening and food. I don’t grow a lot of my own food, but I’ve reached a point where I keep myself in fresh fruit all summer and garlic all year, plus other bits here and there.

I get to eat three square meals (or junk meals, as the case might be) a day. I’m fortunate. Not everyone does. Food is one of those basic things we don’t notice until we don’t have it. And it’s hard to concentrate on *anything* else if you’re hungry. Especially if you’re a kid.

Part of being a Parrothead is the whole concept of “Party with a Purpose.” In order to be a Parrothead club, you must do charitable work – it’s part of the charter. And a lot of my Parrothead/Trop Rock musician friends put on fundraisers, raising tens of thousands of dollars for worthwhile causes. I envy them their ability to do this.

Today I decided to get off the stick and do something for our local food bank. It looks like they’re doing a decent job – every dollar they receive buys up to $5 in food, and a whopping 96% of every dollar they receive ends up helping feed someone. That’s a pretty good percentage.

They have a virtual food drive that you can join. You can either donate money directly, or you can click on items in a shopping-cart format and see just how far your dollars will go toward feeding someone who for whatever reason isn’t managing to feed themselves.

I’d like to offer something to encourage you to donate to help feed people. If you’d rather donate to your own local food bank, that’s cool too – I believe in helping people locally when possible. If you donate $20 or more by the end of August, I’ll send you an autographed live album. Donate $50 or more, and I’ll throw in copies of my last two CDs, Every Day’s a Holiday and Island Standard Time. All autographed and personalized. Just forward me a copy of your email receipt to music1 -at-, and include your mailing address and whom you’d like me to make the CDs out to.

I’m not good at asking for stuff, so I hope you’ll see past any awkward language here and hear that I really want to do something positive, and hopefully leverage that beyond my own meager abilities. I made my own donation today, and I feel pretty good about that. Will you make yours?

Thanks for listening,


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Wasting Away Again at my Desk

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I’ve written a few songs about Key West, and other spots in the Keys. The first one came about after my first trip down there, and was somewhat about my re-entry into my previous life, already in progress.

You see, while the weather here in the Bay Area beats heck out of, say, Michigan – especially in the winter – coming out of the front door of Oakland Airport into 53 degrees and a drizzly overcast was a bit of a shock, after 80s and sunshine. And I had had a particularly marvelous trip, the like of which I’ve been able to replicate, more or less, pretty much every time I go.

Well, to make a long story short, I started spending way too much time watching Key West webcams. And nine years ago, there were only a few – Mallory Square, a couple of cams pointing toward the sunset, things like that. I don’t even believe that the Live Duval St. cam had been set up yet. Now there are over 60 cams covering life in the Keys from Key Largo to Key West. And I still go look at them, now and then. I think the cam feeds may be blocked at my office, but I’m only there three days a week. And I can still look up YouTube videos like this one, even at the office.

I’m very much about creating Paradise wherever we happen to be. But sometimes it helps if you can look up pretty places online and just kick back and enjoy them for a while.

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Sunday on the Island – Forbidden Island, that is

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I’m getting ready to play my next scheduled gig, rehearsing, doing up the set list, and making sure I check in with folks so they have the details and will show up. It’ll be at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge, on Lincoln Ave. in Alameda. It’s one of the nicer tiki bars I’ve been in, with an excellent line of libations. They even have a “rum club” called the Kill Devil Club. You can work your way through their entire long shelf of rums; when you finish the list, you get your name on a plaque on the wall.

Alameda has been one of my favorite places to hang out in the East Bay for about the last ten years. My first solo gig was just down the street at McGrath’s Pub, where, ironically, I don’t think they do live music anymore. The opportunities for music come and go depending on the year and season; this will be my first gig in a tropical-themed place here in the Bay Area in years. Hopefully it’ll go well and we can do this every few months on a regular basis.

I’m planning a reasonable mix of covers and originals, in part because I’ll be playing to their regulars as well as my own. I’ll be bringing out one or two very new songs that I’ve only played out once or twice as part of the show.

Doors open at 3 on Sundays; the music starts at 6 and runs ’til 8. If you’re in the Bay Area, I hope you’ll come check it out.

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New Place to Hang Out

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I’ve just set up my new blog here on WordPress. This will be a place where I’ll post news, pictures, and the occasional song and/or video.


My main Website remains here, and I’ll be using this as my “What’s New” section of that site, at least for now.

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New Stuff!

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Well, well, well… been too long! I guess I’ve been busy! Or a bit indolent.. at least as far as the blog goes, so my apologies. Lets see going over everything in these last months would just take way, way too long! But here are the high lights!

The CD/Album is finished, out and available! Available through me, or CD Baby, itunes, or CD Universe. The CD’s name is “Shanghai’d and Marooned in Key West (things could be worse)” . You can look it up under that name, or just put in “Key West Chris”, that’s a lot quicker and easier. Eighteen of Key West’s finest musicians kicking ass on ten songs!

Also!!! Website is up as of TODAY!!! Still growing, but we are blazing new trails in CD/Albums and Websites that have never been done before. Check it out! We still have loads of room to grow and expand too!

Conch Rock also now has an insignia,which you would have noticed at the top of the page, done by local artist Abigail White, plus we have a back up by Artist Koz.

Off to bed now, but soon to follow in a couple of days with more exciting happenings from Key West!!

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Porter Party

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Porter Party


A view from the mic. This time we look back to our event for Michael and Cathy Porter. Just back from their wedding in Chuka, Kenya, Micahel and Cathy gathered with friends and family for a day long celebration at the lakeside campground known as Lutherwood.

Fun to the left

A rustic pavilion was transformed into a beautiful wedding reception and as you would imagine, the atmosphere was joyful. The Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band) was delighted to share in the day and have the opportunity to share some “island music” at the festive event.

Fun to the Right

The day was not without a bit of excitement (beyond the kind you would expect at a wedding celebration). Just after we set up our equipment, a sudden bolt of lightning struck somewhere in the immediate area (not something you want while you are standing near a PA system and steel pan)!

Within a few minutes we were scrambling to move our equipment under cover to beat the rain which was rapidly approaching from across the lake. The only casualty of this sudden “weather event” was Kevin’s (our conga player) tent/canopy as the wind picked it up and was about to lift it over the pavilion until I grabbed it… unfortunately in the process one of the support poles snapped.

Parrot Island Band holding down the tent

The rain didn’t stick around too long and we were able to set up our equipment again and play for a couple of hours. It was an extremely relaxing day as the kids swam in the lake and the adults visited (except for a few of the adults who are really “big kids” and they joined in the fun on the lake).

Parakeet Carter

Bill and Melissa Jones brought their boys and being big Parrotheads themselves (Bill once met Jimmy Buffett in a bar… a great story). As you can see, their son, Carter, came by and checked out the Parrot Island Band. It is never too early to begin teaching our kids to enjoy the important things in life… like Jimmy Buffett and the Parrot Island Band. Best wishes to the Porters from friends, family and the Parrot Island Band… may your days be filled with celebration, beaches (OK, lakes for you guys), blessings and a lifetime of love.

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