Archive for October, 2011

Collaboration of MOTM Schedules

Posted in Featured Artist of the Week, Island Enthusiasts, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings, Trop Rock Radio | Comments Off on Collaboration of MOTM Schedules

Until Next Time… Trop On!













Jamaican Dragon Stout Beer – BOAT DRINKS

Posted in Island Enthusiasts, Rum | Comments Off on Jamaican Dragon Stout Beer – BOAT DRINKS

Yes, rum is our friend, but our other best friend is cold beer. There’s only one thing that can compete with a flavorful rum punch on the beach and that is a cold island beer pull straight from the icy cooler.

I was browsing the endless isles in the local Total Wine More store in search of the Caribbean section. It seems like they always have something new and different each time I go in and this time was no different. The surprise on this day was Dragon Stout beer from the “big up” island of Jamaica.

As I write this post a cold Dragon Stout sits arms length away in a black Castaway koozie. The taste? It has a lot. I’m normally not a fan of over powering beers with a ton of hops and bitter flavors. I’ll take the smooth and refreshing light lagers any day, but I do like to keep an open and mind and will try anything once.

Dragon Stout beerDragon Stout reminds me a lot of Guinness. It’s dark in color with a strong flavor. Dragon Stout bottles are only 9.6 fluid ounces but do pack a high 7.5% alcohol content. In my opinion it isn’t a bad beer, but not a great beer. I’ll drink one and then will switch to something else. I do like the fact that it’s different from most of the Caribbean beers I’ve tried. Most island brews are light, smooth and have a refreshing taste in the hot sun. I wouldn’t use any of those adjectives on Dragon Stout.

Our buddy Steve over at Uncommon Caribbean wrote a review about Dragon Stout awhile back and wasn’t very enthusiastic about this brand. You can read about his Dragon Stout review here.

Would I buy Dragon Stout again? Yes, probably so. Maybe just a sixer and keep it in the back of the fridge. It makes for a good conversation piece and a little something different to drink when you get tired of all the Red Stripe, Corona, Carib and the other great Caribbean brews. But is that even possible?

Have you had Dragon Stout? What is your take on it?


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Posted in Trop Rock Happenings | Comments Off on TO DO AND NOT TO DO IN KEY WEST – ALSO LEARN ABOUT A1A!!!


Key West Blues by Key West Chris Rehm

^ Click the track and listen to “Key West Blues”* as you listen to the track!^

Well, with largest Key West festival, Fantasy Fest underway, and two others hot on its heels, here’s a quick little guide of what to do and not do in Key West. This won’t be stuff that you read in all the tourist BS, but rather, the real deal. I always say, there are two kinds of folks who come to the Keys. There are those who come and go home and look forward to coming back again and there are those who come and want to move here, as soon as their situations and stars come into alignment. While we welcome everyone to our island chain in the Conch Republic, this particular blog today leans 65/35 in the direction of the latter.

The drive from the mainland to Key West is consistently rated as one of the top ten scenic drives in the United States. This isn’t hogwash either. With the Atlantic on your left and the Florida Bay/Gulf of Mexico on your right, it’s a stunning and unique experience hopping the bridges and islands! The absolute best way to enjoy this trip through the 126 miles of the Conch Republic’s main street, Overseas Highway, U.S. 1 (not A1A, as some incorrectly refer to it as) is to take two or three days in getting here. I spoke to a friend of mine from out of town the other day. He thought The Conch Republic was just Key West. The Conch Republic extends to The Last Chance Saloon in Florida City which is 126 miles from Mile Zero, on Whitehead Street, here in Key West. On how this came to be, check this link of Sir Peter Anderson’s Conch Republic site:

The Conch Republic also extends west through the Marquesas Keys heading west, and on to The Dry Tortugas, which are about 70 miles west of Key West. On the other hand, as The Conch Republic’s Secretary General, Sir Peter will tell you, the Conch Republic is also a state of mind.

The trip through the Keys I’ll save for another blog, as it’s far too involved and important to be anything but a blog subject unto itself. For the moment I will say that every Key has its own personality and feel. If one want’s to experience “island living”, in its true form, stop and relax for a couple of days en-route is essential. Check out a couple of places in The Conch Republic, be it Key Largo, Islamorada Long Key, Marathon,… ex. There’s no place like The Keys, just like Bogart said in the movie Key Largo.

Once in Key West, the very first thing to do is park your car and don’t get back into it until you’re leaving, unless you’re going to The Hogfish, on Stock Island, or Geiger Key Marina on Geiger Key. More on that later! However, be advised, Key West is not car friendly in any way, manor, shape, or form. Parking is a pain in the ass. Be rest assured, you will get a ticket if your meter runs out, no if’s and’s, or but’s. Park facing the wrong way on the street, you’ll have a ticket in the morning.
When you arrive in Key West by car, if you are staying in Old Town, do not take Truman Ave. Truman is the same street as N. Roosevelt Blvd. which you get when turning right, coming on to the island. Once you clear Garrison Bight (the water and harbors on your right) it turns into Truman at the Eisenhower St. traffic light. You’re now entering Old Town. What happens here is first is White Street, which is usually backed up and then there is St. Mary’s Star of the Sea, which has a school as well. Can you say “another back up”? Then, just after that is Simonton St, where there’s a light. There’s always someone who wants to take a left here. Regretfully, traffic is inevitably coming the other way, so they can’t go until the light changes. Consequently, the back-up from White St and St. Mary’s Star of the Sea, is only exacerbated.

The way to avoid all of this, is to turn left when entering the island. Now you are on A1A, also known as S. Roosevelt Blvd. A1A in the Keys is only 2.25 miles long and it travels along the Atlantic coast, passing Smather’s Beach on your left, down to Bertha St. where the road takes a ninety degree turn. Chances are good that you’ll take your first left at Atlantic Ave. and continue from there. Get a map of Key West and just come in the back way, it’s more scenic, less frustrating, and a lot more fun! That stretch when taking the left and driving the 2.25 miles to Bertha St. is the only stretch of A1A in all of the Keys, so enjoy it!

After you ditch your car there are a few ways to get around. Being such a beautiful, historic town, with all sorts of nooks and crannies all over, the absolute best way to see and explore is on foot. The little, subtle things are noticed on foot. The next best way is a bike. Bikes can be rented for about $8 – $10 a day. Bikes are a great way to see the island! Additionally, you’ll get some exorcize! Scooters are popular, although most people who rent them, don’t know how to ride them to begin with. Accidents are not un-common and the hospital thanks them for their support. The hospital actually opens an entire wing during the season, which started this weekend.
Peddy Cabs are popular as well. The drivers also have a lot of knowledge the island and its history, so you get a tour guide and transportation all in one.
Taxis are also available.

Things that are a must in Key West!
Friday night from 6 – 9 at B.O.’s Fishwagon and catch Barry Cuda and Bong Hits for Geezers. What a band, what a place! This is The Real Keys and one of the real types of music that has pulsated through the Keys for decades. Bary Cuda actually built a chassis for his upright piano and wheels it from gig to gig!!! The absolute best place to see him is at B.O.’s Fishwagon, 801 Caroline St. B.O.’s is a shack… I’m not kidding; it’s an open air shack, with his old truck buried to its axels out front. In days gone by, B.O. would sell his fish off the back of his truck on Duval. He later got this open air shack, with a corrugated tin roof, which they sell their fish (and burgers) at. Rachel will sit on the counter and take your order and Bong Hits for Geezers belt out old New Orleans tunes from the twenties, thirties, forties, and even as far up as the sixties. This is the real Key West. Don’t miss it for some pseudo, wanna-be, who wrote a song about his three days in Key West, before he retreated back to suburbia, in outside of some city, USA. Bong Hits for Geezers are the real deal and living it in the Keys 24/7/365, for decades.


One thing not to do: Ask me where to stay. I don’t know, I live here, so I don’t rent out a hotel, motel, BB, or a Guest House room. I have a place of my own and I don’t sell hotel rooms on the side.
Thing to do: Go out to the airport and go for a Bi-Plane ride!!!! Scot Alan, a fellow Trop Rock musician (extraordinaire btw!!!) and I flew in one in September! I’d always wanted to go and Scot called me out of the blue and told me he was flying in and to meet me at the airport, here in Key West. What a blast that was! Check the blog I did a couple of blogs below this one. Check their site as well!
Thing to do: Get the hell out of town! On Stock Island, right next door to Key West is TheHogfish Bar and Grill. Fabulous place! The Hogfish is located right on the docks at Safe Harbor Marina. Not easy to find, but well worth getting there! This is where the Key West Fishing Fleet is these days and the Hogfish Bar Grill has the freshest fish in town!
Also, if you continue out U.S. 1, just past MM10 is a Shell station. Take a right on the road there and keep an eagle eye out for Geiger Rd. on the left, maybe a ¼ mile or more down. Take the left and you’ll be at the Geiger Key Marina in about 100 yards. This is a true, old time Keys local joint on the water. Great place! They also allow dogs!!! YEAH! Geiger Key Marina is owned by Michelle and Bobby Mongelli, who also own the Hogfish. The Mongelli’s are true Keys heroes in my book because they preserve Keys history and the traditions in both of their establishments. Geiger Key Marina is also a great place to stay if you have an RV or a camper. Check their site!

That’s enough for one day… Ha Ha Ha!!!

All the Best From Key West!
Key West Chris Rehm

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Brian Roberts and Friends will perform at Sloppy Joe’s 11/3 to welcome Parrot Fans to Key West.

Posted in Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings, Trop Rock Radio | 1 Comment »

Key West, FL – Sloppy Joe’s
Brian Roberts and Friends will perform at Sloppy Joe’s Thursday, November 3rd to welcome Parrot Fans to Key West.


Show Schedule:
Noon-1:00pm Brian Roberts
1:00 Jimmy Parrish
1:15 Ricky Hana
1:30 Nicky Fabbz
1:45 Jimmy & Jimmy
2:00 Mark Mulligan
2:15 Homemade Wine
2:30 John Reno
2:45 Jerry Diaz
3:00 Key West Chris
3:15 Tiki Thom
3:30pm-4:45pm Brian Roberts

This Trop Rocker show is presented by Sloppy Joe’s and Beach Front Radio


Trop On!

Red Solo Cup, I’m In Love With You

Posted in Island Enthusiasts | Comments Off on Red Solo Cup, I’m In Love With You

Red Solo Cup
I fill you up
Let’s have a party
Let’s have a party

What happens when you make a video with dozens of attractive women, a college house party, lots of red drink cups and a country music star? You get an instant cult classic hit.

Toby Keith’s new album drops tomorrow, and on it a fun song about the unassuming life of the party, the red solo cup. A song about a cup? Yes, watch the video below and you’ll see what I mean. The song called Red Solo Cup is catchy, addictive and if you’re not careful you’ll being singing its hook for days. Trust me it’s true, I’ve annoyed everyone around me the last few days with spontaneous outbursts of “Solo Cup!”

My buddy 007 introduced me to this video last weekend and it’s been in my head ever since. I now pass the disease on to you. Enjoy!

Red Solo Cup by Toby Keith

No, this song doesn’t have anything to do with the island lifestyle that we all love and neither does Toby Keith for that matter. I guess you could call his hit song, Stays In Mexico and island escape themed song, but that really doesn’t make him an island boy like some other singer/songwriters we know. What this song represents is simplicity, good times and a good toe-tapper. All songs don’t have to be deep and edgy, sometimes it’s okay to be absurd and be about a plastic drinking cup.

What do you think of the song? Are you addicted to it yet?


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Mac’s Pizzeria On Bequia, Is The Hype Real?

Posted in Island Enthusiasts | Comments Off on Mac’s Pizzeria On Bequia, Is The Hype Real?

You have to go Mac’s. You’re going to Mac’s on Bequia right? Oh, if you don’t get the lobster pizza at Mac’s your going to kick yourself in the sensitive parts.

These are some of the things I’ve heard from people when I told them about my approaching trip to the Grenadines. We will be sailing to Bequia on the Diamant in a couple weeks and I believe Mac’s Pizzeria is on the schedule. My question to you is, is Mac’s worth the hype?

I’ve had some good pizza in my life, the best being a pie bought from a place on Duval Street in Key West a few years ago. I remember shoveling that pizza into my face late one night and nearly having a mouthgasm. I’m serious, this pizza was beyond good. Will Mac’s lobster pizza produce the same reaction? The jury is waiting. I’ve seen photos of this legendary pizza and it may have a chance to claim the title. I’ve never had such a pizza, the sweet combination of succulent lobster and traditional pizza flavors could easily induce the aforementioned mouthgasm.

Set along the Belmont Walkway, Mac’s has been serving up their legendary food for over 3 decades. I’ve already contacted Judy at Mac’s and let her know of the impending visit just to make sure they were ready for the pizza showdown. Ready they are.

If you’ve been to Mac’s Pizzeria on Bequia let me know what you thought! Look for my review in about a month.

(Lead photo by Davo via Flickr)


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The Teddy Bear’s Fantasy Fest/MOTM Schedule – John Friday

Posted in Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings | Comments Off on The Teddy Bear’s Fantasy Fest/MOTM Schedule – John Friday

Tuesday, October 25th
Rum Barrel, Key West 7:30-11:30 pm
Wednesday, October 26th
Willie T’s, Key West 1:00-4:00 pm
Thursday, October 27th
KOA Campground, Sugarloaf Key 6:00-10:00 pm

Friday, October 28th
Aloft Hotel Tapestry Park, Jacksonville 8:30-11:30 pm

Sunday, October 30th
Freaky Tiki Party, Ft Myers 3:00 pm-???

Tuesday, November 1st
Willie T’s 4:00-7:00 pm
Wednesday, November 2nd
Dante’s (Big Owl/AG Welcome Party) 11:00 am-3:00 pm
Sebago Fury w/Jerry Diaz 5:00-7:00 pm
Rum Barrel w/Brent Burns 8:45-9:15 pm
Schooner Wharf (Midwest regional Party) 10:15 pm-??
Thursday, November 3rd
Rum Barrel 3:00-8:00 pm
Friday, November 4th
Green World Gallery w/Jimi Pappas 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Island Dogs Bar 1:00-5:00 pm
Saturday, November 5th
Rum Barrel 7:30-11:30 pm
Monday, November 7th
Willie T’s 5:00-7:00 pm

I’ll also be stopping in here and there to meet & greet!
Hope to see you all on the island!

Courtesy of John Friday

SIESTA KEY – Island Lime Videos

Posted in Island Enthusiasts | Comments Off on SIESTA KEY – Island Lime Videos

What’s the best beach in the United States? This year its a strip of sand about an hour north on I-75 from my little town, it’s called Siesta Key Beach. Siesta Key is a barrier island in Sarasota Florida and it is consistently voted one of the best beaches in the country, this year it took top spot. If you’ve ever been to Siesta Key it’s easy to know why.

This week’s Island Lime Video takes you to Siesta Key to watch the waves lap up onto the shore and the sea gulls blaze through the skies. Well, the sea gull in the first shot was more interested in chillaxing on the sand and watching me than blazing the skies, he selfishly became the star attraction for about a minute. You’ll see.

Siesta Key – Island Lime Videos

Have you been to Siesta Key? If you haven’t it is a must. It’s home to some of the softest sand you will ever sink your toes into. I know a lot of people say that about beaches, but this is a true story. The sand of Siesta Key is 99% quartz. It’s almost like walking on baby powder it’s so fine. It sticks to everything but that small hassle is well work the experience.

My first experience with the sand of Siesta Key was 6 or 7 years ago when I went there to watch a friend play in a volleyball tournament. Right when I stepped on the sand I knew it was different. It wrapped around my foot like a warm hug. Once I got settled in and started to toss the football around, I learned you could dive on to the sand and not get hurt. Almost like falling on to soft snow. I had no idea sand could be this soft. The sand and the beach made an impression on me that day as I’m sure it did on you your first visit.

If you’d like the see the rest the photos from my visit to Siesta Key click here.

Have a great weekend Castaways!


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Bimini, The Forgotten Isle

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Good Day Castaways, we have another excellent guest post for you today. Cuban American writer JC Perez has some amazing stories about his travel throughout the Caribbean. JC is the author of Heisting the Beard, a tale about treasure, Cuba and suspense. He sent me a copy of Heisting the Beard and I can’t wait to dig into it and review it for you guys. Enjoy his post on the beautiful Bahamian islands of Bimini.

BIMINI by JC Perez

As much as Cuba is the “Forbidden Isle”, Bimini has become the “Forgotten Isle.” Bimini was unheard of or known as just a place strictly for fisherman and their stories about the one that got away, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s called the fishing capital of the world where countless world records have been recorded, but once again like most islands there’s a lot more than meets the eyes. Known as a place for million dollar boys with their million dollar toys (Boats), it now has become a destination for everything from day excursions to extended vacations stays.

Sitting just 47 miles east of Miami, a short boat trip across the Gulf Stream or a twenty minute flight out of Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, Bimini has begun to accommodate more than just the million dollar big game fisherman. Rich in history, gin clear water, and an abundance of other activities it can offer a great get away for a lot less, definitely more bang for the buck. Let me give you a little tour of what to do and who to do it with. First let me tell you that if you’re looking for casinos and dance clubs you need to go somewhere else. Bimini is built for fishing, relaxing on the beach, swimming with Dolphins and slinging back many Bahama Mamas. All you need is your bathing suit and a chilled attitude on Bimini.


When you arrive you’ll need a place to stay and a way to get around. There are numerous hotels on the tiny island not to mention the grand resort on the tip of the north end, Bimini Bay Resort, it’s expensive but if you can afford it it’s worth the price, or the world famous Big Game club, rich in history and where Ernest Hemingway did a lot of fishing out of when he wrote his best seller “Islands in the Stream”, now run by the famous painter and Oceanographer Guy Harvey. For those on a tighter budget I suggest you look up Hilary’s Hotel mid island on the north side, it’s a great little place and Hillary, better known to all as “Conch Man” can also lead you on a great Island excursion to Bimini’s wonders. Only Biminites have cars and there aren’t many of them, so for getting around, go mid Island on the north side and look up Little Craig or Dreamer Lockhart, and they’ll hook you up with a golf cart for getting around the island. It’s the only way to get from point A to point B if you don’t want to walk.

Red Lion Bimini

Red Lion – Photo by

For your dinning pleasure in my opinion there’s only one place to go and that’s the Red Lion on North Bimini. The grouper sandwiches, conch soup and conch fritters are to die for, and the rest of the menu is exquisite and daily fresh, they just can’t be beat. I didn’t forget the grog for all you rummies out there, the best place to enjoy your Bahama Mamas is the End of the World saloon. Its small, cozy, and the rum and Kalik beer flow all night long, with Calypso and Reggae music playing till early morning.

End of the World Bar Bimini

For your day time pleasure when you want to slow down the rum and Kalik, or if you want to take them along with you, there’s plenty of history and excitement to occupy your time. If you haven’t been under a rock all your life and you’ve heard of the “Lost City of Atlantis”, according to the great American Prophet, “Edgar Cacey” Atlantis is rising off the coast of North Bimini and has become known as the Bimini road, or the great Bimini Wall. Hilary will be glad to take you there for a small fee or he will let you know who can, it’s a must see. There’s also the Fountain of youth which every Biminite will tell it’s on their Island and not in Florida as Ponce De Leon would have you believe. Also on Bimini are the healing waters or what they call the “Healing hole” and the ancient Shark Mounds which date back to antiquity on South Bimini. All of these places will seem magical to you when you visit them. The Island is full of mystery that will enlighten your world, believe it.

If Pirates and stories of their adventures are more what you like, well then just stop and ask any Biminite to tell you stories about everyone who has used Bimini as a base for their actions. From Captain Henry Morgan, to Papa Ernest Hemingway and to Papa Joe Kennedy and his rum running days. Even Pablo Escobar the king of cocaine and the days of the Colombian Cartels saw action in Bimini. They all visited and used Bimini as a stepping stone to get their goods to the States. It really is an exciting and mysterious place you must see to believe.

For all you Parrot heads who might be visiting Miami for a week or two, or for those who want to visit a real piece of Island history, Bimini is a must visit.

Enjoy the Islands my friends, no matter which one you may be on, and don’t forget to keep the rum flowing.

One love,

JC Perez

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My MOTM 2011 Schedule

Posted in Trop Rock Artists | Comments Off on My MOTM 2011 Schedule

On the road to Key West:

  • Sun 10/30: Freaky Tiki Party, Ft. Myers – with Jimi Pappas, John Friday, Tiki Thom, others
  • Mon 10/31 – Tues 11/1: Pit Stop Party, MM101, Key Largo – with Captain Josh and a cast of many as they pass through

In Key West:

  • Wed 11/2, 4 PM: BeachFront Radio “Welcome to Key West” Party – Southernmost at the Beach. Part of a full lineup of Trop Rockers.

Other possible appearances:

  • Thursday between 2-5: Kelly McGuire’s songwriter showcase, Lighthouse Ct.
  • Friday between 11 AM-2 PM: Jimi Pappas Friends, Green World Gallery

Are you having a party in Key West during MOTM? Want some music? Call me – 510-821-1812. Have guitar, will bring fun.

I’ll be appearing in other places, both with and without my guitar. To find out where I am in realtime hear about some of the cool stuff happening during MOTM: Follow @lorendavidson on Twitter.

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