Archive for March, 2012

New Album Update – “Of All the Rum Joints…”

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Cover for Of All the Rum Joints... - new albumI’ve been working hard with producer Kevin Johnston and with artists Dave Daily and Albert Hinojosa, and some of the early bits of this new album are starting to fall into place.

The title, as you may have heard, will be “Of All the Rum Joints…” It’s my fifth album, and the second on which I’ve used a song lyric for the title.

Albert is responsible for the new Cafe Tropicale logo, visible in a slightly altered form in the album cover graphic. Dave took that logo and some other bits of guidance from me and created this way-cool cover concept. They’ve both done excellent work so far. Dave is also working on a couple of T-shirt ideas for me right now.

Another bit of trivia: Partly by design and partly by happenstance, I do album covers that alternate having and not having my picture on them. So albums 1, 3, 1nd 5 (this one) have my picture on the front; 2 and 4 do not. So the odds are good that the eventual album six won’t either. But as I haven’t even finished this album yet, I’m not making too many plans that far ahead.

Meanwhile, Kevin and I have approximately finalized the song list for this one. There will be eleven original songs and two covers. The covers will be a reggae version of John Denver’s classic “Sunshine on my Shoulders” and my own interpretation of an old Doors tune, “Moonlight Drive.”

Here’s a list of the other songs on the album. The links, where provided, are to “snapshot in time” and “homebrew” versions; the songs have continued to evolve, and will likely be different on the album. But still worth listening to.

  • Green Flash” – upbeat and using an alternate guitar tuning, this is a song about watching sunsets for that elusive and rare atmospheric phenomenon known as a “green flash.” And it’s about the journey being as important as the destination. Stuff like that.
  • Looking at You” – A few months back, I realized that the song “Margaritaville” and the movie Casablanca pretty much had the same premise – boy meets girl, girl dumps boy, boy goes someplace with palm trees to drink it off. Which may be powerful, but isn’t very empowering. So I wrote this song, which is really “Margaritaville” meets “How Do You Like Me Now?” It provides the album title and theme.
  • “Voodoo Lounge” – I’ve written earlier about this song, which has undergone some revision since the earlier version I posted about. We’ll be going musically to some of the less savory corners of New Orleans to flesh this one out.
  • Fly Away” – This was inspired by a couple of other songs, that I won’t name here. It’s upbeat and lively and hopeful, because I think we all need that to look forward to every now and then.
  • “One More Rum” – This song took shape one day as I was contemplating one of the Greatest Lies in the World – “C’mon, man, we’re only going to have one more round and then we can go home.” Never happens. It’s becoming the signature “last song of the night” when I play, and will be the last song on the album.
  • “Pontiac Motel” – This song has no beaches, no boat drinks, and no bars in it. I’ve had the title kicking around in my “hook book” for at least five years. It’s really a counterpoint in some ways to everything else I write – we fantasize about walking away from our jobs now and then, but there’s an entire class of people who don’t have jobs – the homeless – who probably fantasize about having lives like the ones we fantasize about escaping from. And if your employer were bought out tomorrow, or went out of business, or just decided, “hey, let’s let a bunch of people go,” how many paychecks are *any* of us away from living on the streets?
  • Island Moonlight” – Everyone loves being in love…right? But even the best romance has its bad days, and sometimes you question whether it’s all going to work out. In this song it does, thanks to the magic of island moonlight.
  • “Way Out” – In addition to an interesting play on words in chorus, this song is going to put the “rock” in “trop rock.” Really. I was stretching my writing skills in a particular direction, and this is what emerged.
  • “Somewhere, Someday” – One man’s dream of Paradise.
  • “Tropical Therapy” – Because I’d been trying hard *not* to write Yet Another Margaritaville Near-Clone for many years, and realized that I’d succeeded. So, having proved I could write nearly everything else, I proved I could write this too.
  • Living Key West” – One of my friends is musician Howard Livingston, who posts about his carefree, happy life in the Florida Keys. A lot. Some might even say to excess. I say it’s easy to live on Key West Time when you’re in the keys; it’s a bit more of a challenge for those of us in the “upper 48.” But it can be done, and this song is about how I do it. Any resemblance between my song and Howie’s is out of love, done with his blessing, and as far as I can tell, doesn’t cross any legally bad lines anyway.

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Featured Artist of the Week – Rob Mehl

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I was born in Oceanside, California and spent most of my youth in Southern California and Hawaii. I started surfing in the late 1950’s, started reading classic literature in the early 1960’s, and by the mid ’70s was combining the two influences in my own writing. My early musical influences include traditional Hawaiian storytelling songwriters, jazz artists, and standard vocalists. I’ve been told my music has “amazing depth” and is “always refreshing because it’s always evolving” by fans and peers alike.

I describe my music as pretty mellow, folk-style beach ballads and stories with little bit of jazz. I’ve been blessed with a gift that lets me travel to beautiful places all over the world, so I have to say that getting to play in tropic waters for most of my life has influenced my music. So have musicians like Gabby Pahinui, Kui Lee, Jerry Santos, Astrud Gilberto, Harry Nilsson, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Walter Wanderly, Marty Robbins, Paul Simon, Michael Franks and James Taylor. As a kid I’d sit under the banyan trees of Waikiki and listen to “Pops” Pahinui & other Hawaiian players. Then, since dad worked as a radio disc jockey, I’d sit and listen to him play jazz all night. That mix helped create the songwriter I am now. And some of the beach boys (of Waikiki!) would tell me every day, “Read, little haole boy, read!” And they’d bring me books. Which means that writers like Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, William Butler Yeats, Ernest Hemingway, C.S. Lewis, John D. MacDonald, Carl Sandburg, Clive Cussler and J.R.R. Tolkein have influenced my own writing.

Today I play a nylon-string guitar and ukulele … though not usually at the same time … and I love telling stories between songs … sometimes  even between verses! My favorite places to perform are at singer/ songwriter festivals, house concerts for sure, and clubs that are “listening venues”, not just venues that have live music. And, oh yeah, I love going places where I get to surf!”

I’ve recorded 8 cd’s with some absolutely amazing musicians (available on iTunes and at CD Baby) that can be heard regularly on selected internet radio stations around the world. I also has a live concert dvd from a show at The Yard in Tampa, Florida.

All information is from


Tampa Show Tonight, New Orleans Sunday

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Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band perform tonight at the 1-800 Ask Gary Amphitheatre in Tampa, FL as part of the “Welcome to Fin Land Tour”.

Follow along with the Set List during the show and listen on Radio Margaritaville or SiriusXM.

The next show will be on Sunday April 1st at Woldenberg Park in New Orleans, a free show for the NCAA Men’s Final Four. The show starts at 8:00 PM. More details at

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A Note from Tall Paul

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Spring has sprung and it is time to once again hit the road!

But first, if you are in the East TN area this coming Tuesday (April 3rd) you should come down to the Bijou Theatre at 7pm and witness the World Premiere of the Hot Trio Concert Video! ClickHERE to view the commercial that is showing throughout East TN. This band is Tall Paul, Andy Wood and Melanie Howe and the show came out AMAZING. We shot it at the Square Room in October with Kristie and Vince Ilagan joining the Trio to be the opening act. It was a great night then, and will be another fabulous night Tuesday.

A little over a week later, Kristie, Quincy and I will begin our West Coast Tour. We play TusconPhoenixSan DiegoApple Valleyand Granada Hills. (Click each city for more detailed information)  Several of the events are House Concerts, one is at a club and one is at a Yacht Club! Fun WILL ensue so please attend a show if possible or spread the word to friends in any of these areas. We will be performing songs from Kristie’s acclaimed debut CD “Blissful Magic Moment” as well as selections from the brand new Ramajay Acoustic CD plus acoustic versions of other Ramajay songs, St.Somewere & Tall Paul songs and some of our favourite cover tunes! There will be stories and antics as well… be there!!

the Costa Rica Getaway in mid May is filling up nicely but there is still space available. CLICK HERE for details. My friends Tom and Candee West are excellent hosts and their Villas provide an amazing tropical escape. This will probably be the first of many trips here.

Trop On!

Show Me the Music Songwriting Contest 2012

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Show Me the Music Songwriting Contest 2012

About This Opportunity

Welcome to our 2012 International “Show Me the Music” songwriting contest. This contest is all about giving you, the songwriter, a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are excited about finding our 5th Grand Prize Winner this year and we look forward to hearing your original songs. All genres are welcome!

You may ask yourself, “Why should I enter the Show Me the Music songwriting contest?”

Since our contest is still fairly new, we receive far less entries than some of the other major songwriting contests. Although we only had a little over 1,000 songs entered last year, we are still offering the same huge prizes you might find when entering contests with 15,000-25,000 plus entries.

We do not run your music through an algorithm machine to find out what a computer says is a great song! Show Me the Music takes great pride in having real people listen to each song entered. Songs are judged on melody, lyrics, song structure, and originality. Entries are not judged on production.

With that being said, this year’s Grand Prize Winner will have a difficult decision to make…..$10,000 cash, or…. $3,000 cash and a Recording Session in Music City, Nashville, TN. If you win, you choose the prize!

How does the contest work?

Our contest will run in three phases. In each phase, we will award a winner. You will want to enter as soon as possible for an opportunity to win these early awards and prizes.
– Phase 1 will end March 31st
– Phase 2 will end May 31st
– Phase 3 will end in June 31st

Phase 1 and 2 winners will receive $250.00 U.S., an award certificate, a Show Me the Music t-shirt, and a featured spot on our website. They will also automatically advance to the top finalists for a shot at winning the overall grand prize.

Phase 3 will award the overall Grand Prize Winner with their choice of Grand Prize Package A or B.

What are the 2 choices for the Grand Prize Winner?

A) Cash Prize Package of $10,000:
We have noticed that some of those who have entered in the past already have an amazing recording of their original song. All they need is some cash to get the tour on the road, buy new equipment, pay off some bills, fund a promotion, or just have a fatter wallet. Prize Package A was designed for these people. Copy Cats Media ( is also manufacturing and donating 500 packaged cd’s of the winning song! If that is what you are looking for, then this contest is for you. Plus much more!

B) Recording Session Prize Package + $3,000 Cash:

What if you don’t have a high quality recording of your song or connections in the music business? We will provide that and more if you win. If our Winner chooses the Recording Session Prize Package, we will set them up with 3 nights stay in Nashville, TN, $3,000 to use towards airfare and spending money, a meet and great with top Producers, A-list Musicians, publishers, songwriters, and song-pluggers for major labels. This package also includes a recording session at The Castle recording studio in Franklin, TN with world renowned producer Rob Feaster. We will bring the song to life as our winner records with the same musicians who are on today’s #1 radio hits! Copy Cats Media ( generously offered to manufacture 500 cd’s of the winning song.

We look forward to hearing your original music and wish you the best in the contest! You can’t win if you don’t enter. Now, get those songs ready and Show Me the Music!

Opportunity Overview
$10/song to Submit
Genres Accepted: ALL
Submissions Close: July 31, 2012 

ReverbNation provides more than 2 million artists, managers, labels, venues, festivals/event/tour promoters and other music industry professionals with powerful, easy-to-use technology to promote and prosper online. Their wide array of distribution and promotional solutions provide the hands-on tools and actionable insights that allow them to reach their goals in an increasingly complex music industry. The company operates worldwide with customers on every continent. Over 30 million visitors come to every month.

To Submit Click HERE

New Trop Rock album project

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Multi-source collaborative funding for the new John Friday CD, including production, marketing and distribution.

Welcome to the Shipwreck Krewe!

We’re ready to dish out another heapin’ helping of hot Trop Rock tunes. This is where YOU can help! The entire Shipwreck Krewe can collaborate on my third Trop Rock album, Coastal Cowboy, with nine original songs and a couple really fun covers!

Since Jimmy hasn’t invited me down to Shrimpboat Sound yet….

The cold hard truth, as much as we Trop Rockers hate to admit, is that we don’t make the kind of money that Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, and Zac Brown make! We, frankly, pour every spare cent we can into our albums, not because we have hopes of making a gajillion bucks, but because we truly love to make music for you!

I love the idea of all of us collaborating in the music production process, in ways however large or small that we can.


Why we’re asking

The funds raised through this campaign will cover studio costs, musician fees, mixing & mastering services, graphic design, CD reproduction, distribution, and marketing.

Everything above the goal will go toward wenching & drinking…..NOT!!


What’s in it for YOU?


BUT, this isn’t a one-way street! For each level of assistance, you get some perks and fun stuff! Ranging from downloads and special tracks, to CDs and merchandise, to your very own private show, I want to thank you with tangible rewards. And though it’s intangible, I hope you know that I’m incredibly grateful for your support and assistance!


Other Ways You Can Help

Don’t keep this under your hat, either! Help spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, email, phone calls, the water cooler, and any other social networking tools at your disposal.

Don’t forget to explore the sharing tools here on Indie GoGo, too!

Coastal Dreams from John Friday

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Coastal Dreams, 3-27-2012

Last Saturday evening I had the very wonderful honor of singing the National Anthem at Germain Arena, prior to the Florida Everblades hockey game. What an experience! I hope that I did a serviceable job on the song. Just yesterday, I launched a brand-new project, a micro-funding campaign on for the new CD. There are multiple levels of contributions, each with tis own special perks. If you’d like to help get the new CD done, stop by and choose your perk!

This weekend is filled with shows, including a couple new venues for me. On Friday, March 30th, I’m at the Portside Tavern in Port Charlotte, Fl from 9pm-1am. On Sunday, April 1st, I’m at Gatorz in North Ft Myers, Fl from 1-5 pm.

Also this weekend, I’m at Pincher’s Crab Shack in Naples on Thursday, March 29th from 6-9 pm; and on March 31st (Saturday) I’m at Lucarelli’s Restaurant in Naples from 7pm until they’re done partying!

Ok, enough of that self-promotion stuff……the hockey game was AWESOME!! And the Everblades won!


Island Time- 10 PM to 1 AM, eastern on WBWC 88.3 FM

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Island Time Radio Show
Hosted by DK the DJ

Mondays 10PM to 1AM, eastern Live!
WBWC 88.3 FM, & I-Tunes 

(schedule and lineup subject to change)
Aloha Baby- Tikiyaki Orchestra
It Gets Me to the Beach- Latitude
We Spread Aloha- The Crazed Mugs
Pablus from the Crazed Mugs interview
Rum Barrel- The Crazed Mugs
Island People- The Crazed Mugs
Champagne Jam- Atlanta Rhythm Section
Florida Keys- Bobby Thornton
On a Slow Boat to China- Jimmy Buffett
Little O’ Day- John Reno
Everybody’s Talkin’- Dave Lapio
Romeo’s Garage- Peter Mayer (Live)
Talespin- Don Middlebrook
One Love- Bob Marley
Phlock Talk with the Kaleys
Floating By- The Red Button
Out on the Water- Coconut Boat Band
California Saga- Beach Boys
After the Fire- Pat Dailey
Tattered Map- Bob Karwin
Moonlight on the Bay- Rob Mehl
Martini Time- The Aquavelvets
Creola- Jimmy Buffett
Pink Champagne- Time Charron
Palm Tree in Buffalo- Pirate Dreams
I Saw the Light- Todd Rundgren (Tiki version)
Elusive Butterfly- Jimi Pappas
Groovin’- Calypso Nuts
Symptoms of Love- Lenore Troia
Love in the Tropics- Gene Mitchell
Some Sunny Beach- Swim Skinny
Ukelele- Girl- Coconut Radio
Hawaiian Sunset- Dean Simmons

Saturdays 9 PM, eastern

Wednesdays 8 PM, eastern

Island Time Radio Show
Hosted by DK the DJ

Featured Artist of the Week – Howard Livingston & the Mile Marker 24 Band

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Howard is a native of the mountains of eastern Kentucky. His mother spawned his love for music by introducing him to the guitar at age five. While the love of music never did leave him, his career pushed him in a different direction. While building his business, he traveled to the Florida Keys, where he developed a severe case of “Keys Fever” He never wanted to leave. The more he visited, the more music, and the keys called out to him. Finally, he surrendered. The islands called both he and his guitar. He teamed upo with this group of talented musicians and Mile Marker 24 was born and the island music goes on and on.

Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 band are the real deal and an all original tropical island band capable of supporting both small and large events. The band has recorded five studio CDs filled with over fifty all originals that always please the crowd. The band is also flexible and fully functional from an intimate two-piece to a ten-piece including a horn section. Howard is also available as a solo performer. The music of Mile Marker 24 offers universal appeal with an easy going lilt and sway that celebrates the human spirit while being underscored by steel drums, guitars, marimba and subtle strings.

Mile Marker 24 has been on the fast track, growing in popularity from the most popular band in the Florida Keys to clearly a favorite nationwide.

Livingston’s self-released fifth album, Tunes in a Tropical Key, provides the latest example of this carefree caress. Like his four earlier efforts, Livin’ On Key West Time (2005), Meet Me In The Keys (2006), Blame It On The Margaritas (2007), and I’m Living on an Island (2008) much of the new album is based on Livingston’s life – the life he loves in the Florida Keys. Songs that share his love for the Florida Keys (It’s A Pretty Good Life), to the humorous (Get Your Own Cousin & Tropical Nightmare). This album joins Livingston’s other albums as a soundtrack to a lifestyle – the lifestyle of flip flops and tank tops!

Livingston and company have become known as a Portable Party Machine supporting corporate events, weddings, and tropical parties. With the 1952 Johnson outboard motor – turned margarita maker – that became well known when making margaritas with Al Roker (Today Show), Dave Price (CBS Early Show), Sam Champion (Good Morning America), and Samantha Brown (The Travel Channel), Livingston performs many events in the Florida Keys, fairs and tropical parties in the Southeast US, and tours the Midwest and Eastern USA. He has shared the stage with the likes of Mac McAnally, Little River Band, Cowboy Troy, America, Jerry Jeff Walker, Hank Williams, Tim McGraw, Big and Rich, and Keith Urban. Livingston has also been a headliner act at Meeting of the Minds (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), Jimmy Buffett’s annual international fan club convention.

All Information copied from Howard’s Website

Buffett to perform at NCAA Men’s Final Four concert

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From “KISS, the Black Keys, Jimmy Buffett to play free concerts in New Orleans during Final Four

Kiss, the Black Keys and Jimmy Buffett are slated to perform free concerts in Woldenberg Park along the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans the weekend of the NCAA Men’s Final Four. The concerts are part of a full slate of festivities throughout the college men’s basketball championship weekend.

In recent years Buffett, a native of the Gulf Coast with close ties to New Orleans, has mostly limited his local performances to hugely popular appearances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell, as well as impromptu sets at clubs and the occasional tailgate party. The mayor of “Margaritaville” is a passionate fan of the New Orleans Saints who often attends playoff games and turns up in the locker room. He’ll perform at Woldenberg on Sunday, April 1.

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