Archive for August, 2012

All Isaac all the time

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“Isaac, the biggest storm the Weather Channel has ever created!” That should be the lasting impression of this storm. Yes, there has been some flooding in Louisiana because the storm slowed down but if you have been watching the Worry Channel for the last two weeks, you would think this was going to be a once in lifetime storm. It was but only if you’re a baby just born! Sunshine Cindy and I went down to the beach on Tuesday to check out the wave action. They were pretty cool but I have seen it rougher. But actually this was okay by me, no need to push the limits. The state of Florida got off easy and that’s a good thing.

While we were down at the beach we talked to some other locals. It seems like a lot of people had the same idea we did. After a few minutes of being there we looked up and coming down the walkway was Eric Stone and Kim. They were still in town and had the same idea we did. Everyone was watching the sky as the radar was showing a band of rain coming our way. We knew we might have to make a run for it. We looked up the walkway and here came Russ on his bike being kind of pulled by his dog Ginger. It was now officially a party! But a party that was short lived. Russ barely got stopped and here came the rain. It came down in buckets. We said our goodbye’s and made the mad dash to BadAss.

We decided to head to Friday’s for a few beers and some food. Driving over the rain almost stopped until we pulled into the parking lot. Then once again the skies opened up. By the time we got inside to the bar we were soaked. Oh well, we didn’t melt. Ruth was there and we chatted with her for a while as we watched the indoor waterfall. They have a leak in the roof. It was leaking from two different spots by the bar with one spot actually coming down like you were in a shower. I think they need to fix that before someone gets hurt. The rain didn’t last too long and after we ate we went back home.

Wednesday was actually a little more stormy than Tuesday was. It was still nothing terrible for us. Go a few miles east to Panama City and they got almost nothing. In fact a friend posted saying the only two days in the month they didn’t get some rain over there was when they were under a Tropical Storm Warning. Go figure. We stayed in Wednesday evening. I got some Crab Island Mambo updates done and we chilled which was nice.

On Thursday everything is back to normal around the Emerald Coast. Sunshine Cindy and I got our weekend started. We went to Millers Ale House. College football has started and the place was packed. We enjoyed the Bud Light bucket special, had some food and chatted with Jared, one of the managers of the place. We are hoping they will advertise with us on the Crab Island Mambo web site. From there we stopped at The Palms. The Palms is a beautiful condo complex. They are changing their bar to a sports bar. A few people were there and they are almost done with the transformation. It will be nice and it’s right across the street from us.

Have a great Labor Day weekend. See ya Monday…..

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Buffett talks about Australia …

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An article at mentions Buffett will be doing two acoustic shows in September of this year and plans to return for a bigger tour down under next year. Buffett also discusses his fall from the stage last year, and the new Margaritaville that will open in Sydney in November 2012.

Margaritaville singer Jimmy Buffett returns to play in Australia after Sydney stage fall declaring ‘I wasn’t drunk‘”

SINGER-songwriter Jimmy Buffett has revealed he was lucky he didn’t kill himself when he tumbled off the stage during a Sydney show.

The US veteran, best known for his hits Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise, landed badly, cut his head open and was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital after falling while trying to shake the hand of a fan and missing the edge of the stage at the Hordern Pavilion show in 2011.

”I just walked off,” he said.

”I wasn’t drunk and whoever I was waving to wasn’t that pretty. I was banged up pretty bad and I was very lucky.

”I think what saved me is that I had been surfing a lot the week before and I was in pretty fair shape so I rolled when I hit. If I had gone flat-faced, God knows what would have happened.”

Buffett is returning to play in Australia for the first time since the accident next month for intimate, acoustic shows in Melbourne and Brisbane, ahead of a bigger tour next year.

It will be a working holiday for the laid-back singer, whose daughter is studying at the University of New South Wales, and who will open one of his Margaritaville chain restaurants in Sydney’s Darling Harbour in November.

He has rewritten his signature tune, Margaritaville, to reflect his dice with death Down Under.

”I have put the whole episode into the last verse and chorus,” he said.

”I got permission from my wife and daughter to play a couple of little shows over there in Melbourne and Brisbane – I can’t wait for the reaction from Down Under to the song they had something to do with.”

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Trump beach bar to close because of Margaritaville

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From “Trump beach bar to close amid competition from Margaritaville and Revel

Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino is shutting down its beach bar permanently, saying it can’t compete against nonunion beach bars at two other Atlantic City casinos.

The casino’s parent company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, said the bar’s last day will be Sept. 16.

Spokesman Brian Cahill said the company can’t compete with cocktail service on the beach for guests of the newly opened Revel, as well as the Margaritaville beach bar coming in May at Resorts Casino Hotel, which he also expects to be nonunion.

“We would love to continue operating the Beach Bar; it’s just economics,” Cahill said. “Revel opened their nonunion beach operations late this year, but they will be open all season next summer.

“Margaritaville, also nonunion, will be open Memorial Day weekend,” he said. “The truth is that union wages and severance funds do not allow us to compete against the nonunion beach bars like Revel and Margaritaville.”

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ALBUM REVIEW: Jesse Rice “The Pirate Sessions”

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Move over, Kenny Chesney…there is a new Pirate in town. Jesse Rice, who hails from Conway, South Carolina, has released “The Pirate Sessions“, sixteen tracks full of the sun and the sand and a drink in my hand….with no bottom. The difference here, is that Rice has written all of the tracks himself. They are all cleverly crafted, well played, and Rice’s voice is in excellent form. Every song on “The Pirate Sessions” would fit right in to the summer loving crowds at a Chesney or Buffet concert, and they all sound country radio ready.
Key West Time” talks about getting away from it all and NOT keeping track of time….”Haze of the Rum”..well, this one speaks for itself…”The haze of the rum makes every girl a 10″. Rum goggles, anyone? “Pirate Girl” is a very catchy ditty about his dream girl, while “Coco Cay” and “Home Away From Hometownare odes to his dream locales. “Hemingway’s Hideaway” shows he shares a favorite author with Kenny Chesney as well. This is also one of the serious notes on the CD, and it is also one of the best.”Caribbean Crazy” is a suntanned, fun filled riot,  and will be making the trip to Grand Cayman with me in November.
Best for me on “The Pirate Sessions“? “Crashing Waves“, a song about trying to forget the love that can’t be forgotten. I guess I just have a love for those Pirates with broken hearts, but this one is simple, and sweet, and makes me want to see what else Jesse Rice has up his puffy, pirate sleeve. Hmmm…perhaps he will be on next summer’s Chesney tour??

If you haven’t heard of Jesse Rice, or can’t find “The Pirate Sessions“, you can check him out here:


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2012 Trop Rock Music Awards

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Trop Rock Music Awards

Here are the Nominees for the 2012 Trop Rock Music Awards.

In no particular order:

Male Vocalist

Jerry Diaz

Howard Livingston

Rob Mehl

Kelly McGuire

James (Sunny Jim) White

Female Vocalist

Cindy Walsh

Heather Sneeringer of Tropical Soul

Lenore Troia

Michelle Becker of Latitude

Dani Hoy


Conch Fritters


Tropical Soul

Coconut Radio


Jerry Diaz & Hanna’s Reef

The Boat Drunks

Jimmy Parrish & The Ocean Waves Band

Jim Morris & The Big Bamboo Band

Jimmy & The Parrots


Brent Burns

Jimmy & The Parrots

Howard Livingston & MM 24

James ( SunnyJim) White

Jerry Daiz & Hanna’s Reef


Bob Karwin

Steve Tolliver

Jerry Diaz

Rob Mehl


Brent Burns- Dont’ Come Knockin if the Tiki Hut’s Rockin

Jimi Pappas- Hello Mr. Sunshine

Bob Karwin – Life On Lotus Street

Paul Roush – Today’s The Day

Jimmy & The Parrots – Back to the Bayou


Paul Roush – I wanna Be Howie

Jimi Pappas – Watermelons

Brent Burns- Dont’ Come Knockin if the Tiki Hut’s Rockin

Bob Karwin – Goodbye Captain

Steve Tolliver & Trop Rock Junkies-Take me Back to Havana


Dennis Davis

Steve Tolliver & The Trop Rock Junkies

Dani Hoy

Jimi Pappas

John Friday


Jimi Pappas- Drums, The Big Bamboo Band

James (Sunny Jim) White- Guitar & Steel Pan, Various Artists

Mark Mereles- Steel Pan, Hanna’s Reef

Dusty Barber – Lead Guitar, Conch Fritters

Colin Ward – Lead Guitar, Trop Rock Junkies

Radio Station – Mid Size Market

Beach Front Radio – internet

Conch Republic Radio – internet

Trop Rock Radio 1290 – Panama City Beach, Fl

Radio Station – Small Market

Island Dreams – internet

Songwriter Radio – internet

Southernmost Radio – internet

Permanent Vacation Radio – internet

Latitudes & Attutudes Seafaring Radio – internet

Radio Show

Amish Beach Party — DJ Jeff Allen (Beachfront Radio)

Big Burrito Radio — Mad Marty (WLRA- Romeoville, IL / Syndication)

Bob Karwin Report – Bob Karwin – Beach Front Radio

Pyrates Behaving Badly — Capt’n Cali & Cheeto Gyrl — (Beachfront Radio)

Island Time Radio Show – DK the DJ/Amo Bennett (WBWC — Cleveland, OH / Syndication)

Live Music Venue

Big Owl Tiki Bar — Grasonville, MD

Smokin’ Tuna — Key West, FL

Lulu’s Homeport Marina — Gulf Shores, AL

Nav-a-Gator — Lake Suzy, FL

Tropical Isle/Top of the Trop — New Orleans, LA

House Concert

Tom & Jill Melendez / The Batcave — Shiloh, IL

Fred & Sara Guerrero / Isla Bella — Floresville, TX

Terri & Marianne Higgins — Parrish, FL

Mark & Sharon Leverett / The Yard — Tampa, FL

Tami Tower — Port Charlotte, FL


Flipperstock — St. Louis, MO

Panama City Rendezvous — Panama City Beach, FL

Pardi Gras — New Orleans LA.

Phins to the West — Laughlin, NVLA

Music on the Bay — Tampa Bay, Fl

Fan of The Year


“I Can Award for Community Service



The Trop Rock Music Awards was established in 2007 to formally recognize the hard work, promotion and preservation of Trop Rock Music by the artists, songwriters, radio, events and live music venues through whom the genre continues to evolve.  Over the years, the program has grown to include 18 categories.

You must be a member of the Trop Rock Music Association to vote in the Trop Rock Music Awards.

Voting Process:

In an effort to reach as many artists as possible we we sent out surveys to all the artists in our data base.  We also sent emails to Trop Rock radio DJ’s asking them to forward this survey to the Trop Rock Artists in their database.

The surveys were sent out during the month of May and into June. The survey results will be listed as choices in the “CD of the Year” and “Song of the Year” categories in the Nomination Ballots.

Once the Nomination ballots have closed and votes have been counted, the top 5 vote-getters in each category must be reviewed and approved by the board based on the guidelines listed on the Academy Guidelines page.

The TRMA Artist Review Board will determine if an artist nominee meets the artist membership requirements. Any Artist Nominee who is approved by the board and is not a member of the Trop Rock Music Association must become a TRMA member in order to go to on to the Final Ballot. They will be notified upon board approval, and will then have 15 days to join the TRMA. If the nominated artist declines to join the association, the nomination will go to the next highest qualifying vote-getter.

All previous Trop Rock Music Award winners are automatically eligible for nomination if their TRMA membership is current. If not, they will receive the same notification to renew their membership.

Trop Rock Music Association

Trop Rock Chaos and Isaac

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It has been a hectic couple of days here in paradise. Tropical Storm Isaac is all you hear about but for us Friday was a prep day for our party at Anglers. I left work early to go help unload and set up the stage for Saturday. Still in my work clothes I was put to work when I got there. Sunshine Cindy and I also moved tables around to get the right set-up for the party. We also brought all our merchandise upstairs and got our banners hung. By the time we were done, I was a sweaty mess. We went down to the bar and had a few beers and some food. Cassie was working the bar and Justin came in later. I felt better after the beer and food. Friday night was spent at home getting the final details for Saturday done.

On Saturday the news continued to be about Isaac. It was going to hammer Key West. At least that is what the Worry…I mean Weather Channel said. I was not sure how it was going to be so bad as it was not even a hurricane but only a Tropical Storm. While all that was going on we went to the Island to get checked into the hotel and head over to Anglers. Jim Asbell was going to get there about noon to start setting up. When I got there Jim was already there and getting things set up. Jim is a great guy that we hear every year in Key West. They always put on a great show and we were glad to get him. The music was starting at 4:00 with Eric Stone. Eric got there about 2:45 and the rest of Jim’s band got there about the same time. Everything was good to go.

It was a great evening of music and dancing. Everyone had a blast. We had some real party folks there. I can’t name them all but it was fun. We had Anglers rocking. After the show Jim, Todd and Philip from his band stopped by our room for a few nightcaps. Judie, Kelly and Wayne brought some Waffle House burgers too. Thanks!!! We had a fun time. The news on Isaac was now showing it coming right to Destin. Main Street was the target. This was about 1:30 am in the morning.

Sunday when we got up the path of Isaac was now a hundred miles farther west. In a few hours we went from ground zero to out of the danger zone. Of course it can change again but once it gets into the gulf, it is easier to pinpoint a landfall spot. That is why I don’t get too worked up until it is in the gulf. Key West was getting rain and wind on Sunday but nothing major. The news media almost sounded dejected. Sunshine Cindy and I went back to Anglers for brunch and to make sure everything was taken care of upstairs. It was all good and so was the food. While sitting there eating I looked at one of the TV’s with the Worry Channel on and there is a guy in Fort Walton Beach reporting. I see the pier in the background. The same pier I am looking at behind Anglers. The dude was right outside on the beach. The weather was perfect and many people were swimming. I guess that was not a good scene to show and we didn’t see him again. LOL

Sunday afternoon we went to the harbor to see what was going on there in preparation. It was a ghost town. Most of the boats were taken to sheltered bayous in the bay. The outdoor places were all closed. The Boathouse was open but they were getting ready too. The love bugs were swarming. It was annoying. We had a beer at the Boathouse and one more at Harry T’s. We left to have a pizza at Landshark. We relaxed there talking to Sue and Steve. A nice end to the evening.

Its Monday and Isaac is now projected even farther west. It looks like New Orleans will get hit. This is not supposed to be a major hurricane and it is moving fast so hopefully they won’t get too much damage. Everyone remembers Katrina from a few years ago. I am ready for Isaac to go away. I am tired of hearing about him! See ya Thursday…

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Details for Australia Shows Announced

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Just announced: Jimmy Buffett will be returning to OZ for two shows in September


In December of 2010, the one and only Jimmy Buffett announced he would be returning to Australia for the first time in decades for two very special summer shows at the Sydney Opera House in January of 2011. The demand was high and Australian Parrotheads from coast to coast called for more; so much more in fact that an unscheduled additional show at the Hordern Pavilion was locked in. Spreading the beach party a little further this time, Chugg Entertainment are thrilled to confirm that Buffett will be returning to Australia for two very special solo-acoustic shows with Mac McAnally next month in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Returning to Brisbane and Melbourne for the first time in more than 20 years, Buffett will play a special outdoor show in Brisbane’s Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens (a venue-first) on Friday 21 September, before taking the party to theiconic Palais Theatre in Melbourne on Sunday 23 September.

visit for more information

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Low G Aquila String Review

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Low G Aquila String Review

Low G Aquila String Review.  I received a low G Aquila string in the mail a couple of weeks ago to try on my Eddy Finn ukulele. Ukuleles are generally strung with a high G string (in the progression of GCEA strings), but the low G string is an octave lower.

Edyy Finn uke set up with low G

I put the low G Aguila string on my Eddy Finn Spruce ukulele (spruce top/mahogany back and sides). The Eddy Finn Spruce ukulele is sometimes referred to as a “guitar player’s ukulele”. My Eddy Finn uke has a great look with a nice cutaway and its coloring is similar to my Martin acoustic guitar. It also has a pickup so that I can play it with our band (Parrot Island Band; a Trop Rock/Jimmy Buffett tribute band in Atlanta, Georgia). While many traditionalists are not fans of pickups in ukuleles, the one that Eddy Finn uses provides a great sound for the types of events we play (maybe another trait that guitarists find appealing?).

So how does the low G string setup sound?  The traditional tuning (high G,CEA) provides a brighter sound that is usually associated with the ukulele. With the low G tuning, the ukulele has a lower top end sound (more bass sounding).

Some people say that the low G string makes the ukulele sound more like a guitar (making it a great compliment to the Eddy Finn Spruce ukulele). In playing with the low G set up, I’m not sure I would say it sounds more like a guitar… but it does set the ukulele up to play more like a guitar with the strings going from low (G) to high (A). This also gives more notes on the lower end and a more ‘mellow” sound (you can find a more in-depth discussion on the topic here).

How do I like the low G setup? I think it sounds great! I also picked up an Eddy Finn Bamboo uke (I’ll share some thoughts on this beauty in another blog post J) that I will keep as my high G string setup. One lesson I learned in trying out the low G string… don’t be afraid to experiment!

While I’m at it, stop by and check out the Eddy Finn Spruce Tenor giveaway at … running now until October 31stThis message brought to you by Bry Harris, an Eddy Finn Ukulele Ambassador (endorsing artist/musician)


Beaches and blessings,


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Buffett performs at Alpine Valley

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Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band’s “Lounging At The Lagoon” tour resumed last night at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy WI. The set list from the show is now available.

Jimmy dedicated the song “Oysters and Pearls” to Neil Armstrong who passed away on Saturday at the age of 82.

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Featured Artist Interview – Key West Chris Rehm

Posted in Featured Artist of the Week, Pirates, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Interviews | 3 Comments »


Our sit down interview with this week’s Featured Artist – (Key West Chris Rehm)

(TRB)Where are you based these days?
(KWCR) I’ve been in Key West now since 2008. I always tell people the same story, because it’s true: I only moved 138 miles (From Cutler Bay, Fl.) but I might as well have moved 13,800. It’s a whole different world here. The Conch Republic (The Dry Tortugas – The Last Chance Saloon in Florida City) is truly a country unto itself, with an entirely different state of mind. I’m very fortunate to live in the Capital of the Conch Republic, Key West.

(TRB)Do you have a Regular Gig where your fans can always find you?
(KWCR) At the moment I bounce around Key West and some of the other southern Keys, like Stock Island at The Hog Fish, or Geiger Key, which are six and ten miles up from Key West. It’s funny because sometimes I’ll hear out of towners calling other Keys “Key West”. Every Key is unique however. Like my friend Richard Van Der Mude said after he moved to Stock Island  “Stock Island is NOT Key West!” and that’s just the next Key north. Stock Island does have one of the most fascinating bars in the area however, The Hogfish Bar and Grill. I’m fortunate that I get to play there!

(TRB)Do you have any current projects in the works?
(KWCR) Yes. I’m currently writing for my next release. We recorded one song already, Island Blue, featuring Misty Loggins on vocals. Other songs slated for it are: Marvin Key, Yippie Cayo Hueso, Happy Hour, Key Western Swing, Waves, … maybe a few more from the archives, or if something suddenly pops out, which always happens as a songwriter! HA HA HA!

(TRB)What was your major influence for pursuing a career in Trop Rock?
(KWCR) I’m kind of an oddball in this regard. I’ve always enjoyed Jimmy Buffett and I actually play two of his songs (Havana Daydreaming and Son of a Son of a Sailor), however on a scale of one to ten, I’d have to say he’s around a seven or an eight as far as influences go. The thing I like about the Trop Rock genre is that there is so much room for growth! That’s what I focus on. For instance, my song “The Beach!!!!” is based on an Afro/Cuban rhythm and tosses in a Motown type bridge. I also tossed in Marty Stonley on clarinet.  DJ Jeff always tells me how that cracked him up because no one had ever used a clarinet on a Trop Rock song. However, as the song is Afro/Cuban based, the clarinet is quite common there.  On my song “Sailing” I used South Pacific influence. I often use chords that others don’t use, or perhaps are not familiar with. On “Sailing” the chords used are a Bb6/9 and aD6 and I use a very unusual inversion of a G Maj7. Also a Bm7+4.. not the usual chords you find around the block, but it gives with so little constraints and that’s what I love about Trop Rock and Conch Rock music!  I’m working on one song now that’s influenced by “Quintette du Hot Club de France”, which was Django Reinhardt and Stefan Grappelli’s  French jazz swing band from the thirties, forties and early fifties. I’ll change it around a bit with feel and instrumentation. Maybe a clarinet/jazz violin/ and … steel drum. But there is just another example of the open blank pages waiting to be written in the genre. There are so many new, uncharted paths available and I’m going after them!

(TRB)And the question everyone asks, with such a variance of answers. Who are/were your musical influences now and getting started?
(KWCR) No doubt after I’m done I’ll think “How could I have forgotten So and So???” The Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead were major influences when I started playing guitar. To this day I play a lot of their songs. Frank Zappa was also an influence before and after that. Both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, naturally! My folks used to listen to a lot of Martin Denny, so I had that influence early on, subconsciously even. Antonio Carlos Jobim and all the offshoots from Brazil that played his music were huge influences for me. The Band, Dylan, Miles Davis, James Taylor, Bob Wills, Asleep at the Wheel, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Albert King.. The list goes on and on!

(TRB)Who, if possible, would you like to perform with?
(KWCR) I did get to play with Dickey Betts, of Allman Brother’s fame; in 2004.That was a big thrill as he was always one of my guitar heroes. As I’m first and foremost a writer, for me it would be great to write with some people! Misty Loggins and I have plans, and there are superb writers within the genre as well. C.W. Colt is fantastic, as well as Howie, both of those guys are local too, so it’s convenient. Sunny Jim White is a word magician, Don Middlebrook, Swim Skinny, and John Friday all impress me too. I’ve always been a lone wolf as far as songwriting goes, so it would be a new adventure for me.

(TRB)What is the one place that you have on your Bucket List of Venues to play?
(KWCR) Here’s the thing about Key West and Barry Cuda put it best: Unlike most musicians who travel touring from gig to gig, in Key West, not only do you have the finest venues to play, but also, it’s the crowd that is doing the touring. Venue’s? Do they get any better than the Green Parrot, Smokin’ Tuna,The Hog’s Breath, Schooner Wharf, or The Hog Fish?  Of course the drawback is I miss out on the camaraderie that musicians share when playing events and consequently, I don’t get to know many Trop Rock artists personally. But the bottom line is I live in a town which is loaded with fantastic venues. Places that people who don’t live here, actually write songs about! HA HA! If I bubbled up and died tomorrow, my bucket list of venues to play has already been completed! I can check that one off.

(TRB)Tell us about your most memorable performance.
(KWCR) I was playing a regular weekly bar gig in Key Largo in 1996. I got there early, set up and had about forty five minutes before I was scheduled to play, so I sat at the bar, had a beer and talked to a friend. It was about 4:30 and the regulars had already arrived. One guy, who had lost both hands in Viet Nam asked me “Hey Chris! When are you starting to play?” I smiled naturally and mentioned in about a half hour, then continued my conversation my friend at the bar. About five minutes later, the guy comes up to me with about twenty bucks that, unbeknownst to me, he collected from the other patrons at the bar, in his hook hands and said “Will you start playing now?” . I got all choked up, but within fifteen seconds, you better believe, I was off that bar stool and cranking out my first song! That ranks as my highest compliment I’d have to say. Bumping right there with that though, was being invited to the Key West Songwriter’s Festival the last two years. I am a BMI writer and have been published in Nashville for over a dozen years. This is basically a BMI/Nashville event, with about 140 Nashville based songwriters who are the ones writing so many of the songs you hear done by the stars. So to be invited is a distinct, very, very big honor. This year only four local writers were in the show.

(TRB)What is the best way for your fans to stay in touch?
(KWCR) Facebook is certainly a great tool. I have both a regular page and a fan page. Search “Key West Chris” and you’ll find me there. I also write a blog called Key West Music and Happenings that covers both Music and what’s going on in Key West. It’s amazing all the hits I get from all over the world on that page. I also have my website, where we’re trying to cover some unbroken territory. With music downloads becoming the norm, consequently the listener no longer gets the information. Well, what I’m doing is putting art, lyrics, personnel, and a story behind how the song was written with every song on the website. Some songs even have the song with them.!/ChrisRehm09!/pages/Key-West-Chris-Music/130142130370276


Trop On!