Archive for July, 2013

Black Tot Day – Drunken Sailor

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Black Tot Day (July 31, 1970) is the name given to the last day on which the Royal Navy issued sailors with a daily rum ration (the daily tot).

In the 17th century the daily drink ration for English sailors was a gallon of beer. Due to the difficulty in storing the large quantities of liquid that this required in 1655 a half pint of rum was made equivalent and became preferred to beer. Over time drunkenness on board naval vessels increasingly became a problem and the ration was formalised in naval regulations by Admiral Edward Vernon in 1740 and ordered to be mixed with water in a 4:1 water to rum ratio and split into two servings per day.[1]

In the 19th century there was a change in the attitude towards alcohol due to continued discipline problem in the navy and in 1824 the size of the tot was halved to a quarter pint in an effort to improve the situation. In 1850 the Admiralty’s Grog Committee, convened to look into the issues surrounding the rum ration, recommended that it be eliminated completely. However rather than ending it the navy further halved it to an eighth of a pint per day, eliminating the evening serving of the ration. This led to the ending of the ration for officers in 1881 and warrant officers in 1918.

On December 17, 1969 the Admiralty Board issued a written answer to a question from the MP for Woolwich East, Christopher Mayhew saying “The Admiralty Board concludes that the rum issue is no longer compatible with the high standards of efficiency required now that the individual’s tasks in ships are concerned with complex, and often delicate, machinery and systems on the correct functioning of which people’s lives may depend”. This led to a debate in the House of Commons on the evening of January 28, 1970, now referred to as the ‘Great Rum Debate’, started by James Wellbeloved, MP for Erith and Crayford, who believed that the ration should not be removed. The debate lasted an hour and 15 minutes and closed at 10:29pm with a decision that the rum ration was no longer appropriate.

July 31, 1970 was the final day of the rum ration and it was poured as usual at 6 bells in the forenoon watch (11am) after the pipe of ‘up spirits’. Some sailors wore black armbands, tots were ‘buried at sea’ and in one navy training camp there was a mock funeral procession complete with black coffin and accompanying drummers and piper. The move was not popular with the ratings despite an extra can of beer being added to the daily rations in compensation.

A special stamp issued, available from Portsmouth General Post Office, with the slogan “Last Issue of Rum in the Royal Navy July 31, 1970”.

Original from Wikipedia

They Call Him Flipper

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They call him “Flipper”

A couple of months ago I picked up Lance “Flipper” Steen’s new CD, “Take Me to Paradise” and have really enjoyed it! Although I haven’t met Lance in person yet, we have exchanged several e-mails and have found out that we share several common interests (Trop Rock music and ukuleles being two of them). I have enjoyed getting to know Lance and his music and look forward to ending up at the same music event some day to get better acquainted in person…

Lance Flipper Steen









Bio: Lance “Flipper” Steen is a 20 year veteran of the Parrothead Circuit, playing percussion, first with “Mark Northey and the Phinheads” in ’93, then spending 12 years on and off and on again with “Phins.” He is currently playing with Terry Beck and Jerry Turnbow in a venture called T,JF, as well as getting his solo start playing ukulele, while promoting his new CD “Take Me to Paradise”

1) Where is home for you at the moment?

“O’Fallon, MO (Suburb of St. Louis)”

2) What were your earliest/and current musical influences?

“Earliest – I love to tell the story about my folks loading up the car back in the 70′s and taking the family to Village Inn Pizza Parlor every weekend to see a local band “The Travelers” playing current hits of the time in a blue grass kinda mix. Great thing is that Terry Beck, the lead singer, filled in for Paul Roush a few gigs at the end of “Phins” and Jerry Turnbow and I play with him regularly now….
“Current – I listen to a lot of Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown (but I hear ukulele in everything…). “

3) When did you start playing the uke?

“About 6 years ago, Dennis Arnold (then President of the St. Louis Parrothead Club) asked me to start taking some group ukulele lessons with him.”

4) What ukes are you currently playing?

“I still play “Lucy”, my first uke, a Tenor Black Kala Arch-top that reminded me of B.B. King’s “Lucille”.

“I also play a Tenor “Cedar” Kala Arch-top, appropriately named “Desi Lu” (currently tuned with a Low G), though my main uke is a Kala Concert, with electronics and built in tuner (not yet named).
“Lastly, I have a Kala Concert, bare bones basic uke, that I call “Loo” because…. well, I keep it in the bathroom… ”

5) Any current musical projects you would like to tell us about (tours/CD’s)?

“I recently released my first CD (“Take Me to Paradise”) apart from the band Phins, and am working on my set list,
with limited dates booked at this time. Check it out on or I-tunes.”

Take Me to Paradise








6) Any question that you wished someone would ask but never has? With answer of course

“Why do you name your Ukes?

“Well, just like my kids, if I’m going to ask someone to pick one up for me I like to call them by name. I’m always telling my boy, “Go get Lucy out of my bedroom.” “Go grab Desi-Lu outta the dining room” or “Go grab Loo out of the bathroom…” … Like my kids, I also try to never put them in cases, they were meant to be played… (the ukes, not the kids…)”

They call him flipper

7) One more, how did you get the nickname “Flipper”? 

“Long story – in my 20′s, my brothers and I did some professional wrestling. A couple years later, I was working at a piano bar, as a bouncer. After hours, several of us were partying, guys were asking about it and before long, I was tucking my chin and showing them a front ¾ flip flat to my back. Somehow that evolved into part of the show, one piano player would play the theme to Flipper, while the other would hold a hula hoop, for me to jump through. So I have been Flipper for about 20 years now… ”

Thanks “Flipper” (can you still do those ¾ flips??) for sharing your love for uke and music…

Beaches and blessings,

Bry Harris

Kala Uke Artist Bry Harris





Kala Uke Artist


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Why should the Trop Rock Community thank Christopher Columbus?

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Why should the Trop Rock Community thank Christopher Columbus?

On July 31, 1498, Christopher Columbus discovered the Island of Trinidad. Why is this important, you ask? Without this discovery, you might not know who Lynley Tolls, Frankendread, John Patti, and many more are. The Steel Pans originated in Trinidad.

Below is a history of the Steel Pan:

For over 50 years the world has enjoyed the scintillating, pulsating music of the steelband. Audiences from London to New York and beyond have been left spellbound, amazed that such rich tonal quality could come from discarded oil drums. The refined sound we now hear is the result of decades of hard work, research and innovations by master tuners such as Ellie Mannette, Neville Jules, Bertie Marshall, Anthony Williams, Rudolph Charles and Lincoln Noel to name a few. But how and where did it all start?

There are varying accounts as to the exact date and location in Trinidad the first steelpan was tuned since no official records were kept by either the pioneers or the British colonial government of the day. This, however, is one popular version. Necessity, it is said, is the mother of all inventions, and the steelpan is sound proof of that maxim. It was born out of deprivation, a desperate need by a people to fill the void that was left when something central to their existence was taken away.

SteelPanSince the 1800s, the inhabitants of Trinidad had been participating in a street carnival brought to the Caribbean island by the French. When the freed slaves (slavery was abolished in the West Indies in 1834) joined in the festivities, they could not afford the conventional instruments, so they used African drums, the instruments of their ancestors, then created percussion bands made up of bamboo joints cut from the bamboo plant. The “Tamboo Bamboo” bands (tamboo is a corruption of the French word tambour which means drum) bands were rhythmic ensembles that provided the accompaniment for the masqueraders in the annual parade.

Throughout the 1920s and 30s these bands flourished, but by 1940 something dreadful was about to plunge the world into perhaps its darkest and most notorious period in the twentieth century. Unwittingly, the events of that dark era would provide the beam that lit the way to the discovery of a new musical instrument.

When Adolf Hitler drew Europe into World War Two, the British colonial government summarily banned the Tamboo Bamboo bands, forcing the people to look for other ways to make merry. Readily available were steel drums discarded by the oil refineries on the island.

As they banged against the flat surface of the drum, the fun seekers accidentally stumbled upon a sound that would lead to further experimentations, and consequently, the birth of steelpan, the only musical invention of the twentieth century.

While death and destruction consumed Europe in the early forties, the lives of the underprivileged, unemployed young men in Trinidad were filled with hope and excitement. They realized that the constant pounding against the flat end of the drum left an indentation, and the sound changed as well. Word would soon spread about the discovery, and the possibility of making music with the drums. Further experiments would follow. To achieve further indentation, they would heat the drums in bonfires. What they discovered too was that by varying the size and depth on the indentation, it was possible to get more notes with different tones. As the creativity of these youths took over, one note led to two, three, then four on a single drum.

When the war ended in 1945, Trinidadians, like most people around the world, took to the streets in celebration, carrying of course, their new instruments. While they made music, there were still limitations. They needed an instrument on which an eight-note scale could be played. Who would be the first to tune such an instrument?

It is said that a young man from a depressed area of east Port of Spain, the capital city, was the first to do so. Legend has it that Winston Spree Simon, tirelessly working to improve on the initial discovery was able, sometime in the early to mid-forties, to tune the ping pong; on which he could play a complete eight-note scale. With rubber wrapped around one end of a piece of stick, Spree played a simple melody to the excitement of those who surrounded him at what would later come to be known as the panyard. News of Spree’s achievement spread like wildfire around Port of Spain and from there on, experimentation with the drums went on apace across the country.

Much like the rapid changes in modern technology, the development of different instruments with their own distinct tone came in quick succession. At the dawn of the fifties names such as Ellie Mannette and Neville Jules emerged as top class tuners. Simultaneously, bands were being formed across the land, some of them adopting names from American movies such as Destination Tokyo, Casablanca, Rising Sun, Invaders, Tripoli, Bar 20, Red Army, Desperadoes.

IMG_2519These bands were made up of instruments such as the ping pong (which by that time had been improved and expanded by the likes of Mannette and renamed the tenor pan), double seconds, guitars, cellos and bass. To further illustrate the rapid development of the instrument, by 1951 Trinidad was invited to send a steelband to the Festival of Britain at the South Bank Exhibition. This led to the formation of the Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO) with members drawn from steelbands such as Casablanca, Invaders, Free French, Crossfire, Tokyo, Southern Symphony, North Stars, Rising Sun, Sun Valley and City Syncopators. Among the chosen few were Mannette, Spree and a man who would soon earn his place among the legendary innovators/tuners, Anthony Williams.

By the time the sixties rolled around, the steelband was still a work in progress. The panyards became laboratories, and men like Williams would take the experiments one step further. His contribution was perhaps the most innovative piece of work of that era. He designed a tenor pan known as the “fourths and fifths,” meaning that next to the tonic note were the fourth and fifth notes of that scale. This design is still the standard used in most steelbands to this day. And Bertie Marshall of the Highlanders would soon follow with his creation of the double tenor, a must in every steelband. The seventies belonged to Rudolph Charles, leader of the Desperadoes who took innovations beyond the tuning aspect of the instruments. He introduced the nine and twelve bass, which effectively extended the range and depth of the bass drums by increasing the number of drums from the traditional six to nine and then to twelve.

Charles followed up with the quadrophonic, and improvements on the pitch of the tenor pan to what is now known as the high tenor; He also changed the appearance of the steelband with the silver chroming of instruments replacing the oil paints of the fifties and sixties. For better movement of bands through the streets, and to protect the instruments from the sun during the carnival parades, he put the stands on wheels and covered them with canopies.

These developments were not confined to Trinidad and indeed Tobago, the other half of the twin-island nation. Across the seas on the smaller islands of the eastern Caribbean, in the late fifties and sixties, bands were being formed as well, at first with instruments bought in Trinidad, but later with home-made brands by men who had, over time, learned the art of tuning. For instance in the early fifties, Antigua, to the north, boasted of such bands as Brute Force and Hell’s Gate. In the decades that followed, the steelband would move beyond the shores the Caribbean to North America, England, other parts of Europe such as Holland, Switzerland, Sweden and as far east as China, Japan. Today in Trinidad alone, there are more than 100 steelbands. Across the world, hundreds more.

Back in Trinidad in the late fifties/sixties, the developments in the steelband world were not simply a contribution to the family of musical instruments. The bands, comprised mainly of unemployed young black men, often found themselves in violent confrontation, something akin to the gang warfare that gripped certain cities in North America. As a result, these young men who should have been regarded as pioneers,were reviled by a large portion of the society, regarded as social outcasts, particularly by the middle and upper classes.

After the island became independent from Britain in 1962, the new government moved to change the image of the panmen as they were being called. Official involvement was evident with the hiring of bands to perform at social and state functions. Corporate sponsorship was also encouraged to provide the bands with funds to purchase drums, pay for arrangers, tuners and uniforms. Hence such marriages as Amoco Renegades, Coca Cola Desperadoes, (now West Indian Tobacco Company (WITCO) Desperadoes, Pan Am North Stars (since disbanded), Shell Invaders (now BWIA Invaders), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Starlift (now Petrotrin Starlift). The involvement of corporate citizens in the affairs of these motley groups slowly helped to erase the stigma and bring about social acceptance by the wider community. Panmen are now regarded as the cultural ambassadors of the land and the steelpan has been officially recognized as the national instrument. In addition, both sponsor and band have grown to respect each other’s role in their mutual existence.

With this new image, the war on the streets soon gave way to another kind of warfare -a musical war on the stage. In 1963, the Carnival Development Committee which was formed to put a sense of organization into the street festival, started the panorama competition with each band vying for recognition as the superior band in the land. In this competition, every band is required to play a 10-minute rendition of a calypso of choice. The winners and other participants are rewarded financially and there are other perks, such as trips overseas and engagements at home.

Over the past three decades, several bands have shot into the national consciousness as they repeatedly claimed the coveted title as panorama champions. Bands such as Desperadoes and Renegades (9 wins each), All Stars (4), Phase Two Pan Groove (2), Exodus (1) are now household names with international followings.

Indeed, over the past four decades, the steelpan has come a long way, moving from the panyards of the most depressed areas of a society to some of the most prestigious concert halls around the world. The Desperadoes, for instance, have performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Carnegie Hall, the Apollo and Lincoln Theaters in New York, the United Nations building, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Other bands like Renegades, All Stars, Phase Two, Exodus have wooed audiences from London to Paris to Japan, mesmerizing them with their renditions of some of the most complex works of the classic composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Sibelius, Rossini, Borodin.

As the world gets ready to enter the new millennium, the students of Spree, Mannette, Williams, Marshall, Charles who with their genius and creativity gave this century perhaps its sweetest gift, are preparing to take pan to higher heights. No one knows what the final product will be, but we know for sure that it will continue to make a joyful noise unto the world of music.

History can be found HERE.

Summer fun in Destin

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Friday night the Emerald Coast Parrothead Club met at The American Legion. We had about 100 people show up. A lot of money was raised for the USO. As the meeting was winding down a big group of us went into the bar for Karaoke. There are some real good singers who got up there and some not so good ones but everyone had a great time. As usual we closed down the bar.

Saturday I headed down to the harbor. As I walked by the Tipsy Turtle I saw some folks we had met a while back at Landshark Pizza at one of our parties. They read my weekend update each week to see what’s going on. That’s cool. I walked down to see if Steve was at his Hawaiian Ice booth. He wants some of our Crab Island Mambo tee shirts. He was not open so I walked back to the Turtle to talk to the folks I knew. Debbie was working and a decent crowd of tourist were walking along the boardwalk even though it was drizzling rain.

I made my way down to the Monkey Bar. Just a few locals were there. Rose was working the bar. Some guy was getting set up to play music. One guy sitting at the bar works the Burrito del Mar trailer. He said they do great late night business. I believe it as the drunks look for something to eat.

I left and went to The Boathouse. Jager was working the outside bar. Courtney saw me and came and give me a big hug. Paige walked by hollering hello to me. I didn’t know she worked there. Then Gigi came by, gave me a jello shot and talked for a while. I also talked to a local that was there and we watched as the tourist came and went. It is always fun at The Boathouse but I needed to get back down to the Turtle. We had missed Matt’s birthday on Friday because of the Parrothead meeting so I had to make amends.

Sunshine Cindy and I gave Matt one of our black long sleeve tee shirts as a gift. He is always wearing long sleeves and we knew he would like it. He was surprised and thankful. He said they a fun time Friday night as a big crowd showed up with cakes and stuff. Matt is fun and he knows how to keep everyone loose at the Turtle. As the evening wore on, Matt and Mindy set up and started to play. I stayed for a while then decided to head towards the house. I made one last stop at Sago Sports Bar. They had a good crowd in there but I was out of gas and headed home to rest.

Sunday Funday was spent on the harbor again. Sunshine Cindy and I went to Dewey Destin’s for a late lunch after running some errands. Dewey’s sits up the hill overlooking the harbor and boardwalk. Sunshine Cindy had Grouper and I had Red Snapper. It was all fantastic. We sat on the outside deck with a nice breeze blowing to keep things comfortable. Tina waited on us. She only had worked there for a few days but she did great. We are not sure why we had not been there before but we will be back.

Wayne was meeting us at Crab Island Cantina. As we walked there we stopped at Steve’s booth. He was there this time. We gave him his tee shirts and we talked to him and the lady who has the booth next to him who sells tee shirts. She already had a deal with someone for Crab Island shirts but she loved our design. We might be able to work out something next year to have her carry our shirts. If you want to see our merchandize and get some for yourself, check us out:

At the Cantina, Al was playing the sax. He is becoming a good friend of ours. Another friend, Beth also joined us. We had not seen Beth in a year or so. We talked to Carlos a bit before he took off for the afternoon. Sharon and her friend (Judy?) came and sat at the bar. We talked to them then another friend, Steve came in. It was becoming a Destin local’s place to hang out! When Al took a break we headed down the boardwalk making a stop at The Crazy Lobster. Jesse was working the outside bar so we had to stop and give him a hard time.

We ended up back at the Turtle. Matt had a good crowd and the boardwalk was busy with families walking around. We saw more people we know. Kelly was there. Tony and Amy were at the bar. Kerby and David stopped in. Brian from the Sinkin’ Weenie came by between customers at his food boat. It was a perfect end to the weekend.

Have a great week. See ya Thursday!

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Featured Artist – Brittany Kingery

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Brittany Kingery – Featured Artist

It’s about the beach. It’s about the people. It’s about the language. And it’s about the music.

Edge of the Ocean, the debut solo recording of the Olympia, Washington based vocalist Brittany Kingery, is about all that and more. The album will pick you up by your ears and transport you to Mexico’s Pacific coast for an audio vacation with its tropical and Latin-flavored acoustic sounds and its picturesque lyrics about life at the edge of the ocean.

BrittanyKingeryBrittany and her supporting cast, vocalist Derek Harris and vocalist-songwriter Rob Morgan Hill of Game Six, have all adopted the Riviera Nayarit, a sunny coastal stretch North of Puerto Vallarta, as a vacation home away from home, and have been performing periodically in the area since the release of Game Six’s 2009 recording “God, Love and Mexico”. Brittany is slated to release “Edge of the Ocean” with a headlining performance at the 7th Annual Festival de San Patricio (St. Patrick’s Day Festival) in Bucerias, Nayarit, an event fast becoming the the largest and loudest celebration of the day South of the border. The official release party will be followed by performances in other cities in the Jalisco-Nayarit states of Mexico followed by a US release party and concert in her home town of Olympia, Washington on May 3.

“There’s nothing I enjoy more than singing and no place I enjoy more than the Mexico coast”, says Brittany. “So it’s very satisfying and exciting to be able to celebrate the release of this recording in Mexico.”

Brittany and her record company are taking their commitment to the area one step farther. All of the proceeds from sales of the disc in Mexico and a portion of sales and downloads elsewhere are being donated to Mexico-based charities. Brittany says the charities are being selected in part by the event promoters and in part selected by her and Exit 104 Records.

“Even though I am just a visitor, I feel a very strong connection to the area and want to be involved in the community,” says Brittany, who hopes one day to live in Mexico, at least part time. “We want to support the people there who are doing the important work of providing housing and education to underprivileged kids and improving the quality of life and economic opportunities for families.”

Raised in the rural Washington town of McCleary, in Grays Harbor County, Brittany received musical training as a child as a drummer but did not start singing publicly until adulthood. After studying music and performance art at Grays Harbor Community College in Aberdeen, she left home for New York City, where she completed her college education and musical performance training at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan.

Not long after returning home from college, Brittany was introduced to Rob and Derek, who were then performing regularly as “Campfire Karaoke,” a performance in which amateur singers would perform with live accompaniment. After a couple of years, the trio took a year-long break from live performance to record “God, Love and Mexico”, an album on which Brittany played a supporting role.”

“We were always thinking in the back of our minds that Brittany was ultimately a solo performer rather than just one member of a trio,” says Rob. “After we did that record, we started noticing that the people coming out to hear us play live were mostly coming to see her. And we’ve been evolving since then, to the point that today, Britt sings lead on most of our songs. When Derek or I is singing lead, it’s usually just to give her voice a rest.”

Of the eight songs included in Edge of the Ocean, Brittany sings or shares the lead vocal on all but “Shamrock Bar”, a song imported from “God, Love and Mexico” and one of a few songs on the CD about the coastal village of Bucerias, the unlikely location of an Irish pub. (The pub, the song, and its YouTube video have all become icons in Bucerias.)

Although she speaks very little Spanish, Brittany sings two songs in mixed Spanish and English and two entirely in Spanish on “Edge of the Ocean”, including a hypnotizing, lullaby-ish interpretation of “Cielito Lindo”, perhaps Mexico’s most beloved traditional song, typically played in a ranchera or Mariachi style. Brittany says she was nervous about the challenge of recording the song.

“I am in love with the song,” she says, “and I hope that my interpretation of it calls attention to just how beautiful it is. But, for sure, it is a little bit scary to be singing a song that is so revered in Mexico, in a way that it is not typically heard, in a language I don’t speak.”

Brittany says she had Spanish coaches with her in the studio for the recordings of “Cielito Lindo” and “El Amor de mi Vida”, the other Spanish language song on the album.

“I told them not to let me get away with anything,” she recalls. “I love singing in Spanish, so it’s really important to me to get it right, not just as an artist, but as a matter of respect for the language and the song.”


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Ark on order…

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The amount of rain we have been getting this summer is unreal. It is so bad I had to order an Ark. Ark’s-R-Us is all sold out but I was lucky as We-b-Arks had a new shipment coming in. Okay, I am kidding of course but we are closing in on almost 20 inches of rain already this month.

We have been out and around the town this week. Tuesday night I want to Landshark Pizza to relax for a while. I sat next to Brian and we solved all the world’s problems. They were busy as Sue, Jason and Shelby kept everyone served. Kerby came in later and joined us. While there a big storm blew through. It was raining so hard at one point we could not see the cars in the parking lot. Luckily it only lasted a short while.

Pontoon rental

Wednesday I did a bunch of running around. It started at Friday’s in Destin where once again a storm blew through. I headed to the harbor where it had not rained. I walked down to Crab Island Cantina. I saw Carlos and talked to some tourist. I then walked back down the harbor and stopped and talked to Steve at the Hawaiian Ice Booth. He is doing well this summer despite the rain.

My next stop was at the Tipsy Turtle. Debbie was working and Brian from Sinkin’ Weenie was there too. Debbie was telling me the Freaky Tiki might not reopen. She heard there was some type of problem. I hope they get it worked out. When I left the Turtle I walked by there and it was deserted.

I rode over to the Rotten Apple. Tracy was working and her husband Chip came in. Chip is a boat captain and one of his clients gave him some homemade moonshine. It was made with peaches and it was good. I made one more stop at Hogs Breath before heading home.

Sunshine Cindy and I then walked over to Sago Sports Bar. First Bert sat next to us. We have seen him there many times. He is a nice old guy who lives there at the Palms. He left and another older gentleman joined us. He told us he almost 80 but you would have never known it. He runs one of the biggest real estate agencies in town. In talking to him it sounded like the new Dolly Parton project might include both a pirate dinner theater and a wild west type dinner theater. That would be a surprise. He was an interesting guy.

A new entertainment spot will be opening at Destin Commons as part of their expansion. Uncle Bucks FishBowl and Grill is a restaurant, bar and bowling/billiards hall. It is a part of the Bass Pro Shops chain. It should be open sometime next year. On a different note, The Lighthouse Restaurant is closing. The shopping center where they have been located at for about 30 years did not renew their lease as they are going to change the makeup of the center. The owners hope to find a new location.

The Parrotheads meet this Friday but nothing else is planned at this time. See ya Monday!

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What is a House Concert?

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What is a House Concert?

This is the definition provided by


It’s an invitation-only concert in someone’s home, presented by a host who does
not profit from the event.

Also, house concerts are usually…

  • held indoors and on weekends
  • attended by 20-50 people
  • paid for by a $10-20 donation per guest (for the performer)
  • known to include light snacks, beverages or a pot-luck dinner
  • attended by the host’s friends, neighbors, co-workers, and maybe a few fans of the artist
  • attended by a 25-60 age group
  • performed by solo, duos and small groups
  • performed with little to no amplification
  • very intimate – the audiences sit close and are attentive
  • performed in 2, 40-minute sets with a 20 minute break
  • stronger for artist’s merchandise sales than traditional venues
  • booked with and without a financial guarantees (can vary by host and by artist)
  • known to house and feed the artist for the night

Although house concerts will adhere to most of these traditions, you may not find
any house concerts that run exactly according to the list above. Each house
concert is a collaboration between an artist, a host/presenter, and their friends
and supporters.


“Too Drunk To Karaoke” Video debuts on CMT

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Jimmy Buffett’s video “Too Drunk To Karaoke,” featuring guest Toby Keith, debuts on CMT today! The single is off Jimmy’s upcoming album release, Songs from St. Somewhere, which comes out August 20th and is available for pre-sale now!

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Calypso Nuts and John Friday were in Destin

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Wow, what a fun and crazy weekend we had in Destin. “Embrace the Chaos!” was our motto! Thursday night we fought the traffic and made our way down to Crab Island Cantina. When we got there the Calypso Nuts had already started to play. Mark and Stephanie were there with a table right up front. We joined them and a while later Capt. John also joined us. Kevin, Chuck and Dave boated over and took a spot at the bar. Robbie and Lynley put on a great show. There were fireworks to cap the evening. It was a lot of fun.

After we left the Cantina, we stopped at the Tipsy Turtle. We chatted with Matt for a while and watched everyone walking the harbor. By the time we left the crowds had thinned out from the gridlock we had earlier. It did not help having a idiot pull across the median on the Island right in front of a truck. The SUV rolled and blocked traffic for hours. A co-worker of mine witnessed the whole thing as the guy was right in front of him. To make matters worse, the only bush in the median on that entire 5 mile stretch of road is what he pulled out from behind of so the guy coming the other way never saw him coming.

Friday night our friend Jan Patton was playing music at the Freaky Tiki bar on the harbor with Kenny on the harmonica. We got there about 7. A good crowd was already at the bar. Jan was sounding good. In short order Wayne, Pat, Steve, Dottie, Buzz, Marsha and several others all showed up. Jan had people stopping to listen. At one point I look up and see Darla and Bob come in. They heard the music but didn’t realize it was Jan who was playing. They stayed for a while. Then Matt and Brian also stopped in. At this point the place was packed.

We stayed till Jan finished up for the night. There were still a good number of folks walking around the harbor and heading to The Boathouse and the Monkey Bar. Sunshine Cindy and I were out of gas though. We headed home as we called it a night.

Saturday was crazy. John Friday played at Crab Island Cantina starting at 3 pm. Sunshine Cindy, Tiffany and I got there about 2:30. We got the big table up front. Jim and Betty showed up then Wayne made it. Wayne said he could see Sunshine Cindy in her bright lime green Crab Island Mambo tank top from the Destin bridge. She always stands out! LOL  Judie and Kelly made it having fought traffic in Ft. Walton Beach. Julie, Suzanne, Karen and Ann also joined us. We had a great time as John played non-stop till about 7:30.

At one point a giant yacht came under the Destin bridge and started towards the harbor. They were not lined up in the channel and you can see them hit the sandy bottom. The yacht listed pretty far to the right as the captain started to back up to get off the sandbar. He made another approach this time using the channel to great applause from everyone!

When John finished we hung around talking. Sunshine Cindy and Tiffany took off to wander the boardwalk. As John packed up Wayne and I helped him load his gear as we got ready to move on. Then Cherie and her date showed up at the Cantina for dinner. While talking to them Kenny and Leanna showed up. They thought John was playing till 9. They missed that memo!

The harbor was packed again. Vince Vance and the Valiant’s from New Orleans was playing on the big stage. We kept walking and went past the area that seems to be turning into a carnival type of spot. In front of AJ’s we saw JB and Tami. We made it to the Tipsy Turtle where Matt and Mindy were playing. We had fun hanging out there. Matt introduced me to Charley who owns The Crust pizzeria. There might be an advertising opportunity there for Crab Island Mambo.  

Matt was having a busy night. Matt and Mindy were having fun as they usually do. We had a bunch of folks stop by and hang out for a while. It was fun but it got to be late and time to head home. As Sunshine Cindy, Tiffany and I walked back to the car we ran into JD and Tami again. This time they had an entourage with them. We talked for a while then kept on going. We got home and sat outside listening to the frogs and crickets.

Sunday was a slower day. We dropped off Sunshine Cindy’s car to have new tires put on. We headed to Friday’s for some lunch. It was not too busy. Desiree and Sara took care of us. When we left the car was still not ready so we went to the harbor and Freaky Tiki. Scott and Bonnie were there. We just stayed for one beer and then went to get the car. The rest of the afternoon at home we were slugs! LOL

Have a great week. See ya Thursday!

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Buffett performs in Detroit

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Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band’s “Songs From St. Somewhere” tour continued on Satursday night at Comerica Park in Detroit MI. The Set List from the show is now available. A change to the set list included “Oldest Surfer On The Beach” for the final encore. has a review of the show: “Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne charm audience at Detroit’s Comerica Park

Weather isn’t all the Motor City shared with Key West this week. On Saturday, it had Jimmy Buffett.

“You can talk about the shark hats and the Parrotheads,” opening act Jackson Browne said of the breezy, cocktail blender-centric culture surrounding Buffett. “It really doesn’t describe it.”

After “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” Buffett said: “It’s time to remake this town.”

Bloomfield Hills attorney Ronnie O’Hara and her husband, Dan, said Buffett visited Birmingham Country Club while in town.

“(Buffett) said he loves Detroit,” she said, “He’s so happy Detroit’s coming back.”

The poignant “Oldest Surfer on the Beach,” reminiscent of Buffett’s best work, closed the show.

“There’s nothing that I won’t do, no place I’m trying to reach,” sang the 66-year-old whose music has become a lifestyle. “Only time is now more precious to the oldest surfer on the beach.”

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