Archive for the Trop Rock Interviews Category

Sessions: John Friday

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- Bonita Springs-based songwriter John Friday

Sessions is a music series that features live performances by some of the best Southwest Florida bands and musicians actively working in the 239.

This week the Sessions team chatted with Bonita Springs-based songwriter John Friday. He also came by the studio to perform “Coastal Dreamin’” and “Beachfront.”

How do you describe your sound?

John Friday: Well, we call the genre trop rock. The easiest way to describe it is to think Jimmy Buffett, Zac Brown, Kenny Chesney, the islandy sort of sound. … My own writing tends to be all over the map. I have stuff that kind of goes into the Waylon Jennings, outlaw country sort of sound and then other stuff that’s very steel drum, palm trees, margaritas on the beach kind of songs.

When did you decide to make music for a living?

Friday: I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13. When I was in high school I played in a few bands. I never really expected to make a career of it. … Back in 2008 I lost my teaching position due to budget cuts. And I talked it over with my girlfriend. We kind of said, let’s give it a try. I said I’ll do it for about a year and see how it goes.

Is it hard to do this full-time?

Friday: That’s a very frustrating aspect of this job. The pay is sporadic. Its erratic. It’s sometimes nonexistent and it’s a constant effort to keep that cash flow going on.  (Read More)

The Deck at Perico Island

Posted in Hotel and Venue Reviews, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings, Trop Rock Interviews | 4 Comments »

The Deck at Perico Island

DSCF4655We had the privilege of sitting down with Trop Rock fans Gary Lindblom and Cathy Pizzo on Saturday. They have transformed their home into a “One of a Kind” house concert venue. It provides a tremendous intimate setting. Basically, the setup is poolside, yet the entire stage and seating is covered. This provides relief from the sun during the hot Florida summers. During the cooler months the stage is to be moved into the open air closer to the pool. In the case of a rain storm like the one that came on Sunday, everything happens acoustically inside.

This a whole new approach to the house concert scene. Their events will be held on Sunday afternoons, in the form a “Jam Session”.

DSCF4657On Sunday, they had the first of these Jam Sessions. Dani Hoy was the featured artist. Allen “Frankendread” Holland not only provided smooth music and vocals, he also provided an amazing lineup of food. Local artists joined the featured artist for an absolutely amazing session.

It appears that Frankendread’s music and cuisine will be an integral part of this. Let’s get back to that food thing. Brace yourself. You’re about to get hungry as I tell you about the menu. There was succulent pork loin with a curry mustard crust and, bacon wrapped peaches with basil, black pepper and a balsamic vinegar drizzle, prosciutto and mozzarella wrappers, marinated mozzarella with sundried tomato topping, a cream cheese sweet jalapeno jam spread, a non-alcoholic ginger punch with agave, plantains, and a special island rum punch that was more of a slap than a punch. It was perfect for the occasion.

DSCF4660Did we mention that Gary and Cathy’s house is the former house of Mitch Miller (Sing-A-Long With Mitch)? Mitchell William “Mitch” Miller was prominent in the American music industry. He was involved in almost all aspects of the industry, working as a musician, singer, conductor, record producer, A&R man and record company executive. This is an amazing house and setup. No wonder the music seems to be the perfect complement to this incredible spot.

For those of you unfamiliar with the area, Perico Island is located on beautiful Anna Maria Island.

DSCF4667During our Saturday visit with Gary, my wife Mary disappeared with Cathy and Allen. We found them playing some classics with Allen on the acoustic guitar and Cathy on the drums and Mary on the camera. We got some behind the scenes footage of Allen teaching Cathy to play a full drum set. On a previous visit, we found out Cathy had learned to play two songs on the steel pan. Gary and I made our way upstairs to the Music Room. We were able to catch the tail end of the Allen & Cathy show. It Seems as though Frankendread has a passion for teaching the music as well.

Be sure to check them out on Facebook.

We will also have their scheduled events in our Trop Rock Calendar.

Perico Island.

It is as nice as it sounds.


A Conversation with Jimmy Buffett

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Jimmy Buffett adds to his considerable pirate treasure with constant touring: traveling carnivals-slash-beach-blanket blowouts of friendly grass-skirted hedonisms. His shows are as constant as the tides, the stars and — to be slightly less romantic about the whole thing — the receipts at the end of each. But why not? At 66, Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band are still good for nearly 30 songs a night, and no one’s better at suggesting escape and rum drinks are just a snap decision away.

But before he was able to convince Midwestern concertgoers they were actually watching the sun drop in someplace like Bora Bora, Buffett was an easygoing, windblown and well-lubricated storyteller from the Gulf Coast, a guy who came up in ‘70s age of Steve Goodman, John Prine, and James Taylor. His new album, Songs From St. Somewhere, out Tuesday, speaks to that; aside from first single “Too Drunk To Karaoke,” a honky-tonk number with Toby Keith, it’s a quieter, more narrative-driven effort. A few tracks on the album—recorded in St. Barts—revisit familiar Buffett-ian themes: the benefits of solitude, the isolating effect of technology and the idea of coming full-circle on things. There’s also a margarita.

Buffett talked from his Long Island, NY home about retirement, Michael Jordan, Willie Nelson and…surfing

Wait, you were really surfing this morning?

Yeah, if there are waves, I’ll be out there. It’s crowded out here [at Montauk] but the conditions were right, so I was in the water at like 7:30. It’s a passion first — well, some would say it’s an affliction rather than a passion, but whatever it is, I’ve got it. I’m an old-fart surfer, but it keeps me in shape and it generates some interesting byproducts in the way of song lyrics.

This album seems to be less about hangovers and frozen cocktails and more about stories and song lines. Was that the idea going in?

I’ve always said I don’t find stories from talking about them, but if you can listen and hear and look around you and be observant, that ability — along with the chance to record in a place like St. Barts that’s been conducive to creativity — made it work. And I like albums that have a musical thread, a story thread. There’s 16 songs on this thing, but when you own the record company and you don’t have a lot to prove, you put them all on there! As Ry Cooder said, “You don’t know what the public’s gonna buy,” but I’m happy with it and proud of all the people who contributed to it.


Mailboat Records

It feels like it was recorded in some very relaxed, comfortable environs.

Maybe 30 years ago, I took a tape recorder to the shore there at St. Barts and rented a room at Eden Rock — I think I was working on “Off To See The Lizard” then. But there was no place to record remotely except Montserrat. Now there’s a state-of-the-art studio at that same hotel where I brought the tape recorder 25 or 30 years ago. We did all the vocals in that studio in St. Barts.

The title is a full-circle thing too.

Yeah, “St. Somewhere” came from Derek Sanderson’s bar in Boston [Buffett’s 1979 track “Boat Drinks” was inspired by a late-night Boston winter cab ride, minus the cabbie; it features the line “I gotta fly to St. Somewhere”]. I’m a full-circle guy, I like to complete a story, go back to where it came from.

Do these ideas come fully formed, or is there a lot of editing these days?

I think this may be from prose writing, but they get a lot of editing. There’s two kinds of people in rock  n’ roll: The people who enjoy going into a studio and spend a lot of time and money there. And the capture-the-magic people. I was always a capture-the-magic person because I was always a live performer. I didn’t like to stay in the studio, and maybe some of the older albums suffered from that, but I had to work and get on the road. I always figured that was my way not to be engulfed or obliterated by the way the music business is run. Now you can do just about whatever you want. Two or three of the vocals on this album were original scratch vocals; after redoing things (producer/guitarist/sideman) Mac (McAnally) and I listened to them the feeling was there. The song “Einstein Was A Surfer,” that was almost a novel, that was five or six months of writing. There’s a lot of rhyming in there!

A lot of people look at Jimmy Buffett and think “That’s what I want to do when I retire,” but it doesn’t seem like you’re looking to retire from being Jimmy Buffett.

You know, Willie Nelson came out maybe a month ago and played a club in Montauk. When I was a struggling songwriter in Nashville, Willie was one of the few people who cut a few of my songs. We played a few songs; I wanted to see what 80 looked like on stage, because I’m 66.

And we were talking about it, and Mickey Raphael, who’s played with him forever and who I’ve known forever, told me a story about how last year the band had a big meeting with Willie on the bus where they asked, “Look, you’re gonna be 80 here, and we’re wondering what we’ll be doing if you’re thinking about retiring.” And Willie looked at them and he said “From what?” [laughs] I got a license to carry marijuana, we’re playing music and traveling and seeing the country, the kids are grown and happy. Retire from what? And if that applies to Willie it sure as hell applies to me, because I’m still having a good time, I still enjoy the creative aspect I’m a junkie for applause. As long as I feel that then I’ll stay there.

Do you ever see any different kinds of shows, smaller, maybe more centered on these story songs?

We do them now, we take what we call the Beatle band, the four-piece band. We opened one of our casinos playing on the beach in Atlantic City, it was a free show and 51,000 people showed up. I love the big band but I still like to know that I can get up there with a guitar in a small bar and hold a crowd. I do it a lot, more than people would even think. I’m not the best singer in the world, certainly not the best musician, but I know how to do a show. That’s the essence of what got us here. You don’t have to look far to see who’s still out there: It’s McCartney, and it’s Springsteen, and it’s us and a couple other people. Not to say younger people can’t do it, but things change. I love the fact that I come out of that era, and I think people who did know that every show should be a challenge. And boy, I can tell. I’ve been doing this too long I can look at shows and go boom, see the take-the-money-and-run-shows. You can tell.

Jimmy Buffett performs at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, on May 3, 2012. 

Douglas Mason / Getty Images

When people stop you, ask for advice, for Jimmy Buffett’s keys for living, is there a standard answer you give them?

In music it’s two things: Never forget to duck, and never forget it could go to hell at any minute. Otherwise, it’s just keep your ears open more than your eyes, and listen and look. it all goes by too short. I’m going to my youngest daughter’s 21st birthday today and I’m thinking, “When did this happen?” You just gotta live it every day. It sounds cliche.

But how do you keep up that enthusiasm, summer in and summer out?

This stuck with me: I saw Michael Jordan interviewed after the Bulls had won maybe their third or fourth championship. And Jordan was kind of choked up and there was some reporter asking, “Come on, you’ve won all these championships, does this really mean that much to you?” And Jordan looked him cold in the eye and said, “Let me tell you what: I was there when there was nobody, when I got off the train and was met by one guy. I played to that venue where there was 400 people, and I never want to see those days again, and I appreciate everything from that point forward.” And that’s exactly the way I feel about it. I was there when nobody came. But now it’s still running and we’ve tricked them (laughs) and made it through the gauntlet and we’re still having a good time.

I mean, who gets to do this? Detroit went bankrupt, and on the next day we sold 41,000 tickets. And I went, “What the hell am I gonna say?” I’ve always appreciated Michigan audiences, they’ve always been there for me, so I just got up and said, look, there’s a lot of great people in this city and state, you’ve got a good future ahead and why not start the next year with a party? And I cranked up, and they went crazy.

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Intimate evening with Mayer, Mayer and Kirby

Posted in Island Enthusiasts, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings, Trop Rock Interviews | Comments Off on Intimate evening with Mayer, Mayer and Kirby

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Scott Kirby


DOVER — Join Peter Mayer and Scott Kirby with special guest Brendan Mayer at Rivermill at Dover Landing for an intimate evening of incredible music and songwriting on Thursday, Sept. 12. Show 7:30 p.m. — doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and include complimentary valet parking and are available by visiting

Peter Mayer and Scott Kirby have been collaborating for the better part of 20 years, since they met in Key West during the recording of Jimmy Buffett’s 1993 Album Barometer Soup. The combination of Peter, his son Brendan and Scott Kirby only happens a handful of times per year and the Rivermill show on September 12th is the only appearance in northern New England in 2013.

Peter Mayer will perform from his extensive repertoire, including from his new release, Goodbye Hello, which features incredible and inspired interpretations of his major influence, The Beatles. As a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Mayer has melded a unique and multifaceted writing style, a distinctive voice, and inspired musicianship to create compelling and accessible music that is electrifying in live performance. Mayer has culled influences from his childhood in India that ranged from traditional Indian music to The Beatles, and from his studying and teaching Jazz guitar at Webster University in St. Louis. Add the many years that he has shared the stage with Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, James Taylor, Mac McAnally, Sonny Landreth, Don Henley and others, and you begin to trace the musical storyline of Peter Mayer. Visit for more information.

Peter Mayer

New Hampshire native, Scott Kirby, one of the most requested artists on Sirius XM Radio Margaritaville, brings his brand of coastal-inspired folk rock sometimes referred to as “beach folk” to the stage. Although the comparison to Jimmy Buffett is natural because of Scott Kirby’s coastal life, his storytelling style of songwriting and often humorous live performances are reminiscent of folks like Harry Chapin, Jerry Jeff Walker and Steve Goodman with a dash of James Taylor thrown in. Kirby released his first studio CD in 1993, and followed up with four more through 2007 before his latest release “Row Me Home” in 2009, and he continues to tour extensively around the country appearing at festivals, clubs and theaters, performing more than 100 shows each year. for more information.

Brendan Mayer joins the tour for the second year. Brendan has been performing all around Nashville with the recently formed group, Brendan Mayer and the Marathon in addition to performing dozens of dates internationally as a duo and trio with Peter Mayer. Visit for more information.


Seating is assigned on a first sold/first assigned basis at a mix of 4-person and 6-person tables. Only tickets purchased together will be guaranteed seating at the same table. Additional standing room and high-top cocktail tables are available on a first come/first served basis the night of the event. Please go to for directions. A cash bar and light menu will be available.

Rivermill is located in the heart of downtown Dover, NH with a variety of great restaurants for you to choose from close by. Located at Two Washington Street in Dover, Rivermill at Dover Landing is the newest event space on the Seacoast. This artfully restored mill features high ceilings, exposed brick and panoramic views. Rivermill at Dover Landing is available for weddings, functions, corporate events and charity fundraisers.

Original Source

Kenny Chesney Gives Rare, Intimate Access to “Sunday Morning” This Weekend

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Kenny Chesney is one of country music’s most private stars, so fans will want to tune in for an in-depth look at his life on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend. The show’s cameras followed Kenny as he closed out his No Shoes Nation tour last month at Gillette Stadium near Boston. He also invited the show for a visit to Boston Medical Center to meet with victims of the recent Boston Marathon bombing. Kenny established his Spread the Love Fund to provide financial support for those injured in the bombing.

Kenny says, “To see these amazing people who’re putting their lives back together, to hear their stories and see the way they approach getting their lives back…I was, well, moved beyond words.”

CBS Sunday Morning first profiled Kenny eight years ago. Check local listings for the show’s air time in your city this Sunday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Original Article

Featured Trop Rock (Contributor) of the Week

Posted in Featured Artist of the Week, Island Enthusiasts, Meeting of the Minds, Pirates, Trop Rock Interviews | Comments Off on Featured Trop Rock (Contributor) of the Week

Mayor Gonzo Mays

Honorary Mayor Key West, Florida Keys USA

Most people try to break out of prison but this crazy not so demure Southerner actually broke into one! Sammie Mays earned rank as a gonzo reporter when commissioned by the notorious editors at the National Enquirer to snag a picture of baseball’s fallen bad boy, Pete Rose, while incarcerated in the infamous Marion, Illinois SuperMax Penitentiary. The lure of $100,000 proved too much for her to resist. The plan was only concocted after some dirty low-life broke into Sammie Mays’s saloon in the Navy shipbuilding town of Pascagoula, Mississippi and stole her blind. “The thieves didn’t only steal the money, liquor, and beer…they stole the pool table, barstools, cash register and even the air conditioning unit!” Mays then joked, “I’ve always heard a bad artist borrows and a good artist steals. I wonder what they named the new bar???” Sammie’s Key West Bar n’ Grill was the only bar in town deemed “resort” status which meant she had the only bar licensed to remain open after the 2am curfew for all other bars. A twenty-four hour hell raising honky tonk, it was the location where Jimmy Buffett played to his first audience (refer to his song Pascagoula Run). A regular at the bar was Jimmy’s one-legged Uncle Billy Buffett who struck a deal for his underage nephew to sweep and mop spilled swill from the floor in exchange for stage time. “Clever Uncle Bill drank for free!” The burglary devasted the saloon-keeper. Left flat busted and desperate for a quick fix, Mays weighed her options and briefly considered posing nude for Hustler but instead decided to take the lower road. A weekend entertainer in her own bar, Mays posed as a musician, hiding two identical 35 millimeter cameras inside an old worn-out speaker cabinet and sweet talked the warden and herself right into, at the time, the nation’s toughest penitentiary. It was literally through hook n’ crook that she managed to score the coveted $100,000 photograph of baseball great Pete Rose in the Pokey!

Meanwhile back at corporate headquarters in Lantana, Florida, National Enquirer marketing gurus aggresively worked through the night leaking word to the Associated Press of the beer-slinging reporter’s espionage operation. The media was primed and Hollywood’s curiosity peeked! Back in Marion, Illinois, the humiliated warden was being dismissed of his duties but didn’t step down until he issued this final statement to the press, “Where Sammie Mays is going she’s not going to be able to spend a dime of that money!”Trouble was beginning to mount for Mays. The morning after scoring the infamous prison shot she pulled into Denny’s for a quick bite of breakfast and from a row of newspaper vending machines bold black headlines screamed, “Pete Rose In Prison / National Enquirer World Exclusive!” Sammie’s immediate response was that she had been hung-out to dry and left to her on demise. Her personal photo and private information were being used by the tabloid to sell papers. Suddenly she began to fear for her own freedom and soon went underground. Long story short, when the smoke started to clear Sammie’s “Pete in the Pokey” photo had been named as Best of Year by Sports Illustrated. And when she finally thought it was safe to come out of hiding, British tabloid peers had begun referring to their new hotshot celebrity reporter as The Gonz. When the Coconut Telegraph first read the story I Shot Pete Rose and watched the remake on the t.v. series Tabloid, rumors of a big screen movie by the writers Of Mice and Men began to surface with Ellen Barkin playing Mays’s character. The Gonz homeport is Key West, Florida, USA where she hails as the Honorary Mayor Gonzo Mays and is celebrated by both locals and tourist for overtly giving as many free political favors as humanly possible and accepting all bribes, no matter how insignificant. And, yes, even the Keys county Sheriff carries one in his wallet. The Gonz eventually tired of the yellow journalism gig and of the tabloid prankishness and crazy Hollywood celebrities who “believed their own press” but, still, you can sometimes see the adventures of Mayor Gonzo Mays on Comcast Tourist Television, in the local newspapers and travel magazines.Note: At sunset you can usually catch the honorary mayor bellied-up and holding court with the locals at the tiki bars. Just look for the cigar, straw hat and sunglasses – even at night! Mayor Gonzo tells us that living in the islands and writing sordid adventures and drunken tales of characters she encounters along the way sure beats the hell out of working for Southern Bride Magazine. Says the famous writer and photojournalist, “Nothing, but nothing, is as bad or as painful as that gig with the bridal magazine. To this day I hate pink chiffon!”

When we probed into Mayor Gonzo’s 1982 arrest on corruption charges which resulted in her being deported from the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten (yet another entertaining adventure) she claimed to have only been trying to help enlighten the islanders. And, on that particular night, the law simply rounded up all high-profile locals because they were pissed off for having missed intercepting a substantial load of Jamaican Lamb’s Bread being distributed. “I unfortunately received none of it!” Mays said. Mays is a survivor of unconventional sorts, a prison break, deportation from a third world country, survivor of two direct-hit Category 5 hurricanes and thus far has managed to dodge a death threat from an old editor in chief at the National Enquirer. The Honorary Mayor of Key West is like no one you’ll ever encounter. When she showed up at the Pilot House Bar for this interview her presence was undeniable. She strolled in chomping on a real Cuban stogie and offered me a smoke. I politely declined which prompted the response, “Well why not? You probably smoke everything else!!!” When asked what first brought her in 1974 to Key West, in a charming offbeat Southern-ease she was quick to blame it on “that smugglin’, gun-runnin’, womanizin’, Captain Tony Tarracino!” And then added, “it’s as good a place as any to lay low while things cool down!” In a final question the Coconut Telegraph’s wrapped up the interview by asking what she had planned to do next. Without hesitating she declared, “Not a damn thing but sit right here and have another cold one!” However, to be more accurate, I do believe she had more than one. But then who’s counting.

Be Sure to check Mayor Gonzo’s Website

(Taken from the Coconut Telegraph interview)

Knoxville Musicians Win Trop Rock Music Awards – Southern Drawl Band

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 Knoxville Musicians Win Trop Rock Music Awards

 Music Awards from BeachFront Radio out of Southern California

Southern Drawl Band: Mike Nash, Melanie “The Djembabe” Howe, Larry Dunsmore, Paul Wray, Tommie John and John Kunz  


Knoxville, Tenn. (December 28, 2012) –  DownHome Records Inc. is proud to announce the Beachfront Radio Trop Rock Awards have been released., the number one Trop Rock station in the United States for the last three years, has released some exciting news for Knoxville, Tennessee.  The ballots were unveiled and many of East Tennessee’s finest local musicians made their way into the nomination categories. Knoxville’s Southern Drawl Band walked away with some hardware from their first year on the scene.  Southern Drawl won best Trop Rock Album with their EP release of “Another Day in Paradise.”  They won song of the year, beating out notables like the Zac Brown Band for “Another Day in Paradise” which can be found on their original album “Against the Grain” and the Trop Rock EP “Another Day in Paradise”.  Southern Drawl also was voted the best Trop Rock Band for 2012.

Southern Drawl’s percussionist, Melanie “Djembabe” Howe finished second in the category of Trop Rock Musician of 2012, behind Knoxville’s Michael “Crawdaddy” Crawley who won those honors.  Southern Drawl’s headman, Mike Nash was voted fourth in the category of Trop Rocker Male of 2012.  Trop Rock legend and Nashville’s, Tall Paul won that category for Best Trop Rocker Male of 2012.

Tropical Rock, known as “Trop Rock”, is a quickly growing music genre that seems to be gravitating to the East Tennessee area recently. With major label artists like Jimmy Buffet & the Coral Reefers, Kenny Chesney, and Zac Brown Band, Trop Rock is a laid back relaxing style of country music that’s growth has sky rocketed in today’s market.

Results for the awards were released December 26th & 27th to the public.

Other Tennessee Bands and Musicians that were honored:

-Knoxville’s Homemade Wine won Best Trop Rocker Live Performers of 2012.  (SDB was 3rd)

-Nashville’s Kristie Bobal was voted number three Trop Rocker Female of 2012.  Nadirah Shakoor of Jimmy  Buffett’s the Coral Reefer Band won Top Trop Rocker Female of 2012.

-Knoxville’s Andy Wescott of Homemade Wine was fifth in Trop Rock Musician of 2012

-Southern Drawl Band & Tall Paul’s feature song “Floriday” placed number thirteen in the Trop Rock Top 20

-Ramajay Intercoastal placed at number fourteen with “Mountain for Two”, right above Bonnie Raitt’s former bassist- Freebo.

The Trop Rock community gathers several times a year where many of the major label artists attend and showcase as well as up and coming artists. The number one event for the Trop Rockers was voted “Meeting of the Minds” in Key West, Florida where all of these artists have had the opportunity to showcase their music.

About & Trop Rock

Tropical Rock, commonly referred to as “Trop Rock,” is genre of music that blends other genres including Rock, Reggae, Country, Caribbean and Latin with island/tropical instrument arrangements and song themes.  Although Trop-Rock has its roots in the beach music scene from the 60’s, Jimmy Buffett is often credited as putting Trop Rock “on the map”.  Crossover music stars like Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band and Jack Johnson have brought the Trop Rock music genre into the mainstream public, resulting in a growing popularity that has opened the door for a whole new generation of island-inspired musicians.  We invite you to explore our list of popular Trop Rock artists, visit their websites and listen to their music, and you just might find yourself in a “happy place” you never want to leave!


Twitter: @BeachfrontRadio

How to find the winners

Tall Paul: Facebook-   Twitter- @TheTalPaul

Southern Drawl Band:      Twitter- @SouthernDrawlTN

Ramajay Intercoastal:    Twitter- @RamajayIntercoastal

Melanie “The Djembabe” Howe:   Twitter- @DrumNDance

Mike Nash:

Kristie Bobal:

Andy Wescott:

About DownHome Records Inc.

Knoxville based company working with local band Southern Drawl Band and Gates Music Management.   Twitter: @SouthernDrawlTn

Phone: 865-771-1821




Featured Artist Interview – Mike Broward

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Featured Artist Interview – Mike Broward

(TRB)  Where are you based these days?

(MB)  I live in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. I’m originally from San Diego.


(TRB)  Do you have a Regular Gig where your fans can always find you?

(MB)  Not so much this year! I work at The Bahama Breeze in Memphis about two days a month, but I mostly do tours. Last year I played shows in about 70 cities in the U.S. and Mexico.


(TRB)  Do you have any current projects in the works?

(MB)  I will be releasing my latest CD, Island Getaway, on October 26th , with a CD release party at  the Nav-A-Gator in Lake Suzy FL. It’s one of the top trop rock venues in the country!


(TRB)  What was your major influence for pursuing a career in Trop Rock?
(MB)  The people and music! I subbed a job in early 1999 for guitar with KOKO LOCO and have been in this world ever since.


(TRB)  And the question everyone asks, with such a variance of answers. Who are/were your musical influences now and getting started?

(MB)  I am always drawn to the guitars, drums and songs. I am in awe of Peter Mayer’s overall ability and approach, Mac’s songwriting and overall warmth, Jimmy’s ability to organize the greatest players on his projects. I was a big fan of Jimmy Cliff since the 70’s. There are tons of influences through the years.


I played my first pro gigs in 1972 and have worked ever since, so that is about 40 years, of learning tunes, staying employed by staying current, shifting with times and styles. Early on, The Butterfield Blues Band was great, all of the English invasion stuff, Rock n Roll…… around the early 70’s I got into country rock, and straight country and worked in that up to my start with Jerry Gontang in the Trop rock world. I started playing with Jerry in 1999, and still play with him whenever I get a chance to hang. The drummer in the band Stars on the Water is Gary Nieves, we first played together in the 5th grade and it is amazing that we still get to do shows together every once in a while.


(TRB)  Who, if possible, would you like to perform with?

(MB)  I love it when I get to Play with my pals, Stars on The Water. On occasion I play with a group of guys here in Nashville that have all done big time gigs and that is very special. I may look for some gigs for this group of guys as I know people will dig it.


(TRB)  What is the one place that you have on your Bucket List of Venues to play?

(MB)  Grammys! ha, the Ryman Auditorium would be too cool….


(TRB)  Tell us about your most memorable performance.

(MB)  About 11,000 people at the Chesburger Festival in Caseville, MI. It was dark as I looked at the crowd, but could see all the glow rings around everyone’s necks and wrists dancing up and down to the groove we were playing. And when the crowd screamed at the end of the songs it was so loud that it shook all of our insides!


Also one night in Portland, I had a very poorly attended gig.  Three drunks passed out at the bar, after the first set the owner paid me and said to get some rest. 10 minutes later, Hugo Duarte walked in. He had been doing a house concert in Portland, the same night! He said, “Let’s play” and we did! Hugo and I had never just sat down and played songs together on guitars, but that night became very magical, when we looked up an hour later and there was about 45 people watching in awe.


(TRB)  What is the best way for your fans to stay in touch?

(MB)  My website at


The Trop Rock Music Showcase hosted by Andy Forsyth

Posted in Meeting of the Minds, Radio shows, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings, Trop Rock Interviews, Trop Rock Radio | Comments Off on The Trop Rock Music Showcase hosted by Andy Forsyth


A new TV show on WEYW TV 19 The Florida Keys is coming, heck it’s here now!! The show is called “The Trop Rock Music Showcase”, hosted by Andy Forsyth. There will 16 shows to start with, 30 minutes long.

Throughout the coming weeks there will be some great footage of the singer/songwriters from Pardi Gras in New Orleans, MOTM in Key West, Spring Phling, Migration in So. California, Phloc Madness in Ashland, VA, Phins to the West in Laughlin, NV, the Big Owl Tiki Bar in MD and many other places. The shows are 16 half hour pilot episodes to see how the show does. We’ll have 5-6 different songs from different groups or solos for each show.

The show will be aired on Saturdays at 8 PM and re-broadcast again at 7:30 PM each Thursday. It is aired in southern Florida on AT&T U-verse on Channel 19 and the Florida Keys on Comcast 87 and also on the internet, world wide.

The first show aired on Saturday, Oct 6, 2012 at 8 PM EST. To view the show on the internet go to:

A re-broadcast will be shown this Thursday at 7:30 PM EST

Past episodes will be able to be seen on in a few weeks and will only be available for a few weeks after that.

The show is a grassroots experiment and we are still learning and working out some details. The first show debuted last Saturday, the repeat is this Thursday. And the second one is nearly done. We need to let everyone know about the shows so we can get as many viewers as possible and keep the show Trop Rock and rollin’. After the show you can contact the station on the web for comments, suggestions, etc.
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The first show features Jimmy and the Parrots doing “Holiday Road” at Spring Phling 2012, Rob Mehl and Sunny Jim at Phins to the West 2012 performing Rob’s “Key Lime Limbo”, with a Limbo contest going on too. Then back to Spring Phling in Wildwood, NJ with Swimmy Skinny and Nikki FabbZ doing the “Banana” Song.

Then we go down south to Pardi Gras 2012 in New Orleans with Thom Shepherd and the “Parrot Head” Song and we finish up with Chris Sacks on Kent Island, MD in 2011 with “Girls Gone Wild”.

The coming shows will feature all your favorite Trop Rock artists from around the country.

Tell everyone you know about the show. Send it around FACEBOOK. We need as many viewers as possible to keep the show going for more that 16 weeks.

And if you have some video of some Trop Rock shows we’d love to see them and get them in some of our shows.

Contact us at or

Featured Artist Interview – Bry Harris from the Parrot Island Band

Posted in Featured Artist of the Week, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings, Trop Rock Interviews | Comments Off on Featured Artist Interview – Bry Harris from the Parrot Island Band

Our sit down interview with this week’s Featured Artist – Bry Harris from the Parrot Island Band


(TRB)Where are you based these days?
(BH) We live in Acworth, Georgia  …. about 50 miles NW of Atlanta.

(TRB)Do you have a Regular Gig where your fans can always find you?
(BH) While we have had a very busy year, most of our gigs are private, corporate, country club or neighborhood events. We try to make several out of town trips each year and for the past few tears we have been asked to play a few Parrot head events each year (ie Trop Rocks the Smokies, TropStock, Phins on the James, A1A Beaches Parrothead club’s Beach Bash and we are scheduled to play Music on the Bay in 2013).

(TRB)Do you have any current projects in the works?
(BH) We have plenty of songs ready for our 2nd CD, just trying to figure out the best way for us to get them recorded… I have really fallen in love with the ukulele over the past year or so (I am now one of the official music endorsers for Eddy Finn Ukuleles) and I am hoping that our next CD will  feature a lot of ukulele, steel pan and congas.

(TRB)What was your major influence for pursuing a career in Trop Rock?
(BH) When I was in high school, I was a huge Jimmy Buffett fan (Jimmy’s music helped me through  some difficult times as a teenagers, providing a great  means of escape.). At our high school graduation, I was named (tongue in cheek), “most likely to open for Jimmy Buffett”. I did continue to play in bars and restaurants while in college (Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA) but after college settled down and drifted away from music for a number of years.

After a more than 25 year break from music, I saw an advertisement for Peter Mayer at a Christmas concert in Atlanta. After attending the concert, I brushed off the dust on my guitar and started playing some really small gigs and it has grown to more and bigger gigs each year.

(TRB)And the question everyone asks, with such a variance of answers. Who are/were your musical influences now and getting started?
(BH) I grew up listening to Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, the Eagles, Jim Croce, Dan Fgelberg, Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad, Harry Chapin… a lot of the singer/songwriter musicians, I’m sure I have left out some but this is a pretty good list to start with…

Currently, I love music by folks like Howard Livingston, Rob Mehl, Jimmy Parrish, Mac McAnally  Mark Mulligan, and one of the sweetest voices of Trop Rock, Paul Roush (and still, after all these years… Jimmy Buffett)

(TRB)Who, if possible, would you like to perform with?
(BH) Jimmy Buffett!  And Howard Livingston quickly come  to mind but there are many of the Trop Rock guys/gals that I would be thrilled to play with…

(TRB)What is the one place that you have on your Bucket List of Venues to play?
(BH) Any of the Margaritavilles, Lulu’s, a cruise ship… I have several of the Trop Rock events on my list… oh, I’m sorry- did you say name ONE? 😉

(TRB)Tell us about your most memorable performance.
(BH) We opened the first Trop Stock and on Sunday morning there was a worship service on the river.  Jim and Peter Mayer, Nadirah Shakoor, and Doyle Grisahm of the Coral Reefers were there (as well as a number of other top notch Trop Rockers).  Doyle Grisham was kind enough to play along on a song I had written for the event… backed up by Doyle Grisham… THAT was cool!

Second most memorable, National managers convention for Carmike Cinemas, held in Myrtle Beach, SC.

(TRB)What is the best way for your fans to stay in touch?
(BH) You can keep up with us on Facebook  at and also on our website at www, (where I also do a little blogging… send me you ideas, questions… would love to hear from our friends)


Trop On!