“A boy growin’ up in the heartland, surrounded by acres of grain.” So goes the lyric from one of the songs on Captn Jac’s new album. As the grandson of a Midwest farmer and son of a small town construction worker, he spent his youth learning how to plant crops and build homes. By the time he’d turned 18, he decided on a different chosen career. Music was to be the driving force in his life. Since those early days, he has performed as a musician and entertainer in many styles of music. He has played for crowds large and small all over the United States. He attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music and performed on master recording sessions in New York, Memphis, and Nashville, TN. The years spent in school and on the road finally lead him to discover his own voice as a songwriter. In 2006 during a visit to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, he was inspired to begin writing the songs that would eventually become the ‘Livin On The Hard’ album. Released in 2010 by Pilothouse Music, it has been well received in concert and is widely available on most all the Internet music outlets. These days, the Captn and his “Crew” are performing in Florida playing music from the album as well as the “Gulf and Western”, “Trop Rock” and “Conch Country” sounds of other artists. When the Captn is not performing, he loves sailing, diving, and spending time in the Florida Keys. Check out Captn Jac’s Site HERE
Featured Artist of the Week
Before Jack Johnson became the 21st century kingpin of beachside pop/rock, he was a champion surfer on the professional circuit. The sport was second nature to the Hawaiian native, who began chasing waves as a toddler and, by the age of 17, had become an outstanding athlete on the Banzai Pipeline. However, Johnson was also testing other creative outlets — specifically film and music — and a serious surfing accident during his first professional competition convinced him to devote more time to those landlocked hobbies. After studying cinematography in college, he turned his full attention to music, writing breezy pop songs punctuated by an unassuming voice and a mellow, beach-bum demeanor. The combination proved to be particularly commercial, as Johnson’s first five major-label albums all climbed to platinum status.
While studying film at the University of California in Santa Barbara, Johnson partnered with friends Chris Malloy and Emmett Malloy to produced a surfing documentary entitled Thicker Than Water. Although the project spotlighted Johnson’s talent as a director, it also showcased his flair for songwriting, and the accompanying soundtrack featured several of his own tunes. Thicker Than Water was deemed 2000′s Video of the Year by Surfer magazine and paved the way for a second surf flick, The September Sessions. Meanwhile, Johnson began receiving similar notice for his songs, one of which was covered by G. Love & Special Sauce on the band’s 1999 album, Philadelphonic. Shortly thereafter, Johnson’s demo material piqued the interest of J.P. Plunier, a French producer who had helped launch Ben Harper‘s career several years prior.
With Plunier’s help, Johnson recorded and released Brushfire Fairytales in 2001. The debut album featured a cameo by Ben Harper, thus sparking a friendship between the two musicians. Moreover, its casually spun folk songs attracted an audience that stretched far beyond Johnson’s own surfing community, and Brushfire Fairytales went platinum as a result. After touring throughout the early half of 2002, he returned to the studio and issued On and On one year later. Despite its musical similarity to Brushfire Fairytales, On and On found Johnson delving into social commentary, resulting in a number of songs that paired worldly, insightful lyrics with a sunny surf vibe.
Jack Johnson toured heavily in support of his growing catalog, taking frequent breaks to surf and spend time with his family. When it came time to return to the studio, he resumed his partnership with Mario Caldato, Jr., the same producer who had helmed On and On, and decamped to Mango Trees Studio in Hawaii. In Between Dreams was released in 2005, sporting a mango tree on the album’s cover (in tribute to the studio) while offering a familiar mix of tropical songwriting and conscious commentary. The album peaked at number two, Johnson’s highest chart position to date in America, and sold more than two million copies stateside. Oddly enough, it was Johnson’s next project, the kids-oriented Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George, that finally sent him to the top of the charts. The soundtrack debuted at number one in February 2006, selling 149,000 copies during its first week and making Curious George the first animated film sincePocahontas to have a chart-topping soundtrack. Like the four albums before it, it climbed to platinum status.
Despite such continued success, however, Johnson was dealt a sharp blow in 2007, when his cousin Danny Riley succumbed to brain cancer. That death, coupled with the decision to record outside of Hawaii’s familiar environment, lent a moody ambience to Johnson’s next record, 2008′s Sleep Through the Static. Nonetheless, the bulk of the album retained a warm, sand-scrubbed feel, and Sleep Through the Staticwent platinum within five weeks. Johnson traveled throughout Europe that summer, playing some of his largest shows to date, and the resulting footage was captured for the 2009 CD/DVD release En Concert. Johnson released his fifth studio album, To the Sea, in June 2010. Covering a nine-year span, the Jack Johnson & Friends: The Best of Kokua Festival compilation appeared in 2012 and featured performances from Johnson’s benefit concert for the nonprofit, environmental education organization the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. Johnson returned to his Mango Tree studio with Mario Caldato, Jr. — who produced his 2005 release In Between Dreams – to record his sixth studio album, From Here to Now to You. The album, which was scheduled for release in September 2013, was preceded by the single “I Got You.” ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi
Dani Hoy, aka “TropiGal” is a perfect example of the adage “better late than never“. Her music paints a vulnerable and honest view of life in a beach-oriented spirit of fun and adventure.
This all comes three decades after a year of guitar lessons, seeing her musician father in action, and spot opportunities singing in choirs, choruses, and theater. After years of listening to her favorite songs over and over again until she knew every line, her fans are doing the same with her songs and clamoring for more. The wait is almost over.
Dani Hoy’s widely anticipated 2nd full CD, “Songs of Love and the Ocean” has been released, once again in collaboration with Kevin Johnston. The two teamed up on her first project, “TropiGal”, which facilitated many opportunities in the Tropical Rock genre in the form of live performances and airplay. She has twice been nominated for awards by the Trop Rock Music Association (troprock.org) in 2012 and 2013.
Her belated music career began four years ago, with Dani hitting the open mic circuit and performing in front of audiences with her guitar. Naturally the showboat side of her personality was front and center and shared a sense of fun earnest interaction. She sang many nights away after putting in a full eight on her day job as a graphic artist. This made her transition to larger audiences rather simple.
After recently gaining some freedom from her day job, Dani Hoy’s passion for music is on full display as she tackles a full performance schedule around the country. Her crafty songwriting and stage presence shines through at multiple Trop Rock festivals, house concerts, collaborations, and gatherings.
There is no doubt Dani Hoy is on the move. It’s hard to escape hearing her music these days.
If you haven’t heard the music of Dani Hoy… an escape is only a listen away!
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.
Brittany 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.”
The CalypsoNuts - Entertainment Without a Net
For years, people have begged for entertainment- not just music, but entertainment. Since 1998, The CalypsoNuts have delivered just that. Audiences from Key West to Put-In Bay, and all along the Caribbean itineraries, have been delighted by the duo with the island twist.
“Sure it’s steel drums,” says Robbie Meade, “but we look at them a little differently. We take the drums where we want them to go instead of allowing the drums to force our musical hand.”
Sponsored by Corona Extra, Corona Light, and Kokomo Island Traders, The CalypsoNuts are more than just a steel drum act. The “Entertainment Without a Net” approach guarantees that each show is custom tailored to fit the event. With no shows identical, The CalypsoNuts have the freedom and flexibility to switch gears in the middle of the show and take the audience in a new direction and to a completely different mood.
The nightly menu consists of Pop and Rock, Reggae and Soca, Acoustic and Electric; all different, but all the perfect ingredients to a great bowl of musical gumbo.
“So, pack your bags and let The Nuts’ music take you to your favorite island”
Mike Lindsay, past President
Washington Area Parrothead Club
At 11 years, The CalypsoNuts are the longest running act at “The Meeting of the Minds”, the week-long National Parrot Head Convention held every November in Key West, Florida. As of March 2009, The Nuts are now Musical Alumni of the Atlanta Parrot Head cruise, a 7 night, annual caribbean cruise to benefit cancer research.
In 2008 and 2009, 4 contracts with Disney Cruise Lines were packed with shows that were said to have raised the bar for any subsequent duos that sail with them. Meade says, “More than a just feather in our caps, the time spent with Disney taught us the important lessons of how to “Do it right…every time!”
The CalypsoNuts CDs “Six More Weeks” and “No Lifeguard on Duty” and rare live shows receive regular air play on Radio Margaritaville and several other internet and sattelitte radio stations. Numerous local and regional “Best of” awards further confirm The CalypsoNuts’ ability to take you to the sunshine of the islands no matter what the weather is like outside. Fondly known as The ‘Nuts by friends and clients, these two entertainers have a way of making the whole crowd feel special and connected to the event.
“Robbie and Lynley are superb entertainers. Fun, talented, wacky and a taste of the islands – they’ve got it all.”
President, Parrothead Club of Richmond
Booking and working with The CalypsoNuts may very well be the easiest thing you’ve ever done.
Call or Email for more information and availability
Recent Article about their show at LandShark Landing at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel
Born in Bermuda and raised in the Caribbean, Mishka is a traveler and a sailor at heart. A free spirit, whose lyrics melodies and grooves, are reflections of the roots and culture in which he grew, Mishka’s music is Caribbean at the core, and yet it’s an eclectic sound that contains many elements and genres. From bass heavy roots reggae, to mellow acoustic ballads, songs of love, songs of social justice and consciousness, you have to hear for yourself and experience the music.
Mishka’s journey has taken him full circle, from an independent singer songwriter, then signed to big record labels like Creation and Sony, through the bright lights of Hollywood working with Matthew McConaughey and his jk livin label and finally right back home, where he is at his best, in the Islands, creating his own brand of music, in total artistic control of his songs and his life. Having just come off a summer long tour of North America, with a stop in Japan he is about to head to St Croix in the Virgin Islands, to finish recording songs for his upcoming album to be released this fall.
Warren Wyatt of WorldSound, the exclusive global representative of Mishka, comments: “He’s a musical force of good and righteousness, a positive power for change in an increasingly negative world. Mishka has a lot to say and it’s worth listening, his songs open eyes and hearts and change people… for the better .”
Mishka, who recently toured over 40 North American venues with Maui born Female Hawaiian Superstar Anuhea has performed with a wide cross-section of top acts including Dirty Heads, Michael Franti, Matisyahu, John Brown’s Body, Burning Spear, Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, Luciano, Xavier Rudd, Sly and Robbie, The Roots, The Cat Empire, Gregory Isaacs, Donovan Frankenreiter, Jimmy Buffet, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown & many more.
Mishka has released four Albums to date including the eponymous Mishka in 1999, One Tree in 2005, Above the Bones in 2009, and Talk About in 2010 all of which have received critical acclaim around the world. In 2009 Mishka released a special digital only collection of acoustic songs entitled Guy With a Guitar. This led to iTunes naming the release the Best Singer Songwriter Collection of the Year.
Mishka’s releases have charted around the globe including his last three releases reaching the #1 spot on Billboard Magazine’s Reggae chart. Mishka continues to tour extensively both solo and with his band playing clubs, theaters, and festivals all over America, Canada, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Japan.
James “Sunny Jim” White was born in San Antonio, Texas. His earliest memories of live music are steeped in the sounds of the Texas swing bands to which his parents danced. The Texas twang of his guitar is part of his sound even today. James spent part of his adolescence on the Texas Gulf Coast in Corpus Christi, which sparked in him a love for the beach, surf music and the mystery of the eternal sea.
The White family moved to Southern California during the height of the Psychedelic Era (1969) where he soaked up the FM radio sounds of the times, with Motown, Memphis, the LA sound, and of course the San Francisco sound adding to the mix. Around this time James first picked up a guitar, and soon developed a passion that turned into a career.
Several years later, while pursuing music in Nashville, TN, he joined a band headed to the Cayman Islands for a year-long gig. The band left at the end of the contract, but James White had discovered his Caribbean soul and stayed.
He landed a gig at the world-class Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman and Britannia Resort where he was artist-in-residence for more than a
decade. Life in the Caribbean was good! “Sunny Jim” soaked up the sights and sounds of the West Indies and put them in his music, and he even taught himself to play the pan (steel drum).
The Cayman Islands is a crossroads for travelers from all corners of the world, and real characters ended up in his songs. Friendships forged there remain strong today, so his circle of friends extends to several ports of call in the islands. In 2000 Sunny Jim left the expatriate life and moved to Florida’s beautiful Suncoast, where he is now at home.
He is a regular on Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville, broadcasted on Sirius Satellite radio. Sunny Jim’s relationship with Radio Margaritaville began in 1997 when Radio Margaritaville broadcasted his show live via the internet from the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman on Seven Mile Beach.
For the past ten years, Sunny Jim has been an invited performer for “Meeting of the Minds,” the annual national Parrot Head Convention held in Key West, FL. He has also hosted fellow tropical troubadors at his yearly Sunday Songwriter’s Showcase at Blue Heaven, which has become a “must-attend” event for many wrapping up a wild weekend in Key West. Sunny Jim is also host of the annual Six String Music Festival in New Orleans.
He enjoys performing for purveyors of the island lifestyle from coast to coast. His schedule takes him to cities such as New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Atlanta, Key West, Houston, Richmond and Phoenix among many others. His travels have also included going back to the Caribbean to perform in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, the Bahamas and of course his old home, the Cayman Islands.
A versatile performer and musician, Sunny Jim is available as a solo act or with a full band, for events large and small. From wild Parrot Head parties to intimate backyard concerts, he is “living what he loves and lovin what he lives.”
A Note from Swim Skinny
I was recently asked to be interviewed for a book being written about Trop Rock singer/songwriters and their music…I was asked to talk about my background and where some of my songs originated…this is what I had to say!!
My life as a nationally recognized “Trop Rocker” began with a simple song….
“Hippy Farm” – This is the song that penned the name “Swim Skinny” and tagged me with it for life. Hippy Farm is a song about the transition from my childhood living “hippie” in rural Midwest communities to my suburbanite life as an adult in Indiana. It talks about how we “used to swim skinny in the hippy pond on the hippy farm”. After singing the song for crowds at shows throughout the Midwest, people would yell out to me on stage upon my return…”play that ‘swim skinny’ song”… Eventually it grew into a trademark song and the name alone has made me famous…Swim Skinny. The song remains the pivotal point of my music career, taking me from local singer/songwriter to national performer. The song is plainly about missing the simplicity of my youth as a hippie kid.
“Drunken Parrothead Blues” – Upon gaining regional notoriety under the name “Swim Skinny” as an acoustic performer and singer/songwriter, crowds began to grow as did my reputation for having FUN on stage (and selling lots of booze). Requests for me to play were pouring in from lakeside bars and island party events around the lakes of Indiana where I grew up. So, on the weekends I’d pack up the kids for the weekend, go to our tiny cabin on Lake Freeman, and I’d make some extra cash playing music in the evenings. One particular party I was invited to play was this annual Jimmy Buffett gathering at a bar near my hometown the week after Jimmy played in Indianapolis. Having been a fan for years, but never having seen a live Buffett show, I decided to get tickets and take my oldest son…he was 16. The week prior to the concert I was putting together my stuff for the parrothead party back home – people often brought gifts and I would display them on stage with me – and one of the items was this parrot I was trying to mount on my mic-stand. The problem was, everytime I’d move, the parrot would fall upside down hanging from the stand…staring right back at me. After a few times trying to fix the problem, the parrot fell upside down AGAIN and found it’s final resting place. My guitar was sitting there and with a big grin on my face I strummed a chord and said “like a drunken parrot hanging upside down, I’ve got my tail in the air and my beak on the ground”. By the time I made it to the Buffett concert and party on Lake Shafer, I had written the song “Drunken Parrothead Blues”. I played it at the party 3 times by request over the course of the 7 hour show. The song was video taped and released on YouTube and I quickly became a part of the Parrothead nation. A video with pictures portraying the lyrics was later released, solidifying “Swim Skinny” as a household name in the minds of parrotheads worldwide. The song talks about the debaucheries of a day following a Buffett concert and depicts the likes of my own brother crawling from my hammock by the lake after a much-too-wild night with friends.
“My Banana” – After being recognized as a ‘Trop Rocker’ by my fans, a term I didn’t know at the time, many of my other water-based party tunes began to be noticed…at which time the making of a CD arose. In collecting my original songs that fit the genre bill, I found myself writing more along those lines and people started labeling me as “tropical” and other similar terms. One night while answering my then hundreds of weekly emails, I was surprised by a chat box opening a conversation with an old high school girl friend…we were talking of meeting some day on a boat in the islands where we’d co-habitate, her braiding hair and me playing guitar. At the same time my youngest son, who was 14 at the time, was laying next to me in bed playing his new ukulele. Noticing the email that was on the screen at the time, and partially blocked by the chat box, my son looked at me and said out loud….”Dad look, she likes your banana”. Behind the chat box was an email where the sender had written…”Dear Swim Skinny, I like your Banana Republic style of music…”. As my son read the message to me, the chat box covered the words “Republic style of music…” leaving only the words “Dear Swim Skinny, I like your Banana” to be seen by my son. Needless to say we laid there with his uke and wrote my most popular and most requested song to date….”My Banana”.
“I’m Alive” – Over the course of my adult life, I have had great success and great challenges. I’ve been married twice, I have three children, and I am now single raising my two younger children at our very small lake cabin. I have accumulated great wealth, for a ‘hippie kid’, and have walked away from it all to gain inner peace. The choices and decisions have been hard at times, sometimes even putting me through what many would call a ‘living hell’. However, I have always remained positive and have tried not to count my loss…which has been tough…at least it was until just a year or so ago. In the midst of some of my hardest times, reminders of how fragile life is have crossed my path helping keep my mind clear and focused on living life free of false truths and drama. A couple years ago a close friend’s son was diagnosed with cancer at age 17 and pulled through after huge fights with the disease. At the same time another friend, acquaintance, and fellow trop rocker Troy Allan faught cancer eventually losing his battle at the end of last year…BUT, not before inspiring me and SO many others to live life to it’s fullest and to be thankful we are alive. With Troy on my mind and hope for my new freedom, I wrote “I’m Alive” as an anthem for my life. In the first verse I reference my relationship with someone very close to me when saying “you put your hands upon my chest and rescued me from cardiac arrest”….it describes also my relationship with God and the impact Troy has had on me. In the second verse I am talking to the many fans who have written me saying they wish they could be ‘more like me’ when I say…”sometimes you gotta close your eyes to see, reach down pull something out and show the world what you’re all about, raise your hands, raise ‘em high, touch the clouds and feel the sky…say I’m alive and I’m free, there ain’t no place I’d rather be…’cause I’m alive”. If only my fans knew for themselves what it is that has brought me to this point in my life, maybe then they too would feel more ALIVE!! This song says it all for me….where I’ve been, where I am, and where I want to be.
“I’m Alive” is one of my favorite tunes from the new Swim Skinny double disc CD that is to be released July 7, 2012 titled “Naked & Wet”. The “Naked” CD has a very acoustic feel with very little production work…the CD is a look deeper into the person I really am and not just the SWIM SKINNY image…it is soft, soulful, ornery, and real…it’s “Naked”!! The “Wet” CD is a continuation of my first CD titled “At Your Own Risk”…the CD is filled with tropical sound, feel, and trademark Swim Skinny innuendo…”Booyah”, “Walking to New Orleans”, and “Too Drunk to See Jimmy” are sure to be hits in their perspective crowds…the soulful jazz sound of “The Roosters Call” and “Mallory Square” make you long for sultry nights in Key West… And “Back to Belize” just feels SOOO damn good….You’re gonna love this project!!
People often ask me what it is like to be a “Trop Rock Star”….and I never really know what to say….what I can say is this: You know, I am really just another guy who happens to play guitar…I’m a dad, a brother, and a son…I’m a friend to many and am lucky to have some great friends…right here at home and around the world…if there is one thing about me that makes me special, it’s that I follow my heart and keep trying where others might stop…I love my life and I wouldn’t trade it for any life around…my wish for you is the same!!
Peace and Love,
Until Next Time… Trop On!
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)
Let me tell you a story about a man named Kid… Kid Conch is mixed breed for sure. He is part beach bum, part hippie, part cowboy, part pirate, part rocker, part mountain man, part country boy. The music in his blood is part British, part Southern, part Latino, part Caribbean, and part Mediterranean. He’s a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, with a little bit of Motown in his soul.
Kid Conch’s music blends Americana and Tropicana, country and western, reggae and calypso, Cajun and blues, rock and roll, R&B and soul into a tropical vacation for your ears. He’s as comfortable fronting a large show band with an electric guitar and he is strumming an acoustic guitar at a sidewalk cafe.
Although Kid Conch has been playing music since before he could talk, and has played in countless bands, he has only recently taken up his axe and brought his own brand of tropical rock to the public. With a couple songs under his belt The Kid plans to record as much as possible. He’s not a big believer in “albums” but when he gets some more songs together I’m sure he’ll be willing to press a CD for you. In fact Kid Conch is releasing his new sexy, soul-powered love song, “Take Me To Paradise” before the end of March.
The Kid loves to collaborate and add his soulful guitar stylings to other’s music. From time to you’ll see kid sitting in with some of his friends such as The Chris Sacks Band, Deserie, Dani Hoy, Charlie Imes, and Mike Mangum. In fact if you’re a travelling minstrel passing through Florida, look the Kid up. He love to accompany and he’s known coast to coast for his magical ability to play music he’s never heard before.
The Kid doesn’t live in any one place. He goes where the weather suits him. Some people want fast cars, some people want exotic vacations… The Kid just wants to go outside and play in the sunshine. He’s known to spend winters cloistered in a cottage on the Gulf Shores of Florida working on music like a mad scientist bent on creating life. But when summer rolls around, The Kid hits the road.
In 2013 look for Kid Conch in the Northeast in June and July, and the Southwest in August and September. And maybe a few places in between. Let him know if you’d like him to pass through your town.
You can visit Kid Conch online at KidConch.com or on Facebook at Facebook.com/KidConch. You’ll find a couple free MP3s on the website that some people with good taste actually like. They’ve gotten some honest to goodness rave reviews from some serious music folks and are being added to more and more internet radio stations each week.
Contact: Rick Schettino