A lazy drive through the Florida Keys,

December started off with a bit of a twist for me. For quite some time I’ve been dealing with heart disease and now and then it rears it’s head. My issue is cholesterol which causes blockage in the arteries that are in my heart. The good news is that I have a great cardiologist and his team, here in Key West, Dr. Bruce Boros. I drove up to Miami Beach and was in and out of the hospital in less than 24 hours. The solution is having a stent put in, which opens up the artery and the blood flow returns to normal. The weird thing about this is that there is virtually no recovery period! One minute you’re feeling like you’re ready to check out, the next you’re ready to run around the block! Many thanks to Dr. Boros as well as the team in Miami Beach headed by Dr. Berger.

The great thing here was the fact that it required a drive back through the Keys to get home! I always tell anyone coming to Key West to be sure to take your time driving through the Keys to appreciate them for what they are. In English we have a saying for this that goes “Take time to stop and smell the roses”. I elected to do this as well. Prior to moving to Key West, I lived in the southern area of Miami/Dade County and consequently I’d hop in the car and take a 30 mile drive (49 Km) to Key Largo. What a perfect excuse to head and stop there on my way home! I found myself at one of my favorite haunts which is one of the best bars in the entire world, The Caribbean Club. Some may remember the Caribbean Club from my blog a while back naming the ten best bars in the Florida Keys?


I arrived about an hour before sunset, which is always impeccable, as the back of the Caribbean Club is on Black Water Sound.

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Caribbean Club Dock.

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The Caribbean Club from the dock

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Boat off of the Caribbean Club at sunset


Caribbean Club Panorama

Boat leaving to parts unknown

I made a rendezvous with my dear friend Nina while I was there and we headed over to another place in Key Largo, Sharkey’s (also see ten best bars in the Keys) where our friend Mike was playing. I’ve known Mike for nearly twenty years, from my days in Miami/Dade! What a great thing it was to go as well! I ended up getting to sit in with his band for a couple of songs. Here I was, only hours out of the hospital after a heart procedure and I’m sitting for a couple of songs! Thank God for medical science!

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I stayed overnight in Key Largo and continued my trip in the morning after grabbing a breakfast at a restaurant in Key Largo that I often go to, Mrs. Mack’s.

My next stop was in Islamorada, a town south of Key Largo consisting of about five or six islands. For me, my stop there this time was Robbie’s. Robbie’s is really just a shack. It’s a lot like stepping into a time warp actually. What is so unique about Robbie’s is that off their dock, you can feed the tarpon with buckets of fish that you can buy at the shack. A tarpon is a good sized game fish. They are not edible. Here we’re not fishing for them, but rather feeding them! There are also a lot of pelicans hanging out there as well, who are more than happy to compete with the tarpon for the fish!

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Posing pelican with Tarpon behind him

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“The Keys Rabbler” gets me everywhere!

Leaving there, my next stop was just a pedestrian bridge, built on the old traffic bridge. These are all up and down the Keys, this one being at Lower Matacumbe Key. I was amazed at the strength of the current. Bear in mind that this is that the bridges are where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Flor8ida Bay/Gulf of Mexico. Driving south, you’ll have the Atlantic Ocean on your left and the Gulf of Mexico on your right. The tidal currents were amazingly strong here!

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I’ll continue this trip on the next blog!
I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season!

CD is available on iTunes, CD Baby, CD Universe, Rhapsody, and Beachfront Radio.
Search: Key West Chris

Thank you everyone!

Happy New Year!!!!

Article source: http://keywestmusic.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-lazy-drive-through-florida-keys.html

The Best Band In Trop Rock,

The Survivors music is “ALIVE”. It’s a living, breathing
entity. Every time they play a song, it’s a bit different than the last time
they played it. There’s nothing sterile or canned about it and its seat of the
pants the whole way. Improvisation is a main ingredient of their music. This is
a fantastic feature as well, as it’s here that every version is different,
plus, for folks on the dance floor rocking to the Survivors, instead of dancing
to a song for 3:45, they are jamming for maybe 8 minutes into the coolest groove
you can imagine. And these guys are focused on the groove!  Who knows with the Survivors? They may just
get the impulse to sague into another song with no warning, no plan. It always
works too! Additionally, it never gets boring, as some improvisational pieces
are prone to get. They know how to keep it interesting.

Article source: http://keywestmusic.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-best-band-in-trop-rock-none-are.html


One of the first surprises was seeing my old friend Rick West! I’ve known Rick for almost 20 years from back in our Miami days. Back then we both played in a bar called “Chubby’s B.B.Q.”. One day Rick, my cousin Joe, and I drove down to the Keys, just for fun. A later Rick moved to Key Largo and while he was there he would book me from a joint named Kenny’s (now Upper Crust Pizza), to Whale Harbor in Islamorada. So this area of the Conch Republic is like my old home. While still living on the mainland I was figuring that this would be the area of the Keys that I’d end up in, so coming here to the Pit Stop was a lot like coming home for me. Seeing Rick was especially nice as well.

Article source: http://keywestmusic.blogspot.com/2013/11/motm-2013-well-week-was-certainly.html

Leap of Faith / Quit Your Job and Live On a Boat – Book Review


“Leap Of Faith / Quit Your Job And Live On A Boat”

This is the first book that I have been unable to put down in a long time. This is a true story of one couple’s Leap of Faith. In this crazy world that we live in, and the economy the way it is, this story captivated me quickly. Ed and Kim prove that happiness and freedom can be found if you simply have faith. They escaped the troubles and problems of this world, and live in perfect peace. This may not be your idea of peace, but Ed explains how you can achieve your dream of freedom. The life of a Live-a-board may not be for you, but the life of freedom and inner-peace should be for everyone.

Come along with Ed and Kim as they explore the natural beauty of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Ed lays out how you can achieve this type of freedom in less than 130 pages of great writing. He explains how you can set yourself up with a five year plan. A five year plan to help you get to the point in life to make that Leap of Faith, if you so desire. You may not have the courage to take the Leap but you most definitely will be prepared, if you are so inclined.

My wife and I have begun our climb out of debt, and are preparing our five year plan. This will be a huge Leap of Faith for us as well. We are taking what we have learned from Ed and Kim and applying it to our lives.  (Follow Ed and Kim as they continue their journey)

Blue Skies and Smooth Sailing – John Helms

Purchase Your Copy Here

Featured Artist – Captn Jac

Welcome to the Tiki Bar“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


2013 Trop Rock Music Award Winners


Congrats to the Winners and all of the Nominees of the 2013 TRMAs

Radio Station- Mid size: Beachfront Radio

Radio Station- Small Market: Songwriters Island Radio

Radio Show: Amish Beach Party-DJ Jeff Allen

House Concert Venue:Mark & Sharon Leverett /The Yard — Tampa, FL

Live Music Venue:Nav-a-Gator — Lake Suzy, FL

Event: Music on the Bay – Tampa Bay, Fl

Musician: Jimi Pappas

Horizon:John Friday

Duo/Trio:Tropical Soul

Band:Boat Drunks

Female Vocalist:  Michelle Becker of Latitude

Male Vocalist: James “Sunny Jim” White

Album of the Year:– “6 Pack and a Tan”, Howard Livingston & MM24

Song of the Year: “Beer In The Cooler”, Jerry Diaz & Hanna’s Reef

Fan of The Year: Stephen “Koz” Koslowski

The “I CAN” Award: Jerry Diaz

Songwriter of the Year: Jerry Diaz

Entertainer:James “Sunny Jim” White


Deep In Our Hearts – from Carol Ewald

Hey Beachbums…..As most of you know, we lost our precious DJ Jeff this week.  The Beachfront is cloudy and we are all hurting from his departure.  But we are a family and will hold each other up and the music will help us escape and the sun will shine again.
Included with this email is a free download of St. Somewhere’s “Deep In My Heart”This was a special song for him (us) and will be for all of us because he IS deep in our hearts.Just click on the link above.

On Wednesday, Oct. 30th - from 12-5 (EST) there will be a “Celebration of Life” at the Smokin’ Tuna for Jeff. If you can not be there physically, you can tune into the Tuna Cam and join the celebration. There will be tributes to him at so many of the events during the week. Someone even said on a post that if Jimmy shows up this year…he will be upstaged by Jeff, LOL..

His passion was Beachfront Radio and the music, but also the Phins To the West DJ Jeff Fund.  This Fund helped relieve so much stress and when you’re dealing with a terminal illness…you need every stress reliever you can find.  But his wishes were that it goes onto help others.  That was Jeff…always thinking of others. So we hope you will donate in his honor on the Taking Care of our Own website..The Phins to the West  event has always been an amazing “Party with a Purpose” just as so many others are and they were the full backers of the Fund.  We hope you go out and support these events all over the country that Party With A Purpose. .

The Beachfront will NEVER be the same without him but the music has to go on. Your outpouring of support and love has not gone unnoticed and his loved ones and family. It has been amazing and so comforting.

As we head into the biggest phlocking, MOTM in Key West, he would want us to celebrate the music there as he was “Keeper Of The Flame”.  For many of us, it will not be the same without him but he lives through every song that is sung and will be missed by so many.

Carol Ewald