Archive for the Category »A View From the Mic «

Block Party

 

A View From the Mic. 

Parrot Island Band block party

This week we played for a block party in Marietta. As the neighbors gathered in the cul-de-sac, music was provided by the Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band from Atlanta, Georgia), everyone spread out and entered into lively conversation.

As with all of our gigs, there are things in each event that stand out.  These are some of the things that I enjoyed from this evening:

  • Lots of little children playing and dancing to the music.
  • People lived in the neighborhood between 1 week and 42 years!
  • One couple had just been married for 3 weeks and we were able to dedicate a song to their new life together.

Parrot Island Band makes new fan

The most memorable event took place towards the end of the night when a young man came up and put something in the tip jar. His mom came up a few minutes later and told us that he enjoyed our music so much that he asked if he could give us the last of his allowance. Wow! The little boy was 8 years old and beginning to play guitar. We visited for a few minutes and I gave him one of our CDs. The little boy responded as if a real music star had given him something priceless (when in reality the little guy gave me a great gift).

People dancing. Kids laughing and playing. Neighbors visiting, some for the first time. Although there was not a large crowd, evenings like this are really fun for us as a band. If you live in a neighborhood (in the Atlanta area) that could use a little community building, give the Parrot Island Band a call (Bry – 770-855-3404 c) and let's see if we can’t turn your pool, cul-de-sac or even back yard into a tropical destination… wishing everyone beaches and blessings (even if they start out looking like a cul-de-sac).

Fun Night With Friends

 

Fun Night With Friends

Parrot Island Band view from the mic

A View from the mic. Saturday night was a fun night with friends. The Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band) played for awhile at a friend’s retirement party. What a relaxing time it was listening (and playing) to the steel pan and congas beside Kevin and Wendy’s pool.

Parrot Island Band Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band by the pool

Our friend (and guest of honor), Annice, was celebrating 32 years as an elementary and middle school teacher. Her children put together a very nice evening and I can already see a more relaxed and happy Annice as school starts this year without her.

This is a short post tonight, but I wanted to write a few words about this very relaxing/enjoyable event. Hopefully someone will see this and think, “maybe the Parrot Island Band could play for a party by our pool?”.  While it is easy to just plug in an IPod and provide some background music, hopefully some live music (like ours), provides a special touch to a festive event. If you are having an event (for friends or maybe even a company outing), give Bry a call at 770-855-3404 and see if we might be a good fit for your event.

Congratulations to Annice, I know she has many talents and gifts that she will continue to use to help others. While I certainly don’t want to wish any years away in order to retire, I can tell that Annice is ready to move into a new chapter of her life with joy and anticipation…  Ok, maybe I am just a little jealous :).

A Heroes Welcome

 

A Heroes Welcome

A View from the Parrot Island Band mic

A view from the mic. This week the Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band) received a Heroes welcome at Heroes Grille in Anniston, Alabama, for its 1st Annual Parrothead Gathering. The event was planned by Derek Raulerson (and friends) and it was a terrific evening.

Parrot Island Band visits Jacksonville, Alabama

Marc Spaulding, owner of Heroes was a gracious host for the event. The venue itself is spacious, well run and provides a great stage to play on. The food looked/smelled delicious, unfortunately we didn’t get there in time to eat… but if we are back in the area, I will certainly stop by and check it out.

Parrot Ialand Band and owner of Hroes Grill

In reflecting on our events, I also like to look for highlights. I will remember this event for the friendly people (loved the Hawaiian shirts and “Parrothead stuff” :-)), the large turnout and the festive atmosphere.

One group at the event were “first responders” (they respond in the event of various types of disasters and events like 9/11) who were training in the area. The folks were from various parts of the country and looked like they were having a great time (it was fun seeing them out for the evening). Among some of the places these guys came from included Arizona, Florida, Maine and Wyoming.

Group from First Responder training visit Parrot Island Band

Another couple of Parrotheads drove over from the Birmingham area and stayed for most of the evening. I always enjoy seeing couples out for an evening of fun and music, and there were several couples who looked like they were enjoying a relaxing evening together.

It was nice to play for a group of people who really enjoy Buffett music. There were several requests for A Pirate Looks at 40, Son of a Sailor and Come Monday. When we played Fins, the crowd joined in and when we played Margaritaville, a good portion of the group came down, danced and sang along. Lots of fun but no one out of control… making it a very enjoyable evening.

All in all, this was a great night and I trust that the Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band from Atlanta, Georgia) made some new friends. While I don’t think there is a Parrothead Club in the Anniston/Jacksonville, Alabama, area, it seems like these folks have the right ingredients to start one.

Parrot Island Band a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band

Thanks again to Derek, Mark and everyone for making this a great event. I hope we see you all again soon. Until then… I hope that your remaining days of summer are filled with beaches and blessings…

Porter Party

 

Porter Party

 

A view from the mic. This time we look back to our event for Michael and Cathy Porter. Just back from their wedding in Chuka, Kenya, Micahel and Cathy gathered with friends and family for a day long celebration at the lakeside campground known as Lutherwood.

Fun to the left

A rustic pavilion was transformed into a beautiful wedding reception and as you would imagine, the atmosphere was joyful. The Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band) was delighted to share in the day and have the opportunity to share some “island music” at the festive event.

Fun to the Right

The day was not without a bit of excitement (beyond the kind you would expect at a wedding celebration). Just after we set up our equipment, a sudden bolt of lightning struck somewhere in the immediate area (not something you want while you are standing near a PA system and steel pan)!

Within a few minutes we were scrambling to move our equipment under cover to beat the rain which was rapidly approaching from across the lake. The only casualty of this sudden “weather event” was Kevin’s (our conga player) tent/canopy as the wind picked it up and was about to lift it over the pavilion until I grabbed it… unfortunately in the process one of the support poles snapped.

Parrot Island Band holding down the tent

The rain didn’t stick around too long and we were able to set up our equipment again and play for a couple of hours. It was an extremely relaxing day as the kids swam in the lake and the adults visited (except for a few of the adults who are really “big kids” and they joined in the fun on the lake).

Parakeet Carter

Bill and Melissa Jones brought their boys and being big Parrotheads themselves (Bill once met Jimmy Buffett in a bar… a great story). As you can see, their son, Carter, came by and checked out the Parrot Island Band. It is never too early to begin teaching our kids to enjoy the important things in life… like Jimmy Buffett and the Parrot Island Band. Best wishes to the Porters from friends, family and the Parrot Island Band… may your days be filled with celebration, beaches (OK, lakes for you guys), blessings and a lifetime of love.

A Great View From the Mic

 

A Great View From the Mic

Peoples and Henches drop by for Parrot Island Band fix

A great view from the mic. This week Linda and Bry (of the Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band from Atlanta, Georgia) were in St. Augustine, Florida, for the Beaches A1A Parrot Head Club event… Betty Teague Memorial Beach Bash. We played on Saturday afternoon to a great crowd and although there was a good chance of rain, the weather was beautiful.

A great view from the mic

Looking out from the mic, we were treated to a view of good friends. Dale and Peach Hench (Trop Rock fans of the year for 2010) were there along with Buddy (the “good Parrothead”) and Billy (the “old Parrothead”) Peoples. Both of these couples have been very encouraging to us since we started playing a few years ago at Trop Rocks the Smokies.

Although we had heard Jim Morris (and steel pan player John Patti) before, we also had the treat of listening to Jimmy Parrish (and the Ocean Waves) and the Calypso Nuts for the first time. Both groups were outstanding and we really appreciated the opportunity to spend some time getting to know Robbie and Lynley of the Calypso Nuts. While all of these groups are outstanding (and genuine/friendly people), the Calypso Nuts are a high energy duo that I hope we get to hear again (and often).

I can’t forget to mention Tropico (Barry Olsavsky, steel pan player who also plays with Jimmy Parrish) and Mark Hart, who also did a great job. Mark looks a bit like a ‘70’s rocker (maybe someone who might have played for Grand Funk Railroad) and had a hilarious delivery of his line, “this is the drinking part of this song”, which he shared at some point in every song (it must have worked, people were tipping him like crazy!). Unfortunately, the group Mango Fever was rained out on Friday afternoon but played a number of songs in the hospitality room (it was pretty noisy in there but what I heard was very good).

Mark needs some time on Parrot Island with the band

A special thanks to Debbie Mayer and her team. They did a wonderful job of making sure everything went smoothly and it looked like everyone had good time. One of the many things I like about events like the Beach Bash is that they also raise money for a good cause (Beach Bash focuses on Alzheimer’s related charities). Thanks also for bringing in the Parrot Island Band/duo and giving us the opportunity to play for the event (if you enjoyed hearing us, please let Debbie know she made a good decision in bringing us in J).

Well, that’s a quick view of this year’s Beach Bash. Linda and I had a great time and hope that we see some of our new friends in the coming year. If you are having a Parrothead event in 2011, we would love to be considered for the music lineup. In addition to Linda and myself (steel pan, guitar/vocals), our conga player (Kevin Garrelts) is a great addition to the Parrot Island sound and would love to come along if your budget allows.

If you read some of my other posts, I know you are waiting for it, so here it is… ready… ready- until next time… beaches and blessings to you all!

 

Another View From the Mic

 

Another View From the Mic

Another view from the mic.   Last night, we (the Parrot Island Band: available for events throughout the Southeast) played for the summer concert series in Cartersville, Georgia. While it was extremely hot, there was a great turnout and it looked like everyone was having a fun evening.  A good number of folks were up dancing and the kids were up and having a good time with their parents (our music tends to get the children moving… one of the most enjoyable parts of the evening).

A great view from Parrot Island band gig in Cartersville

A special thanks to Cartersville Downtown Development Authority Executive Director, Liz Hood. She and her staff did a wonderful job in planning and making sure the event ran smoothly. The tropical theme was evident throughout the venue and helped set the mood for the evening.

Look a flock of pink flamingos

 

A special shout out to Bones and Gristles BBQ. I now have another great place to visit the next time I head up to Cartersville. I had their pulled pork sandwich… mmmmmm.

Feeding the head Parrot Bry

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Parrot Island Band is a Jimmy Buffett tribute band. We play 40-50 Jimmy Buffett songs, all with a Tropical flavor (steel pan, acoustic guitar and congas). We have also added a few Zac Brown and Kenny Chesney songs (all of which went over well last night :)).  In the mix of all these fun song, we also play several Parrot Island Band originals.  The Parrot Island Band has been nominated the last two years as duo/trio of the year in the Trop Rock awards that are held in Key West each year.

While we have a blast at events like last night, we are also right at home… at your home! We play a lot of neighborhood and backyard events, pool parties, boat docks, and corporate events. You can reach us on our website or call Bry directly at 770-855-3404 to plan your next event.

 

Hanging Out At A Marina

 

Hanging out at a Marina

A view from the mic. We almost didn’t get to “hang out at the marina” (would I get to sing Jimmy’s song Mañana?) last night but things turned out great by evening’s end. When I packed up the van to get ready to head out to our gig at Park Marina on Lake Allatoona, the car “started funny” and I thought, “Uh oh”.  The van was packed and I knew we only had one or two more starts before it died. Luckily, Kevin (Kevin Garrelts, our conga player) had his jumper cables so he followed along… just in case.

Parrot Island Band fans getting ready for fun

On the way to the Marina, a big storm came up and it looked like we might get washed out before we even began. We got to the boat dock and quickly unloaded and settled in for a wait to see if the storm would clear. After about 45 minutes, the storm passed and we set up our equipment and got ready for an enjoyable evening.

While we were setting up in front of one of the boats, our hosts told us of the last musician they had out for a party. Apparently the musician for that evening had a little too much to drink and fell over backwards… into the lake (with his electric guitar in hand)! He came up under the boat and struggled to come up for air but fortunately the power to his sound system was quickly cut off. With that story I was confident that whatever we did would be an improvement :).

Parrot Island BAnd waiting for Steve Martin to call?

The rest of the evening was a blast. Everyone seemed to have a great time and most seemed to be fans of Jimmy Buffett’s music and by the end of the evening, the Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute band from Atlanta, Georgia) as well. The party participants really seemed to enjoy the tropical feel of our music with congas and steel pan, a great sound for a cool evening on the lake. One of the party guests even came home a day early from Europe to be at the party and he “joined the band” for a few songs on the maracas (and even wore a grass skirt for his band debut).

The only person who wasn’t too pleased was the lady who requested a song from Sonny and Cher….? She wanted to sing “I Got You Babe” with me and couldn’t believe that I didn’t know the words to that song (I know, I’m a Trop Rock slacker). Oh well, other than that, it was a great night and the entire dock seemed to be having a great time singing, dancing and enjoying their time with family and friends.

Parrot Island Band Trop Rockin with Sonny and Cher

When we finally loaded everything up for the ride home, it was time to see if the car would start. I was (barely) able to get the engine to turn over and we went home feeling really good about our gig. When I got home, I turned the car off, unloaded and thought I would see if it might start one more time… nope! While we certainly cut it close, everything turned out great, and to top it off… no Parrot Island Band members went overboard.

Do you live on a lake? Maybe you have a relaxing backyard pool? The Parrot Island Band has a great sound for a relaxing party. The folks at the Marina were surprised at how little space we take up and what a full sound we provide. While we certainly play a lot of Jimmy Buffett music, we are more than just a cover band. We also have original Trop Rock songs that are on radio stations from Key West to California and they will quickly get your toes tapping. If you can’t get to the beach, let us bring the beach to you. Go ahead, pick up the phone and call Bry at 770-855-3404… you know you want to. Beaches and blessings, hope to see you soon.

A View From The Mic

 

A View From The Mic

Last night Linda and I (Parrot Island Band/duo) played at the Alpharetta Athletic Club (West Course) and had a wonderful time at their first adult pool party for the summer. We set up to a beautiful view of the pool and even though it was “hot, hot, hot” to start with, by the end of the evening the weather was wonderful.

A view from the mic by Parrot Island Band

While it was a fairly quiet event, it was nice seeing people sitting and visiting with one another. I usually like to pick out a few people at each event and talk with them throughout the evening, but last night was a night where we just settled in and played while the group enjoyed a relaxing evening of music and conversation.

On nights where there is less interaction, I look for more non-verbal cues to tell me how “things are going”.  A foot tap, someone singing along, thumbs up or a smile from someone passing by are all good signs. We were set up near the entrance/exit of the pool and several folks stopped by and told us how much they enjoyed the evening (much better than dropping their heads and looking the other way 😉Parrot Island Band draws a crowd

 

 

 

 

As I was loading up the equipment, one of the ladies asked if Linda and I were married.  When told that we were, she noted that she thought that it was neat that as husband and wife we have found something like this that we can do together. I agree, playing with Linda only adds to the enjoyment of what we are doing and hopefully it shows. While we only had the duo last night, it is also great when Kevin is sitting in with the congas as he is not only a fine musician but a good friend.

As the summer gets into full swing, it’s not too late to put together a tropical themed party. While the economy is still a bit sluggish, remember the Parrot Island Band IS “Jimmy Buffett on a budget” and is probably more affordable than you think.

We can set up in a small area (back yard, pool… clubhouse, etc.). If you are in the Atlanta area, maybe it’s time to get some friends together, cookout and bring in that Island feel of the Parrot Island Band. Yes, we are a Jimmy Buffett tribute band, but we also bring in some Trop Rock originals, Zac Brown Band music and even Kenny Chesney (not Kenny himself, but his music ;-)).  Until our next gig…out at a local marina next Saturday night… blessings and beaches to you all.