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Low G Aquila String Review

Low G Aquila String Review

Low G Aquila String Review.  I received a low G Aquila string in the mail a couple of weeks ago to try on my Eddy Finn ukulele. Ukuleles are generally strung with a high G string (in the progression of GCEA strings), but the low G string is an octave lower.

Edyy Finn uke set up with low G

I put the low G Aguila string on my Eddy Finn Spruce ukulele (spruce top/mahogany back and sides). The Eddy Finn Spruce ukulele is sometimes referred to as a “guitar player’s ukulele”. My Eddy Finn uke has a great look with a nice cutaway and its coloring is similar to my Martin acoustic guitar. It also has a pickup so that I can play it with our band (Parrot Island Band; a Trop Rock/Jimmy Buffett tribute band in Atlanta, Georgia). While many traditionalists are not fans of pickups in ukuleles, the one that Eddy Finn uses provides a great sound for the types of events we play (maybe another trait that guitarists find appealing?).

So how does the low G string setup sound?  The traditional tuning (high G,CEA) provides a brighter sound that is usually associated with the ukulele. With the low G tuning, the ukulele has a lower top end sound (more bass sounding).

Some people say that the low G string makes the ukulele sound more like a guitar (making it a great compliment to the Eddy Finn Spruce ukulele). In playing with the low G set up, I’m not sure I would say it sounds more like a guitar… but it does set the ukulele up to play more like a guitar with the strings going from low (G) to high (A). This also gives more notes on the lower end and a more ‘mellow” sound (you can find a more in-depth discussion on the topic here).

How do I like the low G setup? I think it sounds great! I also picked up an Eddy Finn Bamboo uke (I’ll share some thoughts on this beauty in another blog post J) that I will keep as my high G string setup. One lesson I learned in trying out the low G string… don’t be afraid to experiment!

While I’m at it, stop by and check out the Eddy Finn Spruce Tenor giveaway at www.eddyfinnukes.com … running now until October 31stThis message brought to you by Bry Harris, an Eddy Finn Ukulele Ambassador (endorsing artist/musician) 😉

 

Beaches and blessings,

Bry

Honey I Shrunk My Guitar!

Honey, I Shrunk My Guitar!

If you have been following the Parrot Island Band lately you will see me (Bry) with a lot of pictures holding a ukulele (sometimes called uke). At some point during our gigs, I will usually say something to the affect that my favorite guitar was left out in the rain and Linda tossed it in the dryer… causing it to shrink. 🙂

Bry Harris loves his Eddy Finn Uke a Trop Rock Favorite

My very first guitar was an Epiphone Nylon String/Classical guitar. At the age of twelve, I was given my guitar and a few group lessons at the local YMCA. We also had a “bluegrass club” at high school where students taught each other songs by groups such as the Eagles, James Taylor and yes, Jimmy Buffett (to name a few).  [Yeah, I know these aren’t bluegrass musicians, but that’s the only way we could get together and play the songs we liked.] Beyond the YMCA and friends at school, I have found many excellent musicians over the years who were willing to share their talent and musical knowledge…thanks!

While I have had numerous guitars over the years, I have always enjoyed the sound and feel of the nylon string guitar. About a year ago, I picked up a ukulele while in a local music store and enjoyed the similar sound that the ukulele makes to that found in the nylon string guitar (a little more mellow and strings that are a little easier on the fingers).

I have found the ukulele to be a very relaxing instrument. It has been said that you can’t play a sad song on the ukulele. I am not sure if that is true but I know that playing the ukulele usually puts me in a good mood.

Parrot Island Band plays Eddy Finn Ukulele

The ukulele is easy to take with you when you are traveling and a great instrument to have in the office. I keep one at home and one at work, often pausing for a few minutes to relax and play a song or two before getting back to whatever project is in front of me. The ukulele is also a great instrument to have with you when sitting at the beach. 🙂 While at St. Augustine Beach last week, I had a great time sitting beside the ocean and playing some relaxing uke music.

Jimmy Buffett Tribute band Trop UKES

While I would have said a few months ago that I was a guitar player who dabbled in ukuleles, I now feel more like a ukulele player who plays a little guitar. I still have a lot to learn about playing the ukulele and it will take continued playing until it feels as natural as playing the guitar. That being said, I am glad to have added to the ukulele to my life.

As an added bonus to having picked up the ukulele, I have also become an official “endorsing artist/musician” for the Eddy Finn Ukulele Company. The Eddy Finn Ukes are not only great sounding instruments but they are reasonably priced for the average person. Add a “fin” to the sound hole and market it as a ukulele for those who love islands and beaches… and you have a perfect match between the Eddy Finn Ukulele and the Parrot Island Band (a Trop Rock -Jimmy Buffett tribute trio from Atlanta, Georgia).

Looking for a new instrument to learn? Why not consider the ukulele (and an Eddy Finn Ukulele at that)? Affordable. Highly portable. The ladies love them (OK, I can’t speak for ALL ladies, but my wife, Linda, and this really cute three year old at our last gig think they are cool). Easy to learn to play. Relaxing and…FUN! What are you waiting for? Put on your flip flops and go get a ukulele!!

Beaches and blessings

Toes In the Sand

Toes in the Sand

Toes in the Sand…. Not only are these words part of a great Zac Brown song, but it is also the name of a great little ukulele store in Flagler Beach, Florida.  I dropped in on “Capt” Rob Plympton this past week during our (the Parrot Island Band) time at A1A Beaches Parrothead Club’s  Beach Bash” .  Rob took some time to show us this great store, one that sells sandals, flip flops, and some cool ukuleles! (address: 819 N Oceanshore Blvd., Flagler Beach, FL 32136 phone 386-283-1996)

Bry visits Capt Rob and Trop Rock Ukulele shop

Parrot Island Band visists Flagler Beach, Florida

As the Eddy Finn “Goodwill Ukulele Ambassador” ;-), I was pleased to see that Rob carries a good number of Eddy Finn Ukuleles, in addition to his other ukuleles and uke supplies.  Rob is also the President of the Phuncoast Parrothead Club and a ukulele player himself (Rob, why didn’t we play a few songs together?  Now, I really do need to go back to visit Toes in the Sand!

Bry Harris has his eye on these Eddy Finn Ukuleles

Toes in the Sand and Toes int he Flip Flops

“Capt” Rob is one of those people I connected with on facebook and finally met in Key West last year.  I always enjoy meeting people like Rob “in person”, and to see him at the ukulele shop was an added treat.  Flagler Beach is also home to our friends Dale and Peach (“From Flagler Beach”) Hench and also Trop Rock musician Capt Nick Nicholson.  (I’m sure you are wondering, but everyone in the Trop Rock world seems to have a cool name like “Key West” Kev, or Capt., or something tropical…)

Let's go sell some Eddy Finns!

Surfs up for the Parrot Island Band

A side note… we (myself, Linda, Kevin and Wendy Garrelts), also visited Finn’s Beachside Restaurant. While not related to Eddy Finn Ukuleles, it was a great place to eat lunch.  With an upper deck overlooking the ocean, it was a perfect place to relax and enjoy a delicious cheeseburger.  Finn’s Restaurant is within walking distance of Capt. Rob’s uke and flip flop shop – be sure to check them out next time you are in the area.

Bry Harris sees Finns everywhere

Flagler Beach home of Dale and Peach

“Sidewalk Surfers” are Parrothead friendly.

“Sidewalk Surfers” are Parrothead friendly.

Stuff Parrotheads Like.  If you find yourself at Cool Spring Galleria in Franklin, Tennessee, stop in the Flip Flop Shops and tell Jeff Kent (General Manager) that Bry says hello. While at a recent conference in the area, I wandered into the mall to get out of the cold for a bit (it was 25° outside…brrrrr).  I saw the Flip Flop Shops store and it made me smile as I thought about the warmer months ahead. Next thing I knew, I was making a beeline toward the store…

Stuff Parrotheads like

While I wasn’t in the mood to try on flip flops, Jeff talked me into trying on a pair of Sanuk “Sidewalk Surfers”. “Sidewalk Surfers” are part sandals, part shoes and extremely comfortable.  When a friend from California visited a couple of months ago, he was wearing these types of shoes and I dismissed them as some “California fad”. On my feet, in the Flip Flop Shops, in 25° weather, in Tennessee, these looked totally cool. 🙂

Parrot Island Band approved footware

If you end up in the Flip Flop Shops store in Cool Spring Galleria, be sure to ask for the Parrot Island Band (a Trop Rock Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band from Atlanta, Georgia) discount. I must warn you that Jeff will likely pretend he doesn’t know what you are talking about. Next, ask him for a business card and once he gives it to you, ask him if that card is worth any kind of discount. That should work.

If you see us (the Parrot Island Band) playing this spring or summer, you just might get a glimpse of these comfortable shoes… I mean sandals… um, “sidewalk surfers”. 

 

Check Out “The Finder”

Check Out "The Finder"

Stuff Parrotheads Like.  There is a new show on FOX, that has a Tropical feel to it… The Finder.  The show is an offbeat detective show that is set in “Looking Glass Key, FL” and in a beat up bar named Ends of the Earth Bar.  Geoff Stults plays Walter Sherman, a detective who is both quirky and talented, often sporting Hawaiian shirts and flip flops.  Stults solves cases in part due to an obsessive compulsive focus (and strangely ingenious) that is related to a brain injury he received while in the military.

Parrot Island Band approved

Stult's “sidekick” is Michael Clarke Duncan who had a breakthrough performance in the movie The Green Mile.  I love Duncan’s character and his deep voice (and he has some incredible muscles). Duncan plays Leo Knox, a gentle giant who is a bit of a home spun philosopher (and legal advisor).

Michael Clarke Duncan digs the Parrot Island Band

The only thing the show is missing so far is a good Trop Rock band and I gladly offer up the Parrot Island Band as a solution.  I could also see Trop Rocker Howard Livingston as a regular on the show or maybe we could take turns bringing Tropical tunes to the show… OK, I digress, the show is definitely worth checking out and hopefully will find an audience before it goes the way of most of the shows I like (long term hiatus or cancellation).

Maybe if enough Parrotheads begin to follow The Finder, the writers will bring Buffett on for an episode and we can finally solve the mystery of Jimmy's "lost shaker of salt"… tune in :)).

Island Time Radio Show Anniversary

Island Time Radio Show Anniversary

Stuff Parrotheads LikeIsland Time Radio Show is celebrating its 12th anniversary this Monday, January 30th.  Hosted by Dennis King (DK the DJ), this show does a great job of playing a mix of both independent Trop Rock musicians and established artists.

When our CD, Parrot Island Getaway came out a few years ago, Dennis was kind enough to play a few songs and have me (Bry from the Parrot Island Band) on the show. When interviewing musicians, Dennis does a good job of putting his guests at ease and  makes the audience feel like they are a part of the show (through emails, internet chat, running Facebook comments, etc).

Island Time Radio with Parrot Island Band

It was great seeing Dennis while in Key West this past November – I always enjoy meeting people in person that I have gotten to know over the Internet (Facebook, interviews, e-mails). Thanks to Island Time Radio and DK the DJ for a great program and happy anniversary from the Parrot Island Band!

In case you haven’t heard, the Island Time Radio Show is heard live on Monday nights from 10 pm to 1 am, Eastern Time on WBWC 88.3 FM (Baldwin Wallace College) in the Cleveland, Ohio area. 

Island Time Radio Show can also be heard on a worldwide webcast at http://www.wbwc.com. The show is repeated on WNY The Shore Radio at http://www.wnyshoreradio.com/ Saturdays – 9 pm, Eastern Time and on Beachfront Radio at http://www.beachfrontradio.com  Wednesdays – 8 pm, Eastern Time.

MidWinter Meltdown Sounds Like Fun

MidWinter Meltdown Sounds Like Fun

Stuff Parrotheads Like.  There is an event that is being held in Virginia this weekend (Jan 27-29) that sounds like a lot of fun.  It is a Parrothead event called MidWinter Meltdown.  The event started 12 years ago and has become one superb event, from what I can tell. The Calypso Nuts, Crawdaddy, John Frinzi, John Patti and several other Trop Rock entertainers will be there to entertain 250-300 crazy Parrotheads… I am sure it will be a great time!

While the Parrot Island Band won’t be at MidWinter Meltdown this year, we will be joining with the Calypso Nuts for another event in Virginia on April 21 (Bry’s birthday!) The event is Phins on the James and you can find out more information by going to the Heart of Virginia Parrothead Club website .

I met a number of the Virginia Parrotheads while in Key West this past November and they are a wonderful group of people! Having grown up in Virginia (Tidewater), I have a soft spot for all things (OK, most things that are related to Virginia:)).

I look forward to being with everyone in April but until then I hope everyone has a great time this weekend… beaches and blessings.

Bry

 

Parrotheads Like… John Denver??

 

Parrotheads Like… John Denver??

Parrotheads like… John Denver??  While there weren’t many Hawaiian shirts at Tom Becker’s “John Denver Tribute Show” last night, I’m guessing there were several Parrotheads in the audience.

Parrotheads like John Denver Tribute Show

Linda and I went out for a date last night to the “other side” of Atlanta and the Covington, Georgia area. We found the downtown area to be a wonderful area with shops, restaurants and a quaint town square area where the band was set up and ready to give a memorable concert.

Tom Becker and wife, Michelle, are also known for their “trop rock” music as the group Latitude. Having seen them perform their beach, dance and tropical music several years ago, I was interested to see them in this setting. As we set our chairs up to enjoy the concert, we were surrounded by a large crowd of people, all waiting to be transported to some “Rocky Mountain High” venue (and Tom did not disappoint).

Tom played many of John Denver’s hits as well as some of his lesser known songs. I liked the way Tom gave some background stories to the songs and life of John Denver. Tom’s voice is extremely well suited to Denver’s music, so much so that if you closed your eyes, you might think you were actually listening to John Denver himself.

I grew up listening to a number of singer/song writer/musicians like John Denver, Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg (to name a few). What a fun night to revisit a great musician and story teller who left us much too soon. I could tell that Tom really resonates with John Denver’s music and that he really was “paying tribute” to someone who had impacted him personally.

I enjoyed hearing Tom and Michelle play a different genre of music. Michelle’s musical and vocal abilities were a great compliment to John Denver… um, I mean Tom Becker. As my wife Linda and I also perform together (as part of the Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band), it was nice to see another couple joining their musical talents together to entertain others.

While Parrotheads are usually associated with Jimmy Buffett and his music… the truth is good music is good music. I am sure there are many Parrotheads who would enjoy an evening with Tom Becker and his tribute to John Denver. If you hear that Tom and Michelle are in your area with this John Denver tribute show, I would highly recommend you heading out and listening.

I also hope to catch Tom and Michelle in Key West in November, playing their Trop Rock music for the annual Parrothead gathering, “Meeting of the Minds”. Their group, Latitude has won Duo of the Year for the Trop Rock Music Awards for the last three years (and likely to win again this year). The Parrot Island Band is nominated for the third year in a row in this category and look forward to seeing some of you at the awards ceremony.

If you can’t catch Tom and Michelle and live anywhere in the Atlanta, Georgia area… maybe you can look us up (www.parrotislandband.com).  The Parrot Island Band plays Jimmy Buffett music (with some Zac Brown and Kenny Chesney) and Trop Rock originals with congas, steel pan and acoustic guitar. Let us take you on a musical vacation to a tropical destination… (not the Rocky Mountains, I think Tom can handle that for you :)).

Until next time… beaches and blessings!

Parrotheads Like Hawaiian Shirts

 

Parrotheads Like Hawaiian Shirts

Hawaiian shirts are among the stuff that Parrotheads like. As far as I can remember, I wore my first Hawaiian shirt in the mid 1970’s at the height of the T.V. show Magnum PI’s popularity. Tom Selleck made Hawaiian shirts look cool and I thought I looked cool in one also (please don’t burst my bubble… I still think I look pretty sharp in Hawaiian shirts ;-)).

Parrot Island Band like Hawaiian shirts too

I’ve worn many Hawaiian shirts over the years and I am always on the lookout for the next “gotta have” shirt for my “collection”. While we were in St. Augustine, FL, this past week, I found two Hawaiian shirts that are now among my “favorites” (at least for the next month or so).

Parrot Island Band love bright shirts

The first purchase I made on this trip was in the historic section of St. Augustine (where numerous shops and “deals” are waiting for unsuspecting tourists). We spent several hours wandering the streets and enjoying the unique items in this section of St. Augustine. I thought I was going to get though the day without buying anything until… I saw my family crest!

Now you may say that what I purchased is only a nylon “Hawaiian shirt” flag but I beg to differ. As an only child with very little information about my ancestors, I have often wondered where my love of beaches, oceans and Hawaiian shirts come from. I am convinced that there are some fun loving, beach seeking ancestors in my family “Palm” tree.

On Thursday, I bought the smaller version of the Hawaiian shirt/flag for my front yard but felt compelled to go back and claim my family crest on Friday. When I shared my family crest story on Saturday afternoon, I felt like I was sharing my discovery with new found cousins (fellow Parrotheads that I hadn’t met until this weekend).

Parrot Island Band now has a flag

The second purchase on this trip took place on Friday evening when we were checking in. Just around the corner from the registration table were Cookie and Jim Goranson selling some of their shirts, jewelry and other Parrothead supplies from their business, “The Wacky Parrot” (www.thewackyparrot.com).

Parrot Island Band love the Wacky Parrot

As part of the Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band from Atlanta, Georgia), we love Hawaiian shirts with parrots, palm trees and bright colors. Linda and I found matching ones in the Wacky Parrot Shop that we wore on Saturday afternoon and they received numerous compliments – thanks Cookie and Jim! Linda also found some beautiful parrot earrings that I know she will use for many gigs to come.

As you can see, Hawaiian shirts aren’t just… well, shirts! They often have stories and hold memories. I recently commented on a particularly beautiful Hawaiian shirt at an event in Georgia and the fellow wearing it said, “This shirt holds a lot of great memories… some of which I can’t remember!”  If you have any Hawaiian shirt stories that you would like to share, send them to me at parrotislandband@gmail.com and I may post them here on our website. Until next time, may your closets be filled with Hawaiian shirts, your days with beautiful beaches and your life with countless blessings…

Parrotheads Like Flip Flops

 

Parrotheads Like Flip Flops

Parrotheads like flip flops. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Jimmy Buffett is a master marketer! Knowing that flip flops are definitely on the list of stuff Parrotheads like, Jimmy came out with a line of Margaritaville flip flops and I’m sure they are best sellers (I wonder if there is Parrothead underwear?…hmmm).

Flippin and floppin while listening to the Parrot Island Band

As I have been thinking about flip flops for the past few days (thus this post), I have noticed there is a great variety of flip flop styles. I also noticed there are some really ugly feet out there, but that is a post for another day :). When I looked up “flip flop pictures” on the Internet, I also found out there are some really creative flip flops out there…

Parrotheads like some stuff fishy

Grass is greener when listening to Parrot Island Band

I’m sure that some of you have flip flop favorites that you would like to share. Send me some brands or pictures of your favorite flip flops (send to parrotislandband@gmail.com) and I’ll share some of your wisdom (or humor) with the rest of the flock.

While I am out this week (Linda and Bry of the Parrot Island Band will be on a road trip to Beach Bash in St. Augustine, Florida), I will be keeping my eye out for unique flip flops and maybe I’ll get a picture or two… Would it be inappropriate to stop someone and ask if I could take a picture of their flip flops/feet? We’ll see how it goes and I’ll update the post next week… until then may your week (and life) be filled with beaches and blessings

Parrotheads Like to Travel

 

Parrotheads Like to Travel

Parrotheads like to travel.  When I think about stuff Parrotheads like… travel comes to mind. I must not be a very good Parrothead because I don’t travel nearly as much as most of the Parrotheads I know. The islands. The lake. Some beach, somewhere. It seems like my Parrothead family is always on the road.

Parrot Island Band heading to Beach Bash

Having said that, this week we are heading off to St. Augustine, Florida. Linda and I (Parrot Island Band/duo) will be playing at the  Beaches A1A Parrothead Club eventBeach Bash (15th annual event with proceeds benefiting Alzheimer’s charities). There will be a number of other Trop Rock musicians playing, including the Calypso Nuts and Jimmy Parrish. I have heard many good things about these Trop Rockers and I look forward to listening to them after we are done playing on Saturday afternoon (by the pool). I enjoy playing at Parrothead events as I enjoy meeting some new friends at each event.

So that’s pretty much it for the blog this week… I may sneak in an update on the road, but maybe not. As far as travel goes… I would love to hear some of the places my Parrothead friends like to travel (send your thoughts to Bry Harris at parrotislandband@gmail.com and maybe you will be mentioned in a future blog post). Until next time… may your week be filled with beaches and blessings….

Parrot Island Band heads to St. Augustine Florida

Adding to the List of Stuff Parrotheads Like

 

Adding to the List of Stuff Parrotheads Like

Stuff Parrotheads Like. It’s a list of things that Parrotheads have in common. OK, not all Parrotheads will like everything on the list but there are many who will. As I mentioned in my original post “Stuff Parrotheads Like”, some items on the list may be humorous, some serious and some may be informative…. we’ll see.

There are no Pairates on Parrot Island

I also said I would add some of your favorites to the list and I have already gotten a few suggestions. Bobby Curran added old pirate movies to the list. I remember watching pirate movies as a kid now that Bobby mentions it and certainly the more recent Pirates of the Caribbean series (although I haven’t seen the most recent one). There is a pretty good list of old pirate movies at http://www.thepirateking.com/movies/.

Derek Raulerson lists:

Cheeseburgers
The Ocean
Big kosher pickle
Heinz 57 & French fried potatoes
Juicy fruit & bathing suits
Pensacola (because of Frank & Lola of course)
Hanging around other parrotheads
Golf

OK Derek, I’ll give you all but the “big kosher pickle” (see, I told you we wouldn’t agree on everything). I know Jimmy put it in the song (Cheeseburger in Paradise) but pickles… ewww :)).

 

Parrot Island Band bans pickles

 

While a lot of Parrotheads probably don’t care for golf… Derek is an avid golfer and a darned good one (I can attest to the whoopin’ he gave me when we played a few months ago. I also like golf so I will leave it on the list. I also rewrote a Buffett classic (Why Don’t We Get Drunk and). It is now Why Don’t We Play Golf at 2? (you can listen here).

If you want to add your ideas to the list, leave a comment at the end of the post, drop a suggestion on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/ParrotIslandBand) or email me at parrotislandband@gmail.com.

If all this talk of cheeseburgers and Parrotheads gets you salivating for some good Trop Rock music (steel pan, congas and island tunes), maybe it’s time to call the Parrot Island Band (Jimmy Buffett tribute band from Atlanta, Georgia) in for a party. We will leave the pickles in the song (Cheeseburger in Paradise) and even throw in some French fried potatoes.

 

Stuff Parrotheads Like

 

Stuff Parrotheads Like

I have been reading the book Quitter by Jon Acuff. In this book, Acuff talk about the tension between our “day job” and our “dream job” and how we can close the gap between them. So far it is a really good read and I look forward to exploring some of the thoughts that Jon has shared.

Acuff also has a popular blog called Stuff Christians Like (http://www.jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike/) that is a spinoff of sorts of another popular blog… Stuff White People Like (http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/). Both blogs take a satirical look at their respective categories and have also inspired numerous other spinoff blogs (just Google “things people like” and you will see what I am talking about).

Since everyone else is doing it, I might as well join in. I will be adding a category to our website (www.parrotislandband.com) called “Stuff Parrotheads Like”. I will certainly attempt to keep it light and fun but also look at the many things that bind Parrotheads together.

Parrotheads like the Parot Island Band

So what do Parrotheads like? Jimmy Buffett is an obvious answer but there is so much more to being a Parrothead. Hawaiian shirts. Trop-Rock music. Sailing. Beaches. Boat drinks. The list goes on and on and hopefully you will help me put the list together. If you have something that you think needs to be on the list of “stuff Parrotheads like”, let me know and if I use it I will give you credit. You can send your suggestions to Bry at  parrotislandband@gmail.com.

The Parrot Island Band. I can’t forget the band. Hopefully our music will land on your list of stuff Parrotheads like. While we primarily play here in the Atlanta area, we are available to travel (for the right price and with enough lead time ;-)) Steel pans (that has to be on the list), congas and music that helps you escape to a beach somewhere.  We are much more “trop” than “rock” (Trop Rock being the genre that most Buffett/beach oriented bands fall under) but if you give us a listen, I know we can help you find your “happy place”. 

Parrot Island Band takes to a happy place

I look forward to hearing from you and adding this category to our Parrot Island Band page. So let’s get started, what is on your list of “stuff Parrotheads like”?

Tiki Thom Visits Parrot Island

 

Tiki Thom Visits Parrot Island

Another Trop Rock "Good Guy"

Bry Harris and Tiki Thom at Cheeseburger in PAaadiseMy favorite “good guy” of Trop Rock this week is none other than Tiki Thom Starkey.  Thom and I met up yesterday at Cheeseburger in Paradise here in Atlanta. Although it was a quick visit, we had a chance to catch up a bit… a real treat on a chilly spring day (Thom must have brought some of that Maine weather with him).

 

 

 

 

 

Tiki Thom Starkey playing a PArrot Island Band tune?For those of you who haven’t met Thom yet, he is a Trop Rock musician from Maine who travels quite a bit, with recent stops at the New England Parrothead Convention and Spring Phling (with the New Jersey Parrotheads). Thom and I met last fall at Tropstock, as the Parrot Island Band had the opportunity to open this event (like how I worked that in here?). While we haven’t picked our next place to visit, I hope that we have the opportunity to share a stage before too long.

I was pleased to hear that Thom offered the proceeds from his Bikinis and Martinis CD (at the Beachfront Radio Music Hut) to help out disaster victims (through the Red Cross). I know that the recent tornado victims here in the south appreciate the efforts of all Parrotheads. Thanks for your efforts Thom (see, another reason Thom is on the “good guy” list this week).

I am a little jealous of Thom as he is preparing to record his second CD. Thom will be working with Kevin Johnston from the band, Captain Quint. Kevin has been producing some great Trop Rock CD’s and I am sure that Thom’s CD will be a winner (remember Thom, I was your friend before you hit it big ;-)).

Well, I think that is it for today. The only thing I am worried about is the company that Thom has been keeping recently ;-). Thom is also part of the Beachfront Radio staff (if you are looking for a great place to advertize your business, contact Thom and he will be glad to talk to you about opportunities on Beachfront Radio). Thom has been hanging out with the Pyrate girls and DJ Jeff Allen (from Beachfront Radio). I am afraid they might rub off on Thom and drag him to the dark side… resist them Thom, they will lure you with promises of a place on the “Bad Guys of Trop Rock” list but in the end you will find yourself heartbroken and playing for bar mitzvahs (no place for an up and coming Trop Rocker like you). Seriously though, our friends at Beachfront Radio (Thom included), show that you can have a good time and be good folks…. Thanks for the visit Thom (next time lunch is on me).

Loren Davidson IS a Trop Rock “good guy”

 

Loren Davidson IS a Trop Rock "good guy"

Loren Davidson Trop Rock friend of Parrot Island BandToday I am taking a look at another “good guy” of Trop Rock music, Loren Davidson.  While I haven’t had the opportunity to hear Loren live, I have enjoyed listening to his music on the internet. I have also followed his posts on various Facebook sites (and we have exchanged a number of messages back and forth) and I get the sense that we would enjoy hanging out and strumming a few songs together.

Loren lives on the “left coast” (Castro Valley, CA) and entertains music lovers with his blend of country, rock, reggae, folk, and calypso music. Loren describes himself as an “escape artist”, helping people escape the stress and distress of daily living (what a great image!).

I am always interested in hearing how musicians get started. Like many of us, Loren started early and played in a high school band. He has been writing and playing on and off since then.

About ten years ago, Loren started performing and then started work on his first album. Loren discovered that people were performing "Jimmy Buffett-style" music and decided he enjoyed playing this type of music as well. The rest, as they say… is history.

loren Davidson a Trop Rock friend of Parrot Island Band

From Loren’s press kit, he describes his latest CD project – “Loren’s current album, Island Standard Time, is his fourth. The ten original songs on this album are about work, life, Mondays, sailing, and love, who we are and the fun we'd like to have, because it's always more fun living life on "Island Standard Time."'

Having listened to a number of songs from Island Standard Time, I can tell you it is an EXCELLENT CD. Great songs (both written and performed) and wonderfully produced, I am sure that this CD will take Loren to another level in the Trop Rock world. Here’s hoping Loren and the Parrot Island Band find a place and time to get together before too long.  He may or may not make it onto Beachfront Radio’s “bad guys” of Trop Rock list (although I think Loren has aspirations of landing on both the “good” and “bad” guy list:)), but Loren Davidson is a wonderful musician/songwriter and will continue to share his Trop Rock treasures with us for years to come… thanks Loren!

My Favorite Trop Rock “Good Guy”

 

My Favorite Trop Rock "Good Guy"

Is Really a Trop Rock "Gal"

Parrot Island Band steel pan - Linda HarrisWhile I will be looking at various "good guys of Trop Rock" in upcoming posts- today I will start with my favorite Trop Rocker, my wife Linda Harris. Linda plays steel pan (sometimes known as "steel drum") for the Parrot Island Band (from Atlanta, Georgia). While my love of Jimmy Buffett music goes all the way back to my youth, Linda's appreciation for Jimmy has come more through osmosis than direct choice.

When I began playing again (after a nearly 20 year break from playing music publicly), Linda was supportive of my desire to dust off my Jimmy Buffett songs and hit the Trop Rock trail. A good friend and fellow parrothead (Harlan Dunk) began playing drums and a new friend (Cheryl Washburn) joined with me to play a few parties and outings. The next thing we knew, the Parrot Island Band was born (and being asked to play more and more events). Linda was willing to come along and listen, encourage, support and eventually I even talked her into joining us with the "shaker".

As timing would have it, Cheryl (steel pan player) was in the middle of her degree work for her next level teaching certificate. I found myself late one night sitting at the computer and just looking around on eBay. I had always loved the steel pan sound and as I browsed the steel pan auction I somehow convinced myself that maybe it was time for me to learn this beautiful instrument. I began bidding on one steel pan in particular and before I knew it I had bid much higher than I had planned (yikes!). I got off the computer and went to bed with the confidence that someone would let me off the hook and out bid me….

When I woke up the next morning I received an email from the good folks at eBay stating that I had won the auction and that my steel pan would arrive in a few days. I did what any stunned eBay winner would do in this situation… I panicked! I was hoping that somehow my package would get lost or I would receive an email stating that there had been some mistake. Nope! When the UPS driver delivered my package and Linda noted the arrival… I finally confessed. Asking who was going to play it… I said, "Well, me… of course".

There was one little problem, I can't read music (I play by ear) and apparently all those dents on the inside of the steel pan… notes! Linda helped me set up the pan and she began to tinker with it. We found a steel pan instructor in Rome, Georgia and she began to play with the Parrot Island Band (definitely outside of her comfort zone). We found a steel pan/percussion camp at the University of Southern Mississippi (led by John Wooton) and sent Linda off to camp for a week (she was the oldest…ummm… most mature person there by several decades!)

Bry and Linda Harris of the Parrot Island BandWhat a good sport Linda has been. It has been great having something we can enjoy doing together. She is willing to listen to all of my new song ideas (good ones and bad alike). She has been willing to play some pretty big events, even as she was still learning the instrument (even though I know she was not comfortable doing so at the time). She even helped in playing on our first CD when she had been playing for just a short period of time.

While Beachfront Radio may have its "bad guy" of Trop Rock favorites, I will enjoy my time with my nominee (and since it is my award… she wins!) for Good Guy of Trop Rock, Linda Harris. Together we have been nominated (2 years in a row) as the Trop Rock duo/trio of the year… we have come a long way indeed! More importantly, you couldn't meet a nicer person and she is a beauty as well. I guess that makes me the luckiest Trop Rocker on the beach!

Adittional links

 

Additional Links

Dave Calhoun – www.tropzone.com

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Buffettinfo.com

Larry Yarbrough – DUI / Divorce Law