Archive for the Category »Good Guys of Trop Rock «

Tribute to Troy Allan

 

Tribute to Troy Allan

This week Beachfront Radio gave a memorable tribute to Troy Allan (it would have been his birthday on Monday). Troy was a wonderful Trop Rock musician who died this past year after a courageous battle with cancer (very rare stomach cancer called Linitis Plastica). While I didn’t know Troy personally, I (like so many others) was moved by his positive/fighting spirit throughout his illness.

Troy Allan teaches Parrot Island Band... I Can

One of Troy’s songs, I Can, is on my iPhone and I listen to it often as I try to push myself a little further while at the gym or when facing  a particular obstacle in the middle of my day. I wish I could have had a conversation about his faith and the strength that he shared with so many. In my own life, I often draw strength from the Bible verse that says, “I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Troy’s lyrics to “I Can” are quite moving:

I can do what I put my mind to, I can do all that others can’t

I have pride and determination, so don’t you ever tell me that I can’t
Because I’ll prove you wrong, my will is strong
Yeah, I’ve just got to believe…I can.

I can make a difference, my voice will be heard
Ideas can move mountains if the action’s more than words
I know I’ll go the distance, even though the road is steep
Hey, I’ve just got to believe…I can

Some say don’t even try, no matter what the task.
But if the human mind can dream it, well, the Bible says it‘ll come to pass
Expecting the best and accepting no less, if you just keep telling yourself…I can

Gotta take it on yourself, can’t blame nobody else, gotta do what others don’t
Willing and able makes everything possible, just keep telling yourself…I can

 

Well, I just gotta believe I can…I can…I can

 

I am proud to be a part of the Trop Rock family that reaches across the country (and likely around the world). I appreciate the Parrothead motto, “party with a purpose”, and the way in which so many followers of the Parrothead/Trop Rock lifestyle not only enjoy life but reach out to others along the way. One of Troy’s last efforts was a series of concerts that he played to give to others in need.

I wrote a song… Sail On Superman as a tribute to Troy and his tremendous strength in the midst of great struggle:

He had a heart as big as Texas, a smile that lit the sky

He never met a stranger, so it comes as no surprise

He touched so many people, he changed so many lives

We don’t want to, it’s so hard to… finally say goodbye

You put a smile on our faces, but there’s a tear in my eye

Sail on Superman, Sail on Superman

May our love fill up your sail, as you head into the light

 

We (the Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band), will continue in the spirit that Troy Allan shared with so many. While we certainly enjoy songs about beaches and palm trees, we also seek to pass along the blessings that we have received.

It is said in the Bible, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Thanks to Troy for laying down his life for so many. I’m in no hurry, but I do look forward to the day when I can sit down with Troy and play a few songs together… until then sail on Superman, thanks for your inspiration to us all.

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!

Happy Birthday Brent!

 

Happy Birthday Brent!

One Of My Favorite Trop Rockers

snow bird seasonChange of pace today, just wanted to take a moment and wish Brent Burns a happy birthday. Brent is one of my favorite Trop Rock musicians and a real character. He has written some hilarious songs (from Snow Bird Season to Double Wide in the Sky… and the list goes on). He has also written some songs that put me in the mood (sorry Brent, the mood to go to the beach… not the other kind), like Beach in My Backyard. A few years ago, Brent's song Pain at the Pump made the CNN ireport year end special, along with the Parrot Island Band song… Pirates at the Gas Pump (and I have to admit I was pretty excited that our song was mentioned in the same breath as one of Brent's). If you are as fired up as I am about the current gas price fiasco, you should definitely listen to Brent's song Drill, Drill, Drill.

On a personal note, I was honored to see Brent pull up a chair and listen to our set a couple of years ago at Trop Rocks the Smokies. While the rest of the headliners were sleeping off Friday night… we played on Saturday afternoon and Brent sat on the balcony with two of my favorite couples (the Peoples and the Henches). Thanks Brent, for your interest and encouragement. Thanks also for sharing your gift of music with so many… you get a check plus in my book (you can trade that in for a Landshark if you'd like)!

Check out Brent's calendar, if he isn't playing in Gulf Shores, Alabama (at great venues like Lu Lu's), you can likely find him at a Trop Rock event  near you! Oh yeah, I hear Brent plays a little golf… while I love his music- I can't personally vouch for his golf game. Hope it was a great day Brent- God bless…

Bry

Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band

Thanks Doyle!

 

Thanks Doyle!

Tropstock Revisited

“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it.” Psalm 118:24

Bry with the Tiki godsEver have one of those days when everything clicked and it was just a great day overall? I had one of those days (actually a weekend) last October at an event called Tropstock. The Parrot Island Band (a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band here in Atlanta, Georgia) opened the event that included some wonderful musicians, including several from the Coral Reefers (Jimmy Buffett’s band).

On Sunday, I led a worship service with Peter Mayer, Nadirah Shakoor, Jack Mosley, John Frinzi and Doyle Grisham (among others). When I sang a song that I had written for the event (River Runs Deep), Doyle Grisham was gracious enough to play along. Doyle did a great job (of course) and was kind enough to suggest that we might play together again someday (yes, I am smiling as I write this).

 

In case you don’t know who Doyle Grisham is, he plays pedal steel guitar for the Coral Reefers and with many other fine musicians as well (edit: I should have said, many other musicians have the privilege of playing with Doyle). What made my day was not only playing a song with Doyle, but finding out that he (as well as Peter, Nadirah and all the others) is an extremely nice guy (not surprised, but pleased to know).

 

Doyle Grisham a friend of Parrot Island Band

I hope I have other music highlights in the years to come, but I will certainly treasure this one for the rest of my life. I have a picture of Doyle and me that I see every time I turn on my iPhone and believe me, I have shared it a few times. While I often find myself asking God for things, I don’t take as much time to thank God for things that I should. So here goes… thank You God for a great moment and memory… and thanks Doyle, for being a great musician… and did I mention… also a pretty darn nice guy :).