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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).

Jesus and Jimmy Buffett

 

Jesus and Jimmy Buffett

(Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by religious discussions, please stop here… I’ll go get some chips and be right back… OK, if you are still with me please know that I am not putting Jimmy on the same level as Jesus, just sharing some personal thoughts, feel free to disagree).

What do Jesus and Jimmy Buffett have in common for me? We’ll… they have both spent a lot of time on the water and down by the sea. They also have a message that is appealing to the regular guy/gal (although we as Christians have often made it less accessible by adding man-made rules, formality and sadly… at times, a judgmental attitude. Remember, I gave some of you a chance to leave earlier 😉 ).

One of Jesus many facesThere was a book written a few years ago called Jesus in Blue Jeans, that looked at Jesus heart and message for the ordinary man/woman. What a great book and concept. I have found that there are many outside of the church environment who are followers of Jesus, but not great fans of “organized religion”. Many of these people are hanging out incognito in Hawaiian shirts and wearing flip flops (and are really neat/fun people)

 

Bry and the Coral Reefers share a laughAs I have shared in other places, I met Jesus and Jimmy Buffett within the same year. When I shared this at Tropstock (the Parrot Island Band opened the very first day of the very first Tropstock), a couple of the Coral Reefers present had a good laugh. While Jesus changed my life as a teenager, Jimmy’s music also got me through some very difficult years.

 

It was very moving for me at Tropstock (Trop Rock music festival) when one of the attendees came up after we played (during Tropstock Worship) and asked if he could talk for a minute. He share a renewed sense of hope and appreciation of God’s love for Him. At the end of our conversation, we shared a prayer and a sense that we had shared a special moment together (something that wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t combined our love for God and Trop Rock music together).

Much more to share about Jesus and Jimmy, but enough for today. One more connection between Jesus and Jimmy, they both celebrate the same birthday… December 25th (and bring joy to many, although in different ways!). No offense intended… I realize there are many more important discussions we need to have, but it is also OK to look at the lighter side of things from time to time (and trust me, I do…) Have a great day… time for another snack.

Jack’s BBQ Review

 

Jack's BBQ Review

Parrot Island Band loves Jack's BBQ

 

The second day of our (the Parrot Island Band) trip to Nashville included a stop by Jack’s BBQ Restaurant. There was a line outside the door and down the sidewalk and although I was tempted to eat somewhere else, I’m glad I waited (about 30-40 minutes).

 

Parrot Island Band had a great time at Jack'sIf you’ve ever seen the “soup Nazi” episode of Seinfeld, you get a sense of what it is like to order at Jack’s. The server behind the counter was a no-nonsense gentleman who barked out options and punctuating each with a firm, “yes or no?”.  I did get a bit of a smile from him (after I ordered) when I told him he sure smelled nice (like smoked BBQ). I had a jumbo pulled pork sandwich with baked beans and potato salad. Although I wasn’t crazy about the sides, the BBQ was delicious!

We spent a good part of the afternoon looking around the rest of Nashville. There was a guitar shop (recommended by Steve Youngblood- Parrot Island Band tracks down Elvisthanks Steve!) that we spent some time in… some really beautiful guitars. The thing that struck me about so many of the shops were all the Elvis items for sale (I could see the Elvis focus in Memphis, but Nashville?… but I guess whatever sells…)

 

All in all, a great place to visit… also took a drive down music row. A lot of musician’s taking their dreams to Nashville, interesting that Jimmy Buffett found his success when he left Nashville and headed to Key West.

Margaritaville Nashville Review

 

Margaritaville Nashville Review

 

Parrot Island Band visits Mrgaritaville

 

A couple of weeks ago the Parrot Island Band was supposed to play an event in Pigeon Forge (Trop Rocks the Smokies) that was canceled at the last minute. Not wanting to pass up a weekend off, we (Linda, myself and Kevin and Wendy Garrelts) head off to Nashville.

Here comes the PArrot Island BandAfter checking into the Opryland Hotel, we head off to the Nashville Margaritaville and an early dinner. I like the atmosphere of the Nashville Margaritaville as it fit nicely into the downtown district (older/rustic buildings). Just inside the main doors were two musicians playing some country (go figure ;-)) music.

We were led up to the second floor by way of a musical stairway (each step played a music note… I couldn’t play the stairs any better than I could play a real piano). We had a great waitress (TJ), who made excellent suggestions regarding the menu. She also was very personable and took good care of us throughout the evening. Thanks TJ!

Kevin and I split a big plate of hot wings… mmmm… they were really good (sorry, can't remember what the gals had… but they enjoyed it).  I also enjoyed the atmosphere with Buffett music and video playing on numerous screens.

There is a good sized stage on the second floor, all that was missing was the Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band from Atlanta, Georgia. 😉 I think the crowd would have enjoyed some live Buffett music with steel pan and congas– not country music, but hey- it IS a Margaritaville.

Of course we had to stop by the gift shop on the way out. I picked up a Landshark mug for a friend and Kevin found a beautiful shirt. I could spend a lot of time picking out souvenirs but with all of the many choices I could hardly narrow it down to one or two items…Kevin GArrelts of the Parrot Island Band

All in all, a fun night with great friends… priceless. Tomorrow, a look at Jack’s BBQ, another great place to eat (I see a theme here).

Beach Bucket List

 

Beach Bucket List

 

Bech bucket list for Bry Harris of the Parrot Island Band

 

Places I’d like to play (music)

  • ANY Margaritaville Restaurant

  • Lulu’s

  • Rapscallion’s (closed:(

Trop-Rockers  I’d like to meet/play with

Places I would love to visit

  • Key West, Florida

  • The Outer Banks

  • Hawaii

Place I wish I could play (golf)

 

Welcome to Fin Land

 

Welcome to Fin Land… Here Comes Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett is getting ready to head out on his 2011 tour… Welcome to Fin Land.  While many people look to the Masters Golf Tournament as the beginning of spring, there are many others for whom the beginning of Jimmy's concert tour is the sign that spring and summer are on their way. The Welcome to Fin Land tour begins next week in Tampa, Florida and I am sure that Parrotheads are gathering their tailgate goodies in preparation for this kick-off event.Welcome to Fin Land Tour with Parrot Island Band at Atlanta Tailgate

One of Buffett's stops will be in Atlanta at the  Aarons Amphitheatre (formerly known as Lakewood Amphitheatre) on May 24th. The Parrot Island Band will be playing in the parking lot just outside of the main gates. This tailgate party is hosted by the Atlanta Parrothead Club and in recent years, several of the Coral Reefers have stopped by for a visit.

Join the Parrot Island Band for the Jimmy Buffett tailgate in AtlantaIf you have never been to a Buffett tailgate party, you should definitely make the effort to attend. Here in Atlanta, you will see thousands of parrotheads in their most colorful outfits, with grass skirts, coconut bras and every type of Hawaiian shirt imaginable. With music blaring all over the tailgate lots, you will have the opportunity to make new friends and reconnect with old ones.

 

What to do after Buffett is gone? Well, if you live in the Atlanta area… you can always contact the Parrot Island Band for a party at your house or neighborhood. With the steel drum prominently featured by our band, you will be whisked away to some of your favorite vacation destinations as we take you on a "musical vacation to a tropical destination".

It’s My Job

 

It's My Job

So Let's Make the Best of It

Let’s face it, some days it is really hard to get out of bed and go to work. Even as a pastor, I have days when I would like to pack my bags and run, or maybe sail away. I remember one night in particular when I was on my way home from a very long (unpleasant) meeting and I found myself humming a song. When I got home, I pulled out my guitar and a piece of paper and wrote my song, “See Ya Later, I’m Gone”. When we play this song at our gigs, we usually see heads nodding and a smile that seems to say, “yes, I feel that way sometimes too”.

One of my favorite Jimmy Buffett songs is a song that band member Mac MacAnally wrote called, “It’s My Job.” The song tells of an encounter street sweeper listenin to Parrot Island Band tuneswith a street sweeper who was whistling and bouncing along as he carried out what many would see as a “menial” job. Asked how he could be so happy to be doing this kind of work, the street sweeper said it was his job,

 

 

“to be cleaning up this mess
And that's enough reason to go for me
It's my job to be better than the rest
And that makes the day for me"

The next encounter was with the writer’s uncle who was a banker and self-made millionaire. Asked why he seemed so sad, the banker said,

“it's because in my contract there's a clause
That says "It's my job to worried half to death
And that's the thing people respect in me
It's my job but without it I'd be less
Than what I expect from me"

How do we find meaning in our work and embrace the attitude of the street sweeper?  In part, it is in finding work that we love, but it is also important to love the work that we find ourselves doing. Even the best jobs have their downsides and as we see, there are jobs that would drive us crazy that others seem to love!  Our faith can enhance our work when we follow the encouragement found in the Bible,

17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

One of the ways I have found to keep my perspective on work fresh is having another outlet. As part of the Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett tribute band from Atlanta, Georgia… I have found a way of getting away from the stress sometimes associated with my "day job". The Trop Rock music that we play, write and listen to is a great way to enjoy each day and look forward to the next.

Until next time… it's Jesus and Jimmy.

School Boy Heart

 

School Boy Heart

school boys love Parrot Island Band tooI love the song “School Boy Heart” by Jimmy Buffett and Matt Betton. It reminds us that everyone is multi-dimensional and unique. Among other interests and influences (including his southern/gulf-coast view and dialect), Jimmy weaves his love for flying, sailing and writing into this song. While many of us share Buffett’s love for music, fun and ocean waves, it is important to also be true to ourselves and our own unique talents and influences (and not merely copy the Buffett image).

While I grew up with a short drive of VA. Beach, Va., I also had a number of other influences that formed my view of the world. I was the son of a golf professional and spent most of my childhood chasing golf balls and turtles around the numerous ponds and lakes of the local golf course where my father worked.  My life was profoundly shaped by my grandmother and great-grandmother, as I spent many nights and weekends at their apartment. There I learned to appreciate Lawrence Welk AND Hee Haw, both playing on the same night back to back.

One of the biggest influences on me has been music (especially Trop Rock, although I didn't know what genre it really was until the last few years). At the age of 12, I was given a nylon string Epiphone guitar and 5-6 “group” lessons at a local YMCA. From that moment on my life has been shaped by the music I’ve heard, the musicians I have looked up to and the opportunities I have had to play with and for others.  I sometimes wonder if other people stop to consider the many outside influences that shape who we are and how we view the world.

In recent years I have recaptured the dreams of my youth by playing with our band, the Parrot Island Band. The Parrot Island Band is a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band based in the Atlanta (more specifically, Acworth), Georgia area. Through these experiences I have had the opportunity to meet several members of the Coral Reefer Band (Jimmy's backup band) and have actually played a song with Doyle Grisham… a highlight I have already documented in another blog.

Just as each of us have unique experiences and talents, we are also given unique gifts to love and serve others around us.  The Bible speaks of “spiritual gifts” that are given to us so that we might build up, encourage and love those around us (1 Corinthians chapters 12-14; Romans chapter 12; Ephesians chapter 4; and 1 Peter chapter 4).  I hope that if you are reading this, you might realize that you have special gifts and talents to make this world a better place (and make you extremely valuable to those around you). OK, hum along with me… “I’ve got a school boy heart…”, now go write your own lyrics (figuratively) given the influences, experiences and talents you have been given…

Until next time, it's Jesus and Jimmy.

To B2B or Not to B2B?

 

To B2B or Not to B2B?

Great Buffett Bands

There are some really great Jimmy Buffett bands across the country. I have had the privilege of hearing a few and look forward to hearing more in the coming year. Whether you call them Trop Rock Bands, Parrothead Bands, or Jimmy Buffett Tribute bands… there is a growing list of bands that not only cover Jimmy Buffett music but also play some great original music as well.

Jeff Pike... dreaming of playing with Parrot Island BandOne of the very first Jimmy Buffett Tribute bands was A1A (after the road that leads to Key West and the town/city that Jimmy moved to after a time in Nashville). A1A plays out of Georgia and I try to catch them when they are playing in the area. Thumbs up to Jeff Pike, who is the band leader and an excellent musician.

 

Another Buffett band with a catchy name is B2B, a great play off of A1A. These guys are from the Richmond, VA area and although I haven’t heard them in person, I have heard they are really good as well.

Search for a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band and you are sure to come upon the "Landsharks", "Parrotbeach", "Changes in Lattitudes" and “Garrat Wilkin and the Parrotheads”. Each band will promote themselves as the “original”, “#1” or “best” Jimmy Buffett Tribute band around. The truth is, you can’t go wrong by listening to any of these guys. Fun music for tropical events… Parrot Island Band approved!

Bry, Linda and KevinHere in the Atlanta area? Be sure to look up the Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band. We have been intentional about remaining a three piece band, guitar/vocals, steel pan and conga. This allows us to play for a lot of events with a limited budget and also to fit into some tight spaces. Enough for today, I’m off to dream about more white sandy beaches and palm trees…

Jesus, Jimmy and Peace of Mind

 

Jesus, Jimmy and Peace of Mind

Peace Like a Palm Tree

Peace lIke a RiverThere is an old hymn, "Peace Like a River"  (an African American Spiritual) that speaks of having "peace like a river" in our souls.  I have always found a great deal of peace sitting by  a lake, river and especially the ocean. This week I have faced some very difficult circumstances and I must admit I am not finding very much peace at the moment. Scripture tells us to "cast all our anxieties" upon Jesus because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) . Perhaps it is time to practice what I preach 😉 and let God help me with a problem I can't fix on my own.

 

Relax and enjoyI am also reminded of some difficult days in High School when I was learning to play guitar and hearing this relaxing music from an up and coming musician, some guy named Jimmy Buffett. Songs of island, beaches and palm trees had a way of calming the storms within. There is just something about a palm tree swaying in the breeze that  is relaxing and calming. There are no palm trees here in Acworth, Georgia, but I do have a guitar… probably time to pull it out and play a few Trop Rock songs.

 

Playing with Linda and Kevin in the Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett tribute band here in Atlanta, Georgia, has also been a very rewarding endeavor. Our music has taken us to Myrtle Beach, Cocoa Beach, Savannah, GA and many other beautiful places. I'll take a little time now to find my peace and give thanks for the many blessings and friends that I have. Perhaps you are facing some tough moments… God's listening, Jimmy's singing and if you ever need the Parrot Island Band to help you find a peaceful, relaxing place… please don't hesitate to give us a call.

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

What’s Your Window on the World?

 

What's Your Window on the World?

Looking for Sunshine

While our experiences cause us to look at the world in a certain way, it is also true that how we view the world determines how we feel about certain experiences. If we have had a number of bad experiences, we may tend to look at things from a “darker” perspective… OR,  if we look at things from a more positive perspective, we may be quicker to find a silver lining in difficult circumstances (and don't forget, a Parrot Island Band tune can always lift your spirits as well ;-)).

What's Your Window ont eh the World?In the song, Window on the World, Jimmy Buffett sings about a number of experiences like travels and musicians that were only here for a short time. As in the song, I can relate to nights without sleep and too much caffeine consumption (mine coming from a childhood developed soda addiction). I am sure that many can also relate to the longing of a loved one while spending too many nights from home.

 

Sometimes our circumstances are difficult and it is easy to be overcome by everything going on in life. A Bible verse that I have found helpful along the way is from Philippians 4:8, “Finally…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is praiseworthy- think about such things.”  Now, I’m not one of those people that believes that a “positive attitude” solves all problems, but I do believe that when we live our lives looking for the best in others and the good around us… we are more likely to feel better about the challenges that each day brings.

The title to the song Take the Weather With You (Neil Finn and Tim Finn) seems to beg the question, what kind of weather (attitude) will you take with you? It also seems to suggest that we have a choice as to what we see when we look out our windows and that we can decide to take sunshine or dark clouds with us as we go about our daily life (another reason I appreciate Jimmy's Margaritaville attitude, he invites us to look on the bright side of life). My window on the world?  Although I don’t always succeed, I try to see the blessings and blue skies that come my way… and I wish them for you as well. 

 

Jimmy Buffett