New dates!

Hey Parrot Heads, Schooner’s “Just Add Bourbon” tour is expanding! Check out our tour dates page for an updated list of trop rock concerts including new bookings in York, Pennsylvania. And if you live in the Destin, Florida or New Orleans area, make sure you stop by Schooner’s gigs in those areas the first week of June.

Schooner is also booking private Parrot Head house parties throughout Florida for the summer. Any open date is an option. Take a look at the tour dates and let us know if you’d like to book one of his openings. Fins up!

 

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Sand Box, Here We Come!

It’s Sand Box season, Parrot Heads! I’m so fortunate to be just 20 minutes from Beachfront Radio‘s #1 trop rock house party venue, The Sand Box. Schooner‘s scheduled to play solo later in the summer. But this Sunday, April 7 from 2pm to til our PHriends decide to leave, you’ll be able to see several trop rock PHriends trop rock out on stage. Come out and see Mike Mangum, Kid Conch (Rick Schettino), Captain Nick, John Friday and Schooner rock Anna Maria Island on the Gulf Coast! I may be looking forward to this even more than you. Anytime I can play with such a talented crowd is a good day in paradise!

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563547_483260531732578_1267443842_nDuring the time I’ve lived here in paradise, I’ve been so fortunate to become friends with other musicians who have followed the call to the beach.  Although I have had many musicians influence my music, I can honestly say that those I’ve met chasing the  trop rock dream, have been the most open, friendly and giving people that I’ve ever met. 

My brushes with Trop Rock greatness probably began with Sunny Jim, who I had the pleasure of meeting at Meeting of the Minds in 1999.  Aside from being one of the most talented writers and performers that I’ve met, he and his wife, Adela, are some of the most genuinely friendly people I’ve ever met. 

Since that great weekend 14 years ago, I’ve also had the pleasure of performing with the likes of the Conch Republic Band from Lexington, Kentucky — one of the most energetic live shows you’ll ever see, and again, some of the nicest guys and gals you’ll ever meet!  My travels have also allowed me to perform with the likes of the Chris Sacks Band, Gary Philips, Mike Mangum, Dani Hoy, Mike Armstrong, David McKenney, Duane Harlick from the Tropoholics, Jimi Pappas and many others.

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of jamming with my friend, Rick “Kid Conch” Schettino at some really cool venues.  We first performed together at the Lazy Gecko in Key West and since then have been on stage together at the Sandbox on Anna Maria Island and the Hideaway Cafe in St. Petersburg, Florida  He’s a great writer and an incredibly accomplished musician.  It’s relationships like this that allow all of us to mold our ideas into the tunes you all come to hear us play, and I’m grateful to Rick and all others who share my vision and continue to raise the bar for Trop Rock Music.  Good on ya!

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Pandora doesn’t get trop rock

I like to vary my online listening habits, from Beachfront Radio and Radio Margaritaville to some of my other favorite trop rock stations. I’ve also been listening to Pandora a lot  lately, but they clearly don’t understand trop rock. Type in “Jimmy Buffett,” and you’ll get a few relevant options — certainly some Buffett (around every 10th song or so), mixed in with a small amount of Zack Brown Band and Bob Marley. Every once in a while they’ll throw in some Harry Belafonte, but that’s about where the trop rock ends.

Somebody at Pandora must have decided that Jimmy Buffett is easy listening (what?!), because most of what comes out of my speakers is James Taylor, the softer side of The Eagles and Jack Johnson. Don’t get me wrong — I’m a huge fan of all of these artists. However, they are by no stretch of the imagination considered trop rock.

While I get that the true trop rock artists who haven’t hit the mainstream are probably limited from Pandora due to contracts and contacts, they might want to take another look at their algorithms. Because there are plenty of songs out there that I would consider trop rock, even if the artist isn’t a full-time trop rocker. Come on, people!

– Schooner

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Schooner adds new dates in St. Armands, Osprey and Destin!

Check out Schooner’s Tour Dates, because we’ve added several new ones! We continue to announce new dates for Schooner’s Just Add Bourbon Tour — June 4 at Pompano Joe’s in Destin (one of Schooner’s favorites!) Why bourbon, you might ask? Well, aside from the fact that it’s delicious, Schooner is heading to Bourbon Street in New Orleans to play June 7 at Tropical Isle, voted #5 Trop Rock Venue by Beachfront Radio listeners. We’ll make a stop in Destin along the way.

Beach Bum it with Schooner on June 4 at Pompano Joe's in Destin.

Beach Bum it with Schooner on June 4 at Pompano Joe’s in Destin.

New dates also include several spring dates for Spanish Pointe in Osprey — Tiki Bar Extraordinaire — and ChaCha Coconuts in St. Armands Circle next Tuesday night. Come out for the most excellent fish tacos in Sarasota that we’ve tried so far!

If you’re along the route from Sarasota to the Big Easy — Tampa, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Pensacola, Mobile, Pascagoula, Gulfport, Whatever — Schooner is also booking house parties. So contact him if you’re interested in booking a Trop Rock house party.

Fins Up, Parrot Heads!

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Thanks to our Phlock of supporters

I was just spending a few minutes updating the information I have on my “links” tab and was reminded that there are so many people who travel in Trop Rock circles who do so much, simply for the love of what they’re doing and for others.  This may come off as a”Duh” kind of moment.  Because many of you are Parrot Heads, you are already aware of the selflessness of others in the Phlock, but there are a few non-Parrot Heads that are fans of my site.  That in mind, I wish to give a shout out to some of those hard working, giving Pholks who dedicate so much time for the benefit of song writers and trop rock in particular.

There are several good peeps out there who run the internet radio stations that we, as trop rockers, count on to be heard.

Of course, a huge thanks goes out to  DJ Jeff at Beachfront Radio, who, along with Captain Cali and Cheeto Gyrl continue to promote Trop Rock everywhere.  They’ve won the award for Top Trop Rock Station several years in a row and are well deserving!

Thanks to Koz of Koz's Green World Gallery in Key West -- a great supporter of Trop Rock!

Thanks to Koz of Koz’s Green World Gallery in Key West — a great supporter of Trop Rock!

There are several others out there, who not only play Schooner tunes (and other trop rockers), but also do what they do for little or no reward.  Please check them out!

  • Bret Walton is the CEO and Music Director at Island Radio, a great destination for tunes that take you to your favorite destinations!
  • At The Shore, Contact Don “Da Pyrate” Winfield to request an artist on this terrific trop rock station!
  • At Island Time Radio, DK the DJ serves ’em up every Monday night!  Check him out!
  • Sam Densler oversees Song Writers Island, a wonderful haven of original Trop Rock tunes.

In addition to these great stations, there are so many others who have always supported original and Trop Rock music.  There’s one that I wish to mention now, though I know there are so many.  If you haven’t met Koz from Koz’s Green World Gallery in Key West, you’d better get up and go!  Koz is an amazing artist, A HUGE supporter of Trop Rock, and one hell of a nice guy!

I suppose this is me saying thanks to these and other great supporters of Trop Rock. It’s also my reminder to you, to do the same.  Face it, our lives just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have them to help us lose ourselves in our own little Margaritaville!

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Winter on the Gulf

As a trop rock artist, the greatest part about winter on the Gulf Coast is being able to play for all the snowbirds, snow escapers and Parrot Heads who come down from the North to enjoy our warmer climate.295850_1727707890986_3717873_n

The snowbirds have the right idea. Who wouldn’t want to spend all winter in Florida, then head back up home when the weather is nice again. Well, except for maybe me. I prefer enjoying the beach year-round. But I get a real kick out of how excited they get to sip cold beer under a tiki bar when it’s in the 70s at 10pm in January. What’s not to love?

And because they enjoy it, I get to enjoy it too. Tonight I’ll be playing waterfront at Trader Vic’s, kicking back with a cold one and meeting new friends. It’s a good life.

As one of my favorite songs says, “I’d rather be here just drinking a beer than be freezing my ass in the North.”

Categories: Living the Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

New Year’s Eve on Siesta Key

What better way to ring in the New Year than playing for some of my favorite Parrot Heads on Siesta Key? Thanks to 262611_10151207887384087_860105376_nDana and Kate Sochaki for having me to your beautiful home again. I can’t help thinking that even a bad day on Siesta Key is still a pretty good day, right? There’s no other place I would have rather been last night to welcome in 2013.

Happy New Year to all of my PHlorida PHriends!

Categories: Living the Life, Parrot Heads | Tags: , ,

Happy 2013!

As I sit on my Sarasota balcony in 75-degree sunshine listening to Beachfront Radio, it’s hard not to reflect on where I’ve been in the past year and where I hope to go in 2013.

As I’m sure can be said for all of you, 2012 saw so much change. I moved to Florida, left my good friends in the Conch Republic band (where I was the lead singer) and embarked on a solo career, put out my first CD, played Meeting of the Minds, embraced the Florida lifestyle, and said goodbye to my father. He passed away from cancer on Dec. 9 — a fate that has unfortunately followed so many of the  New York Firefighters and other first responders of 911. While this last event certainly had the most impact on me, I think all of these things changed me, mostly for the better.

Chief Dick McGuire of the NYFD.

Chief Dick McGuire of the NYFD.

While I’ve never been one to stick to New Year’s resolutions, here are a few that I am hopeful to embrace in 2013:

  1. I want to establish a scholarship fund in my father’s name, to help a needy football player with his tuition to St. Anthony’s High School in Long Island. My dad was a football coach there for many years, and he donated his salary each year to pay for a student’s tuition. I’d like to keep that tradition going, so expect to see some fundraisers and tip donations this year.
  2. After my taste of the trop rock lifestyle in 2012, I’m hungry for more.  More gigs, more tours, more collaborations with other trop rockers, another CD, and more purchases from Tommy Bahama.
  3. Getting more fishing in and spending more time napping on the beach are definitely on my list of priorities for 2013.
  4. It wouldn’t be a New Year’s resolution without admitting that I want to live healthier. We’ll see  how that goes.

Overall, 2012 was a good year. Here’s to making 2013 everything that we all hope it will be! Cheers!

Categories: Living the Life, Trop Rock | Tags: , , , ,

New Orleans or Bust

DSC_7979Mark your calendars! Schooner is playing June 7 at Tropical Isle on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, which was just voted the #5 Top of the Trops Trop Rock Venue by listeners of Beachfront Radio.  This will be the midpoint of his Gulf Coast tour, so Parrot Heads, we hope to see you there!

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