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Thursday, May 30, 2013

What Happens in Key West Stays in Key West... WRONG!!!, Trop Rock Song With The Most Chords? Making a Music Video,


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Every now and then I hear or see someone proclaim “What happens in Key West stays in Key West”. This statement is entirely false, has no foundation whatsoever, and if someone is naïve and gullible to fall for it, it could very well end up biting them in the ass big time. Often it does.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with Key West in the slightest. Nothing at all.

The saying “What happens in...” does apply to Las Vegas, and perhaps rightfully so. But how could anyone, even remotely compare Las Vegas with Key West?  Not really. We’re talking two very opposite ends of the spectrum here. Key West is actually the polar opposite.

Contrary to the Las Vegas slogan, Key West is a virtual on line stage that broadcasts for the entire world to see, 24/7/365.  Ain’t no secrets here at all. None. Fact is, whatever one is doing in Key West could be being viewed by thousands of people from Los Angeles, to New York, to London, to Moscow, to Johannesburg, to New Deli, to Beijing. ‘’..Stays in Key West”? Hello.

I recall long before I moved here, there were more streaming web cams in Key West than there were in anyplace else in the world. Key West is on display to the world!  Today I’d make a safe wager that there are more streaming web cams in a square ¼ mile radius in Key West than anywhere else in the world and then there are more outside that radius. How many times have people visiting Key West called their friends back home to see them on the web cams waving and toasting them? How many people have followed their friends, via on line web cams, going bar to bar, drinking with them in front of their computers? How many marriages went south because a spouse saw their significant other in a bar with someone else that they weren’t supposed to be with, in Key West? Answer: A LOT!

And there are people who say “What happens in Key West Stays in Key West”?  Really? What planet are they on anyway? Everyone just saw Jane from Peoria pull up her shirt and flash the camera. “.. Stays in Key West”? HA HA HA! You’ve GOT to be kidding.

Key West is a stage to the world and the world wants to know what’s happening in Key West. They tune in too.  Via the web cams, people can hear bands playing live as it goes down. Back when I was up in Miami, I’d listen at my day job. It isn’t just web cams either. This blog alone is getting between 100 and 300 hits per day, from around the world. (Thank you everyone!!!) Here’s where people are looking at this blog from this week alone:

Italy, United States, India, Russia, Germany, France, Canada, Ukraine, Latvia, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Last month this blog had over 4,200 views. That’s an average of 257 views per day from people around the world, who want to know what’s happening in Key West. Both the blog and Facebook work out well for me because when they come to Key West they ask me where I’m playing and also a nice place to stay, not forgetting where to eat as well. (What’s good for the goose is good for the gander)

Be advised: When you are in Key West there are no secrets and the world is watching you. Nothing stays in Key West because it’s broadcasted all around the world. Again, you’re on stage when you’re in Key West.

The bottom line here is that, like this blog’s motto states:

“What happens in Key West stays in Key West…


Here’s a link to some of the web cams in the Keys


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For over a month and a half Gary Ek and I have been attempting to shoot a video for my song “Sailing”. First we were going to film it on “Aurora”, my friend Blackheart Charlie’s boat, with his girlfriend Rachel and her dog Charlie (She had the dog before she met Charlie her BF.. it’s a REALLY long story! HA HA! ), However, we were rained out. Unfortunately for us, they were leaving for summer and fall on a massive sailing adventure in two days, so it didn’t work out unfortunately.

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Gary’s girlfriend Bobbie however knows the captain of the Key West based charter sailboat Blue Ice, Captain Bruce and his wife Tina, not forgetting their young son Brandon, who is a very able deckhand, incidentally! As it turned out, I know Bobbie’s daughter Michelle and felt she’d be a marvelous addition to the shoot. Michelle’s free days were on Wednesdays at that point and that worked for everyone… except it didn’t. For the next five or six weeks, some kind of obstacle came up every Wednesday. Finally we had all of the stars fall into place and what a great day we had! Bobbie and Gary also came with Collette, while Michelle came with two knockout friends from New Orleans who were visiting, Helen and Pearl. In addition we also had my friend Sarah. So we had a complement of ten aboard the 47 Ft. Blue Ice Trust me, it was scenic!

We had a very fun shoot and we’ll see how it turns out and when the editing is done! I’ll post it in a future blog once it’s complete!

Captain Bruce was a fantastic help and what a great disposition he has! Bearing in mind that he does so many weddings aboard the Blue Ice, he has an innate knowledge of what video shots work and what doesn’t. That saved us so much time. He also knew just where to put the boat for the shots as well! What a God send having his help was! Turns out, Captain Bruce is a first generation American of Norwegian stock. It’s very, very reassuring to have a Viking at the helm!  

I brought my Ibanez for the video, as it’s so photogenic! Not quite as much as the girls, but it did look good! Fingers crossed for a successful video!

When we took a break I played another song of mine, “Liveaboard”. This is not the video we were doing that afternoon, but it’s fun nonetheless. It was funny because I forgot a pick and I played it like Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, with a coin! HA HA! The recoil off the strings takes a bit of getting used to! HA HA!

A lot of Trop Rock consists of three or four chords songs and that’s all good.  For myself I’m always looking for:

A) My own sound

B) Something that’s a bit of a challenge.

The fact that I have a bit of music theory education, makes me downright dangerous, HA HA!  Consequently some of my songs are a bit “chordy”. But seriously, all of these chords I use are with a purpose. Each one adds its own color and uniqueness. On my CD “Shanghai’d and Marooned in Key West (things could be worse)”…”Key West Blues” has the least with only 5, whereas “The South” and “The Beach” share the high of 11. As you can imagine, I get a fair amount of abuse from fellow musicians for this. HA HA HA!  Keyboard player Bob Boyd, a very accomplished musician, would often say to me when we were recording Shanghai’d  “Wait! Wait! Wait a minute! What are you doing there? You CAN’T do that musically!” to which I would reply “Bob, I just did. Listen to it. It works.”  Funny enough, even though I was breaking some of rules musically, it did work.  In the end Bob said “You know? What you’re doing isn’t supposed to work, but it somehow does” A lot of that has to do with the chords I use. Again, I’m looking for a unique sound, not typical voicings, and the unique colors that they arrive with.
After Shanghai’d came out,  I wrote “Island Blue”* and I guess I kind of went over the top, with fifteen chords   :-O

On my latest song, “Seaplane”, I fumbled through for only the second time at the Key West Songwriter’s Fest on the 4th of May.  It was posted on Youtube and my pal Bobby DeVito writes me and says “You got some chords in that one”. Well, I knew nothing had more chords than “Island Blue”. Then I started thinking that there were a few in that song, so I went back to look at it in the written form.  Was I in for a shock! When I got to ten and seeing what followed, I knew this was something truly insane. Twenty three chords… and in the recorded version there will be one more in the instrumental section.

E13,  G#13,  A13,  C#7,  Fm7,  B7,  Bdim,  B9,  CMaj9,  E9,  D9, G#m#4,  AMaj7,   CMaj7,  C6/9, B6/9, FmAJ7,  Eb9,  F#m7add 4,  EMaj9, Db9,  EMaj7,  A11.

Yes, it’s most likely time to have me put in a strait jacket and carted off, but at least it has a lot of color and I don’t sound like anyone else!

Schedule: May 30 Sunset Tiki Bar 617 Front St. in the Galleon Resort. 617 Front St. on the water Playing 2 – 5 PM.
June 4th The Rum Barrel  528 Front St.  7 – 10pm on the rooftop bar
June 6th  Sunset Tiki Bar 617 Front St. in the Galleon Resort on the water
June 7th Meet Me In The Keys 1pm
June 8th Cancer fund raiser at The Cork and Stogie  4 - 7
June 16th The Bull  10 – 2
June 20th Sunset Tiki Bar  617 Front St. in the Galleon Resort on the water.

If you are coming to Key West, be sure to check out The Galleon Resort for accommodations!!!

Purchase music at
·          “island Blue”  (along with other unreleased recordings as well as the CD) is available on my website @

“Shanghai’d and Marooned in Key West (things could be worse)” can also be found at: iTunes, CDBaby, CD Universe, and Rhapsody. Search “Key West Chris”

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