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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Key West Summer Weather, New Album C/D In The Works Part 1, The Beer Show

Key West Summer Weather

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One of the great things about Key West is that predicting the weather is really not all that difficult. The seasons are different, but each season and sometimes months are the same year to year, for the most part. So easy, in fact, that baring the unusual oddities or, God forbid, a hurricane, it's pretty similar from one day to the next.

So easy in fact that I made this generic weather forecast for local station 104.9 The X radio station. It's not the first I've done for them. I did another a couple of years ago and it still works just perfectly!

As the recording mentions, it's going to be hot! t is summer after all and we're in the tropics as well, so what would anyone expect?

Every day I take note of the temperature. This year's been a bit hotter than last year. Back then we had a total of three days that hit 90 degrees. That's 32C for our metric readers. This year, I've lost count... back in June! It may sound like a big difference, but in reality, it's splitting hairs. Is there really a major difference between 89 (32.2C) and 90 (31.7C) ? Not at all.

When I first moved to Florida, several decades ago from New Jersey, where I grew up, I worked in Coral Gables (a city surrounded by Miami). I recall walking down the street at lunch time and while the ambient temperature was around 88 (31C), the same as New Jersey/NYC, the difference was in the power of the sun. Walking down the street, the power of the sun felt as though it was pushing you harder into the sidewalk. If I weighed 150lbs (68 kilos), it felt like I was carrying an extra 20 pounds and weighed 170 pounds (77 kilos). It's the power of the tropical sun and that's what it's like in the Key West. Consequently, what you do is walk on whatever side of the street that has the shade is! Pretty simple and common sense.

I'll hear people sometimes complain about the summer heat. I think that's pretty foolish, if you ask me. You're in the tropics, it's summer time, what do you expect? Of course it's hot. The true facts are that very often in the summer, it's hotter in New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, or Atlanta, than it is in Key West. Key West has never hit 100 degrees (38 C). I recall growing up thirty miles west of NYC and the summer hitting 106! (41 C). Additionally, the air there often wouldn't move for days on end. It would just sit there. In the town next to where I lived, Ridgewood, N.J. there was a scenic overlook in a section of the town refereed to as "the Hights". Right off this overlook, the land dropped maybe fifty feet (16.5 M) and there was a valley which stretched right to NYC. On a clear day, it was beautiful. However on these days where the air didn't move, it was a brown cloud of air pollution that just never moved out.

In Key West, we have the trade winds blowing through. 90% of the time, there's a breeze and that 10% when there isn't one, it doesn't last all that long.

There is no air pollution in Key West.

Humidity is high in the summer as well. Again, when people complain about it, it's the same here as it is in NYC, Chicago, or Boston. For someone who heads north for the summer, weather wise speaking, they are jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

For visitors, summer is the true deal, as far as visiting Key West and the smart travelers visit then. They already know all of the aforementioned weather I explained above, plus the hotel rates are, far and away, the lowest of the year.

New Album/CD In The Works - Part 1

I'm starting to put together ideas and songs for my next album, which I hope to start recording this fall. There is a big weight to follow up my last one "Shanghai'd and Marooned in Key West (things could be worse)". When Miles Davis' producer writes from L.A. to say "Chris, I love your CD! It makes me feel like I'm back in the Keys!" it means this next project has extremely large shoes to fill!
For those of you who are not in the music industry, I'll share a few things that go into making a new project like this. I say project because I really don't know what the next name for these are going to be? Back when they had vinyl, it was an album. Then when CD's came out in the early 80's, it started being called a CD. Today? Who knows? Aside from live performers like myself and the Country music field based in Nashville, the music industry is all downloads. So I'm not sure what to call it, or what it will be called down the road. Maybe back to "Albums"?

Henceforth, that's what I'll refer to it as.

The first thing I have to deal with are the songs that will be on the compilation. It's like choosing favorite children. I was wrestling for a name for the album until I wrote a new song for it. It was a tricky song to write, in that in this case, it has to make you smile and hopefully laugh, yet continue to be fresh all the time, continuing to make one smile and laugh when they hear it, time after time. If it's done like a joke, it's funny at best the first few times once on hears it. After that, it's all over. So it can be a fine line. With this song, I gave it a wide birth because I don't need to be walking a tight rope, fifty stories over a mote of crocodiles.

The title song is called "Jump Into De Fire". Unlike "Shanghai'd and Marooned in Key West (things could be worse)" this album will have a title track. Shanghai'd actually had a title track, but I never completed writing it, so it missed being on it. So, we have one song on it for sure! Another song that will be definitely on it will be the newest mix of Island Blue, featuring Misty Loggins on vocals and Dani Hoy on background vocals.

When I recorded Shanghai'd, one of my main objectives was to have every song sound different from any other song on the album. I can't tell you how many albums/CDs I've listened to over the years, where every song sounds like the song that preceded it. No thanks. One of the ways I achieved that was to write songs in different root genres. We had Afro/Cuban/Motown, Jazz, Country, Funk, Barrel House Blues, Brazilian, Bahamian, so on and so forth. In the end, nothing sounded like anything else on the album. In addition, I also used a lot of different musicians on different songs, so that contributed greatly to the album's diverse sounds.

"Jump Into De Fire"s goal will be much along the same lines of having nothing sound like anything else on the album. How it will be executed remains to be seen. Unlike Shanghai'd, there could very well be songs of the same root genre on this album, for one thing. Logistics may also come into play. Last year, after performing with Misty Loggins at the Key West Songwriter's Festival (and her doing "Island Blue" for me) I wrote a new song, a duet for the two of us to do, "Sometimes We Tote The Load". the logistics being that if she's not available to fly down to Key West from Nashville when we record it, "we're up the creek", as they say.

(Misty Loggins and I doing Island Blue)

Dani Hoy and I are in progress of putting a song together, "Smile". I have the music pretty much done and a fair amount of the lyrics. Dani's looked at it a few times so far, looking forward to  seeing what she will add!

Meanwhile, there's a bunch of songs I have to weed through and figure out what goes and what stays. Then, on the one's that stay, band arrangements must be put together. Trust me, it's a whole different animal from playing it solo live and playing it in a studio.

Updates on this will follow in each blog, as I think readers might like having some insight on how making an album all comes about.

Beer Show!

The beer show is stepping up it's game big time! This week we had a live studio audience in the form of Tiffani and Mike Green, which was a first. At this time, Dave Sr. who owns the Cork and Stogie with his wife Leslie, has approved having guests. We're very limited in space and the guests must agree to not talk. We already have five personalities babbeling away and that's really the total limit we can have for a radio audience. However, for a nominal fee, you can be in our audience!
We've also have a Facebook page:

A Twitter page:

Here's the schedule, All times are EST (a.k.a. Same as NYC)

KW Beer Show Airing/Stations Schedules:

KWOM - 10am and 10pm

Trop Rock Radio - Sundays 5 - 6

Radio A1A - Monday's at 7 and last week's show at 7 every day of the week other than Mondays

The Shore - Friday at noon

Tiki Island Radio - times TBA

Tiki Beach Shop -                                         Monday, Wednesday, Friday  -  2 PM

More to come on this as we go!

 Thanks again for reading the blog everyone!

To obtain my music:
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My CD is available on iTunes, CD Baby, CD Universe, Rhapsody, and Beachfront Radio.

Search: Key West Chris

Thank you everyone!!


  1. I have to be honest and say I'd not heard of you Key West Chris, until today! My new friend, At Edmunds, shared you page with me and I will do my best to add you to my musicology library. Fantastic video with Misty Loggins. Also unfamiliar to me. Island Blue is My kinda music. I <3 singing the blues! I will check out the page you mentioned. I hope to see more Live! performances in the very near future! I'm a bit far away from Key West, up here in the NorthEast, in Maine. Sometimes it takes a while to "arrive" up here,lol.Thanks!! Lorena Rae Blackden

  2. My nickname is Breezy,they called me BreezyRider when I had a motorcycle in '78 Triumph Bonnevile 750. Back then you had to try to keep headphones on and listen to a Walkman,lol