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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Key West - The Sunday Ramble!

One of the things that always impressed me prior to moving to Key West nearly ten years ago, was that the local musicians were of the highest quality. I recall for years when I visited being in awe of how good everyone was!

Growing up outside of NYC, then later living in Boston, I was exposed to the absolute finest that could be found anywhere. I recall visiting Key West on St. Patrick's day 1980. The band playing that night at Sloppy Joe's was fabulous and that set the stage, so to speak, for my impression of music in Key West. Key West could hold it's own.

I moved to Key West in May of 2008. I had a good thing going in Miami before that. In 2000 I was picked up by McClure and Trowbridge Publishing in Nashville! That was a thrill.

I also had a solo/duo acoustic thing, plus I had a five to seven piece electric band from 2000 – 2008.

Moving to Key West was interesting. I didn't know one person here. Trust me, getting gigs isn't easy when you don't know anyone.

In 2010 BMI invited me to play the Key West Songwriter's Festival. This goes back to me being published in Nashville with McClure and Trowbridge, which in 2010 I had been with for ten years.

For those who are unfamiliar, The Key West Songwriters Festival is the largest music festival of it's kind in the entire world. Charlie Bauer and Danielle Strampello Holiday of Smokin' Tuna, handle the Key West end of it, while BMI Nashville takes care of everything else. Last year the festival had something like 230 songwriters in the event.

I am truly honored to have been in the event every year since! Thank you BMI, Thank you McClure and Trowbridge Publishing, and Thank you Smokin' Tuna.

When Dani arrived here four years ago this week, we started gigging together. At first, I'd do my thing, then she's get up and do her's. A friend of ours, David “Reddawg” Solinsky told us “Lets start a band!”. Making a long story short, we did. That was in August of 2014. We called ourselves “The Shanty Hounds” because the house we live in, we call “The Conch Rock Shanty”, plus, we have two whippets, hence, the hounds part of the name.

We've had a great run that is constantly evolving and hopefully, improving! We're having the time of our lives!

We were invited to play a special event, “The Sunday Ramble” for New Year's Eve. This is a great great honor, as they are quite particular as to whom they invite to play the event! In addition to us, there will also be featuring Terry Cassidy, Gary Hempsey, and Terry Wetmore, which indicates the caliber we're talking about!

We'll be doing some of our original songs backed up by The Ramble Band, which consists of Ericson Holt, Jeff Clark, Claire Finley, Robyn Whitehead, Randy Morrow, Michelle Dravis, and Joe Rayhill

These folks are just incredible! We did one rehearsal with them last Wednesday and I can't wait to play with them again!

The event will be held at The Key West Theater, 512 Eaton St. Key West. Doors open at 8 and the event itself runs 9pm – 12:30am.

Dani Hoy and I are so honored and humbled to be recognized and invited to play this incredible event!

Thank you to all who invited us and to those who encouraged for us to be in the event!

And the biggest thanks to all who have supported us, both friends and establishments!!!

So swing by, if you're in town!!! It will be a fabulous New Years!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Happy Merry Christmas From Key West

Happy Merry Christmas From Key West

Happy Merry Christmas From Key West was written in 2015 by Dani Hoy, Bobby DeVito, and Key West Chris Rehm,

Everyone wrote the lyrics for their own verse in the song and likewise sang their own verse.

Chris wrote the chords and melody for the verses and Dani and Chris together wrote the bridge.

The final verse was sung by Dani and Chris together.

The recording was made at The Conch Rock Shanty, on Thomas St in Key West. It was a complete Key West party atmosphere, with a cast of Key West characters including Schmegly and our dogs, Cajun and Tooloulou all whooping it up in the background.

This little ditty is designed to make you feel good, smile, and.... laugh! If you're not here, but love Key West, step into an authentic Key West party, from Key West and soak in the spirit! Have some fun vicariously with us, for a three-minute romp into a typical Key West party in paradise!

The song was recorded and produced by Chris Rehm, Dani Hoy, and Bobby DeVito, Key West.

Mastered by Dan Simpson, Private Ear Studios, Key West.

At $.99 it blows those $5 stores on Duval into the weeds!

To purchase “Happy Merry Christmas From Key West” Click here!!!


I (KW Chris)


II (Dani Hoy)



Bridge (Chris and Dani)

G C C7
C A7
D7 G

III (Bobby D)






(Guitar solo, Bobby D!)

Bridge (Chris and Dani)











Bb6/9 C

© 2015 By Christopher R. Rehm, Danielle Hoy, and Robert R. DeVito BMI

Live video recorded on December 10, 2017 at Two Friends Restaurant, Key West

Order here! Thank you!


Thank you for reading my blog! Please check out my book "Time Traveler - The Oddities and Adventures of a Key West Bartender". Follow Mark Straight's continuing journies and friendships from current Key West, back to historical Key West and elsewhere!

 Order paperback or download here! Paperback comes with a free download!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Key West's Eyebrow Houses

One of the most fascinating pieces of architecture in Key West are the eyebrow houses. There's nothing contemporary about this style and when we look into it in a second, it will become quite apparent as to why.

It is said that there are over one-hundred and thirty eyebrow houses in Key West. Many say the style originated in Key West, and that may very well be so?

Eyebrow houses came about as a quite ingenious type of construction design of the times. Key West sports a warm climate year round, with the summertime temperatures in the high eighties and low nineties (31c – 34c). Even when talking of these temperatures, 93 degrees in Key West feels a lot hotter than 93 degrees in Cape Cod. The biggest reason for this is the power of the tropical sun is stronger. Some may also point out the humidity, however, the humidity is quite similar along the entire eastern seaboard.

Before the advent of air-conditioning, the designers of eyebrow houses came up with the idea of extending the roof, so that it would shade the second-floor windows. The idea being the shaded air would be cooler than the sun-lit air, which would flow through the house through the second-floor windows.

The eyebrow homes in Key West are some of the most unique style of architecture on the island. With over one-hundred and thirty here, randomly scattered, they are easy to come across and appreciate!

Take yourself on a walking tour of Old Town Key West and check out the eyebrow houses you'll stumble across!

Thank you for reading my blog! Please check out my book "Time Traveler - The Oddities and Adventures of a Key West Bartender". Follow Mark Straight's continuing journies and friendships from current Key West, back to historical Key West and elsewhere!

 Order paperback or download here! Paperback comes with a free download!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Week In The Life Of A Key West Musician

The following is a rough outline of being an active musician in Key West, specifically, A Shanty Hound!

Just to clarify who the Shanty Hounds are, Well, it's Dani Hoy and me. I play lead guitar and sing half the songs. Dani plays acoustic guitar, all sorts of percussion instruments, harmonica, and yes, on a few songs, kazoo! This is our standard set up and the way we play about 75% of our gigs.

After that, it's also people that play with us. For the last year and a half, Bob Tucker has played with us at our Grunts gigs, plus a few others. Jerry Thees sits in with us at Rick's, Bobby DeVito (Bobby D) has played with us numerous times from the get-go, most recently the entire month of August 2017. RedDawg had the idea to start the Shanty Hounds three years ago and played with us for around six months, when he moved to Pa. John Sausser has played drums with us on and off since RedDawg left. The list goes on and on, but the essence of what this piece is about in this piece is largely Dani and myself and one specific week in Key West, both playing and otherwise.

So, we're off to the races!

On Friday we played Willie T's. We've been there since the beginning of the summer and things have really jelled for us there! It's an easy environment to jell with the audience. It can actually be hysterical at times. Dani will be talking to someone in the crowd about something, and meanwhile, I'm talking to someone walking by on the sidewalk. I'd say it's 65/45 ratio on me convincing them to come in! We had several friends from out of town swing by as well. Imagine my surprise when our friends from Houston, Karen and Brian walked by! We didn't even know they were in town!

Dale and Peach of Flagler Beach stopped by the gig, as they were in town for a few days. It seems they always are volunteering their time to charitable causes down here. Good people! After the gig we had a bit of time to shoot the breeze with them and some other friends in from Tampa/St. Pete, Diana, and Mark. A good time was had by all and both couples also picked up copies of my book “Time Traveler – The Oddities and Adventures of a Key West Bartender” Thank you!!! I hope you enjoy it!

The gig also suffered a casualty, unfortunately. I seemed to have misplaced one of our spare microphones, a Sure 58 in the bag. While it was an older one it's still $100.00. At least we have others.

Saturday was an interesting day and evening. We had played Thanksgiving night, so we decided to have Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. Dani called it Friendsgiving and she did all the cooking that our house contributed. In the Keys tradition, every year we cook a pelican for Thanksgiving! ;-)

This was an odd thing for me. We throw a bunch of BBQs throughout the year. I'm the chef and am usually running inside the house and out between what I have on the BBQ and what I have on the stove. Here I was with nothing to do! After about an hour and a couple of beers, I got used to it, however!

Everyone contributed wonderful additions which augmented the dinner perfectly too! Steve Craigo, Brian Fields, Michelle Tafoya, Loretta DiTocco, Jerry Thees, Steve Craigo, Teresa, Scott Uhl, Des, Natalie and Alan, Dave Brick…. thank you!!!

Every Sunday is our gig at Two Friends and this week was no exception. We're very fortunate with all of our solid gigs, as the owners/managers are all just great people. I won't name the owners/managers by name because it's just the nature of the beast, the beasts being musicians, to call and ask for the individual by name while looking for a gig. … I want to stay on their good side! HAHA!

We, The Shanty Hounds, Dani Hoy and myself, play in the bar section of Two Friends every Sunday noon – three.

There is also a patio portion of the restaurant and according to our friends, Misty Loggins, and her manager Sam, who were there having breakfast on the patio when we arrived, you can hear the sound quite well on the patio, from the bar.

The stage itself at Two Friends we call “The Cockpit”, as it's so tight for two people. Mind you, this is but a description, not a complaint in the slightest. When we play there, it's similar to getting into an F1 or IndyCar; you climb in, only with a guitar in hand!

Naturally, every individual gig at every establishment is different. Sunday's gig at Two Friends started off a bit on the slow side. There was a Disney ship in that day and we picked up customers for several tables from the ship in the bar. Things started to pick up and shortly almost all of the tables in the bar were occupied.

Having a decent crowd is a major plus for us when we're playing. With a good crowd, there is always some good banter back and forth between ourselves and the audience. What it does overall is injecting a bit of adrenalin into everyone's veins and that's a good thing!

Monday was a day off. Well, it's not really a day off, so to speak. To start with, it found me writing the follow-up to the book I just released “Time Traveler – The Oddities and Adventures of a Key West Bartender”. I love writing this particular book as it's a continuing series! The subject matter is likewise, wide open!

I also touched a little on another book I'm working on (I have three in the works at the moment) and added a chapter.

I also messed around with a new song I'm going to be putting together. It's focal suggestion is the 1930's, so, in line with that, it will most likely be something in 2/4 time! The subject matter I just love, but as the song hasn't been written yet, I'll keep that under my hat for the moment.

Monday evening we headed to The Cork and Stogie. We had a beer podcast for several years, but as time went on we didn't have time for it anymore with other commitments at hand. What we do now are live FaceBook broadcasts on the “Key West Beer Tales The Sum Of All Beers” page! A couple of months back our friend, Mario Wolf, brought us some beer from Germany that are not available in the US. Dani, Cowboy Mark, and I sampled and critiqued the splendid beers.... there's always a few laughs... I mean, we're drinking BEER after all!

We finished around 1am, then headed home.

Every Tuesday we play Rick's from noon to four. It's a fun gig and our main purpose is to be there for the bar crawls which come in from the cruise ships. Jerry Thees sits in with us on bass at this gig as well.

This week we had three bar crawls. They are interesting as they come in, the place often fills up, they stay for 15 – 30 minutes, then they are either off to the next bar, or back to the cruise ship and off to the next port of call.

Miguel is the bartender with us at Rick's. He always has the TVs set to these ridiculous shows that are “Stupid Things People Do”, or “Most Insane Moments”. Those aren't the names of the shows, but they might be? We'll be playing, singing any song when suddenly a dog is chasing their own tail, or some idiot kid lights their hair on fire as a prank. Mind you, this isn't what we have on at home. This is Miguel's choice... we LOVE Miguel, by the way! The bottom line is suddenly something so ridiculous happens.. a coffin flies out of a hearse and the body is sliding on the pavement... and we crack up in the middle of the song.... but we don't lose the beat! ;-)

Keslie and Renee Slay swung by, from Orange Beach, Al. It's always great to meet Facebook friends at gigs! Leslie and Renee have a hot sauce company. Check them out at 

Wednesday we.... had off! I wrote a song early in my Key West residence called “Tuesday is My Friday”. Fact is, almost no one here has the standard Monday – Friday work routine!

Key West lost Tim Glancy after a long battle with lung issues. Tim was a very, very accomplished magician, having worked in, among other places, Las Vegas. He also had worked for Jimmy Buffett for I believe fifteen years. The first time I saw him he was giving walking tours here in Key West of significant places Jimmy Buffett played. There was a celebration of life for him held in the afternoon at The Salty Angler and they had a great turnout. Howard Livingstone played several songs, plus several magicians including local master musician Frank Everhart. Some had flown in for the event and spoke as well. It was a touching event and very well done. A big salute to Donna Carpenter, his companion fore a decade and a half. During Tim's illness she would post updates on Facebook starting with “Tim Glancy had a good day today” or the reverse had it not been a good day. When I spoke with her at the wonderful event I said to her “Tim Glance is having a fabulous day today”.

Godspeed Tim.

A couple of hours later Dani and I met up with our good friends Brian Fields and Michelle Tafoya over at The Cork and Stogie. Just hanging out on the veranda, enjoying a wonderful libation, watching the world walk by on Duval as the trade-winds quietly and easily breeze through. Keys laid back. Does it get any better than this?

My sister asked me recently “How do you find time to write your books?”. Well, if we look at the next day up, Thursday, it's a good example. Every Thursday we play Grunts Bar! We play 7 – 10, which means we arrive at 6, set up and we're ready to go at 7. So basically I have the day off until around 5:30 when we start to get ready to go.

On days like these, I may run to the library to do some historical research for the follow-up book to “Time Traveler – The Oddities and Adventures of a Key West Bartender”. I'm strict with things being historically correct in the books. They have to be accurate, or the carry no integrity and it's all just flim-flam. In my book, if one is in Key West in 1935 and walks into an establishment called The Victoria Restaurant, goes dancing at The Silver Slipper, those places did exist in 1935. They are there today as well, albeit with different names. Things like that are important to me. So long as it can be traced, in my book, it will be accurate. Not every place can be traced, however. Meanwhile, the followup book continues.

Thursday night we were back at Grunts Bar! As far as a band goes, this is our home bar. The Cork and Stogie is Dani and my personal home bar, at 1218 Duval St. I'm a part owner there and it's a true Key's style, laid back bar. The Cork and Stogie do not have live music, however. Frankly, it's just too small to do so.

Grunts were the very first bar to give The Shanty Hounds a weekly gig. We've been there every Thursday night for the last two and a half years. Before that, we'd play gigs here and there. It was nothing consistent. However, Grunts gave us the shot and we are forever grateful!

The owner has done things for us on many occasions which no other owner or manager would ever dream of doing. I will not say what it is, as I feel it, though never stated, it was done in confidence. Let me just say that he is over and above first class all the way.

Our evening started slow. We actually started rehearsing new songs because there were no customers! However, within about fifteen minutes a crowd started coming in! In the end, we had a fantastic night!

So that's one week in the life of this Key West musician! It's hectic at times, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!

At the end of this month, we were honored to play The Rumble! The Ramble is an invitation gig held at The Key West Theater (512 Eaton St.) with our event held on December 31st. We have the honor of playing with the finest musicians in Key West... we can't wait!

As Key West icon Barry Cuda stated “All of my musical heroes were on tour all of the time, longing for the time off to go fishing. When I came to Key West I found it is the crowd that is on tour and you don't have to go on the road, because they come to you!”

Thank you for reading the blog!!!


Order paperback or download here! Paperback comes with a free download!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


I woke up at 4:37 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. So. Here I sit tickling the keyboard in the middle of the night, so to speak. Tonight I'm writing my blog, which happens from time to time at these wee hours. However, it's not so uncommon for me being up this early, hammering away on one of my books. I'm kind of in between at the moment on those. My latest book “Time Traveler – The Oddities and Adventures of a Key West Bar Tender”, is doing very well, at the moment (more on that shortly) I'm thrilled to say! At the moment I'm in the research stage for the sequel and the other two books I'm working on are not running with a priority. So, in these wee hours this morning, it's the blog which gets the attention.

Someone asked me directly this year how the name Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) fits in with the Parrot Heads and Trop Rockers annual festival every year in Key West. I've been living in Key West for nearly ten years, at this stage, and to be frank, I haven't a clue. The fact is, at one point or another someone explained it to me and, as confession is good for the soul, I have to admit, I forgot the reason it was chosen?

So, this year's MOTM has ended and we survived. It was a fun event too! For those who are not familiar, the actual MOTM event itself is put on by an organization called Parrot Heads in Paradise, and they hold the event at The Casa Marina, here in Key West. However, the five-day event always spills over and the rest of the town is immersed in music, tied to the event almost by proxy, if not officially.

As for myself, I've never been to the official event. There's too much going on all around town! What I can say is that at the event, vendors have booths, tables, or kiosks set up to sell related merchandise by people who sign up to do so. They also have a blood drive, which is very much appreciated! In addition, there are other charitable events, as well as a large concert stage.

It must be said that Parrot Head and Trop Rock organizations focus on doing charitable work as their mainstay. “Party With a Purpose” is their creed and on the whole, we're talking about a very good group of human beings!

With ourselves, The Shanty Hounds were very busy! We had our regular gigs, plus a bunch of vignette gigs all around town. The vignette gigs are usually anything from a few songs to a short time limit. Most run 15 – 20 minutes. They are non-paying gigs, with one exception, and it's more of a point where you can meet both new and old friends.

Having time to talk to fellow musicians is a rare commodity, other than “Hi how are you? I love your new song”. So being able to have extended conversations, is something to appreciate!

The first of these for us was The Pit Stop Party Too held at Boondock's, up 28 miles from Key West on Ramrod Key and hosted by The Southernmost Coconut Castaways. It was run very, very well actually utilizing two stages, so the turnaround was smooth and quick! Kudos to Marc and Tammy Hollander and Steve Tolliver! Great event! Thank you so much!

At the house, The Conch Rock Shanty, we threw a spontaneous bash, spur of the moment. What a fun evening!

One of our favorite vignette gigs is Mike Miller's at Captain Tony's! Captain Tony's is one of the best bars in the world, to start off with and playing there is always an experience! In years passed, I used to do a weekly gig there with my buddy Bobby D. Always great times and the damnedest things would happen there, virtually every gig! As always, Dani and I, performing as The Shanty Hounds had a fabulous time! Thank you Mike!!!

On Tuesday there was the Beachfront Radio event at Smokin' Tuna. Dani Hoy and I, a.k.a The Shanty Hounds, opened up the event for them. Problem was, there was no sound man to set up the PA! What did we do? Hell! We played acoustically until he got there! It was quick, only three songs and he arrived and had us plugged in! However, doing it acoustically was actually quite an intimate experience! I loved it!

The beachfront Radio event turned into a major event of the week! The place was packed and all sorts of great players were featured throughout the day!

For me, one of the highlights was when Andy Forsyth, of Beachfront Radio, Eric Babin, of Radio Trop Rock, and Danny Lynn, of Tiki Man Radio all hung out together. This is what it's all about! Everyone helps everyone in the pursuit of advancing the genre together! I held an event last year with this as the main objective. Every Trop radio station wanted to be part of it, except one (Radio A1A). It was so encouraging last year when the broadcast went out on so many stations, all working together for the advancement of Trop Rock! Every station involved was working in harmony with each other and this year it was great to see the camaraderie still intact!


Wednesday evening at The Bull, hosted by the Atlanta Parrot Head Club was it's usual fun, wild time! We bumped into our dear friend Fred Wunder, as well as Art and Darleen Hesson, whom we also saw earlier at the Beachfront Radio party!

There was a new event this year which hosted the vignette style gigs and that was Brian Fields and Michelle Tafoya's showcase at the brand new Tiki House, right next to Captain Tony's on Greene Street. The arrangement also included The Tiki Man, Danny Lynn and Heather Moss O'Shields of broadcasting the event live on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday! Brian and Michelle wisely had a timed schedule, so if a performer was playing at 2:00pm Thursday, they could have their aunt in Seattle, Washington listen live. How cool is that? Additionally, consider that the Tiki House is a small venue. The fact that they were able to broadcast their event world-wide via tiki man radio, is extraordinary!

Brian Fields is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran, with some of his time in the Air Force comprised of overseeing cargo planes being loaded. So he has an extensive background in the logistics of things. In the light that organizing musicians can be like herding wet cats, Brian and Michelle made it look easy! Everything went like clockwork. First time too. Amazing!

Additionally, The Tiki House offered the performers a free drink, as well as a gift certificate to their other establishment, Mary Ellen's, on Applerouth Ln. A real class act! Who else does that? It's a brand new establishment and we all wish them all the best. Apparently, things are underway for next year's MOTM with a continuation of Brian and Michelle, working again hand and hand with Danny and Heather of

In addition, Gary Ek of 104.9 The X out of Key West joined Danny Lynn in broadcasting the event together, just as they had a year earlier at my event! Fabulous!

The new act that impressed me the most was the combination of Danny Rosado and Boomer Blake. I met Danny a couple of months ago while we were hurricane refugees, just outside of Chattanooga. Danny and his girlfriend Patricia had come up from Alabama to the house concert we were playing. At that event, Danny and I played for something like three hours! We had a great time!

I met Boomer here in Key West the night before they played. Boomer is from New Jersey and was here with his wife Lori. I never found out how Boomer, from New Jersey and Danny, from Alabama, hooked up, but it's something to look into. On their original set on Wednesday, they were tight as a drum.

One of the things that attracted me to Trop Rock nine years ago, was what I saw as an open playing field. Growing up I had a lot of exposure to Calypso, Exotica, and Bossa Nova. So the Tropical thing worked for me easily. The thing I found with the Trop Rock genre was that there were so many open, unexplored fields available!

The first thing I noticed was that the singer/songwriter area of Trop Rock was saturated. Not only saturated but saturated with seriously good songwriters! I'm not one to re-invent the wheel and what's the point of rolling down the same highway as everyone else? I've been a Nashville-published songwriter since 2000. Doing the singer/songwriter thing is one of my fortes. So, I thought that while it's a good avenue for me to travel, it's something that I would do within the context of my catalog and not focus my entire attention in that direction.

Within my catalog, I've been working with a lot of different genres, all under the Trop Rock umbrella. Afro-Cuban (The Beach!!!!), Jazz (Beautiful Day), Funk (Cajun's Got A Coconut), Southern Rock ( My Little Island Town), Blues (Dildo Key), Brazilian (Raise My Glass To The Upper 48), Bahamian (Key West Blues), Ballads (Yeah, A Harbor)... This is what I saw available and more!

One area that I went after was energy. Bear in mind that some songs need energy, and others not. I wasn't finding a lot of drive in Trop Rock, so I thought that was worth exploring.

This is one of the things that Blake and Rosado (they don't have a name yet.. I just did it alphabetically) did that captured my attention. They have energy and passion, plus their songwriting was first rate! Keep your eyes out for Blake and Rosado! They are the real deal! Tight, good harmonies, plus quality songs. What more could you ask for?

One of the surprises of the gig was Loren Davidson. Loren's always been a great songwriter, however his delivery his songs was never his forte. He's been working on it however and had the entire place singing along with him! Great to see!

Patricia Schafer, a.k.a. Tricialicious interviewed The Shanty Hounds, Dani Hoy and myself, on Greene Street during the festivities as well! Thank you Tricialicious!!!

On Thursday night, Dani Hoy, Danny Lynn, Heather Moss O'Shields, Danny Rosado, Tricialicious, Boomer Blake, Lori Connolly, Loren Davidson, Joanne and John Fisher (JoJo Fish) all headed over to Louie's Backyard. We met up with Victor Dodson Fliegler, who makes the pilgrimage every MOTM.

For those who are not familiar with Louie's, it's a restaurant/bar, pretty much all by itself, not close to any other commercial restaurant. It's essentially in a neighborhood, and on the water. There is a back bar overlooking the Atlantic Ocean/ Straights of Florida called The Afterdeck, which is where we went.

A fabulous evening was had by all, all with the backdrop of a eighty degree evening with a full moon illuminating the water and the deck itself. About half way through our stay there Boomer and Dani stepped into the water at Dog Beach, a tiny beach which is virtually attached to Louie's. Boomer came back almost as though he went through an epiphany! It's amazing how no matter where you live, there can be things you take for granted, over time. Seeing Boomer's wide eyes, having only went in up to his shins, brought back that realization. We need these things to bring us back to terra firma.... or is it Aqua-Liquid? HA HA! Thanks Boomer!

That evening was the culmination of the MOTM event over at The Casa Marina, several hundred yards up the coast from Louie's. As I mentioned, I have never been to the official event there and this year was no exception. I can't comment on the musical performances there. I did hear afterwords that Devon Allman was playing there. It struck me a little odd as Devon Allman is not a Trop artist in the least. On the other hand, maybe it was a good thing to add some additional color and a twist to the event? I'd be curious to hear how the audience received Devon?

Another person I met for the first time was Tall Paul Bobal at the Green Parrot. It was good to meet him after all these years!

A funny thing happened! I've mentioned in the past that I co-own The Cork and Stogie at 1218 Duval St. Well, one evening there I was wearing my “Bar owner hat”, so to speak, and I became engaged in conversation with a patron named Mark. Mark was from Nevada and was in town with his wife Robin. We had a fun conversation talking about this and that, and had a good amount of laughs to boot. A good evening for all and a couple that fit right in with us!

Well the following day Dani and I were playing a gig at Willie T's and up walk Mark and Robin with their jaws ajar! “We didn't know you played music!!!”

I guess the subject never came up the previous night and here we were rocking the casba! They were in shock! On the flip side, they had a blast and we gained our biggest fans of the last two weeks of their three week stay, which as I write this blog, they are off to Las Vegas today!

It was so funny as they would appear at all of our gigs! They called themselves our stalkers and we thought it was the funniest thing. These folks are visitors, not tourists and we love having them as our stalkers!!!

Bon Voyage Mark and Robin, see you next visit!

MOTM was a load of fun for us!

On the Monday after MOTM we had another fabulous Key West style BBQ! For this I put an open invitation out on Facebook for anyone to stop by! What a fabulous evening and a great way to close out this year's MOTM!

Reviews of Time Traveler, The oddities and Adventures of a Key West Bar Tender

The new book is doing amazingly well!!! I've sold a bunch at gigs, and especially through Amazon, in both paperback and download! To this date, my promotions have largely been on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and here on the blog. Therefor, those buying it are mostly people I know through Trop Rock music! Thank you!!!

I did send an invitation to the two Trop Rock publications saying that if they thought that a Trop Rock artist writing a book would be a good story for their readers, I'd be happy to do whatever they liked. While neither replied to my query, I'm happy to say that their readers are buying and reviewing the book, for which I extend again, my deepest appreciation! As of this moment, the book has twelve five-star ratings. Thank you to all who have made the effort to review Time Traveler! Here's some of what has been said:

October 7, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a great story. I could not put this book down. The characters are written so well that I feel as if I know some of them. The historical perspective is wonderful and well researched. The descriptions of Key West are spot on. I certainly hope this is only the beginning of a great new series.

 Chris O'Reilly I can't stop reading it !!!! Every night I am in bed an hour early with the light on burning Bobby's eyeballs because I just have to see what happens next  Well done Sir !!! Write more cause I will certainly be sad when this adventure ends   promise to write another one ?

September 28, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just what I had hoped for, another great read by Key West Chris

October 12, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Clever story and a fun read. Chris paints a wonderful picture of old Key West and beyond as we follow Mark Straight’s curious adventure. Time spent reading books by Key West Chris is time well spent.

November 7, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the book. A fun tour of Key West in the past and the present. I look forward to more adventures.

October 14, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I rarely write reviews, but I had to make an exception this time. I just loved this book. I've always been fascinated with time travel and loved the Outlander series. I've been to Key West many times and have frequented some of the places mentioned in the book and felt like I was with Mark as he explored it in different time periods. This told the tale of living in Key West and the history of the town and the people he met in the past. My husband rarely reads, but I think I can convince him to read this one. I can't wait for the next book in the series. Way to go Chris! Hope to see you in Key West in November so I can thank you in person for writing such a good book.

October 27, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
This should be the beginning of a great series as Chris Rehm intriguingly brings history to life. This was well researched and presented in a way that brings you on an “..adventure of several lifetimes.” To get even more out of this awesome read, potential readers could study up on Earnest Hemingway’s life along with the Keys history. I suggest this pre-study, as it will take you deeper into the meaningful characters and timelines so perfectly portrayed. If you find yourself in modern time Key West, grab a pint at The Cork and Stogie and start your own adventure! Cheers!

October 13, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Have you ever read a book that you would force yourself to put down sometimes because you didn't want it to end ? This is THAT book !! This story sucked me in and I couldn't wait to get back to it so that I could discover what was going to happen next . Chris Rehm writes this so well you are able to feel as if you are standing right there in the story with these characters, seeing what they are seeing and sharing their experiences with them. My only hope is this becomes a series so this fun journey can continue !

September 28, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great fun book ! A good easy fun read

Marielle Hemschot Just finished reading Chris’s book, it was really great, thoroughly enjoyed it! Can’t wait for the next adventure of Mark Straight to be published, thanks for a good read Chris!

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