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Friday, March 30, 2018

"This Is Key West Calling" - How did the name come about?










This Is Key West Calling's name is a nostalgic, tongue-in-cheek, whimsical throw back, to the 1940's. The name harks back to radio intros from World War II news reports, the most popular being from London, both prior to, and after American involvement. Back then the announcer starting the radio broadcast off with “This is London Calling”, amid the static that went along with 1940's am radio. Additionally, radio broadcasts to and from remote locations during the era often started out with a similar opening announcement.

“This is Key West Calling” is a radio event, so it's apropos! We'll get to that in a moment, but the stage needs to be set properly for the proper showcasing.

It wasn't all that long ago that Key West itself was a remote outpost. In the grand scheme of things, the 110+ mile Overseas Highway has only existed since after the 1935 hurricane wiped out the Overseas Railroad and the bridges were converted to road use. However, even then, one was tempting fate traversing the bridge, as it was so narrow that trucks passing each other often lost their mirrors. This was the case until 1980, when the first new bridge, Bahia Honda, was built, followed by all the rest.


With the stage set of having Key West being a remote outpost,“This is Key West Calling” was adapted with the joint idea that the event would include Trop Rock radio stations.



The main purpose of this is to encourage the growth of the Trop Rock music genre. That is the goal, first and foremost.

 We currently have six Trop Rock radio stations working together, broadcasting the event on each of their stations live simultaneously. In addition the event is now recognized by the TRMA.



The event is still evolving so I will post updates as they develop. The music acts have yet to be determined.

For additional information, check out this blog from earlier this week:

http://keywestmusic.blogspot.com/2018/03/this-is-key-west-calling.html



"This Is Key West Calling" will be held on MOTM week, Sunday, November 4th, 2018



Thanks for your interest!

“Key West Chris” Rehm




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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!

19 Five-Star ratings!









Also, my first book, Bar Stories, is now available in paperback!


Available on Amazon! 18 Five-Star ratings!






Additionally. my music can be found here on iTunes!









Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sailing off of Key West - It's an inspiration!




Some of my songs, such as Liveaboard, Sailing, Garrison Bight, Life On My Terms, Dockside Bar, Yeah, A Harbor, Yesterday Today and Tomorrow, Wahoo Sunrise, to name a few, are songs of mine about being out on the water. Be it sailing, fishing, living, hanging out in a bar dockside, it all revolves around the lifestyle of being in and around the water.

I've always lived in close proximity to the water. There's just no way I could live in a place like, say Kansas for an extended period of time. I've always loved being by the sea.

For the last ten years, I've lived on an island which is well over one-hundred miles out to sea, Key West. I try to get out on the water whenever I can! After all, that's what Key West IS! There is nothing like being out on the water!

It amazes me that so many people come here and don't get out on the water! I have a friend who bought a house here and over several years of coming here as a vacation, then several more as a homeowner, never got out on the water! Once she did she said, “How did I not do this before?”. She's addicted to it now!



A sunset sail in Key West lasts about two hours...


We are very fortunate and have been out on boats of friends of ours many times over the years. Yesterday we were out with our friends Tadd and Lindsay, aboard their 48' Catamaran, Makara! Thank you Tadd and Lindsay! Makara is available for charter! Contact them for April availability! The boat will be leaving until December, however, you can certainly book in advance!

Contact here: https://www.facebook.com/worldsailingadventures/ 

There was a strong thirteen-knot wind with gusts to twenty. The seas were rough and the water was the most amazing shade of green.... Here it is! ENJOY vicariously!

It's no wonder the sea inspires such inspiration for so much of my music!


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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!

19 Five-Star ratings!









Also, my first book, Bar Stories, is now available in paperback!


Available on Amazon! 18 Five-Star ratings!






Naturally, if you liked today's blog, get the music here at iTunes!







Saturday, March 24, 2018

“This Is Key West Calling" an MOTM week event!





What is “This is Key West Calling” anyway? “This Is Key West Calling” is an MOTM week event, focusing on live radio with live music performances and interviews with Trop Rock artists.

The event itself will run on MOTM week, Sunday, November 4th, 2018 from 11 am to 4 pm at Sunset Tiki here in Key West. The main purpose of this is to encourage the growth of the Trop Rock music genre. That is the goal first and foremost. Having a lot of fun is the modus-oparendi of making it happen!!!



How will this be done? To start with, we currently have six Trop Rock radio stations working together, broadcasting the event on each of their stations, live simultaneously. Additionally, Digital Publishing will be running a live video stream! To our knowledge, there have never been six radio stations working together on the same broadcast. Because of this, we will have several press releases throughout the year prior to the event.

The idea came about, interestingly enough, through of all things, the beer industry! In 1980 there were about 200 breweries in the United States. Today there are over 6000, the vast majority of which came about in the last ten years. As a beer enthusiast for over four decades and a bar owner, I saw that the new micro-brew/craft was approaching their industry in both A ) doing something they were completely unconscious of and B ) doing a marketing strategy that was entirely revolutionary.



What was happening was the reps from say three different breweries, let's call them 1, 2, and 3, would meet at a bar and start talking about their favorite beers. Then, by happenstance and the typical atmosphere in bars in general, they would start talking beer with the other patrons of the bar. Next thing you know, the rep from brewery 1 is telling the patrons what a fabulous beer brewery 3 has, while brewery 2 rep is telling someone else what a great beer brewery 1 has. This wasn't by design. This was just the enthusiasm and passion they had for the product itself. This wasn't Bud and Miller beating themselves over the head. This was an industry working together and what it did was raise the industry as a whole. The consumer loved the product and the attitude. The result has been remarkable!



With that in mind, the event “This Is Key West Calling” a similar approach, is being taken. In this case, it's Trop Rock radio stations all working together in the spirit of growth of the Trop Rock genre.

We currently have six Trop Rock stations on board who will be carrying the event live, along with the live video feed from Digital Publishing! The Shore Radio will also have a video feed, possibly tied in with Digital Publishing. Stations that can't be there will broadcast the feed live! In addition, there will be several other stations/shows that will be associate endorsers who cannot broadcast the event live, however, they will be backing “This Is Key West Calling” with interviews leading up to the event, as well as re-broadcasting interviews and performances in the weeks and months following the event.





Thus far, the format has not entirely been settled on. We would like to have known Trop Rock musical acts and possibly up and comings. However, the latter has yet to be decided, as we hope to have interviews as well. At this point, we haven't reached out to the Trop Rock musical artist community. Having said that, it's a marvelous opportunity for any artist to play!  They would be broadcast on not one, but six stations live! Plus, interviews leading up to the event, and subsequent re-broadcasts on both the six stations carrying the event and the associate endorsing stations, not forgetting the Digital Publishing video! It's a marvelous opportunity!

The stations on board at this time are Tiki Man Radio, Radio Trop Rock, 104.9 The X, The Shore, The Tiki Pod Radio, and Beach Bar Radio.

Associate Endorsing stations/shows are Island Time Radio, Songwriters Island, and Beachfront Radio!

The choice of stations has been easy. The thing about Trop Rock is that the entire attitude promotes good tidings and a positive outlook on life, which all of the above do exceptionally well! If I have missed a station that fits into this category, please let me know! We'd be happy to have them aboard!
Mind you, we don't want a station who plays poorly recorded material, or gives the genre a black eye from time to time. However, as I say, any station who falls into the true Trop Rock ethics, quality music, and a beach attitude, we'd love to have them join us!

Time and Location:

“This Is Key West Calling” will be held at the stunning Sunset Tiki Bar at The Galleon Resort 619 Front St. The event will be held on Sunday, November 4th, 2018 from 11 am – 4 pm.




The first press release for “This Is Key West Calling” is expected in early April. Updates will be posted on Facebook as well as here.

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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!

What people are saying about Time Traveler:

By Renn Ho'Aloha Loren March 22, 2018


Key West Chris Rehm is the epitome of the town which he so obviously loves and knows so well.
Rehm is also a published songwriter and singer of songs.

On any given day or evening he can be seen somewhere around Key West performing with his partner singer-songwriter Dani Hoy in their band The Shanty Hounds, in addition to being an author and a bar owner. Moreover, his knowledge and love of his tropical island village are significant highlights of this highly entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking book.

As a friend, I am doubly surprised to feel that I am reading the work of a classic author and not someone I know so well. However, that is Chris's talent.

The characters are alluring and well-developed -- one gets to feel like Mark Straight, Glades, and Blackheart are friends that one has known for years.

The descriptions and informative narrative asides paint such vividly detailed and enlightening pictures that one is transported to the many street scenes, clubs, and sights of Key West past and present. There is a strong sense of the effects of the passage of time and readers will wistfully imagine the lives of the hamlet's previous inhabitants while being curious as to where the protagonist will end up next. Where does it all lead? Who is this Arthur character and why does he know so much about time travel? How will Mark manage his temporally-challenged relationship with Glades? Rehm even draws Hemmingway into the story in such a way that one can feel the man's presence.

As educational as it is entertaining, Time Traveler is a compelling read for anyone who is curious about,plus, has a love for or a history with Key West.

Pick up a copy and then try to put it down!  











Saturday, March 17, 2018

Story Behind The Song: Willie Nelson / Back In Texas, Back In Luck




This is a funny song in several ways, some funny as in a joke, and also funny as being different. To begin with, it has two titles. The first title was “Willie Nelson”. The second title was “Back In Texas, Back In Luck”. To this day I'll use either!

I wrote the song immediately after Willie's bus was pulled over on I – 10, just outside of Lafayette, Louisiana in 2006 and everyone on the bus was taken in. This was the first of several times this has happened to Willie.

Notes on the song:

  1. Bio-Diesel in the first verse refers to Willie's involvement in Bio-Diesel fuel. Because of this, he obviously runs his tour bus on it and the first line of the song says “Bio-Diesel she's a-hummin'”
  2. Luck: Luck refers to the town Luck, Texas where Willie lives and was heading back to when they were pulled over. I had a lot of fun with this in the lyrical content of the song.
  3. In writing the song, I made a concentrated effort to write it in one of many of Willie's styles. This being a ballad, it's more along the lines of a cerebral style chord progression and melody that Willie is known for. Having said that, while it's influenced and attempted to be in his style, the chord progression and melody were not taken from any of his songs, nor were any of the lyrics.
  4. This song is a salute to an American treasure and icon. While it has tong-in-cheek subtle humor within it, the song is a tribute to a very special individual who has given his art to all of us for close to 60 years. I love Willie Nelson!









Back in Texas, Back in Luck/Willie Nelson
1

I - 10 BIO-DIESEL SHE'S A-HUMMIN'

ROLL ACROSS THAT STATE OF LOUISIANNA

TOUR BUS, SHE'S A-ROLLIN', FARM AID, SHE'S A-COMMIN'

IN JUST ABOUT TWO WEEKS TIME

2
OUTA LUCK, BUT HEADIN' BACK HOME

COMMERCIAL CHECK ON A LATE SUMMER DAY

LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANNA

LOOKS LIKE WE COULD BE HERE TO STAY

(coda)

THEY SAID IT WAS BURNIN' NOW THE WHEELS, THEY'RE NOT TURNIN'

AND I STARTED TO YEARN FOR THAT SWEET TEXAS SAGE

DIESEL'S SHUT DOWN AND WE'VE ALL GOTTEN OUT

THE RIDE IS OVER TODAY

3

SOMEHOW THEY LET US GO WITH LITTLE MORE THAN A WARNING

BACK ON THE ROAD LATER THAT DAY

NOW IT'S OVER AND ALL BUT FORGOTTEN

BACK IN TEXAS, BACK IN LUCK

(coda)

THEY SAID IT WAS BURNIN' NOW THE WHEELS, THEY'RE NOT TURNIN'

AND I STARTED TO PINE FOR THAT SWEET TEXAS SAGE

DIESEL'S BACK RUNNING AND WE'RE ALL HEADED ON

WE'RE BACK IN TEXAS, BACK IN LUCK

WE'RE BACK IN TEXAS, BACK IN LUCK

WE'RE BACK IN TEXAS, BACK IN LUCK


9/19/2006 by Christopher Rehm - BMI


Here's a video of the song made when I first moved to Key West in 2008. Interestingly enough, it was recorded on July 4, 2008. Fitting, as Willie is a true American treasure!







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!

What people are saying about Time Traveler:

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





Also my latest single release "Yeah, A Harbor" available on iTunes! 

Only $.99!!! 












Friday, February 2, 2018

Setlists - We're not canned





The Shanty Hounds very seldom uses a set list. When we do it's for an organized event, such as The Ramble that we had the honor of playing on New Year's Eve, here in Key West. In that event, we played with the incredible Ramble Band and had rehearsed our songs prior to the event. There it was necessary to have a set list.

With The Shanty Hounds in our normal situations, we have other avenues and other options. We're not canned. To get the ball rolling we have two or three specific songs that we'll almost always start with as an opening number. Think of it as the primer to jump-start the gig. The songs are very different, so while we set up the sound system, we're also getting a feel for the vibe of the place and crowd. One day we'll start with one, tomorrow it may be another.

This isn't something overly intellectual and it's not something we spend time on. There's really no science to it all. It's just plain old seat of the pants.



These opening songs have a kick to them, albeit as aforementioned, completely different styles and moods. The point here is, a band/performer needs to alert the crowd, particularly in a bar, that there's live music starting. After all, the establishment is paying for live music and the introduction song is what states that. At the same time, it's vitally important to be able to augment the atmosphere that already exists, not attempting to change it. Start off in a bar with the wrong atmosphere and by the end of the song people are calling for their checks. You don't want that!

Playing in bars is very different than playing at events, or house concerts. At those events and house concerts, you're playing for people who are there to hear the music. In bars, it's an option. The people can either listen to the music or shoot the breeze with their friends.

A vital note to musicians playing in bars:

Being a musician in a bar, you are hired for one purpose and one purpose only. Your job is a beer/wine/liquor/and food salesperson. That's your job and purpose in the eyes of those who are paying you. In a bar, that's your job. The establishment isn't paying you for your talent, per say, they are paying you to sell their product via attracting and holding a crowd. NEVER forget this.

So, falling into the vibe of the place is essential for the first song. As I say, we don't use a set list. We continue pulling songs off of our song list that fit the vibe of the crowd.



We are very fortunate in that our repertoire is extremely diversified. We play songs by Elton John, The Allman Brothers, Joni Mitchell, The Drifters, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Neville Brothers, The Stones, Kenny Chesney, Otis Reading, The Eagles, T-Bone Walker, Carly Simon, Jimmy Buffett, Little Feat... plus more, in addition to our original Trop Rock music scattered within the mix, which are likewise quite diverse from each other.

So, we have a lot of different alleys to go down. Consequently, every gig is different from the last.

We're not canned.

In our view, live music is a living organism and every performance is its own entity unto itself.

It's alive!





I recall reading an interview with Larry Coryell. For those not familiar with Larry Coryell, Larry has been both a session guitarist, as well as a marvelous artist in his own right. You've heard him on a million recordings of others, but he was the session guitarist. In the interview, Larry was talking about being asked to play on a Steely Dan tour, which would be his first time playing with them in something like twenty years. He was talking about one of the songs he recorded with them years earlier and he asked if they wanted him to play the exact same solo he did on the recording, or if he could just go with what hit him at the moment.

At the moment is what the Shanty Hounds do. Like Larry Coryell's question regarding his solo, every solo I do is different. A solo in a particular song will have elements of a theme, however, every solo is different. Have you ever heard Jerry Garcia, Chic Corea, Dickey Betts, Kieth Jarrett, Warren Haynes, Miles Davis, Derek Trucks play the same exact solo note for note? Of course not. Their music is a living organism.







I recall friends who are big fans of one well-known performer and followed his tour, said every single concert was exactly the same. The first show was exciting, but after that is was akin to hearing the same joke over and over. It was a canned concert.

I recall going to a concert that I felt was just a waste of time. On the way out there were a couple of guys behind me in the packed queue. One said to the other "That was just fantastic! It was just like the record!". I was astonished and turned around and said "That's why it sucked. If I wanted to hear the record I would have stayed home and not spent the $$$ to come, or the time driving back and forth. I was looking for something unique and this was just like canned laughter on a sitcom. It was fake, with no integrity whatsoever." The couple looked at me with a very puzzled look, however, I think I planted a seed.


With the Shanty Hounds, Dani and I have tablets on our mic stands. Predominantly what we're looking at is our song list. As I say, it's all seat of the pants. What we're assessing is what next song fits the gig. The live gig is that living organism. Does it work all the time? No. but that's the beauty and lessons learned. Yes, we're walking the high wire. Most of the time we ace it, to one degree or another. However, when we fall, inevitably we..... laugh! Because we laugh, nine times out of ten..... the crowd laughs along with us! Why? Well, one reason is that we laugh easily and our gigs are very light-hearted. The other reason is that the crowd is an integral part of our live gigs!

And no, The Shanty Hounds don't have a set list. Our gigs are a living being unto themselves.

It works for us

We're not canned.


Join Shanty Hound Nation on Facebook! 

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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!

What people are saying about Time Traveler:

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





Also my latest single release "Yeah, A Harbor" available on iTunes! 

Only $.99!!! 








Saturday, January 27, 2018

Gratitude! I get by with a LOT of help from my friends!!!

Sometimes the simplest things are the most rewarding.

A few days ago I heard from a friend whom I have always thought of as one of the absolute top Trop Rock fans in the country, if not the world. As a fan, we're talking about an icon. He's very active in his club and attends many Trop Rock events throughout the country all year.

I've always looked to him as a barometer for what the crowd's perspective is on events, artists, and so forth. I didn't have to ask him, I'd just read his Facebook posts and that filled me in. He unknowingly gave a pretty good pulse reading for me in that regard! Plus, we always manage to hook up at MOTM between one and three times, depending on my schedule. HA! HA! HA!

So, a few days ago I got a Facebook message from him. Imagine my surprise when I read this:

Hey Chris I just wanted to say that of all the Trop Rock singers, you are still my favorite of all times!”

Frankly, I was completely floored. I really was speechless and choked up at the same time. I was at a loss for words for a couple of minutes. How do I respond to that? I was completely both floored and flattered. 

Gulp.

I'll leave his name out of it, but this is just my way to say “THANK YOU!!!”

It was just such a nice, wunderful thing to say!

That made my day, week, and year so far!!!!

I get by with a LOT of help from my friends!!!!!!









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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!





Also! BRAND NEW RELEASE - “Yeah, A Harbor” $.99 at iTunes!