Throw Back Shell Beach Party Artist of the week
Our eighth artist is Donny Brewer. Donny Brewer and the Dock Rockers will be on stage Friday, September 15hth from 7PM to 10PM.
Donny Brewer is a Central Texas born and bred multi-instrumentalist with over 30 years’ experience entertaining crowds in all genres in all parts of the world. Though he has been writing and recording Trop Rock all his life, he was not discovered until 2012 after releasing his first of five beach and escapism themed albums, Live Like Jimmy Buffett. He’s since won 23 Trop Rock Music Association awards for his music including Entertainer of The Year 5 years running. He’s now on tour full time living in a Winnebago with his wife Michelle playing everything from solo house concerts to large festival shows with his 7-piece band the Dock Rockers, combining Trop Rock with all his earlier blues, rock, country and R&B influences.
Donny continues to write and record new material while on the road and now hosts events, trips and festivals, including the annual Karavan to Keys and Mexico Meltdown among others. Not to mention the cruises and trips he joins other Trop Rockers on.
Now working on his 6th album, he says this was the one thing he discovered:
“This is who I’ve been all along. Writing and recording island, trop rock, or whatever you wanna call it is natural for me. It’s easy. With other music, I always felt like I could’ve written it better, or done a better production or sang it better. I was never quite happy with it, ya know. With this music it’s like gravy. I hardly ever do a second vocal take. And it’s like there’s no rules. If I wanna throw in a goofy percussion part or change styles I can do that. It’s my music. It makes me happy. It makes me feel good. And hopefully it’ll do that for other folks too. That would just be the icing on the cake…or the…lime on the margarita, or something!”
– Donny Brewer
His web page is: https://donnybrewer.com/
His Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/donnybrewertx
A couple of his songs for your enjoyment
A Little More Rum https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYAUHEqctDE
Skinny Beer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIW9WKiFnxM
Our seventh artist is The Boat Drunks. The Boat Drunks will be on stage Saturday, September 16th from 7PM to 10PM.
From Champaign, Illinois and now celebrating their 22nd year as a touring band and still going strong, The Boat Drunks have performed from coast to coast with nearly every member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band and have opened shows for Jimmy Buffett, The Beach Boys and Little Feat among many others. Other notable shows include playing outside of Wrigley Field in July 2011 prior to a Cubs-White Sox game, performing in 2015 at a Stanley Cup party for Coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks, playing “Margaritaville” Theme Nights for the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium from 2016-22, for the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, at the United Center for the Chicago Blackhawks and for many other Margaritaville-sponsored events.
Their set includes many fan-favorite Buffett hits, original music from their five studio albums and other covers ranging from Little Feat to Johnny Cash to The Beatles and more. The Boat Drunks perform at many “Parrot Head” fundraising festivals across the country and their originals have been heard on Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville, Sirius/XM Channel 24 as well as many other “trop-rock” radio stations and podcasts. The band has been voted the Trop Rock Band of the Year seven times (most recently in 2022) by the Trop Rock Music Association ‘s members. Additionally, the members of Trop Rockin’ Magazine voted the band as Band of the Year in 2019 for the second consecutive year.
In 1999, band co-founders Michael Miller and Jake Tatar (since-retired) left Southern Cross to start a Buffett tribute band. Initially, they played as a two-piece called Captain and the Kid before deciding to turn it into a full band. Tatar came up with the idea for the name change. The Boat Drunks came about their name as an homage to Buffett’s 1979 song “Boat Drinks” — not as an adjective for the seven-member ensemble.
“It was kind of a dog whistle that we thought Buffett fans would get,” Miller said. “Jake thought it would be a way to signal to Buffett fans out there that these guys get it. After 15 years of sweat equity, it’s gotten to be a pretty well-known name amongst Parrot Heads.”
Our sixth artist is Jerry Diaz. Jerry & Hanna’s Reef will be on stage Saturday, September 16th from 3PM to 6PM. Your tropical getaway is waiting. And Jerry Diaz is your tour guide. He’ll be ready to serve up a frosty margarita with a twist of Texas Beach Music on the side. All you have to do is let yourself go amigo. A life-long resident of Southeast Texas, Jerry Diaz has been performing live music along the Gulf Coast since 1992. Based in the Beaumont, Texas area, Diaz knows the beach bars from Key West to South Padre Island very well. Personal experiences from a life spent in Crystal Beach and New Orleans, along with tales handed down from sailors, fishermen, and beach bums combine to give Diaz a first-hand look into a world of “real life” escapism.
Influenced by both the Beach Boys and Jerry Jeff Walker while in his teens, Diaz picked up a guitar and set out to entertain folks with his favorite cover tunes. Somewhere along the way, he discovered the music of Jimmy Buffett as well. But in the early 90’s, another thing happened. He discovered that he could actually write his own songs that reflected the “beach feel”, but with a Texas perspective. In 1996, while a member of the band “Key West”, Diaz’s first foray into recorded music was released to the public. All ten original songs from Key West’s first album were penned by Diaz and enjoyed significant regional success. Diaz toured regionally with Key West until 2002, then set out on his own journey as front man for his own band, “Jerry Diaz & Hanna’s Reef”.
Today, Jerry Diaz has 5 albums under his belt, and is working on a 6th. The line-up for the band has changed over the years but has always featured the steel drum playing of virtuoso Mark Mireles. The full band set-up features an exciting rhythm section, steel drums, and Diaz on acoustic guitar. Diaz also performs solo on guitar for songwriter events, and a smaller version of the band is available as well. A live show from Jerry Diaz & Hanna’s Reef today will feature a healthy dose of original tunes and can be a complete “originals” show. But the band also covers Buffett (a tribute version is available), Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, the Beach Boys, and other contemporary artists. Diaz’s music is often called “Trop-Rock”, and he is a leading influence in that burgeoning genre. In fact, due in large part to his involvement as one of the earliest purveyors of the genre, and his continued nurturing of up-and-coming Trop Rock artists, he is often referred to affectionately as the “Godfather of Trop Rock.”
And yes, Parrot Heads, Diaz is indeed the founder of the annual event, “Meeting of the Minds”. He has been featured in several documentaries, news articles, and books on the subject. Despite the storied background of his career in music, Diaz continues to push forward as one of the most exciting, and “in- demand” performers in Trop Rock music today. Attend a live show, and you’ll be inspired by Texas Beach Music yourself!
Our fifth artist is Tom and Michelle Becker. The duo known as Latitude will be on stage Thursday, September 14th from 7PM to 10PM.
Michelle was born and raised just outside of Boston, the 7-time TRMA National Female Vocalist of the Year has enjoyed a diverse career in the studio and on the stage.
Tom was born in New Jersey and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Tom is a former member of Legendary Folk Group, The New Christy Minstrels — the group that launched the careers of John Denver and Kenny Rogers.
Performing together since 1996, they have performed in 40 states (+ Puerto Rico & USVI), Europe and the Caribbean, with their refreshing, upbeat approach to 6-decades of popular music.
In 1996, Tom and Michelle were burned out songwriters who left their budding careers in Nashville, and headed to Carolina Coast for the summer, performing as the house band at a local resort. That “summer job” changed their lives.
Soon, their songwriting began to reflect their new laidback lifestyle, and their newfound dilemma — They didn’t want to go back to Nashville. They wanted to keep their toes in the sand. But their careers were in Nashville. And it seemed their time on the beach was coming to an end.
Then, their music went viral. People were connecting with their songs. It seems, you either live at the beach, or wish you lived at the beach. Tom and Michelle had “written their way” into the life they had dreamed of.
Today, the duo tours worldwide, while dividing their time between homes in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and Punta Gorda, Florida.
In recent years, the pair has returned to their roots with a popular concert series dedicated to their musical mentors.
Our club is very fortunate to have Tom and Michelle as members. They have won numerous awards:
5-Time Trop Rock Music Awards National Duo of the Year.
7-Time Trop Rock Music Awards Female Vocalist of the Year.
They have been selected to Perform at the National Jimmy Buffet Parrot Head Convention in Key West NINE times.
Our forth artist is The SMS Band featuring Steve Hopper, Scott Nickerson and Matt Kelley. The SMS band will be on stage Friday, September 15th from 3PM to 6 PM. Steve Hopper long time Trop Rock Artist and 5-time TRMA nominated, joined forces with Scott Nickerson in 2018 to perform duo shows. Scott Nickerson, who needs no introductions, is the founder of the original Parrott Head Club and co- founder of the first Buffett tribute band A1A. Matt Kelley a member of Steve’s TRMA nominated band The Wolf Island Band began performing with Scott and Steve in trio shows in 2021. As a trio they have performed for MOTM in 2022, Parrott Head Rendezvous in Panama City Beach twice, Fayetteville AR Beach House On The Hill, and Tulsa Ok Trop Rock River Phlock. They are becoming the highly sought after Trop Rock band!
Our third artist is Paul Grimshaw. The Paul Grimshaw Band will be on stage Friday, September 15th from 11AM to 2PM. Paul and his band have played music for locals and thousands of visitors to the Grand Strand over the last 20 years. A regular at Margaritaville, Hard Rock Café, the House of Blues, Dead Dog Saloon, and countless other venues speak volumes to his talent.
The music he plays covers a large spectrum, from oldies to country, to dance and trop rock music he covers it all. Paul never fails to connect with any audience. Just recently Paul purchased an RV and taken his talents on the road. He has recently made appearances in Key West and Fernandina Beach. Paul has been a huge supporter and a member of the Coast of Carolina Parrot Head Club for years.
Our second artist is Aubrey Wollett. Aubrey will be on stage Saturday, September 16th from 11AM to 2PM. She is an up-and-coming artist whose country beach music is being enjoyed at many Parrot Head events around the country. I have included a link to her web page and links to several of her You Tube videos that I know that you will enjoy. Aubrey Wollett is a singer-songwriter originally from the Tampa Bay area where she started playing open mics in her hometown Dunedin, FL at 16. Wollett then graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, TN where she earned a music business degree and started out working on the business side of the industry. After a few years, Wollett made the leap to focus on her music career independently. Wollett has released 3 EP’s, It’s a Secret, Saltwater Gypsy, Beach Vibes, and is currently releasing singles from her next EP “Honest” which is now available. Wollett’s song “Saltwater Gypsy” premiered on CMT and The Country Network, has Spotify plays with half a million streams. She has opened up for many artists such as Hunter Hayes, Billy Currington, Wynonna Judd, Scotty McCreery, and even Jay Leno on his comedy tour in 2019. Wollett has made waves in the Trop Rock Music scene with Female Artist Nominations and the On The Horizon Award. You can catch her playing many shows in the Tampa Bay area and all over the southeast!
Two of her You Tube videos:
Better on a Beach
Boots on the Beach
Our first artist is Lew Holton, one of our club musicians, on stage Thursday, September 14th from 3PM to 6PM. Lew Holton began playing guitar at age 5, taking guitar lessons from Arthur Smith—the guy who wrote “Guitar Boogey” and “Dueling Banjos.” Back in the day, Arthur Smith also hosted a syndicated TV show out of Charlotte, NC, and at the end of the first year of lessons, Lew appeared on the Arthur Smith television show. He played guitar and sang “Hey, Good Lookin’.” At age 10, Lew began playing drums in the school band. While still playing guitar for family and friends, Lew first found himself being paid to perform music as a…drummer. While in high school, he began playing drums with bands out of Charlotte, bands that today are referred to as “beach music bands,” including The Rivieras and The Fabulous Plaids. During that time, he began to first play here along the Grand Strand, as well as throughout the southeast. His musical career was interrupted by a tour of exotic Southeast Asia locations from 1968-1970, hosted by the United States Marine Corps. Afterwards, Lew resumed playing with The Plaids. By the mid-70s, music was relegated to a sideline undertaking. He turned his attention back to the guitar and began to perform part-time as a solo act. And so, it has been for nearly 40 years. From Florida to New York, but mostly along the Grand Strand, Lew has become a musical fixture in the Carolinas, performing “the songs you know; the songs you sing along with; the songs you dance to.” Along the way, he recorded six albums of original music—available wherever you shop for music online—and after nearly 60 years as a professional performer of music, he still loves every opportunity to take the stage and perform some tunes.
Artist of the week written by Bernie Williams