Music on the Bay 2014 Highlights
Music on the Bay hit it’s stride with it’s 3rd annual Trop Rock music festival held in Tampa, Florida, Feb. 27th – March 2nd. Finally, the weather cooperated and the festival proved to be 3 1/2 days of beach fun with entertainment from 18 Trop Rock artists and bands.
The venue is a festival’s dream spot. Whisky Joe’s is situated on edge of Tampa Bay with a beach, a sunset view and off the main road, making it easily accessible. Palapa tables dot the beach, fire pits warm toes, there are two stages for bands, food service and a large outdoor bar making everything convenient and easy for attendees. The host hotel is an easy walk and provides beautiful bay views plus overlooks the Music on the Bay event.
The Trop Rockin’ girls (Tammy and Millie) were there to capture the fun and bring home these memories so we can all relive the adventure!
Mr. Emcee James “Sunny Jim” White
Sunny Jim put out another awesome performance as the emcee for Music on the Bay. He had to really work his legs this year in the sand running back and forth from the main stage to the tiki stage. Sunny never lost stride or skipped a beat as he kicked off MOTB Thursday night with John Frinzi (this show was full of laughter as the two cut up and shared stories) and closed it down sharing his talent with the talented Jim Morris and the Big Bamboo Band on Sunday evening. Sunny Jim played with almost every artist and band showing us his talents for following with guitar, playing the steel drums and yes his gift with a cow bell. Sunny Jim had his time too on the tiki stage. I enjoyed every time Sunny was on stage solo or with another artist as Sunny brought the “heat” to Tampa with each performance. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a cocktail, Trop Rock, the bay than with Sunny Jim time at MOTB. We even got to tease and joke with Sunny as we faked an auction for his shoes, which he hardly wore during the event. No beach is complete without him.
Trop Rock Junkies
The Trop Rock Junkies have added some new talent with Bill Mclees who led off as their emcee and did a wonderful job. Bill held the crowd with some stories and jokes. The sound guys finally fixed their problem and The Junkies were playing as if there was never a delay. It had no affect on the performances of Steve Tolliver, Bill Mclees, Greg Sabol, Doug Wilcox, Steve Way and Allen Holland as they put out the music with a new energy. I enjoyed laughing and watching the guys have a great time playing together on stage. This band is full on talented artists and writers. Steve Tollivers song “Music on the Bay” was used in advertising this event. Their songs are songs we can relate too and sing along with. Which happened as Bill took everyone to a class in making an “O” over your head and doing that as our part in the song. Great new energy was had by all, I think I even caught Steve shaking and tapping which is a new style for him. Only thing we wanted more of was Junkie time! We met up with Steve after MOTB at his airplane hangar / rehearsal studio and wrote about his unique story here.
Jack Mosley Band
We were “Headin’ South” when the Jack Mosley Band hit the stage on Friday afternoon. By the second song, he called Albert Hinojosa to the stage to join the band on congas. Everyone jumped to their feet when Jack sang this first line “Lately I’ve been mistaken for somebody else” and we were all ready to act like a fool yelling out along with Jack “it was somebody else!” As the sun started to set, everyone gathered in the longest swaying line of dancers I’ve ever seen for one of my favorite songs, “Small Boats on Big Oceans.” Jack is one of the best Trop Rock performers because his energy pulls the crowd into the show. Showcasing his original songs, “Was I Ever That Young” brought everyone together again on the dance floor and by looking at this crowd, we’ll never grow old.
Young Rebel Goombas
All the way down from Long Island, the Young Rebel Goombas brought the Trop Island and Blues sound to Music on the Bay. Debuting new songs from their upcoming album as well as their older songs, the Goombas have a big sound. One of the few Trop Rock music groups to include a saxophone, the Goombas have a completely different vibe from all other Trop Rock bands. By the time they hit the Music on the Bay stage, the sun had set and the cooler temps set in over the beach. Their new song “Mallory Square” kept us warm and we felt like the “Pirates and Gypsies” that roam around the famous southernmost spot in this song.
Jimmy & The Parrots
Jimmy & The Parrots closed out the first full day and night of Music on the Bay. As they took the stage, just about the first thing out of Jimmy’s mouth was a shout out to TropRockin’s Millie Taylor, making fun that if she were to introduce them, they’d be named “Jimmy & The Pirates.” One of Millie’s special traits is mixing up everyone’s band names. As soon as they started playing, it was a full party atmosphere. There were tequila shots, surfer rock and mid-set clothes coming off. The dance floor was filled with 60’s dance moves during “Wipeout.” The whole crowd seemed to be surfing and doing the swim. Jimmy loves Jambalaya, the song and the dish, and he likes it spicy, “got to have the Tabasco Sauce.” Showcasing one of their original tunes “We owe it all to Jimmy” the lyrics remind us we started as Jimmy Buffett fans, but it’s not really about Jimmy anymore, it’s about the friends we’ve all become. So true.
The tiki stage could not get any hotter than with this blue eyed International Trop Rock casanova. Thats right Mr. “Livin the Life” did a wonderful job on all three of his sets. What a wonderful voice to listen to. Brain Neale did a great job keeping the phlock coming back for more. Between his Canada stories and Island stories you just might learn a little about golf too. He welcomes you in with his songs and clinches you with his stories. We really enjoyed our sand jot from the main stage back to the tiki stage for a little more Brian time music. After every set he always said “Cheers.” His saying is “Northern Latitude, Southern Attitude” and it fits him very well.
Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton is always cooking up the stage with his Gumbo stage performance and helping to raise money for the Shriners kids. Sauce Boss had the ladies lining up to take their turn churning and stirring the gumbo as they did the stir dance. The sand was packed with phlocking Parrot Heads waiting to get in on the action and donate. Sauce Boss even took his wash board down in the sand to play and dance with the crowd. The rustic Cajun dance to his recipe is just fabulous. The line was long, but worth the wait as everyone lined up for a bowl of that gumbo.
Headliner for Saturday night, Homemade Wine filled the stage with their full band and loud Southern Rock sound. Playing a mix of original songs and their style infused cover songs, Homemade Wine rocked. I hadn’t heard one of their originals before, “Grandpa Renfro”, and it’s about a preacher who is also a moonshiner. Now that’s Southern! At one point, Mike Miller from the Boat Drunks joined in for a song and together they were incredible. There wasn’t much dancing going on, but the floor was crowded with everyone wanting to get up close with the band to get Southern-fide.
Jim Morris and The Big Bamboo Band
You know its Morris time when everyone heads to the stage for the fantastic line up of this band. Jim Morris, Jimi Papas, John Patti, Eric Ellis, Sunny Jim and Allen Holland filled the stage with great smiles. What a lot of talent to end a wonderful event. Did I mention it was Sunday so we sang along with Jim’s “Bocanuts” song like it was a Friday night and we got all night to party. I didn’t see any beach balls flying around, but I did see a rubber chicken bounce around. The guys did a super job pumping out a second wind to this crowd of four day party fans. Jim Morris and Sunny Jim have played and known each other for years, so when they are together on stage there was never a doubt the show would be full of laughter too. They gave Sunny Jim the hard job with the Cow Bell and left the Pans for John Patti. The show was just what a beautiful Sunday evening in Tampa ordered.
We had a blast at Music on the Bay! It isn’t possible to spotlight all the fun, so check out our photo galleries on Facebook for picts of all the bands and many of the fans. See you there next year!
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