Debbie and I first landed in Key West nearly 25 years ago. Aside from the great tropical—well actually sub tropical—weather and one-of-a-kind conch cottages, and oh yes, stone crabs, we have thought that the island music was the best part of living in the Keys. After all these years, it was not until yesterday at Blue Heaven that I found a book that really captures the Key West music scene.
If you have been to Key West in the past, you will be excited to see all your old favorites like Barry Cudda and Key West’s “king of soul” Robert Albury come to life in the pages of The Soul of Key West. Debbie and I have known Cudda since we first arrived. Barry led Becky’s wedding band at the Casa Marina. And Debbie and I were in the house at the legendary Bo’s Fish Wagon on Caroline Street when Barry first rolled (yup) his standup piano down William Street and into the fish shack for a night of New Orleans rhythm and blues. Barry is still at BO’s most every Friday night and often joined by our old Key West friend Chief Billy on bass. Billy was also part of Becky and E.J.’s Key West wedding’s musical contingent. Now that I think back to those early days in the Keys, I remember that, at our conch cottage right up the street from BO’s, I helped Barry fill out his first IRA forms. Unbelievable.
For many years soul man Robert Albury peddled his bike, while singing Motown songs, right past our house, just down the street from BO’s. The feature in The Soul of Key West truly captures the sprit of this terrific guy and our best Key West resident soul man. Whether you are now making your plans for your first island visit, returning as a seasoned salt water conch, or simply enjoying another great time of the year as a Key West resident, The Soul of Key West will brighten your time and help make you feel that you are living in Key West like a local. And maybe Debbie and I will even run into you catching some island music.
The only way to order your personal (also great for gifts) copy of the Soul of Key West is to call my friend, the manager of the Blue Heaven island store, Paula Keatley at 305-296-8666. You will be so glad you did. And just in time for Christmas no less. I hope you will love your “slice of Key West’ musical adventure book and that it will bring back many old memories for you and your family or will simply help build your excitement for your first Key West island vacation. Enjoy!
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