Trop Rock Music

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Tropical rock (or trop rock) is a genre of popular music with influences from rock and roll, reggae, country music, caribbean, Calypso music and zydeco. It incorporates themes and compositions of a tropical nature[1] and represents a relaxed and easygoing lifestyle.


Instrumentation is usually acoustic guitar based, and often includes steel drum, congas, marimbas, vibes or other percussion instruments to create an "island sound". While Country and other musical styles focus on Falling in Love/Falling Out of Love themes, Trop Rock's main focus is on "escapism"—a laid back lifestyle, tropical places, boating, simplifying and having fun. Jimmy Buffett is often referred to as the "Pop of Trop Rock". Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band helped create a tropical sub-culture beginning in the early to mid-1980s, along with other artists including Bertie Higgins, Barefoot Reggie Starrett, Eric Stone. Mainstream artists Jack Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney have songs in the trop rock genre, also.


Independent singer/songwriters are a major force in Trop Rock music. A big contributor from the early 1990s - today is Michigan singer/songwriter Don Middlebrook. Middlebrook tours throughout the continental US, with heavy focus on the Florida/Key West region. Many consider Don Middlebrook[2] one of the founding fathers of the Trop Rock genre. Other popular Trop Rock artists include Brent Burns, Rick Steffen, the Boat Drunks,[3] Conch Republic,[4] Fins, Howard Livingston, James "Sunny Jim" White, Eric Stone, Barefoot Reggie Starrett, Jimmy & the Parrots, Kelly McGuire, Latitude, and Tropical Soul. In recent years, a number of female artists have joined the genre (which has historically been a male-dominated genre); among the more noteworthy female trop-rockers are Sheree Cade, Dani Hoy, Brittany Kingery and Robin Tricker.


"Meeting of the Minds", the largest Trop Rock event, is held each November in Key West, Florida. This event features dozens of Trop Rock artists and attracts close to 5,000 fans.

Trop Rock Radio[edit]

In 2000, WBWC-FM, Dennis King of Island Time Radio began programming this format on the air in Cleveland, Ohio and streaming worldwide on Monday nights. Radio Margaritaville, available on Sirius XM Radio, also plays many of the genre's hits.[5]


  1. ^ "Trop Rock Artists". Beach Front Radio. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  2. ^ "Don Middlebrook and the Pearl Divers". Official website of Don Middlebrook.
  3. ^ "Boat Drunks". Official website of the Boat Drunks.
  4. ^ "Conch Republic". Official website of the Conch Republic band.
  5. ^ "Radio Margaritaville". Retrieved August 16, 2014.

External links[edit]