Tropical rock

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Tropical rock (also known as trop rock or Gulf & Western[1]) is a genre of popular music that incorporates elements and influences of rock, reggae, country, folk, calypso, zydeco, and pop music, with themes and musical compositions inspired by an island style.[2]

Although today tropical rock is usually associated with southern Florida and the Gulf Coast of the United States, trop rock has its roots in calypso, rock, and country by artists such as Jerry Jeff Walker.

The origins of the genre may be related to the musical sound of Jimmy Buffett and his folk singing style. 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. Mainstream artists like Jack Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney also have songs in the trop rock genre. Other popular Trop Rock artists include Don Middlebrook,[3] the Boat Drunks,[4] Conch Republic,[5] Dr. J,[6] Fins, Howard Livingston, James "Sunny Jim" White, Jimmy & the Parrots, Kelly McGuire, Renn Loren (Tiki Town Castaways), Latitude, Tropical Soul, Barefoot Reggie Starrett, Dave McKenney, Cory Young, Danny Rosado and Donny Brewer, The Flip Flop Man (Steve McCloud) Eric Stone, The Sons of a Beach, Louie Liguori, The Detentions and Jesse Rice.

Description[edit]

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.

History[edit]

Other popular Trop Rock artists include Brent Burns, Rick Steffen, the Boat Drunks,[7] Conch Republic,[8] 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.

Events[edit]

"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.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Melada, Jeffrey (October 10, 2019). "Review: Jimmy Buffett's 'Escape to Margaritaville' at The National Theatre". DC Metro Theater Arts. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  2. ^ "Trop Rock Artists". Beach Front Radio. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  3. ^ "Don Middlebrook and the Pearl Divers". Official website of Don Middlebrook.
  4. ^ "Boat Drunks". Official website of the Boat Drunks.
  5. ^ "Conch Republic". Official website of the Conch Republic band.
  6. ^ "Dr. J Island Music". Office website of Dr. J. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  7. ^ "Boat Drunks". Official website of the Boat Drunks.
  8. ^ "Conch Republic". Official website of the Conch Republic band.
  9. ^ "Radio Margaritaville". Retrieved August 16, 2014.