Available NOW!

Soul of Key West, Volume III

…”from the eye of a photographer with the voices of the musicians.”


BOOKS ARRIVED – Volume 3 is available ORDER NOW!  It covers over 45 Key West musicians plus very interesting discussions of Key West music scene giants. It will cover the Hall of Fame SongWriter Shel Silverstein as described by the Key West musicians that collaborated with him.

Micheal McCloud refused to be interviewed for Volume 1 and again refused to tell his story for Volume 2. One day in 2018 while attending Friday Church at the Schooner Wharf Bar, Michael approached and asked “when are you going to interview me?” I was briefly off guard but quickly recovered and scheduled an interview. My interviews last 30-40 minutes usually. When Michael and I finally got together and discussed his career and music in general it lasted over 2 hours and my ribs hurt from laughing so hard. It’s a great story. You won’t be disappointed.

The pages include over 193 photos, a Key West legend or two, special music scene members, like unsung music hero “Miss Ellen” as Coffee Butler called her. Ellen Welters Sanchez taught piano in Key West for over 50 years. Her favorite piano student was Lofton “Coffee” Butler. She had Coffee sing her composition “The Beautiful Ilse of Key West” to President Harry Truman  at the dedication of Roosevelt Boulevard. Robin Kaplan of The Music Room, always admired Miss Ellen and asked the city to help continue the free after school music program – the Bahama Village Music Program. Miss Ellen dedicated her life to music and children, she past away in 2007 at the age of 105.

Soundcheck Elegy – Carl & Bill in trading licks on center stage was a celestial event – like two galaxies colliding.

Over the past decade many of our Key West musicians have moved on or passed away. A new group of musicians have moved into town, and some of the others have moved up in stature to fill the voids. There are many young and talented musicians that have made Key West there home. They are trying to fill the huge void. This Changing of the Guard is the theme of Volume III.

Volume 3 will also include tributes and a Memoriam to former Key West musicians that are no longer with us. De Palma has lived in Key West since 2001 and was amazed with the unique musicians that play the local bars and venues. De Palma’s passion for Key West’s vibrant music scene led him to spend countless hours photographing and interviewing over 160 musicians for Vol. I and Vol. II and now Vol. III.

Three of Key West’s music treasures

His vivid photographs capture the rocking live music spirit of this tiny island, and his words roll out the stories, struggles, and triumphs of musicians who play in Key West night after night.

In a recent interview De Palma made the comment that “we in Key West are blessed to have the best music scene in the nation. For the price of a cold drink and hopefully a small gratuity one can enjoy live music in over 50 venues almost anytime. Nowhere else is that possible. Nowhere!”

The Soul of Key West, Volume III describes this amazing music scene in great detail. Music has an effect on Key West that is magical, and Key West has an effect on its music and musicians. This books tell that story.

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