Few bands on Fort Myers Beach have inspired more devotion than The Oysters: now a duo comprised of Joe Monroe and Bryce Barnes – two best friends who have found a musical nirvana most bandmates only dream of, complete and total love for each other and their audience. So strong is their vibe (combined with a big helping of raw talent and creativity) that it has lasted them from their heyday when they were part the of island powerhouse ‘Oysters Fantastic Band’ in the early 2000’s to today, where – as a ‘kindler, gentler version’ of the partying rock and rollers they once were. Whether they’re joshing around playing the congas that made them famous or in the studio laying tracks as part of their new trio ‘The Gist’, these guys are a force to be reckoned with. Join the fun at the Lighthouse Tiki Bar. www.theoystersband.com
Known as Fort Myers Beach’s ‘5th Beatle’, Phil Oxford is another Jimmy B’s alum who now wows crowds at La Ola with his amazing renditions of everything from the Fab Four to Simon & Garfunkel, playing a 12-string guitar that allows him to capture all the tones from that period. Before coming to our emerald shores, Phil touched fame when he recorded one of his own songs in the same studio the Beatles used to record ‘Abbey Road’. He also performed for many celebrities while living in Martha’s Vineyard.
Hungarian born Joseph ‘Two Hands’ Particska has been a staple at the Outrigger and Bonita Bills for many years, having earned his nickname over a decade ago playing at the gone-but-never-forgotten island watering hole – Jimmy B’s – because he pre-recorded all his own background tracks, prompting people to ask how he performs so many instruments ‘with only two hands’. Joseph – a 21-year veteran of the Air Force, came to America in 1981 as a professional soccer player and now plays everything from Zeppelin to Stevie Ray Vaughn. www.twohandsmusic.com
‘Piano Man’ Larry Maas was a child prodigy who began tickling the ivories at the tender age of 10, when he played for Lowery Organs in a mall near his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. After spending years as a traveling musician, a 1981 booking at the then-new Lani Kai Resort proved to be a life changer, and Maas has lived in Southwest Florida every since. Having performed for private country clubs, charities and public nightclubs, Maas now spends his days teaching what he loves and nights entertaining at the Lani Kai’s Island View Restaurant.
Sean Bright is one of the newer breeds of musicians on the island, coming to our shores the way so many young people do – with little more than a hat in one hand and a dream in the other. Now known as the ‘Dave Matthews of Fort Myers Beach’, Sean has developed a loyal group of fans that come to Salty Crab to hear his unique style.
Chucky From Kentucky
Chucky may be from Kentucky, but he’s been performing on Fort Myers Beach for over three decades. The quintessential ‘salty dog’, Chucky plays good old-fashioned feel good rock and roll at a favorite local watering hole – Bonita Bills – and lives in the back bay with his two dogs. Those looking for a laid back musical experience – where you can dance barefoot with the sand in between your toes and make new friends while doing it – have found the perfect place to go. Check out Chucky’s talent with piano, harmonica and foot pedal and taste a bit of Old Florida.
Of all the musicians who play on our beach, perhaps the most iconic is Frank Torino. Not only has he been performing here longer than anyone else, his natural voice, flamboyant personality and attention to detail has made his name synonymous with the artists he plays tribute to – 50’s greats Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Frank Sinatra – among many others. Performing regularly at Parrot Key, Frank’s shows are entertaining and high energy and his love for making his audience happy is obvious as he showers attention on everyone present. It is impossible to leave one of his shows in a bad mood! www.franktorino.com.
Calling himself ‘a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll’, James Gragg came to our Island via a long and winding road that began in the cornfields of Iowa, meandered down through the Florida Keys and then up to the streets of Nashville before finally finding safe haven on Fort Myers Beach, where the talented and affable young man now pleases crowds with his own brand of country and rock and roll. Self-taught, Gragg now pleases crowds at Pete’s Time Out while working on an album of original tunes with his wife. www.jamesgragg.com