By Charmaine Engelsman-Robins
November means Thanksgiving and one of the things I’ve always been MOST thankful for is music. You’re reading this column, so that probably applies to you as well. Siesta Key is blessed with an embarrassment of riches in the various arts, making it easy to take for granted. Let’s not do that this month. This month, let’s make it a point to get out and enjoy our musical artists and let them know how much we value all their hard work and talent.
When we talk about special talent and Siesta Key, the first name that comes to mind is Richy Kicklighter. Richy is kind of an “untypical” entertainer as the one thing he’s not very good at is blowing his own horn. In other countries, especially Japan, Rich is well known and appreciated, but here in his hometown he’s such a quiet, unassuming neighbor that it’s easy to take him for granted.
Ever wonder why Rich named his music company (http://kicklighter.wixsite.com/blues ) “Midnight Pass Music?” Those who have been here for many years will never forget the infamous attempt of man … well, a couple of men … to interfere with Mother Nature in an ill-fated attempt to move a mighty pass that was a force to be reckoned with; they were hoping to protect their south Key waterfront homes from the advancing water. Needless to say THAT didn’t work, and it screwed up Sarasota Bay badly. As a lifelong surfer and scuba diver, Rich was (like the rest of us) distraught over this foolish destruction. Everyone loved the now long-gone Midnight Pass; it was a rarity and a local treasure.
But I digress.
The point is that the water in general and Midnight Pass specifically, meant enough to Richy that he not only named his music company after it, http://kicklighter.wixsite.com/blues, but signed with Grammercy only on the condition that it be non-exclusive so that he could keep his beloved label active.
Rich’s writing ability matches his playing versatility in that he can ace everything from jazz to blues to “children’s music that doesn’t drive parents crazy.” His whole life can be heard in his songs, from the teenage years at Riverview High School, through his young adult years surfing on Siesta Beach and playing in local clubs, to a difficult time overcoming typical musician challenges and creative struggles on the road before he matured and found a good and balanced life back on Siesta Key, including a wife and children.
Friday evenings in November, you can hear Richy Kicklighter live at The Boatyard Waterfront Bar and Grill (across the bridge at 1500 Stickney Point Road) from 5 to 9 p.m. https://www.facebook.com/pg/boatyardsiestakey/events. Once you do, you’ll probably want to hear his music in your car and home as well. You can find it on the All Music site. https://www.allmusic.com/artist/midnight-pass-music-mn0000962548
Thank you, Richy, for sharing so much of yourself with us through your amazing writing and playing.
The Casey Key Fish House (801 Blackburn Point Road in Osprey) has Jordy Christy
(www.jordychristy.com) playing Friday, November 3, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Captain Curt’s Crab and Oyster Bar (http://www.captaincurts.com/ 1200 Old Stickney Point Rd) has always … well O.K., maybe not “always,” but darn near … been a primo place to hang out on the south end of Siesta Key. Casual, laid back, and upbeat, you’re pretty much guaranteed to make new friends of some former strangers and have a great time, whether making your own kind of music in Captain Curt’s back room karaoke, or listening to the pros and live music in the tropical outdoor Sniki Tiki Bar. Paul Duffy plays Wednesdays (November 1, 8, and 15) from 6 to 10 p.m. Perfect timing: that coincides with the end of the beach day, our incredible Siesta Key sunset, and these beautiful autumn early evenings. PS – If you love clam chowder, Captain Curt’s got first place in the “Great Chowder Cook-Off, home of the International Chowder Championships in Newport, R. I. “
If being able to commune with nature while listening to music and being with friends are things that you feel thankful for, you’ll love the goings on at Siesta’s #1 Beach! A weekly celebration, the Sunday Sunset Siesta Key Drum Circle begins about an hour before sunset and continues ‘til about 10 p.m. Just follow the drums to the spot near the main pavilion on Siesta Key Public Beach. Also, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, November 11, Tropical Ave. http://www.tropicalave.com/text/7452.html is playing for the Siesta Key Crystal Classic sand sculpting festival. There will be LOTS of music, check the schedule for your favorites. https://www.siestakeycrystalclassic.com/event-info/festival-schedule
Music on the beach in November; who could ask for anything more?
FOOTNOTE: Speaking of asking for more, our wish list for next month is to continue bringing the best of each month’s Siesta Key live music venues to our readers so they don’t miss anything. Players and Siesta Key venues, please mark your calendar NOW to submit your information prior to November 10 for the December Siesta Sounds column. We hate to disappoint anyone! Thanks, and have a great Thanksgiving.