Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

John Bartus: News

"The Islands of Marathon" music video! - March 27, 2017

MARATHON, FLORIDA KEYS – John Bartus' song, "The Islands of Marathon," is now a music video starring the people and places of our tropical island community! "The Islands of Marathon" is already the official song of the City of Marathon, and the video is a fitting tribute to the islands that have been Bartus' home for the last 33 years.

Produced in conjunction with Cliff Rydell from Marathon TV 88, the video begins live at John's 33rd Anniversary Concert at Sunset Park in Key Colony Beach. It then morphs into the studio version of the song from John's Keys Disease CD as it casts a spotlight on the people that call the Middle Keys home.

Keys Disease is available at and iTunes. John Bartus plays Breedlove guitars. For more information,

John Bartus to perform at Florida Keys Day at State Capitol - March 26, 2017

Florida Keys singer/songwriter John Bartus will perform at the State Capitol in Tallahassee for Florida Keys Day on April 18. This event takes place each year as representatives from local Keys governments and organizations converge in Tallahassee to make state legislators and officials aware of our special circumstances and problems in the islands. Conceived by Leadership Monroe County, and hosted by our State Representative Holly Raschein, this annual event is a tremendous opportunity to lobby on behalf of Monroe County.

The event is a Seafood Happy Hour on the Capitol grounds at 5:00 p.m. on April 18. It's a a “Keys Style” party with shrimp, conch fritters, key lime pie, stone crab chowder, and fried fish, live music from Marathon Council Member and former Mayor John Bartus, and an inside look to Tallahassee politics. "Florida Keys Day is a great way to let state officials know that we exist, and we have real issues," Bartus says. "Affordable housing, environmental concerns, outrageous insurance costs, and help with funding for state-mandated wastewater utilities are all concerns we face every day. If it takes Keys seafood and Keys music to help our cause, I'm all for it!"

Bartus will perform songs from his Keys Disease and Live From the Florida Keys CDs, as well as songs from his upcoming CD, Time & Tide

For more info: 305-731-1177.

John Bartus Live in Nashville! - June 15, 2016

This is a video shot at the Commodore Grille in Nashville at a writers' round performance. I played a song that will be featured on a new CD that will hopefully be out later this year, Time & Tide. The song is called "I've Let You Down for the Last Time." 

JADE STORM to Headline July 4th at Sombrero Beach! - June 15, 2016

(MARATHON) - Jade Storm, a popular local band featuring John Bartus, Adrienne Z, Glenn Faast, Rob Garza, and guitar wizard Steven Miller, will headline the City of Marathon's July 4th Celebration at Sombrero Beach. Jade Storm will play from 5:00 p.m. until the fireworks after sunset. The Rotary Club of Marathon will co-sponsor the event and raise funds for their scholarships and other community projects by selling burgers, dogs, beer, soda, and water. 

Local favorites (and Marathon High School graduates) Abstract Radio will also perform beginning at 2:00 p.m. The celebration starts at 10:30 a.m. with a parade down Sombrero Beach Road, and continues all day with family-friendly activities courtesy of the City's Parks & Recreation department. And the best small-town fireworks display in America will start just after sunset! 

‘Happy Xmas’ for the Holidays – free! - December 6, 2015

As a special gift this Holiday Season, I’m making available as a free download a live recording of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” on my website – just go to the Music page link and click on the “MP3 download whole song” link. I recorded this song live at a Christmas Eve show at Hawks Cay Resort back in 2010, and I hope you enjoy it! 

Jade Storm to Co-Headline Beer & Bubbly Fest - December 6, 2015

Jade Storm, the new group featuring singer/songwriters Adrienne Z and John Bartus, will co-headline the 2ndannual Florida Keys Craft Beer & Bubbly Fest at the Marathon Community Park Amphitheater on Sunday, December 27. Drummer Glenn Faast, guitarist Steven Miller, and bassist Rob Garza round out the Jade Storm lineup. The band, rich in vocal harmonies and tasty instrumental arrangements, will take the stage at 5:00 p.m., after sets by local trop-rock favorites Tim Dee & Jim Hill, and the jazz-pop-soul stylings of Chloe Dolandis and her band featuring local Marathon grad Christian Davis.

Over 20 craft beers, a variety of fine wines and bubbly, and seven food trucks will keep everyone happy in a fest for all the senses! Admission is free, but a limited number of VIP tickets are available that include unlimited food and drink in the VIP tent. The event will benefit the projects of the Rotary Club of Marathon and the scholarship fund of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit


John Bartus (and a whole lot of friends) will rock Sombrero Beach on July 4! - June 12, 2015

MARATHON - John Bartus, Adrienne, and their band Jade Storm will rock Sombrero Beach on July 4th! Expect some solo performances from John and Adrienne, a couple of acoustic duets, and a big set featuring John and Adrienne along with Glenn Faast, Rob Garza, and Steven Miller as the bands Storm Watch and InJade fuse into Jade Storm! Classic rock, a little blues, and the original songs of John and Adrienne will provide the soundtrack of the afternoon, leading into the best small town fireworks in the USA! Adrienne will have her new CD, Chameleons, available, and John will have the Keys Disease and Live Vol. 2 CDs as well. Celebrate Independence Day on the beach, with special thanks to the City of Marathon and the Marathon Rotary Club!

31st Anniversary Concert February 8 at Key Colony's Sunset Park - January 21, 2015


KEY COLONY BEACH, FL - Florida Keys singer/songwriter John Bartus will celebrate his 31st anniversary of performing in the Keys at a special concert that's the kickoff of the seasonal "Concerts in the Park" series Sunday, February 8, 4:00 p.m., at Sunset Park in Key Colony Beach. Presented by the Key Colony Beach Community Association, the Concerts in the Park series features a variety of Middle Keys musicians in a beautiful tropical seaside setting.

"I really enjoy playing these concerts, and we always seem to attract a great crowd," Bartus said. "Last year's 30th anniversary concert was just off the charts."

Bartus will be performing songs from both his Keys Disease and Live From the Florida Keys Vol. 2 CDs, as well as songs from his upcoming new studio CD, Time & Tide. A special moment will be John's performance of "The Islands of Marathon," an ode to the Middle Keys and a staple of the nightly Key Colony Beach Sunset Singers gathering at Sunset Park.

What John calls his 30th Anniversary Perpetual Island Tour is about to turn 31 – and everyone is invited to celebrate another day in Paradise on Sunday, February 8th, 4:00 p.m., at Key Colony's Sunset Park!

For more information, visit

John Bartus is a Featured Performer at the Key Largo Original Music Festival - April 16, 2014

John Bartus takes the stage twice on Saturday, May 17 at the Key Largo Original Music Festival! Hit songwriters from Nashville, Tenn., and around the United States will take the stage at multiple venues during the Key Largo’s four-day original music festival. They’ll be joined by individual singers and bands, both local and national, to provide a unique and eclectic musical celebration.

The Festival will feature multiple stages and entertainment areas. On Saturday, Bartus will appear first at Senor Frijoles at 5:00 p.m., then will perform his second slot at Cactus Jacks at 8:00 p.m. Music fans can wander from stage to stage to hear an eclectic mix of fabulous music from rock to country to blues and more throughout the four-day festival.

"I'm really excited to have been asked to be a part of this year's festival," Bartus said. "It's very cool to share my songs and stories in a festival that features all original music!" 

For more information, visit:  - and -

John Bartus is an Official Breedlove Artist - December 15, 2013

People have always asked me about the acoustic guitars I have been performing with since 2005. That was the year I got my first Breedlove. Since then, I have acquired eight more, and I love them all. I really haven't played any other acoustics on stage since then. I am proud to say that I am now an Official Breedlove Artist! Breedlove is a great company out of Bend, Oregon, and they build amazing guitars in different styles and price ranges. Check them out, and maybe you'll find the guitar of your dreams there as well! You can check out my Artist page at 

FREE Christmas Single Download - November 26, 2013

I performed a special Christmas Eve show in 2010 at Tom’s Harbor House, a club at Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys (Duck Key, to be exact). I have always enjoyed performing Christmas music, and that night I played the John Lennon/Yoko Ono classic “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” for a great group of families and holiday revelers. Earlier this year, the place that was Tom’s burned to the ground… but that special Christmas Eve show will live in my memory for a long time to come. I’m posting the song on my website as a free holiday download for a limited time – go to, click on the Music page, and downloads away! Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! (Be sure and check out some new Blog posts as well!)

John Bartus & Storm Watch set to rock the Original Marathon Seafood Festival! - February 18, 2013

MARATHON, FLORIDA KEYS - John Bartus & Storm Watch are just one of the great acts set to perform at the 37th Annual original Marathon Seafood Festival – Florida's original seafood festival! Legendary Upper Keys/Miami-based guitarist Steve Miller will join John, drummer Glenn Faast, and bassist Rob Garza for this special performance on Saturday, March 9, at 5:00 p.m. at the Marathon Community Park amphitheater. John and the band will play several of John's original songs (including favorites like "Carolina" and "Captain of His Own Destiny"), plus some very special surprise rockers as well as the requisite Pink Floyd song or two.

Other great acts set to play this two-day festival include Amber Leigh, the Regs, the Doerfels, I-land Vibe, Misery Loves Company, Mojito, and Adrienne & InJade. To learn more about the Florida Keys' second largest event (behind only Fantasy Fest), visit

Blog Updates - August 9, 2012

I've managed to (finally) start updating my blog with my "Keys Disease" column that appears in the Weekly Newspapers (Florida Keys) -- sometimes they're funny, other times a bit more serious. The latest two deal with some of the tragic events from the past few weeks. I'll try to keep it updated each week... thank you for reading!

2 NEW CDs RELEASE PARTY!!! - May 24, 2012

MARATHON - John Bartus will release two CDs at a special benefit event Saturday, June 30 at the Key Colony Inn in Key Colony Beach in the heart of the Florida Keys! The first is his new Live From The Florida Keys Vol. 2 CD, featuring live performances recorded at various JB solo shows from 2011-12. The second is the 10th Anniversary Reissue of John's popular Keys Disease CD, freshly remastered and containing four bonus tracks! The event starts at 8:00 p.m., and will feature a live performance by John along with a CD signing and cash bar. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Marathon Rotary Club's Scholarship Fund. The Key Colony Inn is located at 700 West Ocean Drive in Key Colony Beach.

John Bartus & Storm Watch to headline July 4th Celebration! - May 24, 2012

MARATHON - John Bartus & Storm Watch will headline Marathon's July 4th Celebration at Sombrero Beach in the heart of the Florida Keys! John, along with drummer Glenn Faast and bassist Rob Garza, will perform their blend of John's songs and classic rock from 5:00 p.m. until sunset in advance of the big fireworks display. The Marathon Independence Day Celebration is an all-day family event co-sponsored by the City of Marathon and the Marathon Rotary Club, with proceeds to benefit the Rotary Club's scholarship fund. Come celebrate July 4th in the Florida Keys!

Seafood Festival 2012! - March 6, 2012

John Bartus & Storm Watch will perform again at this year's Original Marathon Seafood Festival, this Saturday, March 10, at 3:00 p.m. Joining John, drummer Glenn Faast, and bassist Jason Poff will be local keyboardist Rob DiStasi, and special guests singer/songwriter Jen, plus country-rock sensation Amber Leigh with her father, Randy James. "It's going to be a great time," John says, "and we're really looking forward to a rockin' fun set with our guests!"

John Bartus & Storm Watch to headline Conchtoberfest 2011 - September 17, 2011

John Bartus & Storm Watch are the Saturday Night headliners at Conchtoberfest 2011, held at Hawks Cay Resort at Mile Marker 61 on Duck Key, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2. In addition, John will play two solo sets, Friday evenin g at 5:00 p.m., and Saturday at 11:00 a.m. "Were excited to be a part of this festival in its second year," John says, "and everyone should try and make an excuse to come to the Keys for this great fall event!"

Conch and Florida Keys Seafood are feature dishes, and there will be ten different beers on tap to quench the autumnal thirst. A vendors market featuring arts and crafts, as well as cooking demonstrations and fun for the entire family will make Conchtoberfest one of our islands' great events! 

For more information, visit

August Dates Added - July 31, 2011

I've just updated the Calendar page (at with live performance dates for the month of August -- and there are two Storm Watch dates in a row, August 19 & 20! Progress is happening on the new live CD, and there will be more details soon. Check the Calendar dates, and stop by and say hello!

Final Space Shuttle, Free “Dawn’s Early Light” Download, more - July 8, 2011

I just watched the last launch of the Space Shuttle program, and as someone who grew up at the Cape in the 1960s, I had a tear in my eye. I wrote an article for my Marathon & the Middle Florida Keys Magazine about our 50 years of launching people into space – it can be read on my Blog page.

Additionally, it can be seen as it appeared on pages 14-15 with color photos from NASA at:

In recognition of today’s final flight of Atlantis, as well as all those associated with the space program for the past half-century, my tribute to the Challenger (and Columbia and Apollo 1) astronauts, “Dawn’s Early Light,” will be available as a free download for a limited time. Find it on the Music page.

Storm Watch on July 4th! - June 24, 2011

MARATHON - Local Keys favorites John Bartus & Storm Watch will again headline Marathon's Independence Day Celebration at Sombrero Beach in the Heart of the Florida Keys, performing from 6 PM until sunset and the greatest fireworks in South Florida. Other acts confirmed for the all-day family-friendly event are local youth band Misery Loves Company, and local performers Dan Sullivan and Christian Brindel. Leigha Fox from US1 Radio will sing the National Anthem at the opening ceremonies. Marathon's July 4th bash, sponsored by the Marathon Rotary Club and the City of Marathon, has become the best Independence Day Celebration in the Florida Keys, as well as most of South Florida.

Clarence Clemons, R.I.P. - June 18, 2011

Words cannot express my sadness at the passing of Clarence Clemons. In every sense of the word, he was a Big Man, and the world is a lesser place as of his passing. I'm just glad I got to know him a little and jam with him that memorable evening a few years ago. My condolences to his extended family and his friends worldwide. Rest in peace, Big Man.

Original Marathon Seafood Festival! - March 4, 2011

Saturday, March 12 at 3:00 p.m., I’ll be performing with my band, Storm Watch, at the Original Marathon Seafood Festival at Marathon Community Park at Mile Marker 49. This two-day festival has become the second largest event in all the Florida Keys, and we’re looking to have another great year. Other performers include rising country star Buddy Brown (and his great band), Howard Livingston and MM 24, The Regs, Island Vibes, Mojito, and a whole lot more. We’re going to have some big fun, so come on down to the 35th annual Original Marathon Seafood Festival! For other gigs, you can find the complete schedule right here on the Calendar page.

What’s Up With Storm Watch? - March 4, 2011

There are some new things to report with my great band, Storm Watch. Christian Davis’ life on the mainland has finally progressed to the point that he’s too busy to make it down to the Keys on a regular basis (and that’s a good thing!). Veteran drummer (and my friend and partner in crime) Glenn Faast and I are proud to welcome new bassist Jason Poff to the band! Jason has worked with some of the greats in his relatively long career (for such a young guy), and you can find out more about him by clicking on the Bio page. Keyboard man (and solo entertainer) Chris Thomas will join us for the larger festivals like the upcoming Seafood Festival. Help welcome Jason to the band at the Seafood Fest or any of our upcoming Storm Watch shows!

Key West Seafood Festival! - January 12, 2011

This Saturday, I’ll be performing with my band, Storm Watch, at the Florida Keys Seafood Festival at Bayview Park in Key West!!! Drummer Glenn Faast, bassist/guitarist Christian Davis, and keyboard man Chris Thomas will help me rock out the festival at 4:00 p.m., with an encore set at 8:00 p.m. Other performers include country star Amber Leigh (and her great band), Hot Tropic, Craig Eubank, and a solo set from Chris as well. We’re going to have some big fun, so come on down to the Seafood Festival in Key West! For other gigs, you can find the complete schedule right here on the Calendar page! I hope to see you there!

New Recording Update & Free Downloads - December 22, 2010

I’ve started recording select songs at my performances. The best will be used for an upcoming new Live CD; others will be posted to the Free Downloads area on my website. Keep checking the site to see what gets uploaded!

Next Page >>

RSS feed