This is the special 10th Anniversary Reissue of the original Keys Disease CD by a long-time Florida Keys musician, writer, publisher, radio personality, and the (former) Mayor of the City of Marathon. Back in 2002, when this album was first released, John was in his first term as Mayor during his six-year service on Marathon’s City Council. John’s real career, however, is and always has been music. If you like the music of James Taylor, Elton John, the Eagles, Dan Fogelberg, or Jimmy Buffett, then the songs on this CD will appeal to you! Digitally remastered, and with bonus tracks never before available on CD, there’s never been a better time to import these songs into your iPod or smartphone and chart your course to the Keys!
Keys Disease – I’m not the lawyer in the song, but the song is loosely based on the life of a friend of mine who really did give it all up for a life in the Keys.
You & I – A seaside love song.
The Way It’s Meant To Be – Based on an allegedly true story I saw one night on Channel 7 News.
Nothing I Wouldn’t Do – A love song for Marlene.
Carolina – While the story might be imagined, the setting of a small Southern railroad town in South Carolina comes directly from my memories of 13 years spent in the Palmetto State, a beautiful and historic place.
Lucky Man Again – A song about being grateful for finding true love.
Palm Trees In Paradise – For such a beautiful and wonderful place, there are way too many people in the Keys who complain about almost anything. Yeah, no place is perfect – but these islands are all right by me! After 28 years (and counting), there’s still no place I’d rather be!
Always Understood – Written way back in 1982, this song is ultimately about sacrifices that are necessary in order to achieve one’s ultimate goals.
Velvet Elvis – A lot of the imagery of this song came about on a late night drive home from a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers concert in pre-Andrew South Florida. There were cops traveling with lights blazing, there was a dead black cat on the side of the road, and “Love Me Tender” came on the radio. The Black Lung Café was actually a hole-in-the-wall 24-hour doughnut shop near the railroad tracks in Homestead, where patrons looked as if they had been sitting, drinking coffee, eating doughnuts, and smoking cigarettes since the 1950s. The only thing the place needed was a painting of Elvis on black velvet…
Dawn’s Early Light – I spent most of the 1960s growing up near Cape Canaveral where my father was actually a rocket scientist! He was on the Saturn IB launch team, and I got to see a lot of rockets and missions blast off literally from my back yard in Merritt Island. This song is dedicated to the astronauts who lost their lives in Apollo 1, and the Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia… as well as my Dad.
Once More – A song about screwing up and asking forgiveness.
The Islands of Marathon – The official song of the City of Marathon and a love song to my hometown.
Give Me A Sign – My first love song for Marlene.
From This Day On – From my first Live CD, and our wedding song.
I Saw A Sign – Also from my first Live CD, it’s a true story about a fire at the Hurricane here in Marathon. Some of the names were changed…
Eye Of The Storm – “Bennie And The Jets” was a fake live recording for Elton John. This is mine.
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Florida Keys rockers John Bartus & Storm Watch are releasing their new CD, Live at the 2009 Marathon Seafood Festival. While Keys residents are getting to know Storm Watch (drummer Glenn Faast, keyboardist Marc Davis, and bassist/guitarist Christian Davis) through a series of successful gigs, most people haven’t a clue that bandleader and guitarist John Bartus used to be Mayor of the City of Marathon. Bartus is currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of his first gig (as well as living here) in the Keys.
Having traded the gavel back for the guitar, Bartus leads his musical cohorts into a selection of rock classics combined with John’s and Marc’s original songs. “We wanted to make this CD into a document of our live shows,” Bartus explains. “What better way to do that than record one of our performances?” All the songs on the CD were recorded at the band’s recent appearance at the Original Marathon Seafood Festival in March of this year. Cover songs on the CD include challenging selections from groups like Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, and Toto. “We like to play the great songs that other bands aren’t playing,” Bartus said.
Original tunes include four John Bartus songs featuring the standout “Victim of Gravity” and his dedication to Keys commercial fishermen, “Captain of His Own Destiny.” Marc Davis contributes his soulful ballad, “Going Home.” Glenn Faast’s solid drumming anchors the band, and he gets to stretch out on an extended solo in “Black Magic Woman.” 19-year old Christian Davis plays great bass throughout (especially on “Rosanna”), and picks up the lead guitar for “Watchtower.”Buy the CD & MP3 downloads at CD Baby!!! Super-secure sales and downloads -- your information is always safe at CD Baby!
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THE RECORDING: On March 1 & 2, 2004, John Bartus recorded two live shows for this CD. Although he is a veteran live performer, Bartus had recorded very few of his (literally) thousands of shows. These two performances are among the only live recordings that have ever been made at a Bartus gig. What you hear here is basically what you get. More than a few "live" albums have been virtually re-recorded in the studio. The end result is an CD that combines live elements with "fixed" parts. A lot of the things that make a live performance what it is are often edited out or re-recorded. Not here. The musical performances were recorded absolutely live direct to an Alesis ADAT HD24, and no studio overdubbing or "fixing" took place. The vocals, guitar, harmonica, and piano are just as they were on those two nights in March. THE SONGS: "We'll All Be Free" is a commentary on the state of the radio and music industries. "Wasted Days" was written during a reflective mood after one of those milestone birthdays. "Vegas Town" has to be a true story about someone somewhere who is totally taken in by the lights, sounds, and action in one of the most fun cities on Earth. "From This Day On" is poised to become one of the most requested seaside wedding songs (It's the song John and his wife Marlene co-wrote for their wedding!). "I Saw A Sign" is an absolutely true Keys story about a rainstorm, a snake, a neon sign, and the aftermath. And "End of the Road" is a song about John's life-altering first drive to the Florida Keys -- it can apply to just about any life-changing circumstance. There are also several songs from the Keys Disease CD, as well as a few of John's favorite cover songs: James Taylor's "Captain Jim's Drunken Dream," Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released," Chicago's "Saturday In The Park," and John Prine's classic "Angel From Montgomery." The perfect recipe for enjoying this CD is a full glass, good friends, and warm weather. Enjoy!Buy the Live CD at CD Baby!
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REAL Florida Keys Music from a REAL Florida Keys musician, writer, radio host, and elected official...
Many of the best songwriters have an ability to express in music their deepest personal feelings; others can create story-songs about characters and events outside their own experience. John Bartus is one of those uncommonly gifted artists who can do both. John has just released Keys Disease, a new CD with twelve original songs.
Like Paul McCartney and Prince, John produces, sings, and plays all the instruments on his records. His influences range from Bob Dylan, the Beatles, James Taylor, and Elton John to Pink Floyd, Garth Brooks, Steely Dan, the Eagles, R.E.M., and Tom Petty, just to name a few. Although hard to pigeonhole, John's music has traces of rock, alternative, pop, acoustic, and country - all unified and held together by his characteristic vocals.
Songs on Keys Disease include "Dawn's Early Light," a tribute to the Challenger and Columbia astronauts; "Palm Trees In Paradise," a Taylor-esque song about just why we live in the Keys; "You & I," a romantic seaside ballad; "The Way It's Meant To Be," a song about the otherwise normal life of a Key West exotic dancer (inspired by a real life TV news story); "Keys Disease," a semi-true island-rocker about a lawyer who gave it all up for the tropical life; "Nothing I Wouldn't Do," a love song John wrote for his wife, Marlene; "Carolina," a story about a whirlwind romance in a southern railroad town; and the touching "Once More," a song that will touch the heart of anyone who's ever let down someone they love.
Also included on the CD is the official song about the island city that John has called home since 1984 - "The Islands of Marathon." Written in 2001, the song was designated the official song of the City of Marathon by the Marathon City Council (John sits on the City Council - read more below!). You'll hear the James Taylor/Jimmy Buffett influence on this (and other) songs on Keys Disease.Buy this CD at CD Baby!