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Best Bets: Schwartz Center brings Buffett band to Dover
Parrot Beach brings the music of Jimmy Buffett to Dover’s Schwartz Center for the Arts Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office and at www.schwartzcenter.com. (Submitted photo)

We may have celebrated the unofficial end of the summer this week, but the calendar tells us we still have a little time left until the season is over.

To that end, Dover’s Schwartz Center for the Arts will open its season Sept. 13 with the warm weather sounds of the Jimmy Buffett tribute band Parrot Beach.

Performing such Buffett standards as “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Come Monday” and, of course, “Margaritaville,” the five-piece group has been entertaining crowds of Parrotheads and just plain music lovers for the past 15 years.

Remy St. Martin, Parrot Beach lead singer and acoustic guitarist, says the secret of the band’s success is simple.

“It’s all about vacation,” he said.

“Every time you go away, whether it’s to the Bahamas or Florida or wherever, you hear Buffett music. When you think of your year, you base it around those two weeks of vacation. He has that carefree attitude and I think that’s what people respond to.”

Although he knows the whole laid-back catalog by heart now, Mr. St. Martin really didn’t start out as a Buffett fan.

After seven summers playing music at a New Jersey amusement park, he found himself out of a job when the park changed hands. Looking for a new gig, he was approached to help form a Buffett band on the Jersey Shore.

“I really didn’t know a whole lot of his stuff,” he said. “But I learned a couple tunes and we started playing out. It went from playing at a place every Tuesday night and then we got picked up to play somewhere else Thursday nights and then it was Saturday nights. And boom, we’ve been going strong ever since.”

Starting off with the name Parrottville caught the attention of Mr. Buffett himself about 10 years ago, or at least his legal team.

“He had trademarked ‘Parrothead’ and ‘Margaritaville’ and they thought it was a little too close for comfort,” Mr. St. Martin said.

“I was told that we probably could have won a suit but it would be pretty expensive and we didn’t have the money that he has, so we went ahead and changed it.

“We did ask if we could keep the name through the summer and would let folks know that we would be changing it come the winter. At first they weren’t real receptive to it but then said it was OK. I thought that was really cool.”

The popularity of the band has taken them to tropical places like the Bahamas, Bermuda and Mr. Buffett’s home turf of Key West, Florida.

They have opened for R&B greats Earth, Wind and Fire and have been known to play shows in the same area where Mr. Buffett is performing.

Playing for a crowd like that draws those Buffett-devoted Parrotheads who seem to follow the 67-year-old troubadour around everywhere he performs.

That can put a little pressure on Mr. St. Martin and his bandmates.

“They are completely hard core and know everything,” he said.

That also can be to the band’s advantage as they can go deeper into the Buffett repertoire.

“Most shows we’ll do other island-related songs but for a gig like that, it’s all Buffett.”

Mr. St. Martin said the Schwartz audience also can expect a total Buffett show, which is standard for Parrot Beach when they perform at a theater.

“We do a lot of festivals and corporate gigs where folks are dancing and want to hear a mix of songs. But with something like this, they are there to hear Buffett songs and that’s what we’re happy to play for them.”

Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $35, $30 for seniors and $25 for children 17 and younger.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call the box office Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (302) 678-5152 or visit www.schwartzcenter.com.

A special “Margaritaville” reception sponsored by Smyrna’s Painted Stave Distilling will follow the show.

The Schwartz Center is at 226 S. State St.

Messina making music in Dover

Those looking for music this weekend don’t have to go far.

Fresh off her full-length country album, “Me,” released in March, two-time Grammy Award nominee Jo Dee Messina will appear in the Rollins Center at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino at 9 tonight.

Tickets are still available for $25 to $45 and may be purchased via VIP Services at (800) 711-5882 or doverdowns.com.

Debuting in 1996 with her single, “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” she performed over 215 shows and sold more than 500,000 copies. Her second album released in 1998 “I’m Alright” awarded her five Top 10 country hits and sold over 1 million copies.

“That’s the Way” the lead song on “Burn,” her third album which was released in 2000, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart along with Top 10 hits “Burn” and “Downtime.” That same year Messina received the “Horizon Award” from the Country Music Association, and also won “Most Played Female at Country Radio” from Billboard Magazine. Her duet with Tim McGraw “Bring on the Rain” reached No. 1 in 2001.

She marked her comeback to country music in 2005 with the release of “Delicious Surprise;” it too reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Music charts.

She is best known for her songs “Lesson in Leavin’,” “My Give a Damn’s Busted,” “You’re Not in Kansas Anymore” and “Bye, Bye.”

Malone perks up series

Closing the Summer Coffee House Concert Series, Camden’s Delaware Bay Trading Co. will present J.D Malone at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Mr. Malone mines a catalog of Americana roots and rock ‘n’ roll, with country music and a little bit of soul.
Admission is $5. The coffee shop and gift shop will remain open during the concert as well.

The Delaware Bay Trading Co. is at 102 S. Main St.

‘Gypsy’ in Smyrna

If your musical tastes lend more to Broadway, the Smyrna Opera House will present the musical “Gypsy” as an introduction to the 2014 fall season tonight through Sunday.

“Gypsy” is a musical loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focus on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with “the ultimate show business mother.”

Tonight’s and Saturday’s show is at 7 with a Sunday matinee at 2.

Songs include “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Let Me Entertain You.”

The show’s director is John Muller, musical director Christopher Patterson, choreographer Samantha Timlin and accompanist Marie Reynolds.

Ticket pricing is as follows: adults, $19; students, $10; seniors, $17. The Smyrna Opera House membership discount may apply upon display of membership card but cannot be combined with the senior discount.

Tickets are on sale at the box office at 7 W. South St. and online at smyrnaoperahouse.org.

For more information, call (302) 653-4236.

Legion bids bye to summer

Down in Harrington, American Legion Post 7 will hold an end of summer party Saturday starting at 5 p.m.

The event will feature bands Perception, Black Hat Marvel and Results May Vary.

A bottomless draft beer mug will be available for or $10. Food, including barbecued chicken will be for sale until 8 p.m. Food sales will benefit the USO.

Call (302) 398-3566 for more information

The American Legion is at 17448 S. Dupont Highway.

Sip & Savor Saturday

Saturday night, Meals On Wheels Delaware lso will close out summer with Sip & Savor Saturday at Wild Quail Golf & Country Club in Wyoming.

Previously known as Denim & Diamonds, Sip & Savor includes tastings by Kent County restaurants as well as a Craft Beer Garden featuring brews by Dogfish Head, DuClaw Brewing, Evolution Brewing, Fordham Brewing Co., Sly Fox Brewing, Yards Brewing and more.

Guests will enjoy tastings by local favorites including Abbott’s Grill, Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House, Georgia House and Where Pigs Fly, as well as cocktails by Painted Stave Distilling. SpinJocs Entertainment and Wes Davis will provide the live entertainment for the evening.

Entry to Sip & Savor is $75 with tickets available online. Additional event information can be found online at www.mealsonwheelsde.org/sip-savor or by phone at (302) 656-3257.