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REAL Florida Keys Music from a REAL Florida Keys musician, writer, radio host, and elected official...
John Bartus - Musician & Mayor
"He's the only Mayor I ever met with a ponytail and an earring!" - U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
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.
John Bartus got off the road in the Florida Keys back in the mid-1980's, just after releasing his first album (Feed The Fire, with Sallie Foster). Since then, he has entertained many thousands of Keys visitors and locals with his distinctive voice and captivating songs. Proficient on guitar, keyboards, and bass, John has done everything from leading bands to performing solo acoustic shows. In 1988, John got into the recording studio business (Radio Active Productions), and in 1995, he released Velvet Elvis.
When not working on his music, John writes magazine columns and news articles, produces national award-winning jingles and radio commercials in his own recording studio (Radio Active Productions), and was elected to Marathon's first City Council (the island city just incorporated in 1999). He was the City's first Vice Mayor, and was Marathon's second Mayor from 2002-2003.