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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.
"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!
John Bartus got off the road in the Florida Keys back in the mid-1980's, just after releasing his first album. 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 1995, he released Velvet Elvis. In 2002, he released his long-awaited CD, Keys Disease. His new CD, Live in the Florida Keys, has just been released.
Audiences all over the Keys - "from Ocean Reef to Duval St." - have enjoyed John's music. His solo show covers a wide range of material. His own songs - many of them reflections of life in the Keys - have become fan favorites as well.
John's solo shows are true one-man powerhouses. He goes from blistering rhythm to subtle fingerpicking on his acoustic guitar, and just as easily will move over to the piano to play rockers and ballads with equal finesse. There is something, however, you won't see or hear at a John Bartus show: invisible virtual musicians coming out of a computer or disc player. "It's gotten to the point where you can buy or download a disk... plug it into a laptop, and there's the band!" Bartus was recently quoted in a local newspaper, citing, "That's the reason I went total acoustic for my solo gigs."
After over a quarter-century of entertaining audiences, John is far from putting the guitar down. As he put it in a recent interview, "Long after all my other careers are through, I'll still be playing music somewhere." And even with all the other careers (Mayor/Vice Mayor/Councilman, newspaper publisher, broadcast producer) John still performs a minimum of 150 shows each year.