Saturday June 6, 2020, was day two of reopening of the economy in Central Florida. All Music Magazine sent Mark Horan of MarkHoran.Pictures LLC out to Saint Cloud, Florida to survey the live music scene. The days rain from Tropical Storm Cristobal’s outer bands had subsided leaving a muggy humid night in Central Florida. The conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm of the fans coming out to experience normality and some great entertainment.
Brews ‘N’ Blues started the evening at 7:30pm with the country/bluegrass band Slickwood. Down the street The Garage Bar welcomed blues player Scott Baker with The Scott Baker Band who took the stage at 9:00pm. To end the nights live music tour The Drunken Parrot Saloon at 9:30pm hosted Jeff Vitolo and his rock-a-billy band Jeff Vitolo and The Quarter Mile Rebels.
The evenings first stop was Brews ‘N’ Blues to catch Slickwood during their first set. The club was at capacity and many patrons were just finishing up their meals before the band started their set. Slickwood usually has five or more members jamming country bluegrass band, but tonight there were only four members on stage and no banjo. The set had plenty of energy as the small dance floor in front of the stage was packed. The bands set consists of covers from The Eagles, Chris Stapleton, Bob Marley, and even some Led Zeppelin! But the song that gets the entire audience into a dancing frenzy remains “Rocky Top” by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Randy Ryals band can be found playing in small clubs or larger halls like House of Blues Orlando. They are very big on the festival circuit once that gets started up again. If you enjoy a good time with some good live music, check out Slickwood; You won’t sit still!
Randy Ryals – Guitar/Vocals
I was heading out of Brews ‘N’ Blues and ran into an acquaintance who suggested I head over to The Garage Bar and that The Scott Baker Band was about to hit the stage. Not knowing exactly where the club was, I walked down Pennsylvania Ave about a block and found The Garage Bar occupying the space Soldier City use to occupy years ago when I wondered this way. The Scott Baker band was on stage when I arrived just finishing their sound check.
Scott Baker is a proficient blues player and I really liked the arrangements of cover songs played in a bluesy fashion. The set consisted of covers from Tom Petty, Thin Lizzie, Stealers Wheel, Weezer, and The Grateful Dead’s “Roll Away The Dew” off the 1975 album “Blues For Allah.”
I could have stayed all night listening to Scott Baker play as I really have missed the blues during this shutdown of life the past three months. If you’re a Blues fan, find The Scott Baker Band, and get out to see them.
Scott Baker – Guitar/Vocals
Howie Brown – Bass
Travis Smith – Drums
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My last stop was The Drunken Parrot Saloon on my way out of Saint Cloud. The first thing that I noticed when I entered was they increased the size of the stage and had a booth for a sound and lighting engineer. As it turned out, I knew Darren Barhydt the sound engineer as we had worked together years earlier. Jeff Vitolo and The Quarter Mile Rebels was on stage and really putting on a show. It was rock-a-billy but something a bit more. The first song floored me as they played Hoochie Koochie Man by Johnny Winter. At that point, my thoughts were “What did I just walk into?” The set gained steam. Jeff Vitolo on lead guitar was captivating as he prowled the stage. And, to top it off, there was a stand-up bass! Who does not love a band with a stand-up base?
Jeff Vitolo and The Quarter Mile Rebels plays at least 90 gigs a year, from St. Pete to Daytona Beach. If you see them coming near you, get out and see them. You will have a good time. I guarantee!
In Summary, St. Cloud, Florida was rocking the night of June 6, 2020. I did not hear any conversations of civil unrest, tropical storms or the Covid-19 pandemic. It was just a great night out for everyone. Just having a good time and enjoying the talent of some great musicians. Live music brings people together, so get out and live!
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Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.