Trop-Rockin’ with Balmy Palms

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Balmy, breezy palms are my photo obsession.

You don’t have to read very many of my posts to figure out what an island girl I am.  I mean, really, I named my blog “Somewhere in the Sand.”  How much more of a clue do you need? Give me a swaying hammock, a shady palm tree and some nice, soft sand beneath my (bare) feet and I’m all set.

You’ll probably also notice what a big Jimmy Buffett fan I am (islands … Buffett … palm trees and soft sand … I’m noticing a pattern here).  The sound of steel drums and island tunes is, well, music to my ears.

Besides being a writer and promoter of prose, I’ve always had a secret desire to be a songwriter…not necessarily a singer, per se.  I’ve been told by my wise nine-year-old that I was not “made for singing” so we will just leave it at that.  But the writing, now that would interest me.

That brings me to the topic of this post (you’ll also notice I can be a bit long-winded…).  I just received a very cool press release from the tropical lifestyle brand Balmy Palms.  If you’ve never heard of them, you should really check them out.  They’re right here on the good old world wide web-o-sphere at BalmyPalms.com.

The "pop of trop rock" Jimmy Buffett - Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, Virginia, 2010

The “pop of trop rock” Jimmy Buffett – Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, Virginia, 2010

The fine folks at Balmy Palms are on the search for an original trop-rock song to represent the brand on its website, radio and other media outlets.  Balmy Palms is inviting up-and-coming singers/songwriters to submit an original song for consideration.  The ideal song will give off the laid-back image of a stress-free island lifestyle as well as the company’s tagline “No worries, no qualms … just Balmy Palms.”  They want to put listeners into a “Balmy Palms state of mind.”  Hey, I like that philosophy.

With roots in the ‘60s, trop rock, or tropical rock, is a blend of country, Caribbean, reggae and rock with the use of island instruments and tropical themes.  Jimmy Buffett, Jack Johnson, the Zac Brown Band and Kenny Chesney (all favorites of mine) are a few of the big-time trop rock crossover artists.  Buffett is often called the “pop of trop rock.”  Other trop rock singers/songwriters include John Frinzi, Sunny Jim White, Dave McKenney and Keith Sykes, as well as the Jimmy Buffett tribute band, A1A.

The selected song will receive airplay on the trop rock internet radio station, BeachFront Radio.  BeachFront Radio has won the number one “Trop Rock Station of the Year” title several times at the annual Trop Rock Music Awards.  I have recently started listening to BeachFront Radio and it is quite good.  I go back and forth between it and Radio Margaritaville.

In addition to radio play, the artist of the winning song will receive $400 and select Balmy Palms apparel.  They will also receive publicity by way of the Balmy Palms website and press releases.

Balmy Palms plans to enlist the public’s help in the song selection process (Yippeee!), but the final selection will be made by the staff at Stratosphere Media Group, along with input from the DJs at BeachFront Radio.  Even if a song is not selected, this is an excellent opportunity for exposure (radio exposure that is, not…other kinds of exposure), as all of the songs will be listened to and considered for eligibility.

Kara Benson, Balmy Palms Marketing Director, says

“This is a great opportunity for an aspiring musician to receive valuable publicity for his/her talents.”

All music and lyrics must be original as well as written and performed by the submitting artist.  Songs must be submitted in an MP3 audio file format, and be ready for radio play.  The date for songs to be submitted in the Balmy Palms songwriting contest is June 30, 2013.  Submissions can be made at BalmyPalms.com.

Please visit BalmyPalms.com for a complete list of rules and regulations.  I wouldn’t want to waste any virtual ink by posting them all here since you have to hop on over there anyway.

So, all of you talented trop rockers out there, pull out those steel drums, congas and marimbas and get the inspiration rolling.  I’m expecting some great things.

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Photo: Balmy Palms

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Far-Out and Fab on Florida’s Gulf Coast – Frenchy’s Oasis Motel

Groovy, cool, neat-o and any other ‘60s saying you might surmise aptly describe the space that makes up Frenchy’s Oasis Motel.  A classic motor lodge with a courtyard-style pool and back “yard” marina, Frenchy’s is located just a walk away … Continue reading

Penguins, Palm Trees, and Other Sandy Things

Long Bay Beach, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

If you’re wondering how the name Somewhere in the Sand came about, here’s the scoop…. I have somewhat of a love (okay, obsession) for sand. I collect the stuff (yes, on purpose, and not just in uncomfortable, inappropriate places). My bathroom is a veritable chemistry lab, except, instead of beakers full of strangely colored liquids, it’s baby food jars filled with sand and shells. Carefully labeled and lined up, the jars boast sand scooped from beaches in Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia, California and Hawaii (via relatives), and even the British Virgin Islands (ssshhhhh….that one might’ve been a little bit illegal).

Maybe it’s my name, maybe it’s the many summers spent on the beaches of the east coast (Ocean City, MD, Rehoboth Beach, DE, and Nags Head, NC), or maybe it’s nothing at all….just simply a love of that relaxed feeling of swaying palm trees, clear blue sea, and feet buried in warm, powder soft sand. Or maybe it’s one too many Jimmy Buffett songs, but that’s another story entirely.

When my sister was about two-years-old, her favorite book was about a penguin that hated the cold. This particular penguin, Pablo, spent the length of the story searching for somewhere warm, before finally “…sailing up onto the sandy beach.” As two-year-olds will do, she made the connection between a “sandy beach” and my name being Sandy. I was known as Sandy Beach for quite a while. Imagine a two-year-old saying Sandy Beach. Yeah…..somehow that didn’t scar me for life.

If my name were Shania, Shakira, or Cher, would I still have such an affection for sand? Of course. It would just come from far more exotic shores.

So, while my writing may cover mountain peaks, city streets, and country roads, you can rest assured that the thoughts and inspiration are always coming from somewhere in the sand. Oh, and my initials are S.E.A. Coincidence? I think not.