How does a singer/ songwriter go from singing five nights a week at pizza parlors to winning Songwriter of the Year at the 2012 Trop Rock Music Awards? Well, there was a span of many years, but when you live in a coastal environment like Kelly McGuire does, there seems to be more tropical inspiration. So after twenty-five years of singing music by John Denver and Jim Croce and being a yacht broker by day, Kelly finally burned out and began to write his own music.

Living on the Texas coast helped support his love for oceans, boats and islands and his first recording of his original music, “Redfish Island,” came out in 2000. The albums kept coming, as did the awards. A new tropical venue entered the scene, also – Belize. Kelly told me that Belize has been a bit influence on him and his music. He hosts an annual “Birthday Bash in Belize,” which is on my personal bucket list to attend! His cd, “Boat in Belize,” was voted best album of the year in 2008 by the Academy of Texas Music and the Texas Music Awards. And, as was previously mentioned, he won Songwriter of the Year at the Trop Rock Music Awards last fall in Key West.

I’ve loved spending some quiet listening time during the last two years of Meeting of the Minds at the Lighthouse Court, where Kelly plays several afternoons by the pool. You never know who else will drop in to sing and play, but one of the best things about his time at the Lighthouse Court is that the audience is quiet and listens to the songs. Kelly refers to “evolved Parrot Heads” as those who listen and emotionally buy into the music. One of my favorite quotes from him is that “If you can’t hear the lyrics, it’s just background music.” Well, Kelly McGuire is anything but background music and we look for more great music from him in the future.

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