WHY? Having a musician in the family and loving live music in an intimate setting, led me to birth Music on the Porch in January 2018 to give local singers and songwriters a place in Dunnellon to perform where people sit and listen. The artist isn’t back ground music nor so loud your ears ring for a day but the focus of between 85 to 110 minutes of their talent and heart sharing their own music as well as some favorite covers you may recognize and enjoy. Storytelling is encouraged as we enjoy getting to know these folks and how their life has evolved. WHEN? This is your invitation to join us the 2nd Saturday or 4th Friday evening of each month to take in a little local color and enjoy yourself! Like them a lot? Invite them to do a house concert in your home or buy a CD or follow them on social media. Sometime during the evening, we’ll “pass the hat” and hope the musician will go home with a nice show of appreciation in a monetary form for sharing their craft. This is a donation based event. Please come prepared to make a donation to the artist. Read More
Here’s an article I found on line to introduce our February 2019 artist for Music on the Porch. Casey was to be our August 2018 artist but double booked himself so we’ll see him in February and Dane Myers (our son) will put on the August show instead. On any given week, Winter Park-based musician Casey Brents and his guitar can be found throughout Central Florida. by: Danielle Hendrix Black Tie Editor Growing up, Winter Park-based musician Casey Brents hadn’t considered a future breaking into the music scene. In fact, he didn’t have a guitar until his parents got one for him at age 16. Now, you can find him playing gigs around Central Florida at least twice a week. Sometimes, you’ll catch him and his guitar at restaurants in Winter Garden or Winter Park. Other times, he’ll get a call to play in Orlando, Lake Nona and even Daytona. “I never really even considered it as an option until years and years later, but I always had the personality of an entertainer,” Brents said. “It seems like everywhere I’ve been, there’s always been a huge music scene, and I’d just never been plugged into it.” Casey Brents Facebook YouTube Inspirations and Favorite Artists: The Beatles Billy Joel George Harrison Jimi Hendrix Journey Peter Gabriel Propagandhi Although he had had the thought of doing something with music performance stowed in the back of his mind, he mainly stuck to buying musical equipment and tinkering with it. But when the Great Recession hit at the end of 2007, the wheels came off. Brent went through bankruptcy and lost his house. Everything he had been trying to do failed. It was time for a change. “I went to a couple of open mics,” he said. “The first I ever went to was on May 7, 2009, and I played for 15 minutes, and I bombed it. It was horrible. “(But), it was super liberating just to be able to run with that crowd, so I kept going back,” he said. “Eventually, I didn’t bomb it, and someone from the Mellow Mushroom or something said, ‘You should come play at the restaurant for $100.’” While living with a friend after losing the house and learning to live on a tight budget, there wasn’t a great deal of pressure on him to produce music and collect gigs. However, whatever opportunities tossed his way were opportunities he took to heart. And it’s paid off. After the recession, Brents met his wife, and they now live just outside Winter Park. With more gigs comes more exposure, and he continues to put his talent out there to share with people whenever he gets a phone call. “My favorite gigs … to play are wherever people will let me,” he said. “I’m just so fortunate to even be able to do it. Just the idea that I would be able to sing for my supper is just unfathomable. It’s awesome. I would like to be able to own it more in terms of originality.” “My favorite gigs at the moment to play are wherever people will let me. I’m just so fortunate to even be able to do it.” – Casey Brents Brents gets much of his inspiration from artists such as Billy Joel, The Beatles and Propagandhi, among others. He enjoys covering songs from popular artists such as John Mayer and Jason Mraz, but his ultimate dream is to be able to make his own music and have it impact others positively. “The goal is to get really good at writing songs and putting out original content and try to roll that in,” he said. “It’s tough, because I’m not sure exactly what it is that people want. I feel like I’ve always had a tendency toward a ‘thinking man’s’ music — pensive and thoughtful stuff. I like intellectual stuff, and I wonder whether or not there’s any market for that. “I think there’s real value in that — if you have a spontaneous idea or something seems cool, do it and don’t let yourself think of all the reasons it won’t work,” he said. “You can talk yourself out of all the best ideas you have. I do it because I love to do it, and I’d do it anyway — even if there wasn’t any money in it.
For 2 or 3 years, I’ve wanted to host a monthly live music event in Dunnellon to show case local and surrounding area singer song-writers and bring community together for a nice evening with music and each other. Finally in January 2018, we did it. I asked Gena of Sweetie’s Cafe to open 1 night a month for dinner and she agreed to. Our son, Taylor Dane Myers was our first entertainer, and it was a great beginning. Since then we’ve hosted Nicholas Parker of Orlando, Kraig Kenning of Chicago (& part of the year Dunnellon), Austin Palmer of Orlando, and Craig Jaworski of Inverness. We meet the 4th Friday of each month at 6 pm for dinner (by reservation 216-2510) at Sweetie’s followed by an hour and a half of music on the porch beginning at 7 pm. I don’t know about everyone else, but I thoroughly enjoy the evening. I am surrounded by the beauty of the garden, sometimes enjoying a cold beer while holding hands with my husband, tapping my toe to the beat and grinning up a storm. I love live music and hope to draw others to our little event that enjoy it as much as we do. My goal is to grow the event right off our little porch so that we will eventually need a bigger venue (like our historic train depot) and have to increase it to a weekly event to accommodate all the talented musicians who want to participate. Music on the Porch is a donation based event. We ask that guests come prepared to make a donation to the artist in whatever amount they choose. Some are retired and perform just for fun but others make their living this way so we would love each per person to toss in between $10 and $30 as if attending a concert of a famous artist. Some travel 4 hours, all bring their own equipment and some may even have to pay a babysitter while performing. If we were attending a big name concert, ticket prices would be upwards of $50 each, we may have to travel 2 or more hours to reach the venue and sit in a balcony seat where binoculars are needed to see the artist’s face. Here, we think you’ll be comfortable in the quaint setting close to home, have a close-by parking space, enjoy a $3 beer or glass of wine if you like and be sitting within 15 feet of your entertainer. I for one am thrilled to have quality musicians come to us and want to make sure they have a good experience and want to come back. I am happy to organize, promote, set up & clean up in order to have this event in Dunnellon. At this time, the budget is tiny, only printing materials and occasionally pay for someone to set up and clean up if I’m out of town. Our June 22 our entertainment is Jazz Singer Valerie Levy and Pianist Bob Cubbage, local talent described below in their musical biographies. July 27 Scott Dalziel of Ocala Aug. 24 Casey Brents of Orlando Sept. 28 Citrus Swing Band of Citrus County Oct. 26 Nathan Whitt of Dunnellon Nov. 23 TBA Dec. 28 TBAplaying together and loving every minute of it!
Valerie Levy’s Music Resume’
I’ve been playing guitar and singing since I was about 13 years old and used to perform in my
Junior High School Follies. I performed in plays at a young age at my local community center but
that stopped when I graduated high school and had to get a job. Fast forward…still kept up
singing and playing my guitar but not so much in public.
In 2000, my husband Dan and I moved from New Jersey to Dunnellon, Florida and I couldn’t
believe he moved me here after we had lived 35 minutes from Manhattan. We used to go in to
New York once a month and stay for 2 days and have a ball. Anyway…I basically could not get
used to the culture here and was quite depressed. But…I got involved with the Chamber of
Commerce and became their President and then also got involved with Jazz Up. In 2003, I
auditioned for a Dixie Land Band Called the Good Company Jazz Band and got the job as vocalist.
I was thrilled and we played Jazz Up 2003. We got various weddings and parties around town
and I stayed with this band for about 2-1/2 years. They all retired so since I was still involved with
Jazz Up, in 2005 I hooked up with Joe Michel’s Jazz Quintet. I sang with that band for about 5
years and then that band disbanded. So here I was without a band. I met the drummer from a
band called Opus 3 and told him I was looking for another band. He sent his piano player to my
house to audition me. I played with them for 2 years and we did many gigs….weddings, company
parties, etc. I met Bob Cubbage in 2011 and we hit it off right away. Our first gig together was
George Gould’s wedding. We’ve been playing together ever since. We’ve done Jazz Up, Victorian
Days and charity events such as the 25th Anniversary of Habitat for Humanity in Ocala. We’re still
Bob Cubbage’s Musical Resume
For some reason, I have never created a resumé of my musical background. I don’t know why; perhaps I was never called upon toprovide one. Of course, in the competitive world of music in New York (or Nashville, or L.A., et al), the best resumé would take second place to simply auditioning for the job. Moreover, when I landed an apprenticeship at Mark Century Corporation, to learn the art of commercial production, as well as master editing, the fact that I had absolute pitch, as well as a feeling for the rhythms in human speech, carried much more weight than the fact that I was a piano major at Denison University. Anyway, here is some of my musical background, in a nutshell.I began playing at the age of three. My mother used to relate the story of my performing “Pistol Packin’ Mama” with one ﬁnger. I began serious piano lessons at the age of nine. When I was twelve, my piano teacher insisted that I audition for the Preparatory Division ofJuilliard School of Music. I was there for one year. Later, I was a piano major at Denison. During the late 60s, I began playing production piano for stock theatre. Some of the more memorable productions were “The Fantasticks,” “Camelot,” and “Company.” In later years, the work that I spent memorizing these scores, as well as others, would hold me in good stead when I performed at such venues as the Sherry Netherland and One Fifth.What is really important about my musical background is the fact that it provided an introduction to the world of audio production. Studio musicians, as a rule, are pretty fussy about who works on their recorded masters. In my case, the fact that I had worked at Mark Century as a master editor and was performing at a major piano lounge, gave me a great deal of credibility. And the more I worked, the better I became until I found myself in demand by numerous artists, record companies and music publishers – all this without any advertising or marketing. In fact, I was probably the only production facility with an unlisted phone number!At this time, I am devoting my energies to restoration of all of my analogue master tapes, as well as performing the service music at anEpiscopalian church on Sunday mornings. I am also a production pianist for several vocalists. This is in addition to helping my wife manage our farm.