By Jenna Croyle
Imagine a beautiful warm tropical beach, palm trees swaying in a gentle soft breeze, pure-white sands, and a gorgeous blue-green sea with gentle waves lapping the deserted shore, and most importantly, the sweet sounds of music like Jamaica Mistaica by Jimmy Buffett playing in the background.
Though it is a wonderful fantasy, not all of us can simply hop a plane, train or bus and head to a tropical paradise whenever the mood strikes us. The good news is that we do not have to, this week’s featured band, Key West Express brings that smooth island groove along with that island party feel to the stage, each time they play.
Being Erie’s best and only true Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Key West Express features many of the area’s most talented and dynamic musicians with diverse musical backgrounds and styles, that when blended together offers a cross generational entertainment extravaganza that fires up any crowd, from 16 to 60.
As a superstar collection of musicians, Key West Express is comprised of Mark Berry and Joe Dalimonte both on Guitar and Vocals, Dave Sabatine on Bass Guitar, Ron Sutton on Drums, along with Andy Pietchoka on Percussion, Jack Belczyk on Keyboard and Kaytie Stadler on Vocals.
Covering all the great Jimmy Buffett hits we all know and love to sing along with, Key West Express delivers note for note perfect renditions of Bama Breeze, Boat Drinks, Come Monday, Love & Luck, Volcano, Weather is Here, and of course Margaritaville, along with so many others.
Just for a touch of spice, Key West Express shakes up the set list with hard-hitting, rockin’ covers of “Any Way You Want It” by Journey, “Brown-Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Everybody’s Talkin’” by Harry Nilsson, “Five O’Clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett, “Stars on the Water” by George Strait, “Stir it Up” by Bob Marley, “Summer Nights” by Rascal Flatts, “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John, “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves, “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon, “What I Like About You” by The Romantics and “Where the Boat Leaves From” by Zac Brown along with many more.
Mark Berry and Joe Dalimonte use the Guitars as amazing groove tools, showing off their pure talent and phenomenal musical charisma with every note, while their vocal harmonies and individual style clearly sets them a step above the rest.
Dave Sabatine’s base beats are strong and wide, always keeping that rhythmic vibe flowing with excellent timing and ledger lines that are never excessive. Sabatine demonstrates an overall performance that is fraught with talent and energy at every show.
Ron Sutton and Andy Pietchoka consistently put forward paramount performances that are always spot on, giving every song that driving energy mixed with a creative and flamboyant edge that is always dripping with talent and infused with groove.
The keyboard work of Jack Belczyk offers the band’s music a real punch that is impressive, toe tapping and continuously able to rock the audience.
Kaytie Stadler has a beautiful voice that comes through clear and clean, contributing a wonderful high-end harmony to the songs while making for a great change of pace when she takes the Lead Vocal position. As an outstanding addition to this group, Stadler presents a fantastic stage presence with a very energetic vocal delivery that shows off her true talent, doing it all with a sweet charm that captivates her audiences.
Though no longer with the band regularly, a true musical treat is the occasional guest appearance of Mike Ohm. Ohm was one of the original members of Key West Express and is a musical genius and perhaps the most talented musician to play an Erie stage.
You don’t have to call a travel agent, for that real island groove, check out the next Key West Express show, good times, good tunes, and that party in a bottle feel.
For more information on Key West Express and their show dates, please visit their Facebook Page.