So, here it is, past the middle of April. The car carriers have arrived to take our winter residents’ vehicles to their northern destinations and, because of this, I can now make it to my pedicure appointment in less than 30 minutes. I have often wondered why folks who live here only during the winter feel the need to head north so quickly. It seems that more often than not, the weather in the Midwest and the Northeast still has the potential to be really awful—and especially cold—even to the end of May.
I feel quite certain that the best-kept secret in Naples and surrounds is that the weather is pretty fabulous in May and even into June. Maybe the snowbirds feel they are escaping some dreaded blanket of horrible heat and sweltering humidity if they stay here too long. Oh, well—their loss.
Now I must make a huge confession. I have been withholding some information from you for quite a while now—and it was totally due to selfishness on my part. I am sorry … kind of. You see, Bob and I, along with a couple of dear friends, have found two of the most terrific music venues ever. One has a spectacular band, covering the music of Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago and the like, and the restaurant where they play has a fairly big dance floor. The other has a jam night on Tuesdays with a band that plays some of the best rhythm and blues you will ever hear anywhere … and I mean anywhere.
The first place, The Sandy Parrot, lies just south of Alico Road on the west side of U.S. 41 in the southern end of Fort Myers. That’s a hike, I know, but the trip is worth it. We learned about it through Bob’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. George Markovich, who replaced both of Bob’s knees. It just so happens that George sings lead for one of the best bands around—The Alter Ego Band. The Sandy Parrot is extremely casual, the food is passable and the entertainment by Alter Ego is worth the trip itself. If you go, the address is 17200 South Tamiami Trail, phone 239-454-8454.
The Sandy Parrot, on U.S. 41 off Alico Road, has great live music, food, and dancing. Below, one of its regularly featured acts, The Alter Ego Band. (Photo above courtesy of The Sandy Parrot; below, The Alter Ego Band).
The second venue is called Freddie Rebel’s, and it is right in the middle of town just off Pine Ridge Road. The place used to be called Stevie Tomato’s Sports Bar. It has changed owners and been spruced up to a higher grade of sports bar. Freddie’s has the traditional bar food—pizzas, sandwiches, etcetera. But the music is what this place is all about—and why Bob and I have spent eight out of the last 11 Tuesday evenings at Freddie’s.
Above, live bands rock the house at Freddie Rebel’s in Naples. Rick Howard, below, fronts the Mudbone Band, a regular act at Freddie Rebel’s. (Photo above courtesy of Freddie Rebel’s; below, Rick Howard).
The featured band is Mudbone, fronted by Rick Howard, a very talented guy who plays at different locales around town, including The Bay House in North Naples on Sundays, with the Rick Howard Trio. Mudbone is so talented, I would expect the band to be playing in a club in Manhattan, or in clubs in West Hollywood or Malibu; but we are lucky to have them right here in paradise—incredible. Freddie Rebel’s is at 5310 Shirley Street, phone 239-597-3333 … and I recommend you call for a reservation. Bob and I were there this week, and there was not a seat to be had. Rick Howard and Mudbone were in rare form and we did not want them to stop.
So, there is my confession. See you at either Freddie’s or The Sandy Parrot—or both.