A Texas Take-Over, Jerry Jeff Walker and Kelly McGuire Head to Ambergris Caye

I will come out and say it.  I will be scoffed at by classic country lovers, scorned by many Texans but I can take the heat.

When I moved to Belize, at the age of 33, I’d never heard of Jerry Jeff Walker.

I grew up in suburban New Jersey!  Our FM radio didn’t even have a country station between the years of 1996 and 2013!   The only country music that I was exposed to as a child were the two 8-track cartridges my dad playing in our station wagon when my mother was not a passenger.    Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers – both greatest hits.

Man…we wore those out on my Sunday morning Bergen Record newspaper delivery route.

Jerry Jeff Walker, who was born in upstate New York, is a country music giant.  He was part of the Greenwich village folk music scene in the 1960s.  He’s played with Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett…he wrote the song “Mr Bojangles” which was recorded famously by Sammy Davis Jr (and Whitney Houston!) and gorgeously by Nina Simone and more recently by Robbie Williams.

He is a fantastic story teller and live performer and super cool guy.

He also happens to own a home on Ambergris Caye (he first visited in the early 90s) and recorded an album here.

Each year, each January, he comes to play on Ambergris Caye – for “Camp Belize”.   Two weeks, sold out almost a year in advance that is more than a concert…it’s a week long music festival for fans.

Here is my experience at a show a few years ago when I scored a lucky Press Pass.  But if you are on the island for the next two weeks…even if you aren’t a country music fan, there will be lots of live music, lots of cowboy boots and hats and lots of people have lots of drinks and having lots of fun.

It brings a different atmosphere to the island.

Another island favorite and Texas music star is headed to the island a bit later in the month.  Kelly McGuire, Texas singer songwriter and lover of Belize is coming down for his 7th?  8th? birthday bash here on the island.

His music is country…trop-rock…with songs like “Boat in Belize” and “Blame it on Buffett”, his music and story telling shows are super fun.

I have been to a Boat LOAD of his shows.

I’ve even been on a boat with Kelly in 2014

2015 Show at the Palapa Bar

2012, He Taught a Music Class at San Pedro’s Island Academy

2013, An Awesome Fundraiser at Fido’s

And then…

That one time I saw him getting a parking ticket in town…

Holy moly.  I’m like a crazed stalker!

So keep on eye on my schedule!  Here is the preliminary schedule of official JJW “Pickin’ Parties”…

And  Kelly’s schedule is still a work in progress but put February 6th on your schedule for his big birthday party at Palapa Bar – it’s also a fundraiser for the SAGA Humane Society – a cause very near and dear to his heart.

And don’t forget to get your TICKETS for Estel’s BBQ COOK-OFF…I’ve been a judge with Kelly…I’ve been a judge with Jerry Jeff!

It’s a crazy fun event.

AHHHH!  There is too much going on!  Let me get working on the calendar!

 

 







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  • Gary Wade Barrentine

    In 1971 the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band took the song Mr. Bojangles to number 9 on the US Billboard top 100.

  • Billizer

    Looks like Kelly McGuire is getting over flood damage at his home in Houston. He lost some of his favorite guitars. A local church group showed up and helped him with the clean up…he was very grateful.

  • FJL

    Great… I arrive Feb 06. Took me a couple of trips to finally figure out KM’s 2 week birthday vacation!
    🎂 🍹 😎