Music is food for the soul. What does this mean? Music can feed whatever emotion you are having, or want to have. It’s the closest thing to magic us humans have available to us. Songs can have the same chemical effect as certain drugs. Music injects itself into our daily lives. Songs can make us happy, sad, upbeat, down, upset, or thrilled. Different instruments embellish and bring out different emotions. Finding someone who doesn’t like music is like finding someone who doesn’t like sunshine; it is possible but do you really want to friends with them?
Marco Island is full of unique restaurants and establishments that have local live musicians. Spending more than a week out on Marco makes it clear how much everyone loves the local talent. An area of expertise in this department that is very well known is Goodland. Goodland is like the quieter, but also louder, cousin of Marco. It is much smaller and has that historic local feeling. Even so, it has one of the largest gatherings of music, dancing, drinking, and sense of community called Stan’s. Stan’s has to be the most popular and widely known restaurant of Goodland. One of the first musicians that played at Stan’s on its debut was J. Robert.
J. Robert now regularly hosts the Florida Songwriter Showcase at the Margood Harbor Theatre, only a short walk from Stan’s and really anywhere on Goodland. It incorporates musicians that play everything from folk, to jazz, to blues. J. Robert plays many musical instruments, from the harmonica, to the 12 string guitar, and even the ukulele doesn’t get left out. He knows talent and finds and inserts that talent accordingly. A few of the accolades he has acquired are getting his music on hit shows like Madam Secretary and Big Bang Theory. He did a little “mix and matching” and played a few of his songs weaved together. A couple were his hits like Mangrove Music, and Backwater Bash. He was born in Florida and has lived on Marco for 32 years. He wasn’t only one of the first to play at Stan’s, but also Snook Inn and Little Bar. Someone had to be the first of the fantastic musicians that played across Marco and that’s J. Robert!
John R. Butler was the featured act and added to the nostalgia of a time before radio. He had the 60 seat theatre engaged with his popular song “Peninsula.” Marie Nofsinger joined in on the fun with J. Robert on stage and lit the room up with folk music blended with a little comedy. There is so much fun improvisation with the artists where they will actually start talking during a set without missing a beat! This is great for building a fun and relaxing atmosphere and making the audience feel more involved.
Much of this world can be expressed through the power of music. Be that if it’s religious, political, or environmental; Each artist, like every other individual, can have strong views on what is going on with our world today. Sometimes those views pour over into their art. It is important to hear genres of music that may be unfamiliar and that share different outlooks on life. Give the Florida Songwriter Showcase a try, people need to hear his music now more than ever. As J. Robert says, “It’s not music, it’s a lifestyle.”