What is your band's name?

"Cruise Control Band."

What genre of music do you play?

"Rock, jazz, country, ska, soul, pop...pretty much everything."

Where are you from?

"Corpus Christi."

How did you get started in music?

"Ron McElroy, (the) band director at Cunningham Jr. High."

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"We were invited to play at Back Porch."

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"As soon as you get here you feel more relaxed. Island time is the right time!"

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"The audiences here are so appreciative! So gracious and friendly, not at all stand-offish."

Do you write your own music?

"We do have some original material." 

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"Back Porch and Treasure Island are the best!"

What makes a great audience?

"When you feel their energy and excitement. It fires you up!"

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"Margarita on the rocks, salt please."

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"Soul Experience by Iron Butterfly."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Why, Neapolitan of course. Its all flavors in one. Sort of like a 10-piece band."

Where can we find your work?

"Our Facebook page has videos of live performances (and) Reverbnation.com has a Cruise Control original available titled 'Take Me Back.'"

What else should music fans know?

"Cruise Control is in its 15th year of existence. There have been literally hundreds of local musicians who have helped the band along the way, whether filling in or as full-time members. Of the four original founders (Randy Solis, John Mondragon, Rick Sosa, and Ernest Mondragon) only I, Randy Solis, remain a full-time member and manager. Our current lineup features some of the most talented and interesting people you could ever meet. We are the odd-shaped pieces that just happen to fit together just right!"

Fun Fact:

"The original idea of Cruise Control was to reassemble the 1975 Moody High School Jazz Ensemble to play once at the South Texas Jazz Festival. We finally did."

What genre of music do you play?

"Country, Red Dirt, Outlaw, Americana, and then we will sprinkle in a twist."

Where are you from?

"Born and raised in Austin, Texas and now live in the hill country right out of the city."

How did you get started in music?

"I started at a young age in school choir, Mariachi, Jazz, symphony, (and) blues and sang on the worship team at church in my later years."

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"Every year, our family would caravan and camp at Mustang Island. After visiting the venues and beach, Port A soon became our second home."

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"The vibe, restaurants, live music, the ocean breeze, and meeting a diversity of people visiting from all over. The locals are so friendly and hospitable."

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"There is a different vibe and a sense of serenity. Everyone just seems so much happier and relaxed and the diversity of music is amazing!"

Do you write your own music?

"Yes. I actually released my single 'Busted' earlier this year to radio, which is an upbeat song that people have really enjoyed. Check it out on Spotify. I will also be releasing another single early next year so look out for that one!" 

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"The Back Porch Bar! Every time we visited Port A we would charter a fishing boat at Woody's, then come back and listen to live music. This would go on for years and I told my husband that one day I would play this venue. I absolutely fell in love with it. When I recently read it was closing my heart literally sank. I have so many great memories there and it was a stepping stone in my music career, but I’m so thankful for the opportunity that I was given to play there during the Port A Live Music Festival. The hospitality from the staff was incredible."

What makes a great audience?

"When the crowd is tuned in to the music, dancing and singing along with you at the top of their lungs! I also love when they interact on and off the stage."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"I usually drink water to stay hydrated because we offer an entertaining show that keeps me active on stage. But after the show, well that’s a different story! I’ll usually order a piña colada because to me that’s a refreshing drink, plus that is one of my favorite coastal drinks!"

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"So many to choose from but I would say Jolene by Dolly Parton. The song itself tells the story."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Neapolitan. I love a variety of music genres."

Where can we find your work?

"Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Amazon and all media platforms. I also have a Facebook music page and a website that you can follow for the latest."

What else should music fans know?

"We play the Texas music scene and you can find our tour schedule on my website. We hope to play more venues in Port A, so make sure you follow my Facebook music page. I’ll also be releasing my next single to radio early next year and can’t wait for y’all to hear!"

Fun Fact:

"(We were nominated for) 2021 Best Local Band of North Hays County Nominee, 2017-2021 Josie Music Awards Nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year and Country Rising Star, and Texas Music Pickers Songwriter Semi- Finalist."

Artist Feature

Meet OTB Band

Meet the five fabulous vocalists of OTB (Over The Bridge). Whether it is the JFK Causeway or the Harbor bridge, they all live and perform OTB in some aspect.

A band performs on a stage labeled "Brewster Street."
What is your band name?

"OTB Band."

What genre of music do you play?

"Rock/Pop/Country."

Where are you from?

"We are from all over the Corpus Christi/Padre Island Metropolitan area."

How did you get started in music?

"Each member has a different start date but half the band members started in the 1970s while the other half started in the 1990–2000s"

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"The founders of the band live on North Padre, also referred to as 'The Island.' Growing up in the area, Port Aransas was a work and play destination. The easy, laidback lifestyle with accepting, eclectic citizens makes Port Aransas an excellent destination for music and art."

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"Watching the city recover from the hurricane shows what resolve, determination, and compassion can accomplish."

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"There is an eclectic vibe bringing together several genres of music to include pop, country, and rock from several decades."

Do you write your own music?

"Currently we are focusing on the entertainment portion of our program. Our show is an experience with crowd participation, dancing, and fun!" 

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"Shorty's. They were our first Port A venue."

What makes a great audience?

"Participation makes a great audience. We prefer to involve the audience in our show for a more memorable experience."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"The entire band (no matter what they say) loves Jack and Coke before, during, and after!"

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"Anything by the Eagles."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Rocky Road because you get something in every bite."

Where can we find your work?

"You can find us on Facebook @OTB2017."

What else should music fans know?

"As a band our goal is to entertain. We never want to be the band who plays for themselves. We play for the audience."

Fun Fact:

"Three members of the band are United States Air Force Veterans. Two of those members are retired with 24 years of service."

What is your band name?

"The PA Rockers."

What genre of music do you play?

"Oldies but Goodies."

Where are you from?

"We started out as a band of Winter Texans from various parts of the country. Today some of us still wear the Winter Texan moniker, but some of our members are local to the area."

How did you get started in music?

"The PA Rockers started out because of an article in the South Jetty newspaper back in 2009 by our band's founder Mark Munson, requesting that he was looking for "old guys" to start a band. Several of us answered the call and over ten years later we are still going strong, though some members have come and gone over the years."

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"As Winter Texans, we all fell in love with Port Aransas—its charm, its beaches, and its uniqueness. It's also a great music town!"

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"The local music scene is loaded with talented musicians, and our fans remain our biggest inspiration with their love of the music many of us grew up listening to."

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"Great musicians, venues, and event planners who offer musicians the opportunity to perform makes Port A a great music town. We are grateful we are asked to repeatedly perform at various fundraisers supporting organizations in Port Aransas."

Do you write your own music?

"Many individual members of our band play in other groups or do solo work and have their own compositions. However, the band focuses on the great songwriters of the 50s, 60s, and 70s from the Beatles, Buddy Holly, and Chuck Berry among many others." 

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"The PA Rockers can always be found at Bernie's Beach House on Wednesday nights from January through March. After our initial debut was mentioned in the South Jetty newspaper and a great appreciative crowd showed up, Bernie's has been the place to be. "

What makes a great audience?

"Our fans know all the words to the songs we play and collaborate with us in performing them! Come and see the dance floor shake when we all sing Shout!"

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"Whatever they are pouring!"

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"We play the greatest hits of 50s, 60s, and 70s Rock 'n Roll. It's hard to pick a favorite. Those decades saw some of the greatest songwriters of the century from Neil Diamond, to Van Morrison, to Lennon and McCartney."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"It would have to be a Beatle Bar. They were chocolate crunch ice cream bars sold in the 1960s!"

Where can we find your work?

"We have a PA Rocker page on Reverbnation where we share music from our live performances, and a Facebook page to keep our fans informed of when we are playing."

What else should music fans know?

"We can always be found at Bernie's Beach House from January through March. Come on out and sing along to some good old Rock 'n Roll!"

Fun Fact:

"Though our founder Mark Munson named the band the PA Rockers, most of the locals call us The Port A Rockers. OK by us, we like to think we are a hometown Rock band."

What are your names?

"Rich Edwards and Maranda Mae."

What genre of music do you play?

"Roots Americana. We call it blue folk country grass."

Where are you from?

"Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains in Western New York State. We've been floating around Texas since 2005. Currently staying out in the Hill Country, that can change any day."

How did you get started in music?

"I (Rich) grew up listening to country radio. Waylon and Hank Jr. were my inspirations. I wanted to do it like they did. She (Maranda) grew up singing gospel music in her grandpa's church."

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"Always heard about the scene here from some fellow musicians. Then we met a couple from Port A at a music bash in Terlingua and they took us in like we were family and helped us book some shows. Can't thank Sean and Lisa enough."

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"The way the island accepted us. After our first show the people down here made us feel like we were super stars. Can't beat that!"

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"Definitely the diversity. We are playing for folks from all over the world. And even though y'all know how to party it is so laid back down here. It's like everybody knows everybody. We love it."

Do you write your own music?

"Yes. Our last album was recorded on a patio behind a grocery store. (On) "Live at Brookshire Brothers in Canyon Lake TX," all of the songs were written by us." 

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"It's hard to answer this one because we haven't played them all...yet. But right now I'd have to definitely say Shorty's. Them people know how to party and we couldn't have felt more welcomed."

What makes a great audience?

"Interaction and compliments. When they're hooting and hollering, stomping their feet and singing along, it's a great show. We love the heckles, too."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"Ice cold Bud Light. More after than during. We tried that before...it don't work so well."

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"That's a hard one...there's so many good ones out there but if I (Rich) had to pick one, it would have to be Proud Souls by Jason Boland. I think it's one of the best songs ever written."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Oooh. Had to ponder on this one for a minute. But I guess it would have to be Blue Bell vanilla. I mean, how much more simple and country can you get?"

Where can we find your work?

"Pandora, Spotify, iHeart Radio, and all music streaming sites. You can also find our website at waywardgypsies.com, on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube."

What else should music fans know?

"We do it all. From our little two-piece band, and I emphasize band, a lot of work has gone into creating our sound so that we can play bigger venues, just the two of us. And if everyone that goes to our Facebook page can click the like button, we appreciate that so much. It helps with booking shows, and Lord knows that's the hardest part of this business. Thanks for supporting us and believing in what we do. We're just trying to keep it real."

Fun Fact:

"Not only are we partners in our music, we are partners in life. This husband and wife team works perfect together. "

What genre of music do you play?

"Classic Rock, Pop, Blues, Funk, and Country."

Where are you from?

"We live in Corpus Christi, Ingleside, and Sinton."

How did you get started in music?

"Some of us got started through our parents or other family members, and some of us are first-generation musicians."

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"We actually played for the first time in Port Aransas at the VFW as part of the 2021 Port A Live Music Festival. We loved the crowd and the laid-back vibe."

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"We have all lived here for years and love the Port A vibe. There is something that changes inside when you enter those city limit signs. Port A for us means relaxation and good times."

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"We love the fact that Port A crowds are largely tourists, vacationers, and winter Texans. They are here because they WANT to be here and to have a good time!"

Do you write your own music?

"We have a few originals, but don’t play them out. People would rather hear songs that are familiar to them and ones that they feel comfortable dancing to. It’s about them—not us." 

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"Although we have only played at the VFW so far, we love it there. The staff and management treat us like family and the crowd there really seems to connect to the timeframes of music that we play."

What makes a great audience?

"We love audiences who are having a good time and are simply enjoying themselves. There is nothing better than to look out and see smiling faces. That is what we are there for."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"We’re easy, and versatile! Truthfully, whatever gets sent up to the stage is always appreciated, but sometimes just a cool bottle of water hits the spot."

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"Oooh, tough one! We love so many songs by so many artists from different genres, it would be impossible to choose."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Probably Neapolitan, because we play a variety of genres from different decades."

Where can we find your work?

"We have (mostly audience shot) videos on our Facebook page and a few on YouTube."

What else should music fans know?

"The four of us have been in this band seven years and love each other like brothers. There are no egos, drama, or arguments. We don’t take ourselves seriously and have no higher aspirations than to share music we love and (to) help others enjoy themselves and forget the world for a few hours."

Fun Fact:

"People occasionally get the band’s name wrong. We have been called everything from “The Cover Tunes” to our personal favorite, “The Clover Tones.”  Gotta love it...Lol."

What genre of music do you play?

"Pop."

Where are you from?

"I was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas."

How did you get started in music?

"When I was little, I fell in love with musicals. By the age of 13, I started learning piano and exploring my vocal range."

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"I’ve been playing shows in Port Aransas for the past few years at various venues, dating back to when I was a part of a cover band. Aside from the beautiful scenery, the crowd and atmosphere are why I stayed. I love entertaining and mingling with the audience there; it makes me happy being able to bring a song to life and have people vibe with me. It’s an awesome feeling and the crowd is always welcoming."

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"Port Aransas is beautiful—the water, the beach. It’s really inspired me to branch out and try new things, travel to new places, and get to know more areas of the Coastal Bend."

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"Tourism. The people who travel from all areas of the world, different cities and states, and people who have different cultures. It’s always a breath of fresh air to meet people from everywhere because they may have never heard this kind of music before, and that feeling alone is what drives me to keep performing in the Port Aransas area."

Do you write your own music?

"Right now, I’m working with songwriter and producer Jonathon 'Blake Bayer' Olivarez on my upcoming album “Letters to Jim." We share a lot of feedback with each other and we vibe when we’re recording. I just started expanding and refining my writing skills, but I look forward to creating more new music every day." 

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"Treasure Island is my favorite Port A venue to play at. The owner is so friendly and the staff is truly welcoming. They have an awesome patio and multiple areas in the club to hang out in. I’m honored to be able to play there and be a part of the Port Aransas music scene."

What makes a great audience?

"Crowd interaction. Watching the audience dance, sing along, and enjoy the music is what makes a great audience. When I see them getting into it, it makes me want to get into it even more. Then when you’re able to get to know them in between songs, during a break, or after the show, it’s amazing. I’ve made some great friends that way."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"My go-to after show drink is a double shot of Jack Daniels, chilled, with two limes, and a side of Coke to chase it with."

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"It’s hard to pick one but I would have to say 'Creep' by Radiohead."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Strawberry Shortcake because I’m short and sweet."

Where can we find your work?

"My music is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all streaming platforms. You can also visit my website for more information, upcoming shows, music videos (also available on YouTube), and more."

Fun Fact:

"After every show you can find me at the nearest Whataburger eating dinner and drinking a strawberry milkshake."

Artist Feature

Meet Janelle Shetters

Janelle was born and raised in Rockport, Texas. She taught herself guitar about three years ago, but has been singing her whole life. She loves the "folksy" feel of the Port A music scene.

Black and white photo of a woman holding a guitar
What is your band name?

"I typically just go by Janelle, but I do have a Facebook page called Entertainment By Janelle."

What genre of music do you play?

"I play everything except gangsta rap, (I) don’t wanna get caught up in that East Coast/West Coast thing!"

Where are you from?

"Born and raised in Rockport, Texas."

How did you get started in music?

"My first music gig was my uncle paying me a quarter to sing 'Hush, Little Baby when I was two years old."

How did you get to Port Aransas?

"My first gig venue in Port Aransas was for Lara at Island Wine, this cool little wine bar out on Highway 361."

What made you stay? How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"Port A is always a party! People come out, wanna hear live music, chill, and hang. They don’t even have to unwind, it just happens! Port A is always ready for music and I just love singing!"

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"It’s folksy, people care about each other."

Do you write your own music?

"I do write. Most of my originals seem to come out country (and/or) island sounding. I write a lot about growing up around here with my siblings." 

What makes a great audience?

"I absolutely LOVE requests! So I just adore an audience that’s engaged and requesting songs!"

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"I typically only drink water and Cokes during sets and after! Boring, I suppose!"

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"So many!"

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Neapolitan. Three different flavors. A little something for everyone."

Artist Feature

Meet Marco Ramirez

Meet Marco Ramirez, local musician who loves the melting pot of souls in Port A and is a "quintessential Aquarius man."

Black and white photo of a man playing a guitar. He is wearing a hat and headphones
What is your band name?

"Aeion Of US."

What genre of music do you play?

"Univer-soul."

Where are you from?

"Alice, Texas."

How did you get started in music?

"I hail from a family of musicians. My grandfather is a world-famous accordion player with fans worldwide. His name is Chano Cadena."

How did you get to Port Aransas?

"By dragonfly."

What made you stay?

"The AMAZING coffee."

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"The melting pot of souls tickles my fancy."

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"I’m not QUITE at liberty to say. Secret of the pros, you know?"

Do you write your own music?

"Yes." 

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"Roosevelt’s Fine Dining AND Treasure Island. I find nothing but love and support there."

What makes a great audience?

"Love of music and lack of shyness."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"Water and coffee."

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"Beach Boy Paradise–Billy Snipes."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"A rainbow sherbet consisting of blue, yellow, red, white, and black streaks."

Where can we find your work?

"Follow me on social media for info on our official push. We are working hard in the studio and have new material to be released soon. Facebook: Marco A. Ramirez, Instagram: Aeion_333, (and) Snapchat: Aeion333 and Marco Ramirez."

What else should music fans know?

"We appreciate ALL the love and support!!!"

Fun Fact:

"I am the quintessential Aquarius man."

Artist Feature

Meet The Groove

The Groove is a lively cover band made up of Carlos Villarreal, Nathan Messing, Jeff Courter, Eloy Martinez, John Gloria, and Joel Bazan.

Black and white photo of six men carrying instruments smiling at the camera
Who are the members of your band and what do they play?

"Carlos Villarreal is the band's bass player and manager, Nathan Messing sings and plays guitar and harmonica, Jeff Courter is the lead guitar, Eloy Martinez is on the drums, John Gloria does keyboards, and Joel Bazan sings."

What genre of music do you play?

"The Groove is a 70s, 80s, 90s, and top 40 cover band."

Where are you from?

"The Corpus Christi area."

How did you get started in music?

"Most of us are self taught."

How did you get to Port Aransas?

"(We) asked bars to let us play, and we have been playing there ever since."

What made you stay?

"The wonderful Port A people and vibe."

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"Port Aransas is a fun town with a friendly vibe. Whether it is vacationers or locals, they always treat us well."

Do you write your own music?

"No, we are a cover band. We play the great music that is already out there."

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"They are all great venues. We are always treated great."

What makes a great audience? 

"People dancing and enjoying the music always makes it a great gig for us."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"Water—it's hot out there."

What is your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"All the songs we play…Lol."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Neapolitan, because we play something everyone will like."

Where can we find your work?

"We are always playing at your favorite local music venue. Find us on Facebook for our schedule."

What else should music fans know?

"The Groove has been playing for over 10 years. We love Port A and the surrounding towns. It’s our home."

What is your Band Name?

"Caleb Navarro and the Shrimp Shack Shakers."

What Genre of Music Do You Play?

"Alternative/rock/folk."

Where are you from?

"Door County, Wisconsin. But South Texas feels like home now."


How did you get started in music?

"I grew up singing songs in the school choir, taking solos whenever I could. And (I) was always a lover of music through my father and always wanted to play. Then, my cousin Dougy showed me a couple chords, and I fell in love with playing the guitar and singing."


How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"I started hanging out on the island when I was playing gigs with my buddy Wes Austin and having "beach jams." It was always a great time, great music, and great people."


How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"The vibe of course, extremely supportive."


What makes the Port A music scene different?

"The amount of music that comes out of Port A is amazing. No matter where you go, there's always some music happening."

Do you write your own music?

"Yes, I love to write. Been writing since I was 14, and have been developing my style every day."


What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"Bron's for sure. They have such a great vibe, tons of entertainment. Music or games to play. And the bartenders are talkative and always make you feel at home."


What makes a great audience?

"One that actually listens and claps after songs. I always say, nothing makes a musician feel worse (than) when no one claps. It's like if you were a comedian and you were telling jokes, and no one laughed. it would make you think you're a bad comedian. The same goes with music. Claps make a musician feel like the audience is listening and actually enjoying it."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"Coffee. I'm not a drinker, so I love a good cup of Joe."

What is your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"That's a tough one to answer, because I have a new favorite every day. But currently I've been loving Neil Young's 'Walk on.'"


If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Rocky road, because being a musician is a long, rocky road. But once you get a taste, it's pretty addicting."

 
Where can we find your work?

"My music is on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, or anywhere you can listen to music. Just search up "Caleb Navarro." I have a lot of songs, so you're bound to find one or more that you'll like."

 
What else should music fans know?

"Come out to Bron's in Port A, I play there every weekend and it's one of the best venues in port A. If I'm not playing, there's someone else rockin' it up there. And it'll be good!"


Fun Fact:

"When I was a kid, I won tournaments at the video game Guitar Hero before I had ever even picked up a guitar."

What is your band name and what genre music do you play?

"The most recognizable band name I was in was Triggerfish, (for) approximately 15 years. The music was Trop-Rock with elements of Latin, Country, Rock, Blues, and Jazz with a heavy Caribbean influence. I'm currently working in a band called The Chanklas (The Flip Flops) out of Corpus Christi."

Where are you from?

"I was born in Corpus Christi (on) August 30th, 1957. I come from a long line of Spanish descendants, mostly Canary Islanders."

How did you get started in music?

"I got started in music at a very young age. There was always music around the house—my mom sang all the time and I had my mom's younger sister and her younger cousin as caretakers. I was an only child at the time; my parents were both going to school and working so these teenage girls took care of me and taught me to sing the top 40 songs of the time. (They) took me to jamborees and hootenannies. Folk music was the thing at the time and they were really into the movement. I was always banging on things so my dad bought me a cheap Japanese-made drum set at age 9 and it just went from there. I always liked the beat of the Latin music on my mom's and grandma's radios so I eventually picked up the Conga drums and studied music in school. (I) played trombone in the band and took some choir classes."

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"In 1997, I was working at Port Royal Ocean resort. I had played a season there with a band around the pool and I met singer/songwriter Mark Wilks. He was playing a lot of Jimmy Buffett songs and I could feel the rhythm, so I asked him if I could jam with him and it totally clicked. We worked as a duo for a while until singer/songwriter bassist Woody Ray Lawson came in and the "sound" was complete and very unique. In 1999, we went into the studio with our first CD 'Tropical Illusion' and released it in 2000. It was mostly original material written by Mark and Woody with two Buffett covers and one Harry Belafonte cover, and the venues and the pay started to get way better. In 2004, we recorded our second CD 'Tourist Town,' produced by Zack Taylor (Larry Joe Taylor's son). It was more clean but not as edgy and more radio friendly. It got some air play on the Texas Music radio scene. It, too, was mostly originals with a Beach Boys cover and an Elvis Presley cover. We kept on applying our trade as best we could. Over the years we would split and reunite quite a few times. The last time we got together we went into the studio in the winter of 2016 with Ron Baker (Charley Pride band) as a producer. We came up with a cover concept and recorded songs from the 60s and 70s Top 40 (charts) and did them in our island style. The CD is called 'Triggerfish COVER THIS.'  It was released in May of 2017 and of course we all know what happened in August of that year, so (the album) marked an end of an era."

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"Port Aransas is inspiring for musicians and artists because you can feel the PULSE of the place—the colors, the people, it's just an awesome place to be and LIVE. I'll never leave voluntarily. Lol."

Do you write your own music?

"I have cowritten a few things in my time, but I've done more arranging music than writing lyrics."

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"My fav(orit)e Port A venue was Giggity's. Edwin is a great host and ran sound like a pro. My other fav(orit)e was Ballyhoos which became Neptune's later on, and Back Porch Bar. Triggerfish was the first live band to play there."

What makes a great audience?

"A great audience is one that listens and you can actually feel their vibe."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"My preferred drink onstage is bottled water. My preferred after-gig drink is DOS EQUIS."

What is your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"My favorite song by another artist is Crystal Blue Persuasion by Tommy James and the Shondells. It takes me back to a beautiful  time in my life and school boy crushes. Lol." 

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"If i was an ice cream flavor it would be RUM RAISIN. I have some wrinkles but I'm still very POTENT!!! Emoji "

Where can we find your work?

"You can find some of my work on YouTube but the Triggerfish CDs are not currently on the market. I can get them on request but I'm still working on that."

What else should music fans know?

"Ultimately what music fans should know is...if you go to a venue for live music—unless you have small children at the babysitter's or some other pending situation—turn your Phone OFF and feel the essence of the music. And be polite. If a band is debuting a CD of original material, don't request cover songs by other bands."

What genre of music do you play?

"Reggae rock folk surf music, A.K.A. 'Texas Island Country.'”

Where are you from?

"The New Braunfels (&) Port Aransas area."

How did you get started in music?

"I really dug the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in the early 60s, but I think it was around 1966 that my sister came home from college with many albums like the Doors and Steppenwolf. But the one that really got me was Jimi Hendrix’s 'Are You Experienced.' I know then I had to do this."

How did you get to Port Aransas?

"In 2009 I met Paul Fain at Gruene Hall and I was just resurrecting my music career. Paul had owned the Tarpon Ice House, which is now Treasure Island, and he said that he was having a music bash at his place in Port Aransas, and with the recommendation of my dear friend Al Barlow, Paul put me on the bill."

What made you stay?

"I had lived in Corpus Christi in the late 70s and early 80s so I had a lot of music connections in the area, and getting bit by the surfing bug and my time spent in Hawaii, the island lifestyle just seemed a natural fit for my rejuvenated music career."

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"The wind, the waves, the palm trees, and the people. I have developed such a strong bond with the people of Port Aransas, especially those who forgive me when I mess up…Lol."

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"I have developed a fan base that spreads around the world because so many people come to visit from the far reaches of our planet. So when I travel to other areas, I have developed a following that was originally generated by my exposure in the Port Aransas music scene."

Do you write your own music?

"Yes, I write about the Texas Gulf Coast; I write about boats, relationships, swimming pools, cookouts, hurricanes, and oh yes, of course the Island Girls. The Hurricane Harvey recovery displayed the fortitude, strength, and resilience of our Island Women."

What is your favorite Port A venue to play?

"There are so many wonderful venues that I play or have played  in Port Aransas and they are all my favorite. Currently my rotation is the VFW, the Gaff, Roosevelt’s, and Red’s @ Palmilla Beach.

What makes a great audience?

"That’s another great thing about performing in Port A, it’s the crowds. What makes a great audience? Port A audiences. They are always there for one thing, and that is to have a good time.

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"I usually don’t indulge during…but after, I like to have a margarita on the rocks, or maybe a glass of Pinot Grigio."

What is your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"Any answer I would give to that question would simply be my favorite flavor of the moment. Right this moment? Sammy Hagar's 'Bad Motor Scooter.' No, wait. Foo Fighters 'Times Like These.' No, Pearl Jam's 'Black.' ...see what I mean?"

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Neopolitan (because) since this is a music interview. My music has a wide variety of flavors."

Where can we find your work?

"Just about every single music streaming service. I have five collections (albums) available to stream everywhere from Spotify, Youtube, Apple, you name it. Heck, I heard Alexa play me just for asking 'Alexa, play Billy Snipes.'"

What else should music fans know?

"I am constantly evolving as a musician, songwriter, and performer. If you saw me six months ago and see me now, there would be some of the same stuff, but a lot of new stuff always like new."

Fun Fact:

"Bill Withers’ version of 'Ain't No Sunshine' has 26 'I knows' and my version has 17."

What is your Band Name?

"Aloha Dave and the Tourists: Mark Maroney on bass and vocals, Bill Purcell on drums and vocals, Rockin' Ray Summy on guitar and vocals, and Dave Maroney on guitar and vocals."

What Genre of Music Do You Play?

"Beach party music and classic rock–trop rock."

Where are you from?

"Corpus Christi."

How did you get started in music?

"My father played guitar and sang so I was always around music."

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"For us Corpus Christi teenage surfers in the 1970s Port Aransas was a bit of a road trip and held a kind of mysterious aura about it. In today’s world, Port Aransas is a gem of friendliness and good vibes. You can feel it when you pull into town. We try to play there as much as we can."

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"Oh my, I now live near Kerrville, Texas and driving from the hill country to Port Aransas is a special experience. I can literally feel the stress falling off as I smell the salt sea air and catch a glimpse of the waves."

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"It’s hard to put into words. It goes back to the small town nature of the scene and the transient vacationer clientele. The locals are in tune with the good vibes and the vacationers can tap into that if they can slow down enough."

Do you write your own music?

"We released an album of original tunes in 1986 self-titled Aloha Dave and the Tourists (yes, on vinyl). Our original tune "I Want to be a Beach Bum" was a hit on local radio in 1987. In 2011 we released It’s Good to Be, a live album recorded live at The Back Porch Bar right there in Port A!"

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"Giggity’s was always a good time. The Back Porch, Shorty’s, and Sunset Sounds are our favorite places to play currently."

What makes a great audience?

"Locals and vacationers that are relaxed enough to enjoy an evening of fun music. Aloha Dave and the Tourists got together in 1982 and are still playing today with the same band members. It’s pretty special to see folks that have been friends of the band throughout our 40 year history."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"Personally I like a nice unsweet iced tea before the show. A margarita after the show can be quite satisfying."

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"Into the Mystic by Van Morrison is pretty good."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Vanilla, as a band we don’t usually go out there into no man’s land too much. It has worked for us through the years to play popular fun songs that people can immediately recognize and move their feet to the dance floor."

Where can we find your work?

"You can find Aloha Dave and the Tourists on Facebook."

What else should music fans know?

"In 2022 we celebrate our 40th year together entertaining audiences of all ages."

Fun Fact:

"I knew Ray Summy in High School in the 1970s. When we got together in the band he had only been playing guitar for a couple of months. I had several year’s experience playing in different bands so I was more advanced on the guitar. Well, it didn’t take long for Ray’s guitar skills to surpass mine. Sometimes I referred to him and Edie Van Raylen, Master of the Stratocaster. He is now a celebrated regular in the Port A local scene. The good folks of Port A have lovingly tagged him with the moniker Ray Ray PA. They created a Facebook page for him even though he is not personally on Facebook."

Artist Feature

Meet Ty Dietz

Ty Dietz is the Americana crooner who says Port A venues remind him how much he loves entertaining people.

Black and white photo of a man singing into a microphone.
Do you have a band name?

"Ty Dietz, Ty Dietz Music, Ty Dietz and The Cool Arrows."

What genre of music do you play?

"Americana."

Where are you from? 

"Corpus Christi, TX."

How did you get started in music?  

"I had a friend in middle school (1994) that taught me a few chords. I asked my parents for a guitar and they bought me one from a pawn shop. I learned a few Nirvana songs and never put it down."  

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?  

"Ronnie Narmour started booking me at Shorty’s and Giggity’s eight or nine years ago. All pandering stage banter aside, Shorty’s is my absolute favorite stage to play. There’s a magic there that can’t be explained."  

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"The support I get from the locals is unbelievable! I play six nights a week and a lot of them are for the money not the love. Playing to the locals and tourists from all over at Shorty’s, Bron’s, or Back Porch reminds me how much I love entertaining people. My Sunday gigs at Shorty’s is one I anxiously look forward to all week!"

What makes the Port A music scene different?  

"Again, the mix of locals and tourists as and audience is great. I’ve also met some good friends here in Port A. Musicians, fans, bar staff, and patrons. Playing there for almost a decade, my Port A people have become a family."   

Do you write your own music? 

"Yes! I write a lot of my music. I do play covers but most are of friends of mine or songs that just inspire me. I rarely do Top 40 stuff. By rarely I mean never." 

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?  

"Shorty’s hands down but I love them all."  

What makes a great audience? 

"Engaged people that aren’t talking or on their phones the whole time."  

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"Water and Red Bull. Not mixed. One of each."  

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"Billy Joe Shaver/Live Forever."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Rocky Road because it’s my fav(orit)e."  

Where can we find your work?

"Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, etc."

What else should music fans know?

 My website! tydietzmusic.com

Fun Fact:

"Coca-Cola was originally green."

What are your names?

"Justin Estes and Niki Gil."

Do you have a band name?

"Justin & Niki (or) The Chanklas."

What genre of music do you play?

"Reggae, soul, Americana, country."

Where are you from?  

"Corpus Christi."

How did you get started in music? 

Justin: "I was born into a music-evangelist family, started singing on stage at age four."

Niki: "I've been singing with my dad and family all my life but it wasn't until I reunited with Justin that I started doing it seriously."

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"We drove. 45 mins. 😂 We love the people and the awesome beaches!"

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"The sense of community and how everyone rallied during and after Hurricane Harvey made us really fall in love with the town and people."

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"It's a more laidback, island vibe, and the people and patrons pay attention to the music more than other places, it seems."

Do you write your own music?

"Yes, a few, but most of our sets consist of either little-known cover songs or our own interpretations of popular songs."

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"Very difficult to choose, but Bron's Backyard and Back Porch are a couple of fav(orit)es because they always make us feel so welcome, and everyone always has an awesome time."

What makes a great audience?

"The energy and diversity is what we feed off every time we play a song. It's to different people and it changes that song for that moment for us."

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

J: "Espolòn and Lone Star."

N: "Fireball and Miller Lite."

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens #everafter."

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Strawberry for Niki, as she used to eat it all the time with her grandpa as a little girl. Vanilla swirl for Justin, (because) he's white with a swirl of soul (Lol)."

Where can we find your work?

"Some is on YouTube, some on Facebook. We are currently trying to get some more songs recorded soon."

What else should music fans know?

"Just be aware and respect the sacrifices that we musicians make, especially during a pandemic, to provide a temporary distraction from all the madness around us."

Fun Fact:

"We have a little dog named Prudence after the Beatles song 'Dear Prudence.'"

What genre of music do you play?

"Last Call is a Jazz duo-quartet, while John Amundsen and the Padrinos play blues, rock, and reggae."

Where are you from?

"Port Aransas."

How did you get started in music?

"Both my father and brother where musicians. Growing up there was always music around and instruments."

How did you get to Port Aransas? What made you stay?

"My family moved here to open the restaurant Lisabella's when I was young. After high school, I lived and played in DFW for four years and traveled another year. I came back to visit and haven’t wanted to leave since." 

How does Port Aransas inspire you?

"The easy living of a small town in conjunction with the laidback atmosphere of an island town has had an immense impact on how I perform and the music I write. Also, the variety of areas that people are from due to tourism always keeps me on my toes and excited when I perform." 

What makes the Port A music scene different?

"It has a lot of very awesomely-interesting characters. It also has a lot of very awesomely-interesting venues. Also, it can be surprising how talented the pool of working musicians is in the area, considering the small size." 

Do you write your own music?

"Yes. I write and perform mostly originals these days." 

What is your favorite Port A venue to play? Why?

"Shorty’s would have to be my favorite. Always a good crowd with nice people and it has such a long history. It’s a staple to the island. It’s also where I really got my foot in the door in this area after moving back from DFW."

What makes a great audience?

"(I) love to just see people having a good time and enjoying themselves." 

What is your preferred during/after set beverage?

"Anything free."

What if your favorite song by an artist other than yourself?

"It’s too hard to narrow down one. I love all styles of music, from blues to hip hop. Lately, I’ve been on a big Willie Nelson kick and the song 'I’d Have to be Crazy.'"

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

"Strawberry funk. No explanation." 

Where can we find your work?

"Currently just at Johnamundsenmusic.com, however I do have an album in the works to be completed in 2022 and that will be released on all platforms."

What else should music fans know?

"Musicians work hard." 

Fun Fact:

"When Joan Jett came to Port Aransas in the late 80s for a Spring Break concert, the entire island ran out of beer to sell."