How long in Key West/Irish Kevin’s: Came to Key West in 1992, Opened Irish Kevin’s in July 1998
Start to music? Inspirations? Started playing guitar at age 15 in Ireland. John Denver, John Lennon, The Beatles, U2
First job? Ever fired? Bartended in Ireland at 14, I’ve never been fired so far… ?
Favorite song to play? Imagine by John Lennon
Does your guitar have a name? NOPE, but I do tend to call it “asshole” when I break a string..
Little known fact about yourself: I live on an island surrounded by gorgeous ocean, yet I get seasick VERY easily
How long at Irish Kevin’s, and what brought you here? I’ve been playing at IK’s 12 years now, and was recommended by a fellow piano player friend from NYC when I lived in Nashville
Start to music? I started performing at age 5 at my elementary school talent show, learned to play guitar at 18.
Musical inspiration? George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Buck Owens.
First job? I picked strawberries in the summer for 5 cents a quart when I was very young. I was also a radio DJ
Best thing about being a musician? I get to travel the world and play for wonderful people doing what I love. I speak the language of the world: MUSIC.
Favorite song to play? Postmark Birmingham by Blackhawk
Drink of choice? Jack Daniels
How long in Kw/IK’s? I’ve been in Key West for 5 years, since October 2010. My first show at Irish Kevin’s was on July 21, 2013. I moved here to play music because I didn’t like being a grown up.
Start to music and inspirations? I started playing guitar in high school, I wanted to play heavy metalguitar like AC/DC, Judas Priest, OzzyOsbourne..
How do you best describe your show at Kevin’s? 5 chords and lines of bullshit
First job ever? Ever fired? Paper boy. I’ve been fired MANY times, mostly for oversleeping.
Favorite song to play? “I Melt With You” by Modern English
Best Irish Kevin’s story? Irish Kevin’s is the only bar I’ve been thrown out of (in Key West, ha). I can’t share the details.
Does your guitar have a name? I call it names when I have trouble tuning it. Does that count?
Favorite drink? Jagermeister
Fun facts about Bradd: I was born the second day of Woodstock, August 16th, 1969. My first guitar was $15 at a garage sale (my mom said I’d never learn how to play it)
How long in KW, IK’s and what brought you here? I’ve lived in Key West for 3 years, and started at Kevin’s soon after I arrived. I had performed in Key West previously when I was in a touring band and I always wanted to return to such a great vacation destination/music town
Start to music? I started playing drums in my teens and never stopped. I love what I do. I’ve played in dozens of bands and learned thousands of songs along the way-I never knew it would prepare me for the perfect gig at Irish Kevin’s.
Favorite band? Inspiration? I definitely prefer 80’s and classic rock. Musically, I’ve gotten to this point by listening to and learning ALL styles…even though I may enjoy some more than others.
How would you describe The Jared and Jim Show? We’re a high energy, full-on Key West party! We pride ourselves on our “all request” format. We are a duo that sounds and performs like a full band. From the moment we start, the crowd knows that we are there to deliver the music of their past, present, and whatever makes their night fun and memorable.
Best thing about playing at Irish Kevin’s: Every night is like going to a party where we are the guest of honor.
Funny story about being a musician? I was playing in a 3 piece cover band in Cleveland, OH and our agent asked us to perform as a Jimmy Buffett tribute band at a South Bend, IN minor league baseball stadium. I had to borrow tan shorts, sandals, and a Hawaiian shirt to fit the part (as I basically wear black, AC/DC, and Van Halen shirts). The funny thing is that we really only knew about 6 Buffett songs-we played them all twice, threw in some John Cougar songs, played Brown Eyed Girl, and we managed to pull it off. I still don’t own tan shorts or a flowery shirt…
How long in Key West/Irish Kevin’s (and what brought you here) I have been in key west since 2006 and at Irish Kevin’s since about the same time. I was on a sailboat from Jacksonville to the Bahamas but when the captain got here I decided not to leave and neither did he. Within a week or two I was playing at several venues and eventually made my way to Irish Kevin’s!
Start to music/inspiration? I was 14 at the house of one of my Mom’s friends and her kids had an electric guitar that they were passing around. Unfortunately, when it got to be my turn it was time to leave. Months later I was supposed to go play basketball with a friend but when we got to his house I saw another electric guitar and could NOT put it down. He told me “you can take the guitar with you if we play some basketball right now!”. That was my first guitar, complete with 9v battery and built in speaker.
How would you describe your show to someone who’s never seen you perform? I truly try to do a one-man band show. An acoustic, midi synth and (sometimes) 3 loop stations going at the same time. It’s funny though with all the technical equipment the sounds I prefer are the ones hundreds of years old, violin, piano, congas etc. It’s amazing to me to be able to play piano and drums live on an acoustic.
Best story while playing at IK’s? When I first started I was doing security at the same time at Kevin’s. There were occasional days when I would play in the morning, go take a nap and come back to do security and have to (politely) tell people who had drank too much they had to go. It’s like “I know I’m part of the reason you are had so much to drink starting 8 hours ago but maybe it’s time to call it a night”.
Drink of choice? Either Fireball or Jägermeister. We have created a few crazy drinks throughout the years though, mainly the Powerdrill. It’s a screwdriver with Redbull. That will get you going real quick!
How long in KW, Irish Kevin’s? I moved to Key West in March of 2010 from St. Louis, MO and immediately started to perform full time. I spent 3 years at another well known bar on Duval, then was offered to join the Irish Kevin’s family in June of 2013
Start to music? Inspriations? I startd playing music at 13 after my father bought me a guitar for my birthday. I took lessons for about 2 years, then self-taught after that. All of my inspirations were originally punk rock influenced bands that I would listen to in dive clubs in St Louis. I’d like to say that music kept me out of trouble, but that would be a bit of a lie.
First job? Ever fired? I was hired at McDonalds at 15. It was pretty fun actually-I was able to get 4 of my punk rock buddies hired as well. We would “accidentally acquire” cases of happy meal toys and give them away as gifts to anyone that came to watch us play. Never got fired, even though I probably should have!!
Best story while playing at Irish Kevin’s? Oh boy. There was once a group of military guys from The Wounded Warrior Project hanging at the bar. One gentleman in particular had a prosthetic leg, and he wanted to come up onstage with us. Wanting to recognize our military heroes, I happily obliged. Well, before I know it, he literally TAKES OFF his prosthetic leg, fills it up with beer, and hands it to me to drink out of it! I didn’t exactly know what to do at first…but who would say no to that?! It tasted a little salty, but was awesome at the same time..
Does your guitar have a name? My Gibson Chet Atkins SST guitar is named Oprah. She’s never let me down!
Drink of choice? Jagermeister! Proudly sponsored.
Fun fact about yourself: I’m a HUGE Star Wars and a comic book fan. I may seem like a rock star while I’m onstage, but people seem to be surprised that I’m a pretty big dork at heart.
Paul Mandell (NY Pauly)
How long in Key West/Irish Kevin’s (and what brought you here)? I responded to an ad in an NYC newspaper in the summer of 2003, and was invited to Key West for an audition by Irish Kevin himself. Been here 12 years now!
Start to music/inspiration? I began playing guitar in bands in high school. I’ve always been inspired and personally influenced by the great baritone voices of Jim Morrison and Frank Sinatra. I also admire many of the amazing musicians (my friends) who perform at Kevin’s and all over Key West
How would you describe your show to someone who’s never seen you perform? I’ve always thought of my show to be the ultimate interactive music and comedy variety show. A no holds-barred (but playful) party for people on vacation. I’ll play your favorite bar sing-alongs, I’ll push your smut threshold…I’ll motor-boat your fiance’! It’ll be an experience you’ll never forget!
Best story while playing at IK’s? There are so many classic and HILARIOUS moments onstage over these 12 years. One of my favorites was on my birthday, my cousin and I did the “Carlton” and the Apache dance.
Drink of choice? chocolate milk with a straw..hasn’t changed since I was 6
How long in Key West, and at Irish Kevin’s? I moved here in January 2005, and have been playing here full time ever since
Start to music? Favorite band? The band Kiss the reason why I play music today. I used to play a fly swatter pretending it was a guitar while listening to Kiss records, but didn’t actually start playing the guitar till 1986. My dad showed both my brother and I how to play the guitar and bass guitar.
What’s the best thing about being a musician? Music is therapy-it’s an outlet for anything going on whether good or bad in my life. BUT, the best part is the people I’ve gotten to meet over the years. In ten years living on this island, you meet some great people.
Favorite song to play? “Call Me Al” by Paul Simon is definitely one of my favorites, and is usually the first song I play every show. It’s perfect for sound check and has a great vibe to get into party mode.
Does your guitar have a name? Believe it or not, I’ve never named any of the guitars I own. I guess I have too many to count-I currently have about 25 which includes a banjo, 2 bass guitars and a triple neck.
Drink of choice? Duh! Jagermeister! I’ve been sponsored by Jager for over 12 years and it is the ONLY thing I drink.
Any little known facts about yourself? I played saxophone prior to playing guitar, yet haven’t touched one since.
Jared Michael Hobgood
JMH was born in Evansville, IN and started playing in bars at the age of 16-before he was even legally allowed to be in them. He quickly discovered that they’d never card the entertainment.
Jared came to Key West on summer break from University of Florida Law, and stopped at Irish Kevin’s (which had been open ONE WEEK). That day, Irish Kevin himself had asked him to come onstage and play a few songs-JMH played here ever since. Jared claimed to be 90% awesome, and 30% fantastic (He was right). We miss him dearly.