BAYGRASS BLUEGRASS & BERMUDIAN SINGER GRACE THE ISLAMORADA MUSIC STAGES

Gill and Chuck Knott are the core of the funky and fun-loving group The Knotty G's. They will grace the Florida Keys Brewing Co.’s beer garden at the Baygrass Bluegrass music festival on Saturday, Jan. 14. ISLAMORADA COMMUNITY ENTERTAINMENT/Contributed

Some of the finest bluegrass bands will grace the stage at one popular beer garden this weekend. Meanwhile, an iTunes best new singer-songwriter will play at Islamorada’s amphitheater this month. 

A two-day music festival that once graced the grounds at Founders Park has moved to the iconic beer garden at Florida Keys Brewing Co. (FKBC). Islamorada Community Entertainment and FKBC joined forces to bring three days of music with five bands beginning Friday, Jan. 13, as part of the annual Baygrass Bluegrass music festival. Grandpa’s Cough Medicine’s blazing tempos and acoustic wizardry will kick off the weekend of toe-tapping music at 6 p.m..

On Saturday, Jan. 14, the Asheville, North Carolina-based group The Knotty G’s will grace the stage with their Americana music at 1 p.m. Gill and Chuck Knott are the core that provide captivating ballads and satisfying songs. Micah & the Barstool Sailors will follow with a variety of jams at 6 p.m. The band includes Micah Gardner on guitar/vocals, the funky bass master Cliff Stutts and the kicking dynamic drums of Andre Serafini.

Baygrass beats continue on Sunday, Jan. 15 with the South Florida-based Low Ground at 1 p.m. and The Grass is Dead at 6 p.m. Low Ground is heavily influenced by Americana, bluegrass, folk, rock, blues, jazz and jam style, while The Grass is Dead provides rock-spiced tunes with bluegrass instruments. 

Music festival attendees will get to enjoy the music and brews with some food by Tacos Jalisco and The Moveable Feast. The three-day music fest is free to the public. Visit keysice.com to learn more. 

With the conclusion of Baygrass Bluegrass comes the Beats on the Bay music series kickoff on Friday, Jan. 20 at Founders Park Amphitheater. Locals and visitors can park a lawn chair in the grass and hear the Bermuda musician Mishka perform. He’s a five-time Billboard reggae album chart topper, and he was named iTunes’ best new singer-songwriter. 

“A traveler and sailor at heart; his lyrics and sound are deep reflections of the reggae roots soul and consciousness of the Caribbean culture in which he grew up,” reads Mishka’s bio. He emerged on the music scene in London in 1999 with his debut album influenced by Brit record label Creation Records. Since then, he has toured throughout Europe, the Americas, Japan and Australia. 

Beats on the Bay is free to the public. A $5 parking donation is encouraged. Food trucks, beer and wine vendors, art vendors and lawn games will also be available.

Jim McCarthy is a Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, mixed martial arts and golf. He loves to hit the links and play some softball with his Make A Play team. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.