Tony Baltimore has been performing at venues throughout Key West since his arrival in 2011. NICK DOLL/Contributed

In a town with a stellar music scene, General Horseplay is quickly becoming a destination for a great live music experience. From the on-stage talent and sound and lighting experts, to the friendly staff and overall hip, welcoming vibe, General Horseplay is making a name for itself alongside some of the other long-standing live music venues on the island.

“My vision is to have a safe and inviting atmosphere for all,” said general manager Andre Amador. “We strive to offer the best cocktails in town, along with the best customer service and to provide an unforgettable experience. Not only do we use fresh ingredients in our specialty drinks, but we also offer an out-of-this-world music experience.”

General Horseplay, 423 Caroline St., opened in early August 2018. The goal, according to Amador, was to provide a place for customers to “get lost for hours in self-indulgence. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.” 

Music manager Ryan Dickie started as a doorman at General Horseplay. He eventually took over booking and stage management and has done an outstanding job. At his suggestion, the bar owners eventually purchased a state-of-the-art sound system and added stage lights. 

“The early days were tough,” Dickie recalls. “We were just finding our rhythm when COVID hit. We just kept on plugging away. We wanted to be a safe place and definitely wanted to be a responsible business while remaining relevant.”

Dickie is one of Key West’s biggest supporters of local musicians. That passion has kept him focused on providing a unique venue for local performers.

“We want to provide a place for local musicians to perform what they want to play. In fact, I encourage them to play original songs as well as unique covers that aren’t typically heard at most other venues. This is a platform to watch local musicians grow as artists.” 

Dickie and General Horseplay have designed a unique lineup of entertainment. Some of the highlights from the weekly schedule include Mondays and Tuesdays with local favorite bartender and Key West character Landon Bradbary hosting games and music trivia. You’re likely to find me there on Wednesdays, when one of Key West’s most talented young performers, Marshall Morlock, performs with his three-piece band. I highly recommend this rocking trio. Thursday is typically a big band night featuring one of many great local bands. Fridays and Saturdays are a mixed bag of local and traveling bands. 

“Sundays are my baby,” says Dickie. “On Sunday nights we have the ‘Sunday Sessions,’ hosted each week by a talented house band composed of rotating local musicians. Other musicians are encouraged to come by and join in an organized jam session.” 

General Horseplay has become a hot spot for many local musicians to just show up after their own gigs to join this jam.

If you are looking for a unique, sophisticated (by Key West standards), and memorable live music experience, this music junkie highly recommends General Horseplay. When it comes to music, they are not horsing around.

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1.) Stephen Stills 
2.) Mark Knopfler
3.) Lindsey Buckingham
4.) Alex Lifeson
5.) Neal Schon

Ben Solove is a local radio personality and music promoter who loves to share his passion for music.