Reeled in by Key West

Wetmore plays music every day

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Terry Wetmore performs with the Cory Heydon Band on the Fury “Commotion on the Ocean” Sunset Cruise, every Tuesday to Sunday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in summer, and 5 to 7 p.m. in the winter. TODD FEIT/Contributed

Veteran musician Terry Wetmore first came to Key West as part of the touring band “The Blue Sparks from Hell” based in New Jersey. The band played jump blues swing band music, performing one-nighters from New Jersey to Texas. But when they came to Key West they’d play Sloppy Joe’s for two weeks at a time. Back in the ’80s they performed every Fantasy Fest, providing the perfect vibe. In those days, The Blue Sparks were always on the road and crisscrossing with the likes of Bill Blue and the Nervous Guys. Wetmore fell in love with Key West, and he and his wife vowed to move here one day.

In 1990 the band got off the road, and Wetmore went in to record production as a staff producer at the Power Station owned by Tony Bongiovi. Wetmore spent a couple of years taking 30 of Jon Bon Jovi’s recording demos from 1980 and 1981 and creating master songs out of them. During that time, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were recording there as well. Three of the Jon Bon Jovi songs that Wetmore worked on were released and became popular in Japan. Meanwhile he and his wife were vacationing every year in Key West and finally bought a home in 1999 in Bahama Village and moved here in 2006. “I played with everyone in town for a year or two. In 2008 I joined the Cory Heydon Band full time.” The band is Cory Heydon on guitar and lead vocals, Tom Conger on bass and vocals, and Terry on electronic drums and vocals. For 10 years they’ve played the Fury’s “Commotion on the Ocean” sunset cruise 6 days a week. That adds up to about 3,000 gigs.

Born and raised in Schenectady, N.Y., Wetmore is quick to point out he was the fortunate recipient of music education at the public schools starting at second grade. In those days, music education was easily available to all students in his school system.

“We have an amazing Island here because you can play as many shows every week until you drop.” On Monday, his night off from the Fury, he plays from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. with Preacher Pete and the Preference at Sloppy Joe’s. “We play radio hits and popular tunes and deep cover stuff that people know and love. Lots of times people call out tunes and we give a try!” Wetmore also plays traditional Irish music with Fiona Molloy. “Off season we love to go up to the mountains in Virginia. It really helps you appreciate how great a place Key West is when you step away from it for a short time and then come home!

By Daryl Brooke

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