THIS WEEKEND: TEEN BAND PERFORMS AT MARGARITAVILLE

BlackWater Sound, a teen band that plays classic and Southern rock, plays at Margaritaville on Duval Street Saturday, Sunday and Monday. DONNA PAUL PHOTOGRAPHY/Contributed

Teenagers Jake and Cole Phillips have spent their summers in Key West, and are veterans of Reef Relief and COAST summer camps. This weekend, the brothers also join the ranks of iconic musicians who have performed at the world-famous Margaritaville on Duval Street.

Their band, BlackWater Sound, includes Cole, 15, on drums; Jake, 17, on guitar; Tillia, 12, on lead vocals; Lukas, 16, on guitar; and Julian, 13, on bass.

“Key West is a great music town and has given us lots of inspiration,” said Cole Phillips. “It is such a pleasure and a great opportunity to play Margaritaville.” 

After forming in September 2021, and playing mostly around Broward and Palm Beach, for about a year, the band’s members are now writing some of their own material. 

Sharing a love for classic rock and Southern rock, they play an infectious mix of another generations’ favorites, with a few hidden gems. Audiences will hear Skynyrd, Tom Petty, the Allmans, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Doors, the Kinks, and Santana. 

 “We love the people, the vibe and the stress-free, easy-going lifestyle of Key West,” Jake Phillips said, adding that “growing up on this island has shown the unique quality of life that only the Keys can provide — and it has some tasty fritters.” 

Taking their name from Blackwater Sound, the body of water across Jewfish Creek from Card Sound north of Key Largo, the band has played local events, private parties, brew pubs, bars and restaurants, as well as music festivals throughout South Florida.

 They’ve even headlined multiple-band events for not-for-profit charities like Kids In Distress, where they teamed up to raise money for programs that benefit kids.

Lead singer Tillia, whose vocals belie her age, has been compared to Janis Joplin, one of her favorites. Bassist Julian, the newest member, bass-slaps and lays down the backbeat groove along with Cole, the field general on drums, keeping the whole outfit churning with flawless tempo. And then the double guitar attack of Lukas and Jake trading hot licks and face-melting solos will undoubtedly knock your flip flops off. You won’t believe these musicians are kids and their show is not to be missed.

They were even invited on stage at the Green Parrot’s weekly soundcheck by Honey Island Swamp Band.

The band makes its debut at Margaritaville Key West, 500 Duval St. on May 28 and 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. and on May 30 from 1-4 p.m.


BlackWater Sound performs at Margaritaville
7-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 28 & 29
1-4 p.m. Monday, May 30

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.