Winter Park / Live Music: ‘Walking jukebox’ plays everything from Willie Nelson to Jimmy Buffett |

Winter Park / Live Music: ‘Walking jukebox’ plays everything from Willie Nelson to Jimmy Buffett

by Cyndi PalmerSky-Hi Daily News

Full-time professional soloist, duo and band musician Gary Key is putting on a free solo concert this Saturday at Buckets Saloon in Winter Park. Key plays acoustic guitar – mostly covers and some originals – everything from Willie Nelson to Jimmy Buffett.The musician, known as The Walking Jukebox, has been playing music for 40 years, 20 as a pro, he said. Key, who grew up in Marianna, Ark. gained interest in music at the age of 6, when his father, also a musician, gave him his first guitar.He and his wife, Cheryl, moved to Colorado from the U.S. Virgin Islands after being hit by four hurricanes in four straight weeks. When one of their friends from St. Thomas heard they were heading to Colorado, he told them to see his friend Deno in Winter Park. He was told that Deno would love his music.We showed up at Deno’s door and my wife talked Deno into a free audition gig that night, four days before Christmas. Within 20 minutes of the gig she had me booked three gigs a week, every week, for the entire season, he said. We’ve been here ever since (13 years).Key’s musical influences come mostly from classic rock, from musicians like Young, Crosby, Stills and Nash; James Taylor, Black Sabbath, Alison Krauss, and Deloris Telescope. I’m always inspired by music itself, he adds.When not on the stage, Key is a stonemason. He’s also been a big game hunting guide in the Rocky Mountain region. So, I guess you could say ‘Man, what a life’. However, First and foremost, he is a musician, he said, then a husband, stonemason, sometimes hunting guide, a community supporter and a guy who would love to just win the lottery and play music for free, and on the side – fish, hunt, golf, surf, snowboard and travel.In order for him to play more, he travels quite a bit. A Musician with friends worldwide, Key is said to be The best damn tenor this side of Tampa Bay, according to Scotty Lee Rexroat of Florida.What Key likes most about playing locally at Buckets is the younger crowd the venue attracts, and that they like the old-school stuff. I always look forward to gigs, he said. Once it’s in your blood, there’s no turning back. There’s nothing, and I mean nothing like performing in front of a live audience. It’s just the best, especially when they are digging the music.It’s great living and playing here, he said. The bar owners, their manager and employees, support the local musicians. Playing for them, the patrons and the tourists has been the highlight of live performances. He says he hopes his audiences get a night of memories, fun and a performance they won’t forget. I also hope audiences realize that musicians are there for them. Without an audience we are nothing.For more on Key, visit MySpace pages and osborne& For any bookings, e-mail

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