Editor’s Note: The Day the Music Lived
May 27 was a sunny spring day in North Florida. I was excited to see Tedeschi Trucks Band christen Jacksonville’s Daily’s Place amphitheater by performing on its opening night. Local guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks helms the 12-member band with his wife, Susan Tedeschi, and I was lucky enough to interview the couple for Flamingo last fall. Around midday, sad news broke: The legendary Southern rocker Gregg Allman had died. So began what would become an emotional and epic night of music.
Trucks, 38, spent 15 years of his already long and impressive career playing guitar in the Allman Brothers Band. That night, Tedeschi Trucks Band opened and closed the show with Allman tributes. Tears streamed down the cheeks of fans in the audience as Trucks wailed on his slide guitar, performing a solo of “Amazing Grace.”
Gregg Allman had his own ties to Florida and to Jacksonville. Forty-eight years ago, he and his brother Duane started the Allman Brothers Band in a house not far from where Daily’s Place now stands. When I learned that the release of Allman’s final album, Southern Blood, would coincide with the publication of Flamingo’s arts and culture issue, there was no question about what our cover story had to be.
Floridians embrace Allman as one of our own because he grew up in Daytona, started the band in Jax and lived on Anna Maria Island for years. But Allman’s music is just one of the countless cultural treasures that emerged from or was inspired by our state.
Steve Dollar, who writes about the Midnight Rider in this issue, also interviewed Miami native and Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. In her piece on legendary writers, columnist Diane Roberts dissects what it is about Florida that has captivated literary greats like Ernest Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Edwidge Danticat. And Katie Hendrick goes coastal, exploring the musical influence of adopted Floridian Jimmy Buffett.
Our story on Buffett’s trop rock legacy took us to a remote dive bar in Arcadia. The Nav-A-Gator has become somewhat of a home stage for singer-songwriters following the trail blazed by the son of a son of a sailor 40 years ago. In addition to music, film and books, we also turn the spotlight on talented Florida painters and sculptors, in Flamingo’s new department, The Studio.
Fall feels like the perfect time to nourish the soul with a trip to an art gallery, concert hall, theater or, for some, a dive bar. It’s important to recognize, however, that Florida culture extends beyond museums (or dollar-bill-covered walls), into the outdoors and onto our fields—football and quail fields, that is. In a nod to Floridians’ insatiable appetite for pigskin and upland game, we explore the finer side of NFL game day and go off-the-grid in the heart of Okeechobee.
In the end, this issue is about connecting—with nature, an album, a book, a character, a performance and, for sure, with our fellow Floridians. Turn the page and enjoy the ride.