Monday, February 21, 2011

Music Man Under A Straw Hat

Scotty Lee Rexroat has never met me, and probably never will.  Nevertheless, I know him quite well.  This, despite the fact, that if I saw him without a straw hat on his head or a guitar in his hands, I probably would not even recognize him, unless, of course, he was singing.
Musicians, like writers, connect very successfully to others without actually having to meet them.  Musicians do it through music and lyrics, and writers do it through the written word.  In either case, powerful messages can be sent and received even though the sender and receiver have never met.  Artists send messages as well.  Through their carvings, statues, paintings, and, drawings, they communicate to succeeding generations.  Architects, too, send messages through time.  The wonder of the Great Pyraimids of Egypt resonates with all of us thousands of years after they were first designed, just as clearly as the more recent buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Scotty Lee Rexroat is a son of Pinellas County, Florida.  I really don’t have a clue how old he is, although I would guess that he is in his 50’s.  His age wouldn’t actually matter much if it weren’t for what he remembers about things lost.  Scotty Lee Rexroat remembers a Florida that doesn’t exist anymore, and sings about what he remembers through several of his musical styles, including, folk, country, blues, and rock.

Scotty Lee Rexroat

During his performances, through both his music and commentary, he reminds his audience of the numerous negative impacts the citizens of the "Sunshine State" have had upon the natural environment of Florida.  He jokes about how he  now refers to Pinellas County as “Pineless County,” given the widespread destruction of the once prevalent pine forests which covered the peninsula.  Through his songs like, “The Last Florida Waltz,” “Sweet Cracker Girl,” “Pineless County,” and, “She’s A Weeki Wachee Mermaid,” he challenges us to think about the past, and in some cases, the damage done to Florida’s once pristine and pure Gulf Coast.  Unfortunately, what has happened in Florida is neither new, nor unique.

Traditionally, Americans, in their zeal to always move forward, tend to forget about the importance of the past.  As a result, we have trampled upon and destroyed many of  our country's natural and historic treasures. Over time, virgin forests, life-sustaining wetlands, historic buildings, clean water, family-owned orange groves, and Civil War battlefields have all been destroyed under the banner of development and progress.  Sad to say, but progress once gained, is usually final. Scotty Lee’s musical gift to us is important because it causes us to slow down, however briefly, and take stock of what we’ve already lost, and what we continue to lose with each passing day.
In a day and age where it must be extremely difficult for the average person to appreciate a minstrel with a straw hat covered with silly fishing lures collecting tips in a plastic bait bucket; please take this one seriously, because he has an important message about the “price” of so-called “progress.”


  1. K.Sue aka Lovastay DrumastayFriday, March 18, 2011

    That's our Scotty and we love him! He brings something very special and unique to the music scene here in Florida!

  2. K.Sue--
    Yes, he certainly does, and just like you, I appreciate his music and message very much. Thanks for reading the blog! Bob

  3. Love Scotty Lee! He and his band the Treble Hooks! They deliver a passionate message of "old Florida" with high energy and lots of fun!

  4. We saw Scotty Lee at Dunedin Doggie Rescue's 'Suds on Sunday' event in June 2012. We enjoyed his songs and his particular 'old-Florida' music style.

  5. A super talent and a great friend. I feel his passion about my home state and cherish his gift of music. Rock on, Scotty.