Howard Livingston: From Kentucky Coal Mines to Keys Music Legend

Keys music scene, meet Howard Livingston. This son of a Kentucky coal miner turned trop-rock maestro has been strumming the island vibe for just 18 years, but boy, has he made waves. Just dropped his 11th album, “House Down by the Sea,” and it's making a splash bigger than a cannonball off a Key West dock.

This guy's not just a studio hermit. He's a regular showstopper at local haunts like Boondocks Grille & Draft House & Miniature Golf (ever played a round with a guitar in hand?) and Sugarloaf Lodge. Oh, and he rocked the mic at the “200 Years of Paradise Kick-off Concert.” Yeah, the Florida Keys’ 2023 bicentennial bash - big deal.

Livingston's tunes like “I’m Living on an Island” and “Blame It on the Margaritas” are more than just catchy; they're the soundtrack to the island life. And get this – the guy's a Trop Rock Music Awards Entertainer of the Year. Not too shabby for a guy who used to make parts for diesel engines, right?

But wait, there's more. This man mixes margaritas on stage with a 1952 Johnson outboard motor turned mega margarita machine. Talk about a party trick! And he auctions off these boozy delights for a good cause – helping Keys charities.

Before the island life, Livingston was just another Midwest guy from Cumberland, Kentucky, and Marion, Indiana. He even nabbed a scholarship for engineering in Chicago. But the Keys called his name in the mid-80s, and he knew he'd found his true north. Cue the life-changing moment in China (of all places) where he penned “Living on Key West Time.” Fast forward, and he's a Summerland Key local.

Here's the kicker – through his music, Livingston and his better half, Cyndy, have drummed up over $1 million for kiddos in need, like sending young cancer warriors to Care Camps. Talk about a tune with a cause!

Livingston's life mantra? “It's a great day when you get to wake up on an island. I've found paradise.” And where does this island king unwind? Boondocks for the family vibes and Roostica on Stock Island for a slice of heaven (aka pizza). When he's not on stage, he's exploring the backcountry, hanging with his wife, grandkids, and pup Anderson, and never missing a sunset.

That's Howard Livingston for you – a coal miner's son turned Keys legend, mixing margaritas and melodies, all while making the world a bit brighter one song at a time.