Last issue’s article focused on the history of the Beal Street Bottle Club (2010-2014) and some of the amazing talent that performed there. Now let’s hear from some of the musicians who called the Fort Walton Beach venue home.
Hope Given: After I’d been coming to the Bottle Club on a regular basis, Gwen did something that changed my life. I was 19 and knew I loved music, but had no concept that playing it live professionally was an option. And fashionably, I was an un-hot mess—hair was wrong, clothes were wrong and I knew it, but didn’t know what to do to change it.
Gwen still loved me and saw something special. Let me tell you how Gwen changed my life. She invited me to her home and gave me the most transformative haircuts I’ve ever had, told me to look through her closet for a dress. I felt beautiful. It opened my eyes to the definition of beautiful. Gwen lit my fire. Gwen told me I was capable of playing music. Gwen helped me change and understand my image.
With everything great that happened at the Bottle Club, I am blown away by the impact EdMo (Lanier) and Gwen have been able to make on lives inside and outside of the club. I love the two of them unconditionally.
Lionel C: Need to open another club like that. If I had the money, I would just to have the gang back again.
Curtis Clark a/k/a Homemade Soul: BSBC holds a special place in my heart. I met mom and pops after going on a Saturday night and never left. Hosted open mics, planned shows, performed…that place was home. One memory that stands out—shameless plug—I wrote a song about it on one of my albums…the vibe was real. Now I’m in Virginia, working 9 to 5 and running a music publishing company, getting songwriters paid for their music.
Al Alvarado: Wow, what great times. This was a room where all people were welcomed and embraced by love. At its height, it was about the music and fellowship.
Jae Rich: Words couldn’t explain how grateful and blessed I am for the people, opportunities and musical confidence the BSBC gave me. The first venue that sparked something in me, which resulted in me putting together shows and productions, and allowing me to display those visions.
Moses West: I’ve been everywhere performing across the country, and that is still my favorite venue ever.
Vernell Leysath: I was new in town in 2011 and wanted to make new friends and have a great place to go. The clerk in the rental office told me about the BSBC. I went there on a Wednesday night and was told I looked like a singer, so P-Nut called on me and I sang “Summertime.” I didn’t know all the words, so I sang one verse over and over.
EdMo, P-Nut and Gwen saw something in me worth tapping into and continually called on me. And then, one Friday night in November, I was showcased singing two songs we rehearsed. It was a wonderful night, and that’s when I told EdMo I decided to stay in Florida and wasn’t moving back to New Jersey. I really miss BSBC…there’s no other place like it.
WHAT ARE GWEN AND EDMO DOING THESE DAYS?
After Gwen and EdMo sold the club, they created a duo and performed as the house entertainment at Cuvee 30A for nearly two years. During this time, they created a style utilizing elements of all of the music they love.
Their genre is Reggae Fusion. They both love rhythm and all styles of music. This direction has allowed Gwen and EdMo to keep songs pop, jazz, R&B, blues and indie songs in their repertoire while staying true to “the sound and soul” of Simply D’Vyne. They are currently working on their first album, which will feature the original songs “Take Me to the Sea,” “Spirit Bone and Clay,” “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover,” “Let’s Dance,” “Shine On,” and “Be the Solution.”
Community remains important to Gwen and EdMo. They have established the Emerald Coast Blues Society and host a blues jam every Monday night at the Funky Blues Shack in Destin. The goal is to connect with other musicians, beginners and pros. On jam night, musicians collaborate, create, congregate and recreate the BSBC experience. The core band is EdMo (bass), John Wolffer (drums), Chris Gardner (keyboards), Lionel C and Pappa G. Gwen serves as the host.
- Art Classes & Workshops
- Art Events
- Art Galleries
- Call to Artists
- Recent Arts and Design Society Award Winners
- Get Ready for a Wood Fired, All Natural Italian Wine Dinner on 30A
- Redd’s on 30A: Eat, Drink, Any Requests?
- Restaurant Guide
- Cadillac Attack Plows into Destin
- Live Music
- Live Music Review – Love Gun
- The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup
- Upcoming Music Releases
- Bloody Mary Fest Pays Off for Habitat for Humanity
- SoWal Wine & Food Festival a Success to the Tune of $20K
Live Music Review – Love Gun
Maritime Park, Pensacola, October 21, 2018 At Pensacola’s Maritime Park, in the shadow of Wahoo Stadium on a crisp night, New Orleans-based KISS tribute band Love Gun took the stage. ...
Studio Fit Offers More Than Just Exercise
By Samantha Lambert When you walk into Studio Fit, you feel the vibe of having fun and working out at the same time. You hear voices singing along to the Latin...
Proud Veterans of the Liberal Air Force
After I posted a short video clip and some photos of Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum’s recent visit to Harbor Docks (the best damn restaurant on the Emerald Coast—shoutout to Gail, shoutout...
THROUGH SATURDAY, NOV. 10 THE 15TH ANNUAL BEACHES TO WOODLANDS TOUR Santa Rosa County BeachesToWoodlands.com Lose yourself in a corn maze, feel the adrenaline of a zip line tour through fall foliage,...
Bloody Mary Fest Pays Off for Habitat for Humanity
The Market Shops, located at the entrance to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, hosted the 4th Annual Bloody Mary Festival on October 6, raising $8,500 for Habitat for Humanity of Walton County....
Thursday, Nov. 8 AJ’S, Destin DJ BOOM, 8 PM-Close (Bimini Stage) BLACK EYED BLONDE, 9:30 PM (Bimini Stage) NFL on the Jumbotron Screen AJ’S ON THE BAYOU, Fort Walton Beach CHRIS HAYES, 5-9 PM CAMILLE’S,...