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2014 TRMA
Songwriter of the Year

Florida based Trop Rock singer/songwriter and frequent visitor to Key West, Steve Tolliver, has won the 2014 Trop Rock Music Association's "Songwriter of the Year" award. This is Steve's first win after 3 nominations.   The Trop Rock Music Association is made up of artists, fans, radio stations, venues and other groups alligned with this music genre.

Born and raised in the small midwest town of Yorktown Indiana, Steve's early musical influences were Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones.  Later influences were Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler and of course Jimmy Buffett.  Steve jokes that he actually wrote these songs for Jimmy Buffett but he just dosen’t know about it yet.

Steve's first gig was with a local Muncie Indiana garage band called The Downbeats.  The Downbeats were made up of drummer Glen Wheat, lead singer Doug Norton, lead guitar player Mike Branson, keyboardist Mike Sanders and Steve Tolliver on bass, back-up vocals and the occasional lead vocal.  Everything looked promising for this band but things like the draft, and other factors lead to the bands demise.  The Bryan Adams song "Summer of '69 best describes it.  "Me and some guys from school, Had a band and we tried real hard, Jimmy quit and Jody got married, I should have know we'd never get far, Oh when I look back now that summer seemed to last forever, Those were the best days of my life".  For years after The Downbeats Steve never played or sang professionally or even thought about writing songs.  It was about 16 years ago when he had an idea for a song.  That song, called "68 Tango" about a flight to Key West on a friends plane, made the first CD.  Steve has been steadily writing songs ever since.

Early in 2010,  Steve put together a band to perform and help promote the CD.  The band called "Trop Rock Junkies" is made up of some of the best musicians in the area.  They include lead guitar player and back up vocalist, Mike Coleman, Greg Sabol on bass guitar who played in one of Sydney Australia's top bands many years back, Iowa Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Steve Way on Drums and John Zych on keyboard.  The band has played at many large festivals and events including a Jimmy Buffett Concert, Stars Fell On Alabama, Gulf Shores, AL, Music On The Bay, Tampa, FL, Fin Fest, Columbia, SC, Pardi Gras in New Orleans and many others including the Trop Rockin' 4th of July at Hoosier Park in Anderson, IN where they performed for over 10,000. .

Steve's future plans include touring throughout Florida and the country with the Trop Rock Junkies, performing at festivals, fairs and  Parrot Head events.
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Performing with the Trop Rock Junkies at the Trop Rockin' 4th of July at Hoosier Park in Anderson, IN.
The early days with The Downbeats (Steve lower right)
Key West radio interview on KONK AM 1500
Left to right: Steve and Lightning Jack McGivern

Song:  Sand in Her Shoes #4 in Nationwide Lyric Contest

Steve Tolliver's song "Sand In Her Shoes" placed #4 in a national lyric writing contest put on by the Nashville based American Songwriter Magazine. Steve said "It was quite an honor to have the song place 4th out of hundreds of entries.  It is on the "Back to the Islands" CD.

Click on photo to read lyrics