Your TRMA Academy Members

Heather Vidal

Academy Member: Heather Vidal

Trained classically in college, Heather, while respecting the genre, never really embraced jazz and classical music the way she had always embraced her folk rock roots. Before college, she fell in love with the singer/songwriters of the day such as Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Karla Bonoff, James Taylor, Stephen Stills, and the like. She originally…

Greg Dillard

Academy Member: Greg Dillard

When Dillard was growing up on a small farm in Thaxton, MS, he had limited access to a variety of music. An old vintage cabinet record player, a handful of Gospel and Elvis Presley records, and the best of Time Life’s 50’s/60’s rounded out the family collection. Perhaps the biggest musical influence, however, was the…

Donald James

Academy Member: Donald James

Donald James is a Texas Country and Beach Music, Trop Rock artist known as the Third Coast Cowboy. He loves to write songs, play music and fish. He says he’s a musician with a fishing addiction. DJ’s music is a blend of his Honky Tonk Hero’s, Rock and Roll fantasy’s and his soulful love of…

Don Middlebrook

Academy Member: Don Middlebrook

Don Middlebroook is considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of Trop Rock music. For more than twenty-five years, he has blazed a trail of over 175 tour dates per year all across the United States. Middlebrook’s musical journey has taken him from Michigan to Key West, and from Ocean City, MD…

Dani Hoy

Academy Member: Dani Hoy

Born in Baltimore, MD, but now living the island life in Key West, FL, Dani Hoy’s mission is to create honest and entertaining ear worms about life and love in an evocative style. Carrying out her motto, “Better late than never,” Dani started her musical career around the age of 40 and has established herself…

Coconut Radio

Academy Member: Coconut Radio

Steve Reeths and Sue Kittredge formed the duo Coconut Radio in 2007 after playing many years in the upper Midwest with the jam band Square One. Hearing the call of the warm southern tropics the two embraced the beach music scene that was not only Trop Rock, but included many great Americana, Bluegrass and Blues…

Bubba Beach

Academy Member: Bubba Beach Band

Although only three years into their journey, the band now known as The Bubba Beach Band, is already enjoying commercial success on both sides of the border with every song from their first album being in picked up by over a dozen radio stations across the US, they also were nominated for a Trop Rock…

Brittany Kingery

Academy Member: Brittany Kingery

Brittany Kingery has found her beach. And she hopes that her music will lead others to find their beaches, both literally and metaphorically speaking. A few months after the release of her 2013 debut CD Edge of the Ocean, the McCleary, Washington-born singer started practicing what she preaches in her music. She quit her secure…

Brent Burns

Academy Member: Brent Burns

Brent Burns was born in Oklahoma, raised in Arizona and arrived in Gulf Shores, Alabama in 1972. This son of the desert has become the poet laureate of the beach. In 2006, Burns was named “Official Music Ambassador of the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau.” In 2008, Burns won three awards in the…

Bob Karwin

Academy Member: Bob Karwin

Trop Rock Music Association Entertainer of the Year 2016 Temecula Valley Music Awards “Best Acoustic” 2016 Bob Karwin began his music career in 1990, playing to drunken mobs in the Irish pubs of Boston, Massachusetts. He quickly made a name for himself in Beantown by being able to tame an unruly crowd fired by Guinness…

Bill Cockrell

Academy Member: Bill Cockrell

Bill Cockrell first developed a love for music early in life. Coming from a musical family, he soon found his natural ability to sing and perform. He began playing the drums at the age of 10 and quickly found himself playing many different styles of music with many different bands over the years. He has…

Keith Sykes

Academy Member: Keith Sykes

Once upon a time in the summer of 1967, Keith Sykes hitchhiked to the Newport Folk Festival and saw Arlo Guthrie perform “Alice’s Restaurant.” In the fall of that year he got a copy of the album, learned the whole song and sang it at a Holiday Inn in Charleston, South Carolina. They hired him…

Kelly McGuire

Academy Member: Kelly Mcguire

Kelly made a living at music for 15 years before starting to write songs. Now 5 CDs later with songwriting awards, an Album of the Year award from the Texas Music Awards as well as nominations for Entertainer of the Year & Producer of the Year- he is living a dream! He currently resides in…

Mark Mulligan

Academy Member: Mark Mulligan

Mark Mulligan deported himself to Mexico 24 years ago, ditching his gold Century 21 Real Estate jacket for flip flops and a guitar. 13 albums and 4 kids later, he calls the Sea of Cortez home, living south of the border in beautiful San Carlos, Sonora. His songs paint pictures of sunshine, sailboats, and sandy…


Academy Member: Latitude

Tom & Michelle were burned out Nashville songwriters who left their successful careers, & headed to Carolina Coast for the summer, performing as the house band at a local resort. That “summer job” changed their lives. Soon, their songwriting began to reflect their new laidback lifestyle, & their newfound dilemma – They didn’t want to…

Parrot Island Band

Academy Member: Parrot Island Band

The Parrot Island Band consists of Kevin Garrelts (congas), Linda Harris (steel drum), Bry Harris (ukulele/guitar/vocals) and can add bass player if needed for bigger events. The band has been together for ten years and has had the opportunity to play all around Atlanta and throughout the southeast region. We play music by Jimmy Buffett,…

Rick Lamb

Academy Member: Rick Lamb

Rick Lamb and The Phin Addicts formerly known as Cruize Control have been a part of the Trop Rock Music Association since 2006 when formerly Margarita Mafia. They have entertained Parrothead groups and Trop Rock fans from coast to coast spanning 30 states and Internationally in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Costa Rica. With the…

Paul Rousch

Academy Member: Paul Roush

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Rob Hill

Academy Member: Rob Hill

If you’re looking for your beach, Rob Hill can help. One of the top songwriters in the world of tropical rock, his words and music will take you to the shore. And listening to the songs on his upcoming solo album Beach Town will leave you shaking the sand out of your shoes. Beach Town…

Rob Mehl

Academy Member: Rob Mehl

I was born in Oceanside in the 1950’s and spent much of my youth bouncing back and forth between Encinitas and Waikiki, where I learned to surf, appreciate the great storytelling of Hawaiian beach boys and play guitar and ukulele. These influences, along with the amazing jazz lp’s that were always on our record player…

TRMA Award Winners


11th Annual TRMA Winners

1. Male Vocalist

2. Female Vocalist

3. Duo/Trio

4. Band
This award recongnizes bands with 4 or more members and primarily perform in this configuration.

5. Entertainer of the Year
This award recognizes the best LIVE performance by an independent Trop Rock solo, duo, trio or band.

6. Album
Nominees in this category are TRMA Academy members and have released an independent CD of new original Trop Rock music in 2017. Compilation CD's do not qualify.

This category is open to ALL Trop Rock artists who released an original Trop Rock song in 2017. They do NOT have to be Academy members, and the song does not have to be part of a qualifying album. The song qualifies if it was only released as a "single".

8. Horizon Award
This award recognizes a Trop Rock solo, duo, trio, or band who shows the most promise for contributing to the Trop Rock genre through performance, songwriting and recording of their original music.
Previous winners are not eligible.

9. Musician
This award recognizes outstanding musicianship, and is intended to recognize band members, not individual artists or band leaders, but the other musicians in the band or musicians who play with various artists.

  • Melanie Howe - Percussion

10. Songwriter The final ballot for Songwriter of the Year will be voted on by the TRMA Academy members and Board of Directors.The nominees on the final ballot based on the nomination round voting are: Donny Brewer, Jack Mosley, Jesse Rice, Thom Shepherd, and Cory Young.

  • Thom Shepherd

11. Radio Station

12. Radio Program - Live

  • "Trop Rockin' The USA" - Eric & Gina Babin

13. Radio Program - Prerecorded

  • "Trop Rock Takeover" - David Redman

14. Live Music Venue
This award recognizes the owners of a for-profit live music venue that features Trop Rock artists.

  • T-Bone Tom's - Kemah, TX

15. House Concert Venue - Small
This award recognizes the host/hostess of a non-profit concert-style shows featuring Trop Rock artists. It is broken into small & large venues.

  • Diablo Creek - Christ

16. House Concert Venue - Large

  • The Habitat - Settlemyer

17. Event of the Year - Small
This award recognizes events/festivals who feature multiple Trop Rock artists. Meeting of the Minds is not considered in this category because it is a National Convention. It is divided into small and large based on registered attendees at the 2017 event, and an award will be given for each category.

  • Laid Back Attack - Olympia, WA

18. Event of the Year - Large

  • Music on the Bay - Tampa, FL

19. Fan of the Year
This award recognizes a Trop Rock "fan" for their support and promotion of Trop Rock music. It is meant for an individual and not a group. Previous winners are NOT eligible.

  • Fred Wunder