DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

Crazy For Key West Crazy

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on March 10, 2010

If you ask me what sort of restaurant or club atmosphere I like the best, it’s almost always small, friendly, on the funky side, cozy if it’s indoors and low key for an outdoor spot.

Key West Crazy is my kind of place. Located on the waterfront in Little River, S.C. it seats about a hundred people. The walls are covered in flip flops signed by patrons and friends. The food is tasty, and there’s live music seven nights a week. A back deck offers unrivaled views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the sometimes bustling waterfront.

Key West Crazy owner Betsy Farnsley says, “Our goal is to have the best food at the most reasonable prices ... and to be an incredibly fun place!”

Owner Betsy Farnsley bought the restaurant from Mike Byrd just over a year ago. “I loved the name, the atmosphere,” she says, “although we’re stressing the food more … it’s more a restaurant now than a pub or tavern.

“Our goal is to have the best food at the most reasonable prices … and to be an incredi- bly fun place.

“We’ve made some improvements … added TVs … there’s an awning over the back deck now.

“Starting in April, we’ll be introducing a new menu … We’re adding Surf & Turf, Fins & Feathers.

“Also starting in April, we’ll be open for breakfast, Monday through Thursday 7 to 11 a.m.; and weekends (Friday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

“I think we have the longest happy hour at the beach: 4 to 8 p.m.”

Happy hour prices include $2 domestic beers, $5 wines and $2.50 well drinks. Happy hour prices extend to some of the appetizers, as well. (If you see Spring Rolls on the menu, be sure to try them. They’re delicious!)

Tony Maddi is Key West Crazy’s restaurant manager and also books the entertainment.

This month, he’s got something special planned. Nashville guitarist Rickey Godfrey is scheduled for two nights: on Friday, March 26 he’ll perform a solo act and Sunday, March 28 he’ll join Michael Stallings.

Nashville guitarist Rickey Godfrey, shown here at the Lowcountry Blues Bash in Charleston, S.C. will do a solo act at Key West Crazy on Friday, March 26.

Rickey Godfrey is a musician’s musician – one of the best guitarists you’ll hear. One writer called him, “Music City’s best kept secret.” After performing at the Lowcountry Blues Bash in Charleston, S.C. , festival organizer Gary Erwin said, “Revelation – Rickey Godfrey is the best blues guitarist you’ve never heard of!” In an interview, recording artist Don Wise, who played saxophone with Delbert McClinton for some 22 years said, “Rickey Godfrey is the real deal. He’s a wild man on guitar … and I was stunned the first time I heard him play piano. He does it all … an amazing musician.”

Currently working on a new blues recording, Rickey said, “I can’t wait to get to Key West Crazy. What a fun place! I think I may play a few tunes from the new CD and see what these folks think of them …. after I get me some scallops, I mean.”

Blind since birth, Rickey began studying at the age of seven, while attending the South Carolina School for the Blind. He studied classical piano and voice, and later added guitar to his long list of musical accomplishments.

Originally from Greenville, S.C., he moved to Nashville in 1993, and has worked with artists such as Donna Fargo, Rufus Thomas, Junior Walker, Sam Moore, Billy Preston, Clifford Curry, E. G. Kight, Sonny Turner, Bill Pinkney and Rudy Blue Shoes, performing throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

In 2003, Rickey and keyboard player Bobby Simmons formed the Rickey Godfrey Band, which catered to beach and blues audiences in the Carolinas. The band released its first single, “Can’t Change My Heart” and CD, Soul Sensations. The next year, the group garnered four CBMA awards including Group of the Year, Producer of the Year, and Group Album for Soul Sensations and Song of the Year for “Can’t Change My heart.” During 2005, the band posted three additional Top Tens with “No One Loves You Better Than Me,” “Whatever It Takes” and “If Ten’ll Kill Me, Give Me Nine.”

Winter 2006 saw the completion of the Once In a Lifetime Love CD, released on Mossland Records. One of the singles off the CD, “Hotel Happiness,” featured the talents of Don Wise on saxophone. The Rickey Godfrey Band went on to earn 2006 CBMA awards for Blues Album of the Year, Group of the Year and Group Album of the Year.

Last year Rickey brought his unique brand of hot rockin’ blues to the Montreal Jazz Festival where he performed with Linda Rodney’s Chocolate Thunder band.

Michael Stallings and Rickey Godfrey will perform together at Key West Crazy on the Little River waterfront Sunday, March 28.

If you’ve never seen Rickey and veteran blues guitarist Michael “Pops” Stallings on stage together, you’re in for a treat. Michael, who is originally from Reidsville, N.C. has played with the Clovers, Percy Sledge, B.J. Thomas and many more. Some of you may have been fortunate enough to see him in the Kerry Michaels Band. I can’t say enough good things about Mike. But I will add that he is at Key West Crazy almost every Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. Is there a better way to end a Sunday afternoon? I don’t think so.

Other performers booked at Key West Crazy this month include Lenny Pruitt, Darryl Fox, Dillon, Marlisa, Lee Shane and Richard Hubbell. Check it out.

Key West Crazy caters to locals, but welcomes visitors warmly. It’s immensely popular with folks going out on the gambling boats. Soon, Betsy tells me, they’ll be staying open later some nights. “It’s important to me,” she goes on, “that however we grow, we continue to offer a safe, friendly atmos- phere. This is the kind of place that a woman can feel comfortable coming to by herself.”

Betsy grew up on a farm in southern Indiana. She went to school to become a veterinarian, but instead wound up in corporate America, working in sales management and purchasing for companies like Quaker Oats, Pepsi and Yum Brands. Now she’s put her skills to work making Key West Crazy the hottest restaurant around. Stop by for some scallops. You can’t go wrong with the scallops.

You’ll find Key West Crazy at 4492 Waterfront Drive in Little River, S.C. Call them at 843-249-6163. The monthly entertainment schedule, menu and other informational bits are on the website: http://www.keywestcrazylr.com.




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One Response

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  1. darielb said, on March 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Rickey Godfrey has added another performance. He’ll also be playing at Key West Crazy in Little River, S.C. Saturday night, March 27 starting at 6:30 p.m. The Friday night show will also start at 6:30.


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