Kilmo, Represent

Holdin' out for a hero in the Concrete Swamp

He misses the point. It's payment in and of itself that Kilmo's bar affords a stage where he can jam with prominent local artists whom he calls "the serious motherfuckers," like Raiford Starke, Albert Castiglia, and David Shelley -- all of them present tonight.

Shelley, whose blond hair trails down the length of his back, says, "Alligator Alley represents to me the last real, live-music venue that supports original music and the artists and that really allows all different kind of music, from punk to funk-jazz to blues and jam bands."

Does he get paid well?

Kilmo keeps it real in his native environs.
Colby Katz
Kilmo keeps it real in his native environs.
Iggy loves made-to-order gator.
Courtney Hambright
Iggy loves made-to-order gator.

"I'll drink my pay in beer," he responds.

Gosh, his words struck my head like a drunken swamp daddy's flailing kayak oar. Maybe it's really not about the money.

As the night winds down, Castiglia's smooth words drop into the mic: "Here's to the man of the hour. The man with the power. The man who's too sweet to be sour. Give it up for Kilmo." Kilmo nods to acknowledge the applause.

As the musicians wind down their set, the crowd starts to filter out. The kitchen shuts down.

Kilmo pours himself another draft from the tap in his own Florida bar.

No matter how much concrete is poured in this county and no matter how many interlopers descend with dollar signs in their eyes, for the time being, there are still a few people who stay close to Florida's nature, art, and music.

Unlikely heroes of our sinking way of life.


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