Artist of the day: Jim Lanier
While most beach-based singer-songwriters are content to play Margaritaville at clubs up and down Gulf Boulevard, Jim Lanier is taking his act international.
A while back, the Indian Rocks Beach guitarsmith was performing at the Thunderbird Beach Resort in Treasure Island when a Finnish hotelier who happened to be in town stopped by. “What would it take for you to play at my hotel in Finland?” Lanier says he was asked.
“You meet all kinds at beach bars, many are weirdos,” Lanier said in an email. However, the hotelier was persistent. And this week, Lanier is on his way to the Hotel Kultahippu in Ivalo, Finland, where he is billed, no joke, as “Jim Lanier/USA.”
The owner “loves American music, especially country music,” Lanier said. “He came to Florida to find entertainment for a weekend of American music at his hotel. I’m sure I wasn’t his first or best choice. I was probably the first person to ultimately say, 'Sure, I’ll go to Finland!’”
The funny thing is, Lanier isn’t strictly a country artist. Like most beach bards, he favors oldies, Buffett and “trop-rock.” “But I must have been in a country music mood when Marko heard me because he thought I was a country artist.”
When Lanier isn’t busy performing in Finland, you can usually see him on Tuesdays at the Thunderbird. His next scheduled performance is Aug. 14. Click here for more dates.