The advisory council provides insight and advise to help guide the association forward with its goals. As a voluntary council it makes and considers recommendations for enhancements to the association, major guideline changes and oversight of the Academy. The insight from an industry professionals point of view, derived from their collective years of experience and expertise are a valued benefit and a tremendous asset for the membership.

Eric Stone

Eric Stone is a singer-songwriter, entrepreneur, video influencer, treasure finder and soon to be novelist. He has 15 original CDs with number 16 coming out soon and has toured all over the world. He’s working on his debut novel “Blue Waters’ a tropical adventure series about featuring Rick Waters, a full time hustler turned part time P.I. who uses his treasure hunting skills to solve a murder that takes him from the bayous of Texas to the Voodoo drug dens of Haiti. 

 Mayor Gonzo Mays Key West Hon. Mayor. 


Journalist. Sammie (Consulting & Investigation Services) Corporate Compliance & Due Diligence Media Expert. 

Fr. National Enquirer Reporter. 


Hon. Mayor Gonzo Mays | The Gonzo (scratch-n-sniff) Dispatches @ DestinationFloridaKeys Magazine | Co-host RadioA1A on the Sunday ‘Weekly Trop 40 Countdown’ @ noon-4pm est | Author @ Don’t forget, you’ve always an open invitation to stop by anytime. I write from home so I might just chat you up!

Chuck Freeman

Chuck is lead guitarist for Steve Hopper and the Wolf Island Band, and CEO of Tuff Duck Music, Inc. located in Jackson, TN. Chuck has produced many award nominated songs in the Tropical Americana Music genre and has performed at MOTM, MOTB, Pardi-Gras and Summer Solstice just to name a few.  Over forty years of touring, casino and session work has led him to this point in his career and he is proud to bring his musical expertise to this market. His label currently has over fifty songs in digital distribution being played worldwide on all of the top Tropical stations.

Darrell Clanton

grew up in Treasure Island Florida and started playing music in local night clubs in Tampa Bay at the age of 15. Moved to Nashville in 1978, he was 22 years old, Darrell met his mentors, songwriter Chuck Howard and the great studio musician Pete Drake. Drake signed the young Clanton to a five year staff writing contract where he enjoyed a great deal of success as a staff songwriter. During his time with Pete Drake's (Window Music Publishing Company) Darrell Clanton's songs were recorded by such artists as B.J. Thomas, Bobby Vinton, The Wilburn Brothers and Country Music Hall of Fame Members Charlie Louvin and Jean Shepard.

1984 things began to really change for Darrell Clanton. He was signed to a recording contract with Warner Brothers Records and his recording of (Lonesome 7-7203) began to climb the charts. He reached the Top 20 in the U.S. and # 1 in Australia and New Zeeland by January of 1984. Darrell Clanton was nominated by the Academy of Country Music for (New Male Vocalist of the Year) in April. With the Academy nomination, Darrell was asked to sing on the stage of the world famous WSM - Grand Ole Opry on three occasions, that same year. Darrell was then booked to open for Lynn Anderson and Hank Williams Jr. He was on tour for 2 years in 1985 and 1986. Darrell spent his time in the 1990's working as a producer in the Film and Video business in Nashville. 1996 Darrell was signed as a staff songwriter with the Nashville office of Global Music. The Global Music Company, owned by rock/pop artist (Sting) was operated by well-known music publisher (Torkquil Crevey) and Darrell spent 2 years on the roster as a staff songwriter with the Global Music Company in Nashville.

2003 - Darrell Clanton Returns Home to Florida: Darrell Clanton has found a niche in the Trop Rock Music genre that solidifies his place as a great singer songwriter while he writes about a lifestyle he knows so well. Clanton returned to his native state of Florida in 2003 and began immersing himself in its culture. It wasn’t long until he found there was a music that embraced that lifestyle, and he knew he had found a home.

Don Middlebrook

Don Middlebrook is an Americana, Trop Rock, Country, Rock 'n Roll singer/songwriter from the frozen North. East Lansing, Michigan is ground zero. He travels a circuit from Michigan to Key West - Seattle to the East coast. Original Florida swamp rock, with authentic country sensibilities, give Don a heart of pure Trop Rock. 

Don revels in the back roads, small towns and the seedy underbelly of the Florida Keys -- although he is equally at home in the country clubs of southern California, baseball stadiums of the Mid-west, and Yacht Clubs of the east coast.  Don is a sought-after entertainer.  From corporate America to private house parties, he writes songs that celebrate the people, places and uniqueness of this great country.

Don Middlebrook and The Pearl Divers is fronted by Don Middlebrook who has been a professional recording and performing artist since 1993. Don is the real deal! His voice has an authentic sound that expresses the soulfulness he injects into his songwriting. He is backed by an equally experienced band of road warriors. All of whom have been plying their trade in the trenches and the pinnacles of the profession.

Don Middlebrook writes songs about life. The people, the places, the weather, and the tabloid stereotypes provide rich fodder to draw from when he writes. His uncanny ability to write that "extra verse" or even a full-length song for folks in the audience -- at the spur of the moment, separate him from any artist you have ever experienced!  Don delivers the songs in a compelling and deliberate manner that is authentic and intimate all at once.

Matt Vrba

Matt Vrba a Nashville based artist is perhaps the only working musician in the world who's resume includes walking 3200 miles across America and along the way has created a name for himself as one of the most charismatic and entertaining live performers around. Oh yeah, and he's a pretty darn good songwriter too. An old soul, who's logged more life experience than most  

Matt has crisscrossed America and Europe dozens of times, logging thousands shows at venues ranging from a sold-out performance at Chicago’s House of Blues, and LA's famed Viper Room, to huge festivals such as The North Beach Festival in San Francisco, and The Bite of Seattle.

Song’s from Matts albums have made their way to numerous national television programs, commercials, films, and radio stations around the world. In 2008 NBC’s reality-show Nashville Star, Matt made it through rounds of call-backs in Portland, Austin, and Nashville, all the way to the semi-finals (30 artists of 35,000 whom auditioned) where he performed for Jewel, John Rich, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Jeff Steele, and he appeared on the first episode of the show. More recently, Vrba spent some time writing and performing in the Caribbean with country superstars such as David Lee Murphy, James Otto, Chuck Wicks, Joe Nichols, Randy Rogers, Jessica Andrews, Ira Dean, Steel Magnolia, and Joanna Smith. Just this past summer he logged an astonishing 20,000+ road miles performing with heavy hitters such as Josh Turner, Chris Young, & Hannah Bethel.

Despite his busy schedule Matt still finds time to help out a good cause whenever he can. He has donated music and performed for non-profit organizations such as Musicians on Call, March of Dimes, Pacific Oncology Center, Toys for Tots, Tsunami Relief, and The Charlotte Maxwell Cancer Clinic and was recently honored by The Country Music Hall of Fame's "Words and Music" Program for his volunteer work with that organization.