Keyboard, Bass Guitar.


John Bartus was the Mayor of an island town in the Florida Keys (Marathon). He is or has been, at one time or another, part owner of a newspaper group, radio talk show host, partner in retail shops, record producer, city councilman, recording studio owner, voiceover talent, marine biology student, advertising consultant, and – no lie – prop man for a circus.
But what John Bartus is best known for is being one of the premier singer/songwriters in the islands Jimmy Buffett once called home. After over a quarter-century of entertaining audiences, John is far from putting the guitar down. And even with all the other careers, John still performs over 200 shows each year. From opening for artists like Kansas, Rick Derringer, and Edgar Winter to headlining the Florida Keys’ best St. Patrick’s and Independence Day parties, John leaves even the locals wanting a bit more of the islands he calls home.
John's solo acoustic shows combine modern looping and harmony generating technology into an enhanced performance that's still 100% live, without any sequences, tapes, or other invisible musicians. John is able to accurately recreate challenging harmony-laden songs, as well as lay down a guitar/vocal/percussion part, loop it back, and perform with the musical passage he just played. John and the audiences both have a lot of fun!
John’s three CD releases highlight his diversity as a musician. John’s "Live From The Florida Keys" CD showcases his solo acoustic guitar and piano work in a live Florida Keys club setting. John’s newly re-released "Keys Disease" CD is a one-man studio tour de force – Like Paul McCartney and Prince, John produces, sings, and plays all the instruments.
John Bartus left the road behind back in the mid-1980s, after a three-year stint at the University of South Carolina studying marine biology, and just after releasing his first album with then-partner Sallie Foster (Feed the Fire, out of print). John currently performs solo acoustic shows, as well as gigs with his band, Storm Watch.

Screen name:
Member since:
Nov 20 2009
Active over 1 month ago
Level of commitment:
Very Committed
Years playing music:
Gigs played:
Over 100
Available to gig:
4-5 nights a week
Most available:


As diverse as his interests outside of music have been, so too are his musical paths. There are the Taylor-, Chapin-, and Lightfoot-influenced solo acoustic guitar performances. There’s the Fogelberg- and McCartney-like studio perfectionist. There’s the Billy-and-Elton-influenced piano balladeer. And there’s the electric band leader/lead guitarist, equal parts Neil Young, Dave Gilmour, and Mark Knopfler.
His influences range from Bob Dylan, the Beatles, James Taylor, and Elton John to Pink Floyd, Garth Brooks, Steely Dan, the Eagles, R.E.M., and Tom Petty, just to name a few. Although hard to pigeonhole, John's music has traces of rock, alternative, pop, acoustic, and country - all unified and held together by his characteristic vocals.


Too much... complete analog/digital hybrid recording studio, and enough PA equipment to handle everything from solo acoustic shows to band gigs.