The echoes of summer are long gone now as bitter winds blow across a nearly frozen lake. It’s four month and some change until Memorial Day weekend once again kicks off the summer season.
For those folks already suffering from cabin fever, one answer is to check out some of Put-in-Bay’s talented singers who are performing around the area before heading south as snowbirds do. Here’s a look at a few:
8 p.m. Jan. 17, Premier Catering Complex, Toledo
The iconic Lake Erie singer, known for signature song “Put-in-Bay,” as well as “Legend of the Lake,” “Island Fever” and “Big Money Walleye,” famously heads to Florida every winter. In fact, 2014 marks the 30th year he’s been playing Key West’s Sloppy Joe’s Bar.
“I stay at Put-in-Bay to enjoy the falling of the leaves,” Dailey said. “Once the temperature gets too cold, I go to Bay Village and then down to Key West. That’s our normal pattern. It’s like the swallows of Capistrano. “
Dailey admits he’s still amazed that fans young and old continue to come see him play. In fact, it was this rabid fanbase that finally convinced him to release his first concert album, “Live... In Spite of Everything.”
“That was recorded live in Put-in-Bay and Key West,” Dailey said. “It’s the first real totally live record I put out in my history. I’ve tried at other times but could never capture my live show on record where I liked the way it sounded. Then finally I said, ‘Well, hell, everybody keeps coming to hear me all of these years, it must not sound too bad to them.’”
He added, “I must say if you play the record at your house while you’re having a few beers, you can feel like you’re at the show.”
9 p.m. Jan. 25, Strikers at Plaza Lanes, Fremont
When the snow falls, Ray Fogg takes his comedy musical show – which includes song titles such as “Kiss My Bass” and “If They Could Just Cut Off Your Big Fat A** I Think I Could Love You Forever” – around the Buckeye State and beyond.
“I travel around to the cities where people come to Put-in-Bay,” Fogg said. “So I go to their cities. I’ll hit in the typical year Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Sandusky, Detroit and Fremont. Then I spend a few weeks performing in Key West and New Orleans.”
Originally strictly a musician, Fogg noticed decades ago the audiences were receptive to his comedy. That’s when he turned his act into a show of music and humor. Over the last 15 years, he released six albums, including 2009’s “Island Life.”
As for his love of Put-in-Bay and regular residency on South Bass Island, Fogg said, “For years I toured around the country and now I play at Put-in-Bay because I’ll be singing in front of a different audience every night. So I play Put-in-Bay because the audience is on tour, and I get to stay put. That’s why they call them tourists, I guess.”
Mike “Mad Dog” Adams
Super Bowl Party, 9 p.m. Feb. 2 and 2 p.m. Feb. 3, Mr. Ed’s Bar & Grill, Port Clinton
Averaging roughly 100 shows a year all over North America, Mike “Mad Dog” Adams considers himself a disciple of Jimmy Buffett with his own personal influences – country, blues, rock ’n’ roll – offering something unique. As for performing, he’s always busy.
“There really is no off season for me,” Adams said. “I have to take time off when I plan my tour schedule. Every winter for the last 30 years I hit the road to Florida and the Caribbean or Central America and perform a variety of venues ranging from clubs in the Florida Keys to cruise ships to comedy clubs and popular tourist destinations.”
While Adams plays plenty of cover songs, including material from Buffett, The Eagles, David Allan Coe, Toby Keith and Charlie Daniels, he also performs original material, including tunes from his 2006 effort “Lake Affect.”
In his world, the calendar is nothing more than a countdown to when he can return to Put-in-Bay.
“After the Super Bowl, I’m spreading the gospel of Put-in-Bay wherever I go,” Adams said. “This year will be my 35th year performing at the Round House Bar.”