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August 21st, 2008

Band of the Week: Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 Band

Published: Thursday, August 21, 2008 Atlantic City Press

Hmmm.. being whisked away to an island sure sounds good, and that's exactly what Howard Livingston and The Mile Marker 24 Band sets out to do each and every time its plays a set of original trop-rock, island-inspired music.

Howard Livingston, songwriter, acoustic guitarist and vocalist for Howard Livingston and The Mile Marker 24 Band, loves bringing people into his Jimmy Buffett-style musical scope.

"We've been referred to many times as the portable, feel-good, party machine," Livingston says. "So, I think for a few hours, we try to bring people to the islands through our sound."

Livingston, a man from Kentucky who then moved up to Chicago to work in a cubicle, decided that the wisdom of Buffett and the message in his music was just to be happy, and playing music is what made Livingston happy.

"I made my way up to Chicago to wear a three-piece suit, and in many ways, Jimmy's music wants you to run away to the islands, and I did just that," he explains. "I put on my tank top and flip-flops and never looked back. Jimmy's music has affected everybody that way."


Livingston now resides in Florida, and that is where he and his fellow bandmates met and created one of the leading trop-rock bands in the United States.

"We've been a band for just a little over three years, and we have been amazed at the reception we've gotten in that time," Livingston says. "We are very honored that CD Baby and their trop-rock division holds us at their No. 1, 2 and 3 spots in top sales."

Livingston and the band are thrilled to be back in Atlantic City.

"We've been to Atlantic City before, and we absolutely love it," Livingston says. "This is our 'Friends And Family' tour, and we've been on tour since the end of May. The wonderful part about the A.C. show is that it's our last stop before we head home, so we're going to give it our all, and it's going to be wonderful."

Their gig in Atlantic City lasts all weekend long at Bally's Bikini Beach Bar as the band plays 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 22, 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, and 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24, for the Jimmy Buffett Tailgating Party.

"We're also going to have Jimmy's Dream Radio doing a live broadcast throughout the entire event," Livingston says. "And even better - we're going to give away two Buffett tickets every hour; we've got a total of 10 tickets to give away, as well as two Bahamas cruises."

It doesn't get much better than that! Make sure to see Howard Livingston and The Mile Marker 24 Band all weekend long for a real Jimmy Buffett experience.

What They Play: Howard Livingston and The Mile Marker 24 Band play mostly original trop-rock that has created a music sensation across the country, but they slip in a few covers every now and then. Of course they cover Mr. Buffett, but they also cover artists like The Eagles, Lyle Lovett and even Hank Williams. "Our music has been described as plain, feel-good music, and we just want everyone to come hang out with us and escape to an island somewhere," Livingston says.

Fan Favorite Songs: "Livin' On Key West Time" and "Blame It On The Margaritas" are original songs that always get a great response at shows, according to Livingston. "The folks recognize those songs and they are both fun, party songs," he says. Buffett covers include "Volcano" and "Margaritaville."

Did You Know: Livingston and his band are more than just a great live act; they're also on-stage bartenders. "We have a 1952 Johnson 5.5 horsepower outboard motor that we converted into a margarita machine," Livingston says. "We fire it up on stage and make margaritas for the show; we never leave home without it."

Roster: Howard Livingston: songwriter, acoustic guitar, vocalist; Jason Miller: lead guitar, vocals; Dave Herzog; steel drums, percussion; Leigh Maples: bass guitar; Jimmy Handley: drums.

Originals: Howard Livingston and The Miler Marker 24 Band has three CDs: "Living On Key West Time," "Meet Me In The Keys" and "Blame It On The Margaritas." All of these albums are available on digital media providers such as iTunes, CD Baby and the band's Web site.

Claim To Fame: "Blame It On The Margaritas" was named trop-rock song of the year in 2007 by Island Time Radio. The band has also performed live on CBS The Early Show and Good Morning America.

Go See Them: 9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24 at Bally's Bikini Beach Bar,located right off the Atlantic City Boardwalk outside of Bally's Alantic City. Call 609-340-6983.

Web Site: www.milemarker24.com

- Story by Rebecca Grites; Photo provided by Howard Livingston


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