“Going to the Casa Maria, sipping peach margaritas, passing the time.”
Certainly this is an experience plenty of Jax Beach residents can relate to. It’s also a line from one of local indie folk musician Corey Kilgannon’s newest songs, a collection that includes lots of lyrics similarly inspired by local restaurants and bars.
Kilgannon is a Jax Beach native who began his music career in Jax playing local shows, which he says he struggled to get people to attend. The track “Jacksonville,” Kilgannon says is actually about how difficult it can be to fill up a show. He’s since hit the road, developing his latest complex album, during an extended stay in Nashville where the music business is very demanding, according to Kilgannon. He’s since moved back home where he says it’s much easier to relax.
“[Jax Beach] slowed me down a lot, which has been fun. I like the pace of things near the coast,” Kilgannon says.
Though he writes incessantly, he says what inspires the words often remains a mystery. He does know, however, that the beach lifestyle (or his version of it) is part of his songwriting stimuli. He’s currently writing several songs for a more low-key release compared to his last full-band album, and many of them are inspired by local spots. Corey spends much of his time exploring the area and watching people at bars and restaurants for inspiration.
“A lot of people are just working at restaurants and going to the beach and hanging out with friends and I find that really inspiring,” said Kilgannon.
Among the local haunts that inspired songs on his newest collection, Kilgannon says he was drawn in by Neptune Beach’s Lemon Bar’s “tiki vibe,” the Jax Beach live music establishment, Blue Jay Listening Room’s musical spirit, and renowned local dive Ginger’s Place where as Kilgannon puts it, “the weirdest stuff happens.”
Despite the revelrous nature of local drinking establishments, Kilgannon also gets introspective, filling many of the tracks with reminiscences on grief with tracks like “She is the Blue Sky, I am the Grey” delivering the lyrics, “Into the river, out to the sea
Her heart delivered the poison to me.” Kilgannon said that he’s just not in the mind set right now for dark themes and he’d much prefer to hang out at the beach everyday and write some casual ukulele tunes, something more true to his beachy spirit.
“I really love writing [in Jax Beach], it’d be so easy for me to never leave.”