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Published: Friday, 1/10/2003

Fogg brings sound of summer to town

Ray Fogg is a favorite of the area's boating crowd. Ray Fogg is a favorite of the area's boating crowd.
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On South Bass Island, he's known as either “The Ultimate Party Boy” or the “Island Rock God.”

He sings songs about boats, bass, Bud Light, and Aunt Bea.

He is, of course, Ray Fogg, the Cleveland-based singer-songwriter who will bring his humorous tunes to Trotters Tavern tomorrow night.

“I play some nice island songs but also some rowdy stuff as well,” Fogg said in an interview this week. “Some of my stuff, like the album `Waves,' is G-rated but others, like the songs on `Kiss My Bass,' are probably R-rated.”

From 1983 to the early 1990s, Fogg said, he worked the college circuit, giving audiences a show that alternated rock music and stand-up comedy.

“I used a lot of computerized sequencers and stuff and my slogan was: `The best band one bonehead can be,'” Fogg explained.

About 10 years ago, inspired in part by the showmanship of veteran Great Lakes singer Pat Dailey, Fogg decided to merge the humor and the music rather than deliver them in tandem.

The result is such light-hearted tunes as “Big Fat Pig,” “Hypothetically Speakin,'” and “Everyone's a 10 at 2:00.”

The guitarist and singer plays regularly during the summer at Put-in-Bay, the popular party spot on South Bass Island.

“I spend most of the season at the Put-in-Bay Brewing Company and I also play eight to 10 dates at the Roundhouse,” he said.

Each year, he proudly plays the Roundhouse's “whiskey light celebration” - when the neon “whiskey” sign hanging over the bar's door is turned on to mark the unofficial opening of the season.

“You can see the sign way out in the harbor and it's kind of their `open' sign,” he said.

This year's ceremony is set for 2 p.m. April 6, Fogg said.

During the winter, Fogg plays in cities whose residents make up most of the summertime boating crowd on South Bass Island. He also has scheduled shows at Sloppy Joe's in Key West (as does Pat Dailey) and is booked to play in New Orleans at Mardi Gras time.

“When I tour in the winter, I like to give people a little slice of their summertime,” Fogg said.

Ray Fogg plays at Trotters Tavern, 5131 Heatherdowns Blvd., at 10 p.m. tomorrow. Doors open at 9. Tickets are $10 in advance from Trotters, 419-381-2079, and $12 at the door.

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