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Fort Myers Beach Musicians compose and record song of SWFL’s uplifting determination in the immediate aftermath of Ian

RealMichael via Flickr Creative Commons

Musicians and long-time Fort Myers Beach residents Laurie and Steven Martin are among those who lost almost everything due to Hurricane Ian’s catastrophic devastation.

Despite their harrowing ordeal riding out the storm in their home, they composed and recorded a moving song meant to encompasses the uplifting determination of the community.

Laurie (bass, vocals) and Steven (guitar, vocals, multi-instrumentalist) have been together for 40 years. Their first season on Fort Myers Beach in 1992 began their love affair with the island.

“We’ve been singing and writing songs about it ever since,” said Steven Martin.

The couple is well versed in the area’s varied restaurants, bars, hotels, and other performance venues, most of which were heavily damaged or wiped out completely by Hurricane Ian.

“In all those 30 years, I think we’ve played them all,” said Steven.

The couple was among the island’s residents who rode out the storm at home. They bought their two-story home on Miramar Street, less than two miles from where Time Square once stood, nearly a quarter century ago. The first floor of the residence had been converted into a recording studio called Laurie Star Productions.

“And so the hurricane came in, Hurricane Ian came in with about 12-foot surge and it took all of our speakers, and our microphones and our recording equipment… We stayed upstairs on our second floor and we watched the water rise, and rise, and rise, right to our feet up on the second floor… That’s when it got a bit frightening,” said Steven.

“We really thought if it went any higher we’d have to swim to the house next door which has a third floor…but that’s when the water stopped and started receding. And then we watched all the buildings from all the neighborhood float down the middle of the road.”

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, they composed and recorded their Hurricane Ian song. “Fortunately, we saved the guitars and that’s what the song is about… I was talking to someone out on the street and we were all commiserating and I said, ‘Oh, Hurricane Ian took everything but our sense of humor,’ and that was really the seed from where the song came from.”

The song also evokes the community’s resiliency and determination. The Martins have been staying with good friends off of Estero Island. “That’s been the most extraordinary thing. Even in this tragedy, so many friends have stood up. People are calling from all over wanting to send things to help. People are helping every way they can and I see that all over. That’s the silver lining to this nasty story; people coming together and community and caring,” said Steven.

WGCU broadcast a conversation with Steven Martin and played the song during a recent episode of the radio program “Gulf Coast Life Arts Edition.” The positive response to that broadcast has prompted WGCU to share the song with our listeners once again.

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