Right next door to Palm Coast is the delightful beach resort town of Flagler Beach. If you hang around Flagler Beach much you may have noticed one of our most endearing locals – Capt. Nick. Even if you haven’t seen him, there’s a chance you’ve heard his music. Inspired by Jimmy Buffet and other great entertainers, he plays and sings from his heart. You may have heard him at BeachHouse Beanery, where he is a regular part of the entertainment or at one of the monthly First Friday events held in Flagler Beach.
Capt. Nick is a real Floridian born in nearby Deland and spent much of his youth in North Carolina before he joined the Navy. It was during the Navy years that he first picked up a banjo and started strumming. He often traded lessons with his musical friends. A cut finger caused him to put aside his musical interests for a while. But in his 30’s he got back to his playing, often performing as lead guitarist on weekend gigs. But to him it was still just a hobby. After the Navy, he found himself settling a bit further south in South Carolina where it all fell into place.
“In the 90’s I was playing at Burrell’s Place – a spot where the locals hung out in the mountains of South Carolina. It’s the same place where Deliverance was filmed near the community known as Burrell’s Ford,” Nick recalls. “I remember it was a Tuesday night and I was playing the guitar. Before I knew what happened, the head of the act was rushed to the hospital with his wife, who was also part of the band, and I was left standing there alone. So I picked up that guitar and took over the show – for four hours straight. That’s when I realized that I could do a show on my own and from that point on, that’s what I did whenever I could.”
In 2005, Nick ended up with some health problems that forced him to think about retirement. While in the hospital after heart surgery, he saw the devastation and struggles that Hurricane Katrina thrust upon the people of New Orleans and was inspired to write a song called “Swamp Rat.” After trying to return to work, Nick realized that retirement was eminent. After exploring the Atlantic Coast from New Smyrna Beach northward, Flagler Beach felt like home for him and his wife, and they’ve been here ever since, singing and playing. Nick says, “Flagler Beach inspired me to write the songs that are in my heart. It’s such a beautiful place, easy and laid back.”
And so he writes about the place he calls home and all of the people that make it special as he lives out his dream. “It’s not about making money, it’s about living the dream that matters; it keeps you alive,” he says.
He adds, “it also brings people together in the spirit of sharing something in common. People thrive on hearing about themselves – where they live, what they do and what they love.”
You can hear Nick’s songs on You Tube or go to his website. If you’re a beach lover, you’re sure to find yourself singing along with tunes like “Flagler Beach,” Don’t Step on the Jellyfish” or “Long Walks on the Beach” before long.
Recently the City of Flagler Beach and the local chamber that sponsor the monthly First Friday events asked Nick to be a permanent fixture of the monthly celebrations. So you’ll see a Songwriters’ Stage at every First Friday event, where Nick will share his songs while bringing other songwriters to the people of Flagler Beach and the whole area. Email Capt. Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org