Welcome to our Tidal Wave Band Website . Browse, comment and enjoy our new site. New events and information will be added as it comes in, so come back often!
A little bit about the band. The band started playing as Tidal Wave about 6 years ago and members have come and gone, however Bobby J has been with the band since its inception. The band has a strong lean towards classic country, but throw in some classic rock, polkas, line dance music and will try to learn whatever their followers want to hear. The band tries to feel out their audience and customize their music accordingly.
The band consists of Bobby J, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Fred Gravius, the lead guitarist, Russ Richey, the bass player and Smitty Smith, the drummer. Fred is the newest addition to the band and you can read their individual biographies below.
The band plays a lot of the lodges, Moose, Elks, Eagles, the VFWs, private parties and special benefit events, throughout Southwest Florida.
BOBBY J - VOCALS/RHYTHM GUITAR
Bobby J was born and raised in the Adirondack Region of New York State. Bobby’s maternal grandparents were musically talented, his grandfather playing the fiddle and his grandmother the guitar. Hoping their grandson had similar musical talents, they gave Bobby J a guitar for his 14th birthday.
Well, the story starts here. Bobby J took that guitar and dragged it around the country, teaching himself to play. He was a trucker for most of his life and had that guitar in the cab of his truck wherever life took him.
He played in basements, garages and small local bars. After finding a sole mate on the other side of the boarder, he and his wife moved to Nokomis, Florida, going on 15 years now. Now, Bobby J became more serious about his music.
He played in “no name bands” for a number of years until the Tidal Wave Band was born about 5 years ago. Bobby J has remained the lead singer and rhythm guitarist throughout, and country music has always been his true passion. Musicians that inspired him were Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, just to name a few. Country music is in his heart and soul!
DARRYL LEWANDOWSKI - BASS GUITAR
Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, my father, being a well accomplished musician himself, had one rule for us five kids. Learn an instrument for a while and see if you like it, it may pay off someday. And boy, did it. Being quite versatile in all forms of music, played with some pretty talented bands including wedding, polka, rock, blues, and the dye your hair black, techno wave outfits.
Retiring at an early age and finding my true paradise here in Siesta Key Florida, The Tidal Wave county band seemed like the best choice I could make. Good music, solid personality's, extra heavy booking schedule, and a brotherhood. Life is good!
SMITTY SMITH - DRUMMER
Hello, I am Smitty born and raised in Pontiac, Michigan. I started playing drums in Jr. High. I moved to Florida in 1972, where I played in a Blue Grass band for a while, then went to a country band. That band broke up after a couple of years, so I found a rock band. Played with them for 3 years, got married and stopped drumming for the next 18 years.
One Sunday at church, the pastor said he wanted a drummer for the Praise band. I told him I had played a long time ago and he said he had some old drums in the closet, so I dug them out, cleaned them up, and started drumming again. It took me a while to get my groove back.
I met some guys to jam with. We were getting pretty good and played out a few times for some of our friends, about 40 of them. We needed a name for the band so they helped us. Tidal Wave was born. Been with the band about 6 years and loving it.
FRED GRAVIUS - LEAD GUITAR
I grew up in Buffalo, New York and began playing the guitar from the age of 12. I enjoy playing all genres of music from Classic Rock to Christian but my roots have always been Country music.
Retirement was calling, so I moved to Venice Florida with my wife in 2016. It was here that I began playing music with Bobby J and the Tidal Wave Band and enjoy playing the music that I love.