PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla (WJHG) - Dueling is no longer legal in the U.S., unless your weapon of choice is a piano. Two best friends go head to head, but find the “keys” to getting along are at their fingertips.
For Jason Brady and Brad Thoreson tickling the ivory at Rum Runners in Pier Park tickles the fancy of just about everyone who sets foot in the establishment
“It’s the most exhilarating thing when you just look out at people and see them smiling and having a good time,” said Brady.
“It’s magic, and if you have a couple tables throughout the room of groups having a good time, the energy just starts bouncing between them,” said Thoreson. “And whether you want to have a good time or not, you end up having it.”
And you can’t help but sing along. The music is familiar, the vibe infectious.
“They’re fantastic,” said Anita Sherrer of Panama City Beach. “I’ve been to dueling pianos before, but I’ve never been to dueling pianos the variety show, and they’re just so much fun.”
“I’ve had so much fun,” said Vicki Bynum of Panama City Beach. “I think they’ve added a couple of years to my life. I have never laughed so much.”
“Man, it is a great experience having those guys,” said Rum Runners General Manager Cody Parker. “It’s not very often where you get to be dealt a hand where you have the same guys over and over and then add other people into it. It’s normally a cluster of different musicians coming together.”
Jason and Brad not only play together, they live together as well. Roommates who share a home and a love for the baby grands.
“We’ve gotten to know each other and everything,” said Thoreson. “We complete sentences for each other on stage, kind of a Penn and Teller situation.”
“No guns have been pulled on each other so that’s good,” said a laughing Brady.
And they also don’t pull any punches when you ask them how much they love their jobs.
“Couldn’t see myself doing anything else in the world,” said Brady. “It’s just… I grew up with it. I grew up with music and this is it. I couldn’t be at a 9 to 5 [job.]”
“I absolutely love it,” said Thoreson. “I’ve loved music all my life. I’m classically trained, but to be able to express it in a setting like this, where we have fun, is the ultimate job.”
And finding that ultimate job seems to strike a chord with just about everybody.
Jason and Brad have been performing at Rum Runners since 2013. You can find them there every Friday and Saturday night from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. They’ll play more nights when the season picks up.
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