Where do I begin to tell the story of Big Earl and the Sexual Biscuits? Let’s start with the facts. Big Earl is not his real name. 

Now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you about our recent Saturday night, actually early evening, at the infamous Flora-Bama. Starting as a roadside package store smack dab on the Florida-Alabama state line in 1964, each hurricane seems to bring a new and better iteration of itself. What hasn’t changed in 27 years is Big Earl, the “House Band” on most Friday and Saturday nights.

There is a reason the kids are asked to leave the Package Store and head across the street to the “more kid-friendly” Flora-Bama Yacht Club about thirty minutes before Big Earl and the Sexual Biscuits take the stage. The show is a “take no prisoners” raucous good time that only requires you to bring a good sense of humor.  People who practice political correctness and the easily offended do not belong here. But I will tell you, they will miss it.

I start laughing just thinking about going to see Big Earl. He’s that good;  his band is terrific, and the show, whether orchestrated or not, leaves no stone unturned. Irreverence doesn’t even begin to describe the four-plus hour show with a few needed breaks thrown in to let you catch your breath and your smile rest. Arrive early to grab a table or stool around the perimeter of the dance floor and balcony but standing is okay too. Everyone is fair game on the dance floor, where the best view and sound are.

I know of nothing else like it. The minute the show starts, every element, from the opening song, Big Earl’s banter, and the crowd participation (which is not necessarily elective) ramps up the energy. It’s all geared to be the party you don’t want to miss. Throughout the evening you will be entertained by some rock and roll that makes you have to move and familiar renditions with a few lyric changes, original songs, guest appearances, and a bit of good ‘ole wisdom from Big Earl thrown in.

Toward the end of the set, the whole crowd was singing a Jimi Hendrick-style National Anthem at the top of their lungs. If you don’t like slow drivers in the left lane, Big Earl has a song for that too. It's a party people drive from all over the country to attend. Simply put, no one does it better than Big Earl and the Sexual Biscuits. 

Flora-Bama is an incredible place in and of itself. It is the cornerstone of the Redneck Riviera. Home of the coastal favorite, a bushwhacker, with a topping, of course, so they are kind of mandatory. With several stages throughout the maze of rooms, bars, and decks, everything looks chaotic but runs like a Swiss timepiece. Check out the “Well Room” where house liquor is distributed to each bar throughout the building.  

Talented musicians and songwriters grace several stages and decks, and live music is offered seven days a week. The pub food is good, and the drink prices are reasonable. The beach is available, wide, and welcoming. 

 It seems as if there is an event every day throughout the year, including the 8th Annual Gulf Coast Paddle Championship that happened earlier that day. The Polar Bear Plunge and Mullet Toss are just two of the more famous events that attract thousands from near and far.  You need to check their event schedule daily to keep up. Church service is held on Sunday mornings at the Yacht Club with Easter being one of the biggest days for worship. The Flora-Bama folks are big on hosting and supporting local non-profit organizations and conservation efforts as well.

Flora-Bama is the granddaddy of all beach bars in my book. Head Football Coach, Mike Leach, now at Mississippi State, is affectionately referred to as “the Pirate” in some circles for his off-topic rants, unique delivery, and love of beach bars and swashbucklers. While the head coach at Washington State, he was once asked in a press conference “What is your favorite bar?” Without hesitation, he said, “There’s this bar on the Alabama-Florida line. That’s the best bar I’ve ever been to.”

Make your plans to see Big Earl and the Sexual Biscuits. Let your hair down, park your prudish at the door and be ready for a party experience like no other. You’ve been warned!

Sep 7, 2022
Dive Bars & Music

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