2015 KEY WEST SONGWRITER'S FEST!!!
(Listen To The Greatest Country while you read the Blog)
The largest music honor has been bestowed on me once again and I will be in the 2015 Key West Songwriter's Festival!
The Key West Songwriter's Festival is the largest and most important musical event of the year in Key West, bar none.
For those not familiar with the Key West Songwriter's Festival (KWSF), it is the largest songwriter festival in the United States and is put on by BMI Nashville, along with Key West's Smokin' Tuna's Charlie Bauer and Dani Strampello Holliday. Everyone does a hell of a great job every year. I don't know this year's exact count, but in the past few years it's been somewhere around 150 songwriters You can imagine what a hand full it is getting everyone organized, for not only their music schedules, but also their lodging, transportation, and everything else that goes along with it. Hats off to them all!!!
It's Much More Than Just a Songwriter's Festival
As I mentioned, this is a BMI Nashville event. So keep in mind, these are the finest songwriters in the United States. Every year Nashville virtually moves to Key West for a few days to stretch it's legs at the KWSF. We're not only talking about songwriters either. In reality, this isn't just a songwriter's festival, per say.We're talking publishers, producers, A&R people, record company owners and execs, you name it. They're all here.This is an event where everyone gets together to not only hear great music by the writers, but also to let their hair down a bit, yet at the same time, catch some new acts they may not have seen before. It's not at all uncommon for them to put a few business deals together. In short, the KWSF is a major event on so many levels!
So, as you can see this is not just any songwriter festival. Of the approximately 150 songwriters in the event, I think about a half dozen are Key West songwriters. The rest are from, or through Nashville.
EDIT: Dani Holliday just informed me that there are actually 227 registered songwriters in the event this year, so I wasn't even close, being 77 short of the actual number! All the more work for her! Everyone needs to take their hats off to her, Charlie Bauer, and everyone from the Nashville end of the organizing side of things! Than you! Additionally, she mentioned that if you count bands, there are around 240, then add the songwriters coming here that are not in the event and you're most likely looking at close to and maybe even surpassing 500! Also she mentioned that there are writers from L.A., New York, England, Germany, and Australia!!! :-O
As for the event itself, this year it runs from May 6 - 10. Songwriters will be showcasing their songs all over town, at various different venues. With a very few exceptions, all of these events are free, in the best of Key West traditions!
I'm very fortunate in that I have been a Nashville published songwriter with the firm McClure and Trowbridge Publishing Nashville, for the last fifteen years. When I first got into the festival, it was through my publisher in Nashville, George McClure. He's assisted in sending good vibes to the festival ever since on my behalf! Thanks George!
Since that first time, Key West promoters Dani Strampello Holliday and Charlie Bauer have also been batting for me as well! Thank you Dani and Charlie!
The last two KWSFs that I've been in, I've been paired up with my good friend, Nashville based Misty Loggins, for the showcase. When I found out my schedule this year, in the beginning of March, I was thrilled when I had a call from Misty telling me that we were again paired up! Fantastic! Not only that, but we're paired up playing on Key West's South Beach at the end of Duval St.!
South Beach was where I had my debut gig with the KWSF. As good as the other venues were that I've been at over the years, this was always my favorite! Playing on the beach, looking out to the Florida Straits/Atlantic Ocean. Plus, it's right at the Southernmost Cafe, so you can go inside and grab a bite to eat or,get yourself a libation at their walk up bar, right on the beach! They have a good selection of great beer there as well!
One thing about the KWSF however that is different from the other gigs that go on the entire rest of the year here in Key West, these are concerts, they are not bar gigs. At bar gigs people have the option to listen to the music, or chat with their friends. At the songwriters festival, these are concerts. The audience is here to listen to the songs, as they were composed, by the writers who wrote them. There's no conversations. These are concerts. People are here to listen. As a performer, it's something that we all love doing; playing for folks who are there to enjoy the songs we write.
(Southernmost Cafe on South Beach)
(View of the water at South Beach, Key West)
The other day I went over to the KWSF's website and saw that fellow local Howard Livingston will be joining Misty and me on our set! Howard's a great guy and there will be a lot of laughs and great music to be had, no doubt!
(Howard Livingston - picture by Mark Reiman)
Misty, Howard, and I will be playing Saturday, May 9 from noon to 1 PM on South Beach, Key West. It's the best location of all the events in the festival, in my opinion.
Stop by and catch our show!
Also, in the best of Key West traditions, 90% of all the shows are free (including ours!). Just walk in and enjoy!
If you are thinking of coming from out of town, book right away. It wouldn't be the first time that every room in town is booked solid for the festival!
For more information on the Key West Songwriter's Festival, please check out their website!
(On The Beach 2011)
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