May 9, 2015
Robert Earl Keen
Robin, Mark & Kathy
Michael & Misty Loggins
20th Annual Key West
Celebrating its twentieth year of
bringing some of the most talented and exciting songwriters to the island of
Key West, The Key West Songwriter’s Festival is one of the best events held in
Key West and must certainly rank among the best songwriter events in the world.
It is truly a wonderful and staggering event that brings almost every major
writer from Nashville and beyond, as well as industry insiders, agents, talent
scouts and fans to Key West.
The festival has grown from
somewhat humble beginnings in to a mega-event that brings over 150 songwriters
and performers who perform over forty shows at just about every available venue
in town over a five day stretch in early May.
Kudos to our friends Charlie, Nadene, Dani and Morgan who organize this
amazing event and out-do themselves year after year.
Eileen & Graf
It is probably Kathy’s favorite
event of the year and is certainly at or near the top of my list, which is
saying a great deal in a town with so many awesome entertainment events and
options. Sadly for me, I was only able to catch the opening few shows this year
as I was off to Indianapolis to catch some Indy Car racing- which is about the
only thing that could pull me away. Kathy stayed for the entire event and her
cousin Mark and his wife Robin were here from Massachusetts to attend as well.
Misty & Eliza
Key West Mayor Craig Cates & Cheryl
The opening kick-off concert at
the Ocean Key House Pier is always a rousing start to the events of the week
and this year was no exception. Headlined by country music star Jack Ingram the
show and party kick off the Festival and the Pier is packed with both locals
and those in town for the Festival itself and the music is fantastic as the
beautiful Key West sunset sinks into the sky. It is a just about perfect
Effie & Michael
The party also featured Gutherie
Trapp and the Mulekickers and Key West’s own Caffine Carl and the Buzz to get
things started. The party moved on to other venues as the night progressed with
shows at the Pier House on the beach and at the Conch Republic Seafood Company
that we checked out before calling it a night.
Nadene & Morgan
The Pier house show featured the
lovely and talented Brooke Eden as well as established songwriters like Wendall
Mobley, Chuck Cannon and Kendall Marvell. Raul Malo was scheduled to appear,
but was apparently ill and was too sick to travel. Even so, it was a wonderful
evening of fantastic music on the beautiful beachside setting at the Pier House
and the place was packed with music fans.
Later in the evening, it was over
to the Conch Farm to see the likes of Al Anderson, Bob DiPiero, Sara Haze, Lee
Miller and Aaron Watson. It was yet another solid round of great music as well
as an opportunity to grab a bite at the Conch Farm. I tried to pack in as much
music as I could before having to take off Thursday evening, but I was still
disappointed to have to miss so much. Kathy, Mark and Robin were able to enjoy
the entire breadth of the Festival and an entire five days of amazing music.
Mark & Kathy
Greta, Effie & Tom
Before departing though, I was
able to slip in what the highlight for me, a morning set by the legendary
Robert Earl Keen at the Smoking Tuna Saloon in what was dubbed Robert Earl Keen’s
Bloody Mary Brunch. Liberally poured Bloody Mary’s and an amazing solo acoustic
set by Robert Earl Keeen that included many of my all-time favorite REK songs
including, “Shades of Grey”, “Amarillo Highway”, “Merry Xmas from the Family”
and of course, “The Road Goes On Forever”.
Robert Earl Keen