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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

20th Annual Key West Songwriter’s Festival

May 9, 2015

 photo 280_zpsfxl7dal1.jpg Robert Earl Keen 

 photo 209_zpssqqz8u3w.jpg Robin, Mark & Kathy

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 photo 11149517_10153130103696195_135290424636790919_n_zpsfcimxrwf.jpg Michael & Misty Loggins

20th Annual Key West Songwriter’s Festival

 photo 016_zpsmhwam66e.jpg Kathy

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.

 photo 116_zpsol919evs.jpg Nick

 photo 005_zpsutx3mkit.jpg Mayor Cates 

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 photo 064_zpstofz3zvu.jpg Rob

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.

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 photo 213_zpsfzelphvl.jpg 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.

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 photo 109_zps2xjygscn.jpg Misty & Eliza

 photo 010_zpskych6dsd.jpg Key West Mayor Craig Cates & Cheryl

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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 setting.

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 photo 068_zpsgsarommj.jpg Jack Ingraham

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 photo 190_zpsexbqsvl5.jpg The Grossmans

 photo 057_zpsrr1gz9hk.jpg Effie & Michael 

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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.

 photo 207_zpsesh52woc.jpg Chuck Cannon

 photo 189_zpshabnnlzn.jpg 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.

 photo 145_zpszlovwzru.jpg Brooke Eden

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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.

 photo 199_zpsnh27hi24.jpg Mark & Kathy

 photo 218_zpszfuhd7rn.jpg Bob DiPiero

 photo 054_zpsyqkfagae.jpg Greta, Effie & Tom 

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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”.

 photo 281_zpskg6uywtq.jpg Robert Earl Keen

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