Songwriters' Fest attracts crowds to area

Blast on the Bay

Shane Hines, Brooke Eden, Sherrie Austin and Will Rambeaux shared a round on Friday night.

Debbie Hooper at joebay.com
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 09:48 AM.

They came, they saw, they strummed.

Over the weekend, 27 Nashville songwriters visited Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach for the annual Blast on the Bay Songwriters’ Festival.

Three days of free concerts got locals and visitors up close and personal with the writers who penned number one hits for country stars Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire and countless others.

The festival kicked off with a sponsor’s party on Thursday which took over the Indian Pass boat ramp and welcomed music from several of the performers along with free food and drink. The festival officially started the following day with a lunchtime jam at Triple Tails Seafood and Raw Bar before expanding to nine venues across Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach.

Each event featured four songwriters who performed in a “writer’s round” fashion with each writer playing a tune while the others joined in or simply sat back and enjoyed the song.

 On Saturday, those looking to break into the songwriting industry were treated to a two-hour question and answer workshop with writers Steve Leslie and Will Rambeaux, held at Dockside Seafood and Raw Bar.

Despite an afternoon downpour, more than 30 attendees listened to stories, asked questions and learned about how the industry is changing for writers.



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