Get ready for a weekend of Nashville-fueled tunes.
The fifth annual Blast on the Bay Songwriters’ Festival will come to life this weekend, Oct. 17-20 and will host nearly 30 Nashville songwriters across nine area music venues.
This event has struck a chord locally and offers attendees the opportunity to meet and enjoy performances by the songwriters who have penned hits for country stars Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire and countless others.
The festival begins Friday with a lunchtime happy hour at Triple Tails restaurant and a songwriter’s workshop will be held on Saturday at Dockside Seafood and Raw Bar.
The panel will be moderated by Steven Leslie, who has written tunes for Kenny Rogers, Mark Chesnutt and George Strait. Area writers will participate in an informal open discussion on the art and business of song writing and topics will include the craft of song writing, song writing as a career, and music production.
Panelists will also offer critiques for attendees who bring a sample along with them.
“Attendees should have the enthusiasm to learn,” said Leslie who will oversee the panel for the fourth year. “Songwriting is an investment in time.
“A lot has changed in the industry and there’s a lot of listening and studying to be done.”
Those who attend the free performances will be treated to the “writer’s round” format, commonly found in Nashville where three to four performers share the stage and trade off playing tunes.
The festival is designed as a “listening event” for attendees to appreciate the songs and be respectful to the writers who have traveled from Nashville to perform.
“It’s delightful and educational to listen to a song by the songwriter that you listened to in the car on the way in and make that connection,” said Leslie. “You see that the writer is really the artist.”
On Oct. 19 the fifth Semper Fi Sisters Beach Blast, an event that will welcome more than 60 women to Gulf County related by marriage or blood to members of the military branches, will hold its annual packing party at the Centennial Building.
During the party, care packages are created and sent around the globe to various military units in need. Last year, the Sisters packed more than 1,200 “Boxes of Love” over the course of a day, a dramatic increase from the three dozen completed during the inaugural event.
Each year, the packing party is serenaded by performers in town for the Blast on the Bay Songwriters’ Fest.
“Our writers donate their time to play for the Semper Fi Sisters during their packing party,” said Blast on the Bay organizer Jason Bogan. “The events happened to begin on the same year and a certain synergy seemed to develop very organically.
“The events have historically supported and fed off of one another. All of the "sisters" are great friends of our event and our writers are proud to be able to be a small part of their packing party.”
Proceeds from the Blast on the Bay Songwriters’ Festival will benefit the Coastal Songwriters Education Coalition Inc., a 501c3 not for profit. The festival runs from Oct. 17-20. To register in advance for the songwriter’s workshop, visit www.blastonthebay.com.
All times Eastern unless marked otherwise.
Friday, Oct 18
Triple Tails Seafood & Raw Bar
3 p.m. - Wil Nance, Alan Rhody, Bob Regan, Sonny Lemaire
5 p.m. - Lisa Shaffer, Steve Dean, Bill Whyte
6 p.m. - Bridgette Tatum and Aaron Barker
The Thirsty Goat
6:30 p.m. - Brett Jones, Jillia Jackson, Jesse Rice, Jerry Salley
8:30 p.m. - Will Rambeaux, Sherrie’ Austin, Brooke Eden, Shane Hines
10:30 p.m. - Aaron Barker, Bridgette Tatum, Earl Bud Lee, Jim Parker
Mango Marley’s (central time zone)
7 p.m. - Charlie Black, Dana Hunt Black, Tim Buppert, Steve Leslie
9 p.m. - Walt Aldridge, Sonny Lemaire, Riley Weston, Pete Sallis
Saturday, Oct 19
Dockside Seafood and Raw Bar
11:30 a.m. - Lisa Shaffer, Steve Dean, Bill Whyte
12:45 p.m. - Wil Nance, Alan Rhody, Bob Regan
2 p.m. – Free Songwriters’ Workshop
5 p.m. - Brett Jones, Jillia Jackson, Jesse Rice, Jerry Salley
7 p.m. - Will Rambeaux, Sherrie’ Austin, Brooke Eden, Shane Hines
Toucans (central time zone)
6 p.m. - Aaron Barker, Bridgette Tatum, Earl Bud Lee, Jim Parker
8 p.m. - Charlie Black, Dana Hunt Black, Tim Buppert, Steve Leslie
10 p.m. - Walt Aldridge, Sonny Lemaire, Riley Weston, Pete Sallis
7 p.m. - Walt Aldridge, Sonny Lemaire, Riley Weston, Pete Sallis
9 p.m. - Brett Jones, Jillia Jackson, Jesse Rice
Sunday, Oct 20
Indian Pass Raw Bar
2 p.m. - Lisa Shaffer, Steve Dean, Bill Whyte, Jerry Salley
3:30 p.m. - Wil Nance, Alan Rhody, Bob Regan, Walt Aldridge
5 p.m. - Will Rambeaux, Sherrie’ Austin, Brooke Eden, Shane Hines, Jillia Jackson
6:30 p.m. - Charlie Black, Dana Hunt Black, Tim Buppert, Steve Leslie
8 p.m. - Aaron Barker, Bridgette Tatum, Earl Bud Lee, Jim Parker
10 p.m. - Late Night Jam Session