Songwriters will gather for fest next month

Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM.

A songwriters’ festival, Nashville songwriter Will Rambeaux said, is a chance to “reconnect to that skinny 18-year-old who wanted to be a rock star.”

Rambeaux and nearly two dozen other songwriters will descend on the Forgotten Coast Oct. 19-20 for the fourth annual Blast on the Bay Songwriters’ Festival.

“We love it down there,” said Rambeaux, who was talking from the set a new Nashville-based television series in which he plays, surprise, a songwriter. “Songwriters do this all year round, all over the country. These kind of festivals are growing.

“Port St. Joe is what I’d call a boutique festival. It is not Key West, where they have something like 300 songwriters and which is the granddaddy of them all. But we keep it small, because we like it that way. The community, the venues, has their charms. We love it.”

In a sense, Rambeaux could be considered the godfather of the Blast on the Bay event. After the closing of the paper mill and a move to attracting tourists to Gulf County, Rambeaux’s nephew, who had grown up attending songwriters’ festival with Rambeaux, suggested a festival along the Forgotten Coast.

“When it was first proposed I said, ‘Port St. What?’” Rambeaux said with a laugh. “I never heard of the place. But I came down and scouted the area and just fell in love with it.

“I thought this is the best-kept secret in Florida.”

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