Key West has some fantastic events and the Key West Songwriters Festival is one of then. Country Music songwriter greats from around the country perform at various locations throughout Key West. And the best part… most of the entertainment is FREE! There are two to three musicians on stage at a time. One sings a song, then the next and so forth in rotation. The talent changes every hour so you are never board.
The 2016 version has some amazing talent including front man from the rock band “Staind… Aaron lewis” who had the Smokin Tuna rocking Friday night. Aaron sang his hit “Country Boy” and finished his set with the mega hit from the old STAIND days “It’s Been A While.”
I have watched the festival for a couple of years now and did not realize the level of talent that shows for the 5 day event featuring 150 performers at various venues around Key West.
Watch the entertainers on the stage cam at the Smokin Tuna with songwriters and artists every hour starting Thursday and ending Sunday. Only an internet connection is needed and all is…FREE!!!!
Notables in the 2016 Line up feature:
Paul Jenkins…wrote (Don’t You Wanna Stay…(Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson)
Jack Ingram… Ingram has sent six songs into the country Top 40 with “Love You”, “Lips of an Angel” (a cover version of a song by Hinder), “Measure of a Man”, “Maybe She’ll Get Lonely”, “That’s a Man”, and “Barefoot and Crazy”.
Chuck Cannon…One of Cannon’s first notable compositions was “I Love the Way You Love Me”, a Number One hit for John Michael Montgomery in 1993, which Cannon co-wrote with Victoria Shaw.This song also won the Song of the Year award at the Academy of Country Music awards, which is awarded to songwriters. From there, Cannon began working primarily for Toby Keith, including “Me Too”, “Dream Walkin'”, “We Were in Love”, “Getcha Some”
Al Anderson…writing hits for such acts as Carlene Carter, Vince Gill, Diamond Rio and Trisha Yearwood, as well as Tim McGraw’s Number One hit “The Cowboy in Me” and several album cuts. Anderson has also released six solo albums.
Natalie Hemby….has written songs for Lee Ann Womack, Eli Young Band, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Sunny Sweeney and Little Big Town. Hemby has accumulated five #1 Billboard singles during her career. Hemby’s cuts include “White Liar” and “Only Prettier” by Lambert… “Pontoon” and “Tornado” by Little Big Town…. “Drinks After Work” by Keith and “Automatic” by Miranda Lambert.
James Slater…his songs have been recorded by country superstars like Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Rodney Atkins, John Michael Montgomery, Lorrie Morgan, Jessica Andrews, and Mark Wills, among others. McBride’s recording of “In My Daughter’s Eyes” has become a contemporary standard and garnered Slater a 2006 BMI country award as well as a BMI pop award. The song was also nominated for a Grammy for best vocal performance. James recently was nominated for the country song of the year Grammy for Jamey Johnson’s “The High Cost of Living”. He has also penned Rascal Flatts’ single, “Unstoppable” which was used as a theme for the winter Olympics in Vancouver and has written American Idol Kellie Pickler’s single, “Falling In Love Again”.
Whether you are a country music fan or just plain love music, this is a don’t miss event. Smokin’ Tuna has an awesome stage cam with entertainment until Sunday night…Check-it -out, so look for your t-shirts and memorabilia at the gift shop here. There are a few performances that require ticket purchases in advance. Heads up, they sell out quickly. You can purchase CDs and have them signed by the artists too!
Check out the Website for a list of 2016 performers for this year’s event: Key West Songwriters Festival