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The right notes

Song Writers Fest attracts a crowd

January 16, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

Feet were tapping and individuals sang along with the musicians both on land and in the water Sunday afternoon during the Low Key Tiki Song Writers Fest.

Every seat in the house was full and the lawn was covered in beach chairs as everyone made a spot around the stage during the four hours of music shared by writers, performers and producers that have known each other for almost a half of a century.

Colette Hawkins was in the crowd Sunday afternoon, so she could see and hear the musicians play. She said Brent Moyer, who performed during Sunday's festival, was the first person to play at the Hardware Store many years ago.

Article Photos

Many musicians performed at Low Key Tiki Sunday afternoon during the Low Key Tiki Song Writers Fest. More photos available at

Hawkins and her husband, Bob, owned the Hardware Store in St. James City for 15 years.

"Brent was the first to play on the washing machine with a guitar," she said at the Hardware Store.

Additional musicians eventually joined Moyer as they asked if they could play out back, which continued for 10 years.

"It was always a good time," Hawkins said.

She said musicians, who were all talented, came from all over the country.

"Extraordinary talent," Hawkins said of those who played at the Hardware Store.

She thought the festival Sunday was awesome.

"It brings back a lot of memories," Hawkins said, adding that it is neat that the festival keeps going.

She said it was great that Scott and Barb Adams are bringing back the festival and making it an annual thing.

Moyer said the first festival was held at Waterfront before moving to the Hardware Store. He thought the Sunday festival was great.

"Everyone's so talented," he said.

Moyer thought it was great that everyone could gather together and play when no plan was made of what they were going to play.

A similar festival was held on Captiva Saturday night at Jensen's Marine.

Moyer said the Jensens, who are wonderful people, really support the arts.

Fred Mayer said he enjoyed performing during the Song Writers Fest because he had the opportunity to share the joy of what they do with others. After growing up during the age of Rock 'n' Roll 50 years ago, he said it only made sense to start studying drums, which eventually lead him to playing the electric violin.

Jo Gilchrist, president of Flora-Bama in Perdido Key Beach, Fla., also attended the event. For more than 25 years, Flora-Bama has held the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival where many of the musicians that performed Sunday have played together.

He said he began the Songwriters Fest to provide the opportunity for musicians to make the world a better place. Gilchrist said musicians have a talent of providing emotion in their songs that individuals cannot always express.

"If it weren't for them, our life would be empty," he said, adding that the music they create comes straight from their heart.

Gilchrist described the musicians as troubadours that travel around and make the world a better place.

Jerry Louis wanted to thank the community for attending the festival Sunday afternoon.

"Thank you Pine Island," he said.



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