Friday, April 20, 2012

Island Dogs hosts top performers for Key West Songwriters Festival

KEY WEST, Fla. (April 2012) -- For five days, Key West's most popular drinking holes and hot spots come alive with Songwriters Festival action with over 20 free shows and 100 top songwriters. This year, Island Dogs joins the festival venue roster once again.

Now in its 17th year, the Key West Songwriters Festival sponsored by BMI is the largest festival of its kind in the world. A favorite of locals and tourists alike, attendees meet the faces, voices and stories behind the songs and jam to informal adaptations of Nashville's signature in-the-round acoustic showcases.

"Our patrons have a blast every year here at Songwriters and we're looking forward to another year of great tunes and good times," said David Thibault, Island Dogs' co-owner and general manager.

Island Dogs Songwriters Festival Line-Up

5 P.M.

Lauren Lucas
MELISSA PEIRCE: Melissa has had 2 top ten singles and is a recipient of the 2004 ASCAP Country Music Award for writing the country single "I'm Gonna Take That Mountain" for Reba McEntire, one of the year's most played songs and a number one video hit on CMT. She released her first independent solo album "Lonesome Lullaby" this year.

LAUREN LUCAS: A Tony Award-nominated composer at 19, Lauren partnered with Grammy-winning engineer, Chad Carlson, for her critically acclaimed 2007 EP, "If I Was Your Girl". Her new record, "On With the Show", blends rootsy soul with more pop-tinged melodies and is gaining momentum with fans and critics.

JEFF BLACK: Jeff's songs have been covered by Waylon Jennings, Sam Bush and BlackHawk, whose cover of Jeff's song, "That's Just About Right", was a Top 10 Country single in 1994. Since then Black has released four of his own albums and tours widely. He also maintains his own free weekly podcast, Black Tuesdays.

6 P.M.

BRIDGETTE TATUM: Bridgette co-wrote "She's Country" (2009), recorded by country superstar Jason Aldean. It was the Most Played Song on U.S. country radio stations that held the #1 position on the chart for two consecutive weeks. In 2010, her song, "Loud" was the Official Theme Song for ACC Football's 2010 Season.

AARON PARKER: Two of Aaron's popular singles include "Open Season" for the "Open Season" TV show and "Anything Alabama". He grew up in a big family on a farm in Southern Alabama and says, "Everything that comes through your speakers from me you can bet has a whole lot of dust, corn, heartland south in it. It's just who I am."

BLAKE GRAY: Nashville-based Blake was signed to Blue Guitar Music in 2009. She lists her influences as Erin McCarley, Sara Bareilles, Florence and the Machine, Bryan Adams, Christina Aguilera, Jewel, Fiona Apple, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, The Judds, Shania Twain, and The Cranberries.

7 P.M.

Kree Harrison
KREE HARRISON: At just 8 years old, Kree performed on the "Rosie O'Donnell Show" several times. After label signings and then enduring family tragedies that reset her musical course, the 21-year-old now writes with Nashville songwriters such as Natalie Hemby, Trent Dabbs, and Jeffrey Steele, and performs at Nashville venues like 3rd & Lindsley, The Basement, and Hotel Indigo.

PHILLIP LAMMONDS: Originally from Georgetown, South Carolina, Lammonds is currently a staff songwriter for Zavitson Music Group and a singer/songwriter/acoustic guitarist.

DEAN ALEXANDER: Writer/artist Dean signed with Stage Three Music, Inc., in 2010 plays on stages across the country, opening up for artists such as Josh Turner. He has performed as part of Laura Bell Bundy's band, live at the ACM's, Good Morning America and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Featured Artist: Randy Mac

Randy Mac won't talk much about the time in his life filled with 3-piece bands, album recordings, a record label signing and music awards. And he won't talk much about life off stage. Self-promotion? Not for him. Because what's important, what truly makes him happy, is happening now--playing music live.

"I've got chapters of history, but when I come to Key West, it's irrelevant," Randy Mac said.

Seven years ago, he left Montreal to get away from the cold and ended up in Key West, cruising down Duval Street in his VW bus, kiteboard locked and loaded. Within a week, he had his first solo gig.

Randy Mac's repertoire--he plays the acoustic guitar, harmonica and bass--includes his own versions of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Stone Temple Pilots, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hendrix, Clapton, Neil Young, and Stevie Ray Vaughan among others.

"I survive without playing the local shtick," Randy Mac told us. "I know that it's authentic and sought after; songs that everyone knows but not what people play on the streets."

Needless to say, he doesn't play songs he doesn't like.

"I'm singing and playing four hours every day, but I'm listening, too," Randy Mac said.

With almost three decades of playing professionally under his belt, he's performed on stages from the Virgin Islands and Austria to Switzerland, France and Italy. But he keeps coming back to Key West.

"I'm doing what I want to do and it's getting better every year," he said.

Randy Mac plays tonight at Island Dogs from 8 p.m. and again on April 28. He doesn't play often, so be sure to check him out!

Here's Randy rockin' out on the acoustic guitar, playing it with a violin bow!