Coachman Park February 22 and 23
The event is free for the public to enjoy with the option of purchasing VIP and reserved seating.
One of my favorite things to do is to drive to a blues festival and immerse myself in the music. This festival was the most recent one I was able to attend due to the Covid-19 lock-down. I was scheduled to go to the Bonita Spring Blues Festival, however they cancelled at the last minute.
As some of you may know, I travel and sleep in my Toyota Prius. Finding a place to park next to the venue was no problem at all. Coachman Park has plenty of parking available, all within walking distance to restaurants and clubs. I stopped for brunch at “Clear Sky on Cleveland,” an upscale downtown eatery with an old-time décor, and had a huge spinach omelet that filled me up, then headed for Coachman Park. The weather was wonderful; a beautiful February day in Florida with temperatures starting in the mid 70’s and reaching the mid 80’s by 3:00 p.m.
Saturday’s line-up contained a couple of good blues acts. I had never seen Brandon Santini and was totally blown away! His harmonica performance was clean and a treat for the ears. Reverend Barry and the Funk was also very impressive… they really brought the funk, and are a fun band to watch. With their horns and rhythm section, they got the crowd moving. Purchasing the VIP package allows you to sit up close and they provide food. Not bad for an old blues fan.
As the day came to an end I headed for my Prius for some much needed rest. I’m not much of a night owl these days. One of the advantages of sleeping in my hybrid car is the climate control feature. After watching a blues documentary on Netflix it was time to rest. I made a bed in the back with a foam pad and a sleeping bag, it’s actually very comfortable.
Upon waking on Sunday, I took a short walk to “Grind House Coffee” for a cup of joe. After cleaning up in the restroom, I had my cup of coffee and buttered toast for breakfast. Needing to breathe the sea air, I decided to drive over the bridge to Clearwater Beach. Unfortunately, the beach was closed–they were in the process of setting up for a volleyball tournament. I turned around and headed back over the bridge for day two of the festival.
Day 2 started out the same way, with wonderful music and plenty of fans. After years of doing this blues festival thing you get to meet all kinds of people and reunite with friends you’ve made on the road. Sunday was used to catch up with old and new friends. My old friends from the Tobacco Road days, Julie and Jack, now live in the Tampa Bay area. Lee Ann is a new friend I met on the January Blues Cruise (more about that in the next post) who flew down from Atlanta. All good blues fans are the best fans in the world. Only my opinion of course.
Sunday’s performances included some old favorites and some new acts I hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing before. Tab Benoit has been a favorite of mine for years, all the way back to the 1990s–Tobacco Road days. Victor Wainwright & the Train are a recent act that I have started following since the Blues Cruise. Both put on great performances. Tab’s guitar skills are always fun to watch and Victor is a showman you have to witness. If you have never seen these guys live, next time you’re able, do so. You can thank me later. Victor’s “Wiltshire Grave” is my ringtone. The opening guitar riff performed by Pat Harrington is the best. It’s stuck in my head in the best possible way.
Hope to see you all on the Blues Highway, until then…Peace.
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