KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- More than 70 of the United States' top performing songwriters are to showcase their original music in intimate, audience-friendly tropical settings during the 12th annual Hog's Breath Key West Songwriters' Festival, scheduled Wednesday through Sunday, May 2-6.
Event organizer Charlie Bauer of Hog's Breath Saloon works with international performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI, as well as the Nashville Songwriters Association International, to attract chart-topping writers to present their hit songs and preview new melodies on Key West stages.
Heading the 2007 festival lineup are entertainer and songwriter Mac Davis, famed as a country crossover success and for iconic hits including "In the Ghetto" for Elvis Presley; Scotty Emerick, who has penned such smashes as "I'm Just Talkin' About Tonight" and "As Good As I Once Was" for Toby Keith; legendary writer Don Schlitz, whose mega-hits include "The Gambler"; Chuck Cannon, who co-wrote the anthemic "How Do You Like Me Now?" and "American Soldier" with Toby Keith; and Brett James, whose multiple hit singles include "Jesus Take the Wheel," recorded by Carrie Underwood, and Martina McBride's "Blessed."
As well as a remarkable listening experience for music lovers, the festival is a gathering for the growing coterie of writers who find both haven and inspiration in Key West.
"I step off the plane and this just feels like home," said Grammy winner and festival veteran Brett James. "This is my favorite week of the year."
The 2007 festival is to kick off with a 6 p.m. welcome party and show Wednesday, May 2, at the Top of the Crowne Plaza La Concha, 430 Duval St.
The schedule for the following three days includes a minimum of five performances per day, with each showcase featuring multiple writers. Events are to culminate in two shows Sunday, May 6.
Venues include Key West's funky and relaxed bars, the beach at the Pier House Resort & Caribbean Spa, the renowned Tropic Cinema and even the Fury Catamarans during a pair of musical sunset cruises on the island's azure surrounding waters.
"The unique performance venues of this festival allow you to sit just a few feet from the performers and connect with them on a personal level as you listen to them talk about the inspirations for the songs," said organizer Bauer.
Traditional event highlights are the 8 p.m. concerts Friday and Saturday in the upstairs Writer's Room at Hog's Breath Saloon, 400 Front St. During each show, festival headliners are to perform and tell the stories behind their songs in an intimate setting reminiscent of Nashville's famous listening rooms.
For more information about the Key West Songwriters' Festival, tickets for the Fury and Tropic Cinema shows, and a detailed schedule of performances, visit www.keywestsongwritersfestival.com
or call Hog's Breath at (305) 296-4222.
For lodging information in Key West, contact the Key West Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-LAST-KEY (800-527-8539), or visit the Keys Web site at www.fla-keys.com