Monday, October 21, 2013

Frank Brown International Songwriters Fest Coming to the Gulf Coast Nov 7-17, 2013

Ryan Balthrop
"Music soothes the soul” and if a song gets in your head you might sing it in the shower, your car or karaoke. But where do your favorite songs originate? Join us on Florida and Alabama’s Gulf Coast November 7-17, 2013 at the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival to find out.

Who are the songwriters?
Over 200 songwriters from around the country converge on the Gulf Coast during this 11-day musical treat. Some are Grammy Award winning songwriters and others are up and coming stars of tomorrow. Either way it’s a thrill to hear their original songs performed in this up close and personal manner. And if you are fortunate you will get to hear these authors tell the story behind the songs. You might get extra lucky and witness an impromptu jam session with a group of musicians.

Some of the writers attending this year are Larry Hentley (“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler), Brett Jones (“If Heaven Wasn’t so Far Away” by Justin Moore) and Will Rambeaux (“Wild One” by Faith Hill).

Where’s the action?
Over the 11-day course of the festival, songwriters will take the stage all along the Gulf Coast at 13 venues in Florida in Pensacola and Perdido Key and 17 Alabama venues in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. The venues range from the famous Flora-Bama roadhouse, where the festival originated, to family-friendly environments where you can enjoy a meal in addition to the music. Some of the settings are ideal for true music lovers who enjoy a “listening room” experience.

Willie Sugarcapps at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm

What’s the cost?
Most venues hosting the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival are free; however a small cover change will be collected at the door at some establishments.

Why the name?
You would expect a songwriters festival to be named after a famous giant in the music industry. Well you would be wrong. For 28 years the late Frank Brown, or Mr. Frank as he was known, served as the night watchman at Flora-Bama. He was well respected for his moral values, integrity and strength of character. The festival is dedicated to this well-respected gentleman who retired at age 91 and passed away in 1988 at age 93.

Mr. Frank lives on today in the celebration of music and in the memories of those who knew him and knew his philosophy on life. As he said “success is when a man gets what he wants and happiness is when a man wants what he got.”

Where can I stay?
Accommodations at Meyer Vacation Rentals range from gulf-front condos in Perdido Key near Flora-Bama to beach houses and condos in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan. Grab a bunch of friends or bring the family and share the joy of this rare musical treat. We are offering a special 3rd night free in a condo or 4th night free in a house that will be music to your ears. 

See you at the beach!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Tropical Storm Karen Leaves Behind a Treasure on Alabama's Gulf Coast

Q: What is left behind on our coast when a tropical storm fails to come ashore?
A: Beautiful shells and wonderful sunny weather!

Last weekend when Tropical Storm Karen was advancing towards the northern Gulf Coast, we saw an impressive display of high surf. City officials took the appropriate action of prohibiting swimming because of the dangerous rip currents, however I can tell you that it is an awesome sight to see.

We waved a big goodbye to the storm as it simply broke up without landfall for us or our coastal neighbors. Following the storm threat our area is now experiencing cooler, sunny, beautiful weather just in time for the 42nd Annual National Shrimp Festival (Oct. 10-13), which is held directly on the beach in Gulf Shores.

Yesterday we went on a beach field trip to document the beautiful weather and calm seas and found a treasure trove of amazing shells now deposited on our shores. I know what you're thinking about our work assignment - tough job but someone has to do it.

Fall may be pretty in your hometown but speaking from experience in my area of the world, there is nothing as wonderful as a fall trip to our gorgeous beaches.

Fun food festivals are another reason to visit Alabama's Gulf Coast this fall. The weekend following the Shrimp Fest you can enjoy local food, wine and beers at the Alabama Festival of Flavor, held in historic downtown Foley on Saturday, October 19th. And in just a few weeks we'll be back at the beach at The Hangout enjoying seafood, music and SEC football at the Oyster Cookoff event on Saturday, November 9th.

See you at the beach.

Related articles:
Gulf Shores Annual Shrimp Festival
Alabama Festival of Flavor Highlight Local Fare
The Hangout Oyster Cookoff Gulf Shores