Conchtoberfest Nights were a huge hit here in the Middle Keys. If you didn’t get to any of the parties, you missed a real good time. Kudos to the host restaurants and kudos to our community for coming out to support some real worthwhile local causes.
Now that the preliminaries are concluded, it’s time for the Main Event: Conchtoberfest 2010 at Hawks Cay Resort (cue the sound of a wildly cheering crowd). We’ve put together one of the best slates of performers ever assembled at one place in the Keys, and our festival lineup really has something for everyone.
Tonight, Friday September 17, is our kickoff. I’ll be performing (4 PM), along with tonight’s headline act, Larry Roberts (6 PM). Larry is one of Florida’s most in-demand Oktoberfest performers, and his traditional sounds will help get us all in the mood. Larry dresses in authentic lederhosen, and performs his show on accordion with keyboard backup. In addition to traditional Oktoberfest favorites, he’ll perform some fun songs and surprises as well (www.larryrobertsent.com).
Saturday morning starts with jazz from the Marathon High School Jazz Combo (10 AM). These students have really come a long way under the direction of Stephen Whitfield. Next, Solid Ground (11 AM), the musical group from the Kirk of the Keys, will take the stage for an energetic set you won’t want to miss.
The event headline act takes the stage at noon for one of his two performances that day. His new CD, Defending the Name, has just been released, and singer/songwriter Taylor Carson (www.taylorcarson.com) will perform many of the songs from the new album along with his band. Here’s some information directly from Taylor’s bio:
“Taylor Carson hails from the land of the Dave Matthews Band, Virginia Coalition, and O.A.R. While he built his musical chops on the shoulders of the acoustic rock superstars, his lyrical inspiration comes from the timeless wordsmiths like Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, and Martin Sexton. His new record, Defending the Name, is a 16-song folk-pop epic that is introducing Taylor to a national audience.”
Taylor also performs Saturday evening at 6 PM, and Sunday afternoon at 2 PM. You won’t want to miss this up and coming artist, and you’ll be able to say that you saw him when.
Following Taylor at 2 PM are local favorites (and Hawks Cay regulars) The Stone Crabs. You’ll enjoy their jam band rock as well as many of your classic favorites. Yours truly (www.johnbartus.com), along with drummer Glenn Faast and bassist/guitarist Christian Davis, will perform our first Storm Watch gig in a while. Expect some original songs, as well as Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, and other classics, including Christian wailing on some Hendrix-inspired guitar. We’ll also perform again Sunday at 4 PM.
Performing shows throughout the event will be world-record juggler Bruce Sarafian (www.jugglingusa.com). He holds Guinness Book world records for number of balls juggled and flashed, and he juggles sharp objects and fire as well… often sitting atop a tall three-wheel unicycle! Bruce’s shows are guaranteed to amaze and astound, and it’s another not-to-be-missed part of the incredible Conchtoberfest entertainment lineup.
Local favorites Jessica Lilly & Smokey Rhythm will perform Sunday afternoon at 2 PM, and if you haven’t heard them yet, you’re in for a treat. You’ll enjoy jam-based music and classic favorites with an acoustic foundation and cool Cajon percussion. The ribbon around the package is Jessica’s soulful vocals.
Also strolling around the event, don’t be surprised to see Dennis the Pirate and Captain Silky’s Pirates. I’ve heard that there’s a special pirate event on Sunday, so be sure to practice your pirate speaking skills!
Find out more about this great community event, including schedules, photos, and information, at www.keysconhtoberfest.com. It’s great to see all of us getting together for a party for, well, all of us! See you there!