Dreaming of a weekend getaway? Yearning to stretch out on your bedroll under the stars and be lulled to sleep by a crackling campfire, maybe even a folksy serenade? If you're up for a little road trip across the peninsula this weekend, you're covered.
The Southwest Florida Folk and Blues Fest hits Pine Island on Saturday and Sunday. This dot of land just west of Fort Myers and north of Sanibel Island will host performers ranging from national acts to microlocal favorites. John Mooney happens to be both: He's a Pine Islander who keeps his New Orleansflavored band, Bluesiana, working regularly all over the country.
St. Augustine's Sam Pacetti, a protégé of Gamble Rogers, has developed a Caribbean-influenced flamenco guitar style he attributes to lessons from his Cuban grandfather, while Pat McCune of Melbourne owes much of his fingerpicking guitar flourish to trendsetters like Jorma Kaukonen and Doc Watson. McKenzie/Lawrence teams Johnny "Rockaday" McKenzie's guitar-playing and poetry with those of Pine Island native (and festival organizer) Kip Lawrence.
National acts include Gove Scrivenor, who cooks up an unhinged fusion of folk, blues, and zingy traditional bluegrass on the slide guitar and autoharp. Vocalist and guitarist Jack Williams draws from more than 40 years of performing experience to create his genre-unfaithful music.
Indigenous funky blues band the Troublestarters will provide a break from all the acoustic strumming and singing, delivering a dose of amplified, dance-happy tunes.
No festival would be complete, of course, without vendors hawking the requisite victuals, beverages, and crafts; the obligatory booths will be set up around the site. Impromptu "campfire jams" will keep folks pickin' and grinnin' into the night, so pack your favorite instruments for the trip.
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