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Music & Concerts
Sea-Blues Festival transforms Coachman Park
Robert Cray, Savoy Brown headline two-day seafood and music festival
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Photo courtesy of WME ENTERTAINMENT
Robert Cray is one of this year’s headliners at Clearwater’s eighth annual Sea-Blues Festival, set for Feb. 15-16 at Coachman Park.
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Photo by LEE CHERRY/BIG HASSLE
Vintage Trouble takes the stage Feb. 15 at the Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival.
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Photo courtesy of SAVOY BROWN
The Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival welcomes Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds Feb. 16.
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Photo courtesy of ARTISTEXCLUSIVE
Ana Popovic performs Feb. 16 at the Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival.
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Photo courtesy of LAUREN MITCHELL
Lauren Mitchell brings her smokin’ band to the Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival Feb. 16.
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Photo courtesy of BLUE MOUNTAIN ARTISTS
Samantha Fish plays the Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival Feb. 16.
CLEARWATER – The eighth annual Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival is Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15-16, at Coachman Park, 301 Drew St.

This year’s festival headliners include Vintage Trouble, Robert Cray Band, and Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds.

While enjoying great live performances, attendees can experience Gulf Coast cuisine as vendors dish up jumbo shrimp, crab cakes, oysters, crawfish and gumbo. Gates will open at 1 p.m. on both days. General admission is free. There is limited reserved seating available for purchase.

Coolers, food and drink are not admitted into the park. One sealed bottle of water per person is allowed. Chairs and blankets are permitted. Chair rentals are available at the venue.

Pets are not allowed. Assistance animals are permitted. Personal umbrellas are allowed; however, beach umbrellas, sunshades, tents and canopies will not be permitted.

Festival lineup

The festival officially gets underway Saturday, Feb. 15, when the gates open at 1 p.m. Artists and lineup are subject to change.

Saturday, Feb. 15

• Steve Arvey & the Delta Swamp Rats – 1:30 p.m.
• Marquise Knox – 2:45 p.m.
• Peter Karp and Sue Foley – 4:15 p.m.
• Vintage Trouble – 6:05 p.m.
• Robert Cray – 8:15 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 16

• The Lauren Mitchell Band – 1:15 p.m.
• Samantha Fish – 2:45 p.m.
• Eric Lindell – 4:15 p.m.
• Ana Popovic – 6 p.m.
• Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds – 7:40 p.m.

Headliners

Robert Cray – a five-time Grammy award winning, singer/songwriting guitar legend – is considered one of the greatest guitarists of his generation. It would be difficult to overstate Cray's impact on rock, rhythm and blues since the release of his 1980 album debut “Who's Been Talkin.” Over the course of his career, Cray has invited listeners along on his epic musical journey – breaking through the pop ceiling with his gate crashing/blues-edged trademark sound, distinct playing style and daring innovations.

Vintage Trouble will bring their stage stealing rock, soul and blues infused performance to the festival.

Boasting four guys with a passion for music and a ton of soul, Vintage Trouble has won over entire continents, bringing an unforgettable passion to the stage and capturing the hearts of thousands. In between touring the world with Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz, Brian May of Queen, The Cranberries and Van Hunt, Vintage Trouble has headlined smaller venues creating a raucous energy that captivates the audience and turns clubs and pubs into wild late night parties.

The band released its debut, “The Bomb Shelter Sessions,” in 2011.

Savoy Brown formed in London in 1965 by guitarist Kim Simmonds.

Originally a UK version of a Chicago blues band, the group developed into a classic and highly original rock band but always managed to keep its blues roots intact. The band’s 1967 debut, “Shakedown,” helped launch the British blues boom. Savoy Brown continued to find commercial success as a blues band in the 1970s with albums such as “Hellbound Train.”

The band will release a new album, “Goin’ to the Delta,” in February.

More blues on the bill

Widely regarded as one of world’s very best female guitar-players, Ana Popovic’s career has been meteoric, and shows no signs of slowing down.

The Serbian-born musician has become one of the most lauded blues guitarists on the circuit. Popovic moved to Memphis to capture the city’s greasy Stax sound, record at Ardent Studios, and play with its finest musicians. Albert King and WAR equally inspire her 2013 LP “Can You Stand The Heat”.

The most impressive aspect of her music is her diversity of techniques and styles. Her blend of smoking electric funk slide guitar, jazzy instrumentals, tight blues groove, soulful feminine vocals and her incredible stage presence makes her an irresistible force in the music world.

Born in 1969, Eric Lindell is an American singer-songwriter who came to national prominence after relocating to New Orleans in 1999.

His recording career began in 1996 as a local/regional New Orleans-based artist. Beginning in 2006, when Alligator Records picked him up, he began touring nationally and internationally. He recorded three albums for Alligator and has since issued several CDs on smaller indie labels.

Like the legendary female singers she most admires – Etta James, Koko Taylor,

Janis Joplin, and Aretha Franklin – Lauren Mitchell gives audiences everything she has and then some.

From her roots singing in the churches of Ohio, to the southern blues and rock scene throughout Florida, Mitchell has honed her craft by singing her heart out in hundreds of honkytonks and blues halls along the way. Her distinctive brand of full-throttle, all-or-nothing stage performances leave audiences begging for more.

With a smoking-backing band, Mitchell is based in central Florida and plays on the big stages throughout the South, the Midwest, and the East Coast.

Kansas City-based Samantha Fish has been on a roll ever since she teamed up with Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde on Ruf’s 2011 release, “Girls with Guitars.”

Fueled by the trio’s Blues Caravan tour of Europe and the United States, and the international buzz it created in the blues world, Fish recorded “Runaway,” her solo debut on Ruf, which mixed gutsy riff-blues rockers like “Down In The Swamp” with the mellow small-hours jazz of “Feelin’ Alright,” while marinating her songwriting in the groove of the Rolling Stones and even tipping a hat to Heart.

Hitting a receptive international blues and rock press, “Runaway” was hailed as a thrilling opening statement, earning a string of rave reviews and radio airplay, climaxed by her winning the Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut in 2012.

Fish followed up “Runaway” last September, unleashing her trademark guitar work and soulful vocals on the new album “Black Wind Howlin’.”

Rather than trying to duplicate what she accomplished on her first success, Fish re-defines her sound throughout the tracks on “Black Wind Howlin’.” She can be brutally rocking on cuts like the tour bus snapshot of “Miles To Go,” the swaggering “Sucker Born” and the venomous “Go To Hell.”

Born in 1991 in St. Louis, Mo., Marquise Knox hails from a musical family deeply entrenched in the blues.

He learned how to play guitar from his grandmother Lillie whose family members were sharecroppers and whose great, great grandparents were slaves. He also played with his Uncle Clifford, who was a major influence in Knox’s life.

For Knox, blues is his heritage and a way of life. He spent his early teenage years in St. Louis mentoring under the late great blues legend, N.E.A. Heritage Fellowship recipient and Grammy Award winner Henry James Townsend. Knox’s talents have earned him performing rights with some of America’s most notable blues performers such as blues legend and Grammy Award winners B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. He has also performed at dozens of festivals, and has toured Germany and played the Baden Blues Festival in Switzerland.

New this year

New this year is the Florida Brewers Craft Beer Garden. It will feature craft beers from Cigar City Brewing Company of Tampa, Florida Beer Co. of Melbourne, Dunedin Red Head by the Dunedin Brewery, People’s Pale Ale by Intuition Ale Works of Jacksonville, and Toasted Coconut Porter by Orange Blossom Pilsner of Orlando. In addition, New Belgium will offer Fat Tire, Ranger, Snapshot, Sunshine Wheat, Shift, and Spring Blonde throughout the park.

Another addition to this year’s festival is Abe’s Lounge, which is a tented area filled with high top tables and chairs to sit, eat, drink, and relax while listening to some of the country’s best blues-infused musical performers. The co-headlining act, Vintage Trouble, recently appeared for its third performance on The Tonight Show. Vintage Trouble shares the headlining bill with five-time Grammy Award winning Robert Cray Band.

On Sunday, long-time British rock-blues group, Savoy Brown, featuring Kim Simmonds, will headline the day’s musical lineup. A complete list of performers is listed at www.clearwaterseablues.com.

Food offerings

Attendees can enjoy seafood and other delicious options like spicy Cajun shrimp, crab cake sliders, Louisiana crawfish, prime rib hoagies, and fried gator-on-a-stick. Notable local eateries will offer a wide range of delectable options. Also available are standard festival favorites, such as kettle corn, churros, hot dogs and Dippin Dots.

Friday Blues Walk

To kick of the festival on Friday, Feb. 14, Clearwater will host its third annual Blues Walk on Cleveland Street. Live blues music will be performed at area establishments from 6:30 to 10 p.m., and restaurants will offer Sea-Blues-themed food and drink specials.
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