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Treasure Island hosts Bikini Blues Bash
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Bikini Blues Bash on Saturday, April 27, boasts over 10 hours of hot, smokin’ blues, soul and swing from seven bands.
TREASURE ISLAND - Smack dab on Treasure Island’s famous festival-sized beach, the Bikini Blues Bash on Saturday, April 27, boasts over 10 hours of hot, smokin’ blues, soul and swing from seven bands.

This year, the bash headlines the man with the booming bulldozer voice, Latimore, still kicking it and keeping it soulful. Latimore has been in showbiz for half a century with a string of chart-topping rhythm and blues hits in the '70s and 80s, most famously "Let's Straighten It Out.”

Now in its second year, the city of Treasure Island presents the Bikini Blues Bash with the help of the Suncoast Blues Society, Saunders & Walker, PA, and dozens of local volunteers. The festival begins at 11:30 a.m. with two sets from everybody’s favorite swing and jazz band, the 18-piece Tomkats Jazz Orchestra, who have been packing venues up and down the coast for close to 30 years.

Sunset Beacher Charlie Morris and his band, fresh off their winter 2013 European Tour, take the stage at 1:45 p.m. with some down-home songs and stories. Steve Arvey, a favorite Chicago blues guitarist with a thing for Florida stone crab, plays at 3 p.m., followed by the trues blues sensation of the year, Ellie Lee & Blues Fury at 4:15 p.m.

Sarasota Slim takes a time-out from producing the bash and brings his raucous blues-slinging band on at 5:45 p.m. for a set that always begins onstage and ends up somewhere out in the crowd. As the bash heads toward sunset, Billy Seward and Soulfonic, featuring Betty Padgett, play at 7:15 p.m. Seward’s show is a mix of blues, soul and horn-driven R&B, and it’s a full-blown musical party.

Finally, Latimore, backed by Seward and the Soulfonics, hits the Bikini Blues Bash stage at 8:30 p.m. With a string of R&B hits spanning two decades and a showbiz career spanning more than five decades, Latimore has a voice with deep feeling for the blues and soul, not to mention some hammer-down finger-tickling keyboard action.

Festival vendors are open all day and evening, along with the food court, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Park directly on the beach all day for $10. Parking entrance to the beach is at the festival site at 104th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard in Treasure Island, across from Publix.

No pets or glass permitted on the beach.

Details online at www.m­ytrea­surei­sland­.org or call 727-547-4575, ext. 237.
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