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Sunshine Music & Blues Festival Afterthoughts

Written by Katrina Valentine

sunshine blues

The Sunshine music & Blues Festival kicked off at noon at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, FL. The location is a beautiful park right along side of the bay where you can pull up your boat to catch some tunes or spot out a couple dolphins swimming alongside the festival.  The two stages played back to back music with no over lapping sets! At 3 PM, the one and only Jimmy Herring played alongside The Ringers and definitely “brought the heat” to a chilly Florida afternoon (real warm to any non-Floridian).

Ironically, it was quite overcast for the sunshine fest, but that didn’t bring down the good vibes and awesome music that both the musicians and crowd had to offer. There were great covers being played all day including “Know You Rider” from JJ Grey, The Rolling stones’ “Wild Horses” from Leon Russell, and Galactic ending their set with “I Want You Back,” originally by The Jackson 5.

With a great location and killer lineup, what better cherry-on-top with than craft beer and local food trucks? The festival had a supreme selection of local craft beer from my personal favorites, Cigar City along with delicious brews by Colorado New Belgium and Sierra Nevada.  New Belgium just recently started distributing to Florida in 2013, so it is great to see their beers around. Craft beer has really taken off in St. Pete and so it was refreshing (no pun intended) to partake in the local culture as it continues to grow.


Tedeschi Trucks Band’s headlining set was nothing short of rock ‘n’ soul. Jimmy Herring sat in toward the end of the set with an already impressive 10-member band. Susan Tedeschi blew me away with her soulful voice bluesy guitar style.  There is just something special about a powerful female vocalist that can enrapture the heart of a song.

Needless to say, many were swooning during the bands more intimate ballads. Overall, It was a beautiful day in St. Pete. The Sunshine Music and Blues Festival was well-organized, well-rounded and had something to offer for anyone.  I would recommend it to any of my friends or family to check out next year!

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