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Southwest Florida Blues Festival draws music lovers

By Staff | Nov 21, 2010

The sounds of the blues filled the sky above Cape Coral this weekend, acting like a beacon for music lovers from around the county.
Jean Kelley answered the call, coming to Cape Coral from Estero so she could hear some of her favorite music.
Kelley said she’s a regular at the Blues Music Festival in Bonita Springs, but this was the first time she’s been to Cape Coral to listen to the blues.
“We came to see Deb and the Dynamics, we love them,” Kelley said. “We’re big blues fans.”
Local favorite Deb and the Dynamics were one of many acts to grace the stage at the German American Social Club Saturday.
The GASC played host to the 11th Annual Southwest Florida Blues Festival, an event organized by the Matlacha Mariners.
A non-profit community group located in the “rustic village” of Matlacha, the Mariners have used the Blues Festival to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities, including youth groups and Pine Island organizations.
Mariner and Festival Coordinator Jerry Tolliver said another purpose of the festival is, of course, to bring great music to the people, especially those who don’t know what it means to “sing the blues”.
“We’re really introducing people to the blues, here,” Tolliver said. “There’s some people who’ve never heard the blues, then there’s others who didn’t know they were even listening to the blues.”
The blues appeals to people, Tolliver said, because it “gets back the basics” of music, a minimal approach that uses only certain chords.
“There’s only 12 bars of music,” Tolliver said. “It’s all about the basics.”
The festival featured a full day of musical acts, including Grammy nominated artist Guitar Shortly.
For more information on the Matlacha Mariners and their local events, which also include a seafood festival, visit matlachamariners.org.