Fifth Annual St. John Blues Festival Delivers Another Magical Island Moment

Music producer and St. John resident Steve Simon addresses the crowd.


Music was in the air all over Love City last week, as revelers celebrated the Fifth Annual St. John Blues Festival which began on Wednesday, March 21, and culminated on Saturday, March 24.

Residents and tourists alike jammed participating bars and restaurants, from Sun Dog Cafe to Shipwreck Landing, where a variety of artists performed throughout the week.

The festival was in full swing by Saturday, March 24. After a warm-up performance by 2 Blue Shoes at Skinny Legs, Love City residents were ready to boogie the night away under the stars in the Coral Bay ball field.

T Bird Opens With a Bang
The St. John “Queen of the Blues,” T Bird, along with a number of musician friends, took the stage first and got the show started on the right note.


Joey Gilmore’s drummer plays with a smile.

Joey Gilmore, who performed at the Beach Bar during the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise’s Love City stop, took the stage after T Bird and kept the energy level high.

The crowd barely caught its breath before Billy Gibson had everyone on their feet with his top-notch harmonica skills.

Headliner Jon Cleary with his Absolute Monster Gentlemen, did not disappoint with their New Orleans style blues.

The fun was also for a purpose, as volunteers from the Rotary Club of St. John manned the very busy bar.

“We had about 20 volunteers plus spouses and five or six friends of Rotary,” said the local Rotary Club’s president, John Fuller. “The night was definitely a success.”

Rotary Raises $6,000 for Charity
While still figuring out the final tally, the group raised about $6,000 which will go toward scholarships and the St. John Kids And The Sea program, Fuller explained.

“It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun too,” said Fuller. “Everyone who volunteered enjoyed it, and I know that our customers, in many cases, were grateful and thanked us for being there.”


Guy Benjamin and Cid Hamling enjoying the festival.

Produced by St. John recording artist Steve Simon, the Fifth Annual Blues Festival was the largest festival to date.

“It was the largest blues festival ever,” said Simon. “We had record attendance at all of the events, espeically Saturday night. We really truely proved that the St. John Blues Festival is the heart and soul of the island.”

Although Simon has been to a number of concerts and festivals, he declared the Fifth Annual St. John Blues Festival up there with the best.

“It was very much one of my all time favorite concerts and festivals of my entire life,” Simon said. “I was very touched with how many people came out and how long they stayed. It was just a magical moment of music and friendship on St. John.”