It turns out that there’s more of a connection between Nashville and the Alabama Gulf Coast than just Interstate 65 heading south. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are popular beach destinations for vacationers across the South thanks to warm water, wide beaches, soft sand and fantastic seafood, but there’s another common element between Nashville and LA (Lower Alabama): They both place a high value on talented songwriters and offer plenty of places for them to showcase their creations.
The biggest songsmith event of the year is the annual Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival held in multiple venues along the Gulf Coast over the course of eleven days. This year’s festival will be the 34th edition, scheduled for November 8 through 18. The festival is named for Frank Brown, the long-time night watchman at the iconic Flora-Bama. When Brown passed away in 1988 at the age of 93, the nightclubs and bars of the region came together to salute the songwriters and performers who often were the last folks to say goodnight to Mr. Frank at the end of a long evening.
Although the Flora-Bama may be the geographic soul of the festival, the festival actually stretches from Downtown Pensacola and Perdido Key, Florida into Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Bon Secour and Silverhill, Alabama, and features 200+ nationally acclaimed songwriters performing in more than two dozen venues. Proceeds from the performances go to fund scholarships for area high schoolers and to bring songwriters into schools to talk about the creative process and potential careers in the industry. Pickers Vodka is a Nashville-based spirit that is dedicated to, and even named after, the musicians who made their hometown famous. A mainstay at the multiple bars of the Flora-Bama, Pickers is a major sponsor of the Frank Brown Festival. Jenny Pennington, co-founder of Pickers along with her husband Jeff, couldn’t be more thrilled with the brand’s association.
“Frank Brown draws artists and fans from across the world, and Pickers Vodka is proud to be a small part of such a big tradition on the Gulf Coast. We hope everyone will kick back with some Pickers Vodka this year while enjoying the amazing talent,” she says.
Pickers also sponsors “Nashville Nights” at the Flora-Bama throughout the year, bringing talented Tennessee troubadors to the beach to help spread the Music City gospel to the Gulf Coast. If you’re interested in seeing some of the best talent Nashville has to offer while sniffing a little salt air, check out the festival website for all the details.