St John Blues Festival

March 4, 2013 by

Local Recommendations, Things To Do, Top Attractions, Travel Tips

Caribbean music breaking out of the steelpan tradition at the St John Blues Festival. Photo courtesy of Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer via Flickr.

Caribbean music breaking out of the steelpan tradition at the St John Blues Festival. Photo courtesy of Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer via Flickr.

St. John, for nine years, had one heck of a good blues tour going. Musicians from the world over came to this small Caribbean island to share with the islanders that mood indigo, and a good time was had by all. Unfortunately, several years ago, the St John Blues Festival all but dried up when founder and island #1 blues man moved off island. So without the St John Blues Festival, is there still blues on the island?

In short, Yes. Though the island’s blues tradition has let that venerable man, Steve Simon, off the hook, the blues linger still, and there are still some great options to see live music while on St. John. Known for keeping it local and low-key, don’t expect Vegas, but instead expect a mellow vibe – y’know, a real island feel.

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Head to Cruz Bay

Cruz Bay is the main town in St. John, and if you’re looking for live music, this is where it’s at. As a general rule of thumb, the locals head to Fred’s on Friday nights. Fred’s brings the bands, and though it’s small, it’s lively. The food’s not too bad, either.

Other spots include Woody’s Seafood Saloon, a Cheers sort of joint, open late with a boisterous clientele. The Quiet Mon, though you wouldn’t know it by its name alone, is the Irish bar in town, right next door to Woody’s. If Woody’s is too mellow for your Saturday night, try slipping over next door. Open late and almost always popular on Friday night, these two places are where the nightlife happens on St. John.

And as for blues? Well, the only regular blues spot would be Island Blues, a restaurant off of Highway 170 by Coral Bay. It’s got great waterfront dining, and they’re known for their drinks and their regular stateside bands. If you’re looking to catch a great island blues band – this is your best bet.

-Hudson Hornick


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One Response to “St John Blues Festival”

  1. Sail St John Says:

    It’s a shame about the Blues Festival. I still have the 2010 poster hanging at our sailing shop on St John. Maybe someone will revive it!

    Reply

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