On the breezy evening of Feb. 19, the heart of HarborWalk Village was flooded with an abundance of music patrons for The 4th Annual Beachcomber Music Awards, recognizing and honoring the elite of Beachcomberland’s music scene.
Blue Lew’s Groove took the stage at 5 p.m., and the crowd got on their feet to dance along to the band’s rocking sound. But that wasn’t the only live entertainment for the night. During the awards ceremony, each of the five nominees for Best Singer-Songwriter performed an original song.
Everyone was wild about the Forrest Williams Band, winner of multiple awards including Musician of the Year. Forrest performed an original song dedicated to his wife Pherrel. Upon winning Musician of the Year, the incredibly modest Forrest said in his acceptance speech, “Thank you so much. We have a great time jamming in this town and y’all make us feel so welcome.” The band is scheduled to release a new album next month.
When Homemadesoul began his magic on the keyboard, there wasn’t a soul in the crowd not captivated by his silky smooth R&B sound about a woman that is “Unforgettable.”
As Kelsey Anna began belting out notes, it was shocking that such a commanding, powerful voice was coming from such a petite, cute girl. New to the area, Kelsey performed a fierce original song titled “Poison” (Best Original Song winner), and she was accompanied by Best Instrumentalist winner Matt Miller on fiddle.
“I’m really honored,” said Miller, who came up from Orlando just to attend the big event. “Thank you so much to everyone.” After the ceremony, Miller, Kelsey Anna, Chris and Al Alvarado performed to a spellbound crowd at HarborWalk’s On the Rocks Bar.
Ashli Rose sang a powerful yet romantic song dedicated to her boyfriend, delivered with an intense sultry voice that mirrored Adele. The singer-songwriter and female vocalist nominee taught herself how to play guitar at a young age because she didn’t like the piano. She’s been at it for 12 years, two professionally. Her songbook includes 300 covers and 50 originals.
The unbreakable, close-knit musical family of Destin was prevalent that evening, with every musician supporting and cheering for one another. Following the awards, Cadillac Willy (Best Jam Band) and Hotel Oscar (Best Rock Artist and Best “Homegrown” Album for Burgers & Fries) rocked the main stage.
“We weren’t expecting to win this, but we’re glad we did,” the guys from Cadillac Willy said upon accepting their award. “We love playing for you guys. If it wasn’t for you, the fans, it wouldn’t give us a reason to play. So thank you.”
Editor’s Note: HarborWalk Village’s Action HD Photography, Best Horn Player Al Alvarado, Michael Loftis, Shelly Swanger and many others took a ton of great photos at the awards, and we wish we could have included them all here.