Good Music, Good Food, Good Times at the Backyard Boogie

October 10, 2012 by Whitney Rowan

Locals usually know where to find the best live music in South Walton. A few  SoWal locals may not yet know about the Williams Backyard Boogie, although word is spreading fast about the newest hot spot for live music. It's one of the most unique and enjoyable.

Forrest and Pherrel Williams have a labor of love in their backyard near the bay in Santa Rosa Beach. And it's a place every music lover should check out. The talented couple moved to SoWal from Arkansas in 2006, and their band quickly grew local followers. Forrest sings and plays guitar, and Pherrel sings and plays keyboard. They began performing at the Funky Blues Shack in Destin and are now permanent fixtures at Pandora’s of Grayton Beach and other local venues. 

Forrest and Pherrel yearned for another type of venue, one they could call their own, where music was the main attraction and didn’t play second fiddle to food or TVs, which often happens in restaurants. They set to work to create what is now known as the Williams Backyard Boogie, a cool place nestled in their backyard on Chat Holly Road. Their main goal all along has been to give back to local artists and the community - and the Williams are doing just that.

Their labor of love has become one of the most unique venues in SoWal. The first concert held was a fundraising event for the Seaside Repertory Theatre. Under the gun, Forrest cut, sawed and debarked trees from the backyard and completed the stage in about ten days. Soft green grass was laid down and seasonal flowers were planted throughout the grounds.

The venue is surrounded by tall palm trees and strings of lights and tiki torches which transform the space into an intimate, relaxed atmosphere. Boogie-goers can bring their own lawn chairs and preference of adult beverages. Grayton Beach Catering provides delicious food for $10.

Along with their blossoming home-site venue, the Forrest Williams Band just released their third and latest CD, "Gonna Take Love". The CD release party will be held on Saturday, October 13th, at Pandora’s of Grayton Beach. 

The Backyard Boogie has two shows in October. On the 11th, jam with Greg Friia, Pete Sallis and Riley Weston. Forrest Williams and Brian Kennedy will headline the October 25th show. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Forrest Williams Band shows, Grayt Coffee House, or by phone at (850) 231-1090, or online at  


Whitney Rowan's picture

Whitney loves the beach and loves a good time. Her specialty is keeping up with and writing about what is happening on the food, nightlife, music, and social scene in the South Walton area.

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