Friday 2/27
Picked up by Bruce at 4:30 am..
4 hour layover in Houston with a gate change from C39 to C16

Drive from FTL to the Hyatt downtown. 12th floor room right over drawbridge.
Doubletree Message Board party – met the gang. Jeff Holmes and Edie Carey performed
Adventure drive back to hotel , Taco Bell in the hood

Saturday 2/28
Miami: What A Shithole

Fought the parking Nazi to get out of the Hyatt lot. YOU NEED STAMP.
Rental return hell pile – took a 12 dollar cab to get the hell out of there and avoid the shuttle.

Porter at the.. uh.. port .. CHECKED MY GUITAR. Fucker

Moo.

On board, wandered up to pool deck and did a walking lap, shot some hoops, got the lay of the boat.

Met the Message Board crew on deck

Stateroom 8591

Roddie Romero at 5, met Agus the waiter.
MB party in Dazzles at 6, caught the last few minutes of Emerson Hart

Traded and got second row 8:30 Indigo Girls tickets – took 240 pictures.
Broussard at 11 (with Teddy B) and Mullins at 12:30 in Spinnaker

Sunday 3/1

Deck Day, basically
IGirls and Brandi on deck at 1

Spent most of the afternoon in the jam room, met Genevieve and Vienna Teng and several other people
Vienna told someone I’m a good pianist. That’s insane.

Over the Rhine at 4 on deck, Girlyman’s infamous gale force wind show at 5:30.
Lyle at 8:30 with stage left seats to the side
Shawn Colvin at 11

The Original Mindy Smith Massacre* at 12:30, more jam room after

Monday 3/2
Samana, DR. Lord.
Direct tender whale watching – holee shit.
Tendered to shore afterward, caught up with Justin and Laurie, avoided the Oomfufu Cub Scouts

Bought real (and cheap) sodas and headed back. Sketchy weather rolling in toward end, but no rain

6:30 – Tift Merritt. Dayam.
8p – front row Glen Phillips with Margaret and Rick
9:30 – a little bit of Antje Duvukot in the atrium
11pm – Indigo Girls in our regular seats (12th row center) Emily took a hurl break and David Ryan Harris covered
Zac Brown played Spinnaker til 5am
Late night – dinner with Vienna and Alex in the Blue Lagoon

Tuesday – 3/3

St. Thomas. Overcast and muggy

Called home first thing (9:55am AT, 6:55 MT) because of the time difference
Went ashore, found internet café, seven minutes each, rolled back to the boat

Jam room – Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls apparently watched and listened to me hack Kid Fears from the upstairs deck before she left the boat. Gah.

saw Shawn Mullins overhead

met older Drummer dude from DC who knew everyone I used to play with, played redneck version of Crazy Train for Chad

Girlyman – mercifully moved indoors to the Atrium. Watched from the Internet Cafe upstairs. Wow.

Caught a few seconds of Joe Ely. The very end of Mindy part 2 (still horrible).

Brandi Carlile headlining at 11 with Vienna and Marc Broussard doing Let It Be and the Shawn Colvin tuning fork story spreading from deck to deck..

Second row for Glen at 12:30 in Spinnaker


Wednesday 3/4

Tortola – early landfall. Left foot trying to fall off. Managed a brief walk into town – really muggy and somewhat overcast. Not pleasant at all.

Back to shore, rested til noon, started writing this while letting my foot heal some. Beware of tense changes as I write.

——————————————————————————————————————————————

A couple hours in the jam area with Chad and an older guy. Went up to deck around 3 and found a pretty steady rain. Insanely muggy. Foot doing better

I am addicted to the andouille sausages in the garden café.

A few retrospectives: Girlyman is astoundingly good. Luke from Glen’s band may be the best all around musician on this boat – dude is a virtuoso violinist, remarkable guitarist, and a hell of a singer.

I’m a fan of Works Progress Administration already and I don’t know any of their songs yet. Go Ben.

David Ryan Harris is really good but not interesting enough to skip someone else for.
I have no plans to see Aslyn, the Sister Hazel guys (Ken Block, Darrell Scott) or John Wesley. Already missed Heather Lutrell and most of Emerson Hart. Have another shot at Kathleen Edwards, Beth Wood, and Edie Carey, and must see Vienna.

Today: Mullins at 4:30 on the deck, Girlyman somewhere at 6, Vienna at 11.

Several options in between – not really into the 11:00 John Hiatt concept. Ed Roland or Oakhurst late.

Tomorrow is a day at sea, which should be fun on a lot of levels. I have the Kathleen/Vienna coin flip at 6:30, Patty Griffin at 11, Lutrell and OTR late.

I’m thinking the Greencards are going to be a one-shot deal on Friday. Caught 15 seconds of Bonepony last night and didn’t really care. Oakhurst with distortion channels.

Mullins got moved indoors to the Atrium and packed four decks of onlookers, with Zach (Oakhurst), Alex (VT) and a harp player sitting in. Killer. Apparently Zach was one of several people who didn’t know it was an early departure in Tortola and had to be hunted down onshore at the last minute and run like hell.

Girlyman was awesome as always, a little quieter closer show this time in Dazzles, almost room volume. Skipping Mindy Massacre III and will catch Ed Robertson at 9 and Vienna later on.

….

Got a little time in the jam room on piano before Ed and got interrupted (nicely) by Beth Wood needing to rehearse. Very nice, very cool. A little jazzy for my taste, but her dude complimented my playing.

Ed was hilarious, joined by Kathleen and Zach and Kathleen’s guitarist for about half the set, and a really funny George Michael cover.

Vienna and Alex. Wow. Packed Dazzles to the gills, with the Carliles crammed in the secret corner. Spectacular show with mando and clarinet/trumpet from Greencards guesting, Zach, Brandi, Tim, Phil, and Tift in on the encore for Keep The Customer Satisfied and Let It Be. Had a quick bite with Vienna afterward.

Really REALLY rough seas – a heading of 24 knots with a crosswind of 36 makes for interesting cruising. Lots of drunk-walking in the passageways.

Greeted this morning with better overall weather but choppy 7 foot waves and a whole lot of motion in the ocean.

Thursday 3/5

Rough as hell night – 12 foot waves and shitty weather in general have made everything an adventure.

The weather was clear enough on deck for Greencards to play at 1. Great set, although a bit chilly with 71 degrees and a half-gale coming across. Friday’s ashore has been diverted from Stirrup Cay to Nassau because of the conditions. Darn.

“You are the concorde, I’m economy
You are the great one, I’m Marty McSorley”

Hooked up with Vienna and Alex before their set and stupidly wishy-washily declined to play in their encore because I didn’t know the song and I wasn’t sure I was going to be back from Kathleen Edwards.

Got back in plenty of time and sat there watching Brandi, Phil, and Tim playing with her on the song I was supposed to sit in for. I just basically wanted to go die after that. She said something really nice afterward about knowing that we will get to play together sometime, so no I don’t, but God am I stupid.

Nothing doing until Glen (again) at 9:30, then Patty Griffin.

Well, the best laid plans aren’t always the best ones..

Never got to Glen. Was up on 7 listening to my MP3 player when a Show broke out, and long story short I ended up playing a set with Danielle Howle with Alex sitting in on Cajon and Shawn Mullins, Brandi, and the Twins in the audience. All better.

Patty Griffin was pretty amazing – I’d heard every songwriter I care about rave about her so I’m late to the party, but wow. She handled the pitching boat like a total pro despite almost falling off her ‘fancy shoes’ a few dozen times. Guitarist Doug had a harder time of it.

Went to bed semi-early only to be awakened around 2am by cheering. The cabin is on deck 8 and is apparently directly above Gatsbys, where Brandi and company had commandeered the piano for one of their legendary overnight impromptu gatherings. I ended up banging out Falling Slowly with Vienna and Douchebag Erik The Viking and closing out the night with a few sing alongs.

Full circle day.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Got up relatively early and watched the ship dock from Bow Cam. We wandered off the boat and right into the tourist hell that is Nassau. Took a 10 dollar cab to the public beach on Paradise Island, but had no more cash and no cards so we had to bum money to get back. The cab rides were adventurous to say the least, but the beach was pretty and not crowded. Very windy, rather cold water, but an experience nonetheless.

For whatever reason, all the Atrium shows were moved to Gatsby’s where the jam room usually is. The removed the grand piano and moved all the PA and stuff over and everything. So I’m feeling kinda homeless.

Not really up for anything tonight – Edie Carey sorta invited me to play tonight but never called to rehearse and I don’t care right now, so I may not do anything until the all-star No-Buddy’s show at 8 (every remaining artist on the boat will do a brief set with Buddy Miller’s band).

The whatever reason was to broadcast the No-Buddy’s show on the Atrium big screen, Ended up watching a little bit of that from there.

Edie was great. Didn’t play with her, as her regular partner Anne Heaton came off four days of the flu to sing along, but it was cool. Would have played with Danielle had they left the piano up for her set with Sonia Tutlow, Sonia Leigh, and some other dude who writes with Todd Snider.

After that, Over The Rhine in Dazzles. Wow. What a great place to see them. Jill from Texas A&M next to me was completely insane for them. Glen Phillips sat in front of me and had a Glencounter when OTR’s manager named Glen Phillips was introduced for his birthday.

Then.. wow.

Someone finally opened up the Atrium piano, and it was everyone. Genevieve, Beth Wood, Vienna, Alex, Phil, Tim, The August (wow), Oakhurst, everyone. Got to really meet everyone – Zach Daniels, Anne, Beth, several others who’d seen me play during the week, and some dumb lady who thought I was Marc Broussard.

Great last night. Roddie Romero was rocking Dazzles at 3am and I gave up.

Saturday March 7th

We have to go home now? Bah.

* Mindy Smith, who I was eager to see, was horrid. I don’t know what the deal was, but at the very least she’s not a good enough guitarist to accompany herself singing, and she was so bad at guitar that she messed up the meter of her songs, making them oddly arhythmic and staggered. There was also rumors that she wasn’t altogether altogether. I saw her out in public exactly once.

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