Thursday, February 07, 2008

Cayamo Cruise with Lyle, Shawn, John and Shawn

We touched down in Mexico today; the island of Cozumel. Deb and Linda took off early for some snorkeling and ATV riding. Maria and I decided to sleep in and wander the port area. We found some real Mexican food in a restaurant a few blocks off the main strip. It was a bit hard ordering though. No, not because of the language barrier, since Maria speaks Spanish. Everything seem to have either pork or was cooked in lard; neither of which Maria wanted anything to do with. We ended up with some pretty good chicken fajitas. Down the street we found a little museum that was… little. Later (not much later) we stuck our feet in the crystal clear water just past the main strip. Maria had bought a cute t-shirt in Miami and wrote Obama on it. All day, the hawkers in front of the stores where commenting on it. One guy said, “If Obama wins, he is moving to the U.S.”. All in all a fun day.

And then came the evening… and the music. But first, how can we talk about a cruise without talking about the food? Tonight was the best dinner yet with most of us having either the prime rib or the lobster. I went with the lobster only because it came with risotto. Yum. The shrimp that came with it was actually better than the lobster. But the cherry’s jubilee left something to be desired. So far, the food as been only okay. We’ve had much better on the Royal Caribbean cruise line. We also met up with most of the onboard members of the Mad Mission group (Patty Griffin fanatics). Thursday night we will all be getting together for dinner.

I think the artists are having more fun than us. Maybe too much fun. It appears that Josh Rouse may have missed the boat when we were in Cozumel. I think he did it on purpose though, so that he wouldn’t have to play the casino later this week. Later this week? Oh my God, the cruise is half over already! Sorry, I got off track. Fun. We were talking about fun. So, each of the artists we have seen has gone on and on about how much fun the cruise has been. Shawn Colvin talked about getting to hang with her friend Lyle and Lyle talked about getting to hang with his friend Shawn Colvin. And Shawn Mullins talked about hanging with all of his heroes. Ya think they are going to do this again?

Lyle Lovett was our main attraction tonight. He put on a great show with his six piece band. Hmmm, let me count… Guitar, mandolin, drums, percussion, electric standup bass and cello. Yep, six. When we saw him in Austin a couple of years ago, he had that Large Band. He doesn’t need them. Not with the material he has to pick from. Not being a regular at his shows this felt like a greatest hits selection. But maybe he just has so many great songs that it was just a normal show. Every song sparkled as if it were brand new. For the man who acts like he’s afraid of the dark, he plays with the confidence of someone who’s been in the business for 20 years. Oh wait, he has. His chats with the audience were engaging and humorous and just a whole lot of fun. About half way through the show, he brought on Shawn Colvin who sang backup on several songs. The harmonies were absolutely beautiful. As the show got closer to the finale, Lyle brought out another good friend, John Hiatt. He hung for a few songs also, singing and playing guitar. And speaking of guitar, I love John. He is a great songwriter and a powerful singer. But I didn’t realize how big his cojones were. John went toe to toe with Mitch Watkins trading solos back and forth. If you’ve never seen Mitch Watkins play guitar, the only word to use is, “wow”. He can rip out a solo as easily as most of us breath. Like I said, John Hiatt is a great songwriter. Another great show for the Cayamo cruise.

Deb and I hung around for the late late show which was Shawn Mullins. This is another performer I’ve only heard a few things from of but have wanted to see live. He also put on an excellent show. A storyteller in the Kris Kristofferson style, Shawn sang and talked his way through a fascinating hour and a half set. His stories before the songs were just as interesting. He told the real story behind Lullaby (it wasn’t anyone famous) and even played a murder ballad for us (okay, it wasn’t really a ballad). There were also about 4 or 5 new songs, each with introductions that made the songs even more interesting. No stars joined him on stage, but his guitar/mandolin player (sorry can’t remember his name) was really really good; playing some great leads on electric guitar as well. Shawn finished off the set with a killer version of Steve Earle’s Cooperhead Road. And that was about all we could handle for one evening. Up next, feeding the stingrays!

No comments:

Music Hall Link - Alejandro Escovedo listen