Oops. I forgot to post about our day in Jamaica...
If it’s Friday, it must be Jamaica “mahn”. Deb and Linda literally climbed up a waterfall while we watched. And then we hung out on a nice beach while the locals served us rum punch and Jamaican beer. Overall, I wasn’t too impressed. There was a certain attitude in Jamaica that we didn’t see in either Mexico or Grand Cayman. But it was so nice to just sit out on the beach and relax.
We got back on the ship and after a short nap we ran out to the pool area for Buddy Miller’s show. I can’t believe Deb missed it because it was easily one of the highlights of the week. There was smoke on the deck, so Maria left early and that left me with a “standing option”. And there was just enough room in the pit for one more guy, and that was me. Buddy came out and well, you can see right away why Patty, Shawn and Emmylou love him. He is just such a likeable guy, who looked out and pretty much assumed everyone was there to hear the ladies. And so, after a couple of great country type rockers, he brought out Shawn to sing (as she put it) a woosy song. Shawn was really enjoying him rockin’ and playing his guitar. One of the things that makes Buddy great (besides his guitar work) is his ability to see great songwriting. Every song he performed just seemed like a classic. And being the guy he is, every songwriter got his due, before he played their song. After a few songs, Shawn left the stage and Buddy started playing “I Worry Too much”. Well, the hook in the chorus was just too much for Shawn and Patty so as Buddy started the second verse, they leaped up on stage to help. 10 seconds later Emmylou decided to join them. This is why we came on the cruise. To see performers wanting to be on stage with their friends. No real script to follow. They were just doing what was in their hearts. As the ladies started to leave the stage, Buddy stopped Patty and kept her up there with him for awhile. At one point, as Buddy was tuning his guitar, Patty said to the audience, “We love playing with Buddy”, and Buddy without missing a beat responded, “I am the luckiest guy on this ship”. We all applauded, because we knew he was right. Patty finally left the stage and after a song or two, Emmylou did her time on the state with Buddy. What was supposed to be an hour set stretched out to nearly an hour and a half. Buddy, being the good guy that he is, asked the staff if it was okay if he ran long. After getting the okay, he looked at us and said, “Hey, there are rules and we have to follow them. I don’t know why”. Standing out in the sun watching great performers play great music, surrounded by people who love music: Does it get any better than this? I don’t think so.
With all the great shows every night, how was Brandi Carlile going to compete. We saw her a couple of years ago opening for Shawn Colvin at the Coach House. I loved the show and bought her current CD. Maria enjoyed her, but liked the third act even more (wish I could remember who that was). But Brandi at 26 (I believe) has really started to grow up. Maria called this her favorite show of the cruise. Opening with Elton John’s Sixty Years, she served notice that this was going to be a powerful show. Her voice, which really belongs in Nashville (she is from Seattle), echoed throughout the hall, sending chills to those who had never heard her before. Her country based falsetto shows up at the most interesting times. I really believe that she needs to move to Austin or Nashville to complete her education. The big question on my mind was: How is she going to fill an hour and a half set. There were some excellent choices for covers, including Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice” and a fun sing-a-long on piano (she is starting to play piano) with the first half of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Shawn Colvin came out for a couple of songs including a beautiful version of “Calling all Angles”. She closed with a stunning version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. Brandi Carlile is a growing performer, but at only 26, she easily fits in with this esteemed group of singer/songwriters.