The Rock Boat is a floating music festival. Bands play concerts as the ship travels to its destinations. This year, our cruise went to Key West and Nassau, The Bahamas. Believe it or not, the destinations do not matter. The trip is all about what happens aboard.
Here are some notes:
Sheryl and I started our morning with an acoustic set by Katie Pruitt. She was accompanied by Jess Nolan who is an artist in her own right. Their voices blended well.
I particularly enjoyed "Grace Has a Gun." Katie had been dating a very hot (but somewhat crazy) girl named Grace for a while when Grace told her to come to her room because she wanted to show her something. Grace retrieved a box from under her bed. She opened it, revealing a gun. Katie thought "What is she going to do with that?" and it freaked her out. Months later, the relationship fell apart, and when Katie found out that Grace had been cheating on her the whole time, she had no guilt about writing a song about how crazy Grace (real name) was. I love hearing stories about what's behind songs.
Songwriters in the Round
Since I love hearing stories about the meaning that's somewhere in a song, this next show was right up my alley.
This is am annual Rock Boat event. Songwriters tell stories about their songs and then perform them. This year's theme was demo-itis where the artists played songs that were rare or never released.
This year's lineup included;
- Scott Terry from Red Wanting Blue
- Tim Warren from The Alternate Routes
- Alan Doyle
- Dan Rodriguez
Scott Terry ("The Island Song")
Dan Rodriguez ("The Sins of My Father")
Alan Doyle ("The Dream of Home")
Scott Terry ("Tracker")
Dan Rodriguez ("Same")
Tim Warren ("Drinkin'")
Alan Doyle ("The Leather and the Last")
Scott Terry ("You're My Happy Place")
The stories behind the songs were as good as the music.
Sir Cadian Rhythm
Sir Cadian Rhythm was applying in the ship's smallest venue, Magnum's Bar, but it seemed like their amplifiers were set as if they were on the pool deck. We must be getting old, or perhaps because we had listened to acoustic music all morning, but Tim, Marie, Sheryl, and I thought the music was too loud. We didn't stay long.
The New Respects
This might have been my favorite performance on the boat. This band rocked and had choreography!
Andrew Leahey & The Homestead
After seeing these guys in Robin and Mitch's cabin, it was great to also see them in an electrified setting in the Magnum Bar with a full crowd with all that extra energy to feed off of. We bought an advance copy of the new CD, Airwaves.
Plain White T's
This band is one of my new favorites. Before this cruise, I did not know of them. I had heard "Hey There Delilah" on the radio but was unaware of which band performed it. They varied their set from the Stardust Theater a little bit. I was happy to hear "Land of the Living" twice.
As the hosts, Sister Hazel always supplies the grand finale to each cruise. They performed an hour-long set of their own material, and then came out for an encore of music from The Greatest Showman that included all of the other artists from the boat in one big "We Are The World"-like sing along.
This marked the end of this year's travels. The next day, we docked, got off the boat, and flew back home. Next year's festival is the 20th, so we are anticipating some special guests and surprises. We are already looking forward to our ninth voyage. It leaves out of Miami and heads to Honduras and Belize, but "Who cares?" because it's all about the music.
"... the tunes that they performed
Gave them shelter from the storm
And the waltzes kept them warm
When the drums were all but dry
And the harmonies grew strong
When the children came along
And somehow in a song
A family survived
By making something out of nothing
When the winter nights were long
But come what may
They found a way
Somewhere in a song"
— Alan Doyle
Rocking is alive in the lab.