The Rock Boat is a five-day 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. My wife, Sheryl, and I take this trip with our lifelong friends, Tim and Marie Barrios.
Previously, I blogged about days one, two, and three. These posts have been on consecutive Fridays, since I blog about something besides Autodesk technology on Fridays. Since today is Friday, our fourth day included a stop at Nassau, The Bahamas.
Nassau, The Bahamas
Maybe it's just me, but the area right where the cruise ship passengers disembark seems kind of touristy? :-) So, based on a recommendation from a friend, we took a 15-minute walk to Junkaroo Beach to enjoy the sun and sand. It was a pleasant stay. We spent some time with the saxophone player from Simplified who was there with his wife and son. It was fun to get the inside scoop from them.
Andrew Leahey & The Homestead
Here's a back story:
Scars On 45 is a band that Tim, Marie, Sheryl and I discovered on The Rock Boat years ago. We have become fans and have followed them ever since. For example, the four of us saw them perform at The Fillmore in San Francisco.
Back in August, I got a phone call from Tim asking if Sheryl and I were going to see Scars On 45 in Santa Rosa. Alas, we were not, as we had not heard anything about the show. Tim was bummed because he hadn't either, because he and Marie would have flown in, had they known. This was a Saturday, and Sheryl and I had no plans, so we decided to go. We hopped in the car and drove about two hours to Santa Rosa.
The Scars On 45 show was a special performance at Mersenne Winery. Mersenne president, Robin Youngdahl, and wine maker, Mitch Rice, are also fans of Scars On 45, so they invite them to play at the winery when they are nearby. Mitch introduced the band, and a fantastic small, intimate show followed. During his introduction, Mitch also mentioned that he had bottled a special Scars On 45 wine that was on sale for $45. After the show, we had a tasting, and I bought some for us. To thank Tim for the heads up, I also bought some for Tim and Marie who live in Arizona. Since shipping wine to Arizona in August is ill-advised due to the extremely hot weather, Mitch suggested that they hold Tim's shipment for a few months until the weather cooled. I was fine with that because, although I did not know them, Mitch and Robin seemed like nice people. I knew Tim and Marie would eventually get the wine.
This delayed-shipment plan lasted only minutes. As it turned out, another couple, Anthony and Christy, also long-time Scars On 45 fans, also lived in Arizona, only minutes from Tim and Marie. Anthony had his own plane. He offered to hand-deliver the wine to Tim and Marie. How nice was that?
I mention this story because The Rock Boat boards in groups. Tim, Marie, Sheryl, and I opted to board at 10:00 am and were in group one. After checking in, and while waiting to board, we got to chatting with other passengers also in group one. We started talking to Mitch and Robin before we connected the dots to realize who they were, and the like-lightning-striking coincidence is that they were traveling with Anthony and Christy. The eight of us were all in the same spot at the same time. So here were: the makers of the wine, the purchasers of the wine, the deliverers of the wine, and the recipients of the wine, all in one place. I guess it's true what they say: "We will sip, sell, and ship no wine before it's time."
Robin and Mitch invited us to a performance by Andrew Leahey & The Homestead in their cabin. There were about 20 of us who got the thrill of a lifetime. It's chilling to hear vocals without the amplification of a microphone. Andrew told stories about the music scene in Nashville and how the band was so happy to be on The Rock Boat. And once again, the eight of us were all in the same place at the same time.
Red Wanting Blue
This band always gives an energetic performance, and they did not disappoint. I loved that they opened the show with "White Snow" which is my favorite from their catalog.
Alan played a variety of songs but most were about dancing, drinking, or the sea. One that stood out was "Laying Down to Perish." Alan shared its back story of how he was inspired by an artifact that he saw in a museum.
Laying Down to Perish is a moving song that tells the story of four men (three brothers and a friend) from Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada. In 1917, out at sea and realizing they were caught in an ice flow immersed in fog and would not make it back home, they etched the words "Laying down to perish" along with their names on a wooden gaff (iron hook with a handle for landing large fish) that they knew one day would wash ashore to let their families know that the men were thinking of them until they died. The song is a tribute to their selfless act (trying to comfort their families) even while facing certain death.
Most of Alan's songs tell a story.
Artists of The Rock Boat XIX present: 1980's Night
Because Monday night was 1980's night, passengers dressed the part with guys with big hair (e.g., Guns 'N' Roses), leisure suits, Top Gun pilot suits, or Richard Simmons costumes. The gals had that "Let's Get Physical" attire featured in Olivia Newton John's video or the Flashdance movie.
This show featured various bands taking the stage, playing one or two 1980's cover song, and making their exit. The results were mixed.
This marked the end of day four. I'll finish the series next Friday. Thanks to all of the It's Alive in the Lab readers who have followed the story to this point.
Rocking is alive in the lab.