Last day on Cayamo…it’s been swell!
Rumor is, the swells got up to 30 feet last night. My eyes shot open around 2:30 a.m. as the drawers slid open and shut. Earlier, on the mainstage in the theater, Lyle Lovett and his large band stumbled around as the boat’s nose tore up and over waves. They managed to squeeze out a terrific set, though, including rousing renditions of “San Antonio Girl” and “She’s No Lady She’s My Wife.” Late in the set, he welcomed Shawn Colvin to the stage and backed her up as she sang “Diamond in the Rough.” The whole evening concluded with Lovett, band, Colvin, and Emmylou Harris clapping and singing along to “I’m Going to Wait.”
In an interview to be aired on World Cafe Live, Lovett today explained that his tendency toward R&B and other styles outside of country music comes not from an inclination to specifically explore other styles, but instead from his own generalized interest in what sounds good to him. Earlier that same night, the bar around Dazzles was…well, dazzled by Luke Doucet and Melissa Mclelland, who announced they’re now officially an act together. While both have performed on each others’ recordings for several years, they’re heading into the studio this spring to make their first recording as Luke & Melissa. Their songwriting styles carry a certain level of natural chemistry, and Doucet’s smooth, intuitive guitar finds the finest footing within McLelland’s melodies. If the set they played last night (and the tunes they pulled out for today’s Songwriters in the Round turn with Gregory Alan Isakov, Katie Herzig, and Vienna Teng & Alex Wong) are any indication, it’ll be a record you won’t want to skip.
Speaking of records you won’t want to miss, I have to mention that Steve Earle’s working on one with T Bone Burnett, and Buddy Miller is working on one with Robert Plant and Patty Griffin. The details of both are not things of which I’m yet aware, but both were mentioned a few times this week and I figured you folks may be interested.
Today, back at sea for the final full day of the cruise (how can it already be over!?), we kicked things off with Samantha Crain on the pool deck midday. I was inside in an interview with WPA’s Glenn Phillips and Luke Bulla for half of Crain’s set (to be shared here as soon as I get back to Seattle). But, what I caught toward the end was worth mentioning at least. Also worth mentioning is that Crain had to skip her morning interview due to some lingering sea wooziness. Musicians are just like us – 30-foot swells keep them up at night.
The Lovell Sisters (now, apparently, knowns as Larkin Poe) followed Crain on the pool deck, while I hopped inside for that Songwriters in the Round show. Herzig stole this one with a beautiful heartbreaker of a tune called “I Hurt Too.” That song, Brandi Carlile told me, received a more suiting rendition the other day in the atrium when Carlile, Isakov, Herzig, and members of Vienna Teng’s band all joined in to bring it on home. Too bad I missed that one. Dilemmas, I’ve mentioned them once or twice here.
Carlile also clued me into some tricks she has up her sleeve for tonight’s closing show (she has the very last set on the mainstage), but I’ll mention them when I do my full write-up from home. I’ll also include clips from interviews with her, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, and WPA.
For now, though, it’s time to grab a quick meal before Buddy & Friends commence their show (no doubt members of WPA will be there, as well as Emmylou, Colvin, and any number of other folks). Later, I’ll also catch Ben Taylor and close out the whole week with Carlile and her bag of tricks on the mainstage. If only every Thursday could pan out this way. Alas, back to real life tomorrow, with all its non-Caribbean weather patterns, its absence of a mainstage, and no strangers jamming in my dining room.
It’s been swell, Cayamo. Pun intended.