Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's Amazing What You Can Find When You're Not Looking For It

This past Thursday a couple of my friends performed at a downtown juke joint.  Since I work downtown, I decided to just hang out after work and wait for the gig to start rather than going all the way home and back.  Here in Gatorville, there's a waterfront complex with restaurants and bars overlooking the St. Johns River.  I figured a martini at a nice quiet table on the balcony was in order so that's what I did.  While I was drinkin' and thinkin', a band was setting up on stage in the courtyard.  I asked the waitress, on one of the rare occasions that I saw her, what was going on and she replied, "Bike nite."

Sure enough, the rumble of Harleys soon filled the space and before long,  the party was on.  I'll say one thing for bikers, they do know how to enjoy themselves.
When it came time to start moseying over to the gig, I passed by these guys setting up just outside a drinking establishment.  There were six of them, all traveling together in the white van and trailer you see behind them.  The trailer was stuffed with gear and suitcases.  What caught my eye was the drum setup.  It's not often you see a band with an African drum rhythm section so I paused for a moment to take it in.  They did a quick sound check and the song they used was some kind of screaming metal thing, which hastened my departure.  Still, I wonder what they sounded like with the full band going.

Strolling on down the riverwalk I came upon this, the Honey Fitz, Jack Kennedy's presidential yacht.  The boat had been completely restored and was immaculate.  It is now owned by some fat cat who restored it and sent it on a tour of the country just to tell the world that it isn't dead yet.  Cool idea and a marvelous thing to see.

I finally ended up at the gig with my friends, Walter Parks and Arvid Smith.  Both of these guys are fabulous guitarists and, as you can see, Arvid is also quite adept on the Sitar.  Here, they are playing a tribute to Richie Havens.  Walter toured with Richie for ten years as his guitarist and now is fronting a band called Swamp Cabbage, which is musically, pretty much like it sounds, Southern funk.  You folks up in the New York area may have seen Walter in a previous incarnation as half of The Nudes.

I came away from the evening thinking, Dang, is this my old sleepy hometown?  It's a happening place.

9 comments:

  1. Lots of music fer sure. Still, I have a hard time putting an African drum set together with heavy metal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. The players were more Reggae looking than anything else so I kind of expected some sort of earth based funk. But alas, the sound check was enough for me.

      Delete
  2. while i love me some metal...i think i probably would have enjoyed your friends show all the more...would be cool to hear the guitar and sitar...need to get out and enjoy some live music myself...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not much of a metalhead, except for Steppinwolf and Zepplin, whom I love. But it is good to get out more and catch some music, or, just a walk around.

      Delete
  3. 1/5 of Detroit is like that--all those different venues and gigs, places for martini's and walking about just looking. Of course they don't let those of us of the other 4/5 in. We pay for it all with our tax money but then get priced out of the market with ticket and drink prices.

    ReplyDelete
  4. $3 margaritas, no admission (except for the concert which was $10) Hell, even a po boy can do that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Look liked a lot of fun, I'm envious!

    ReplyDelete
  6. dang, now there's a party I would have attended...feck.

    ReplyDelete
  7. How fun, your hometown. I adore the Honey Fitz! Wow. And I think "Swamp Cabbage" is more my style too.

    ReplyDelete

Sorry about the comment thingy folks. Too much spam.