Saturday, February 16, 2008
Snorkeling and Skiing
I decided to take a couple weeks off from the old blog while I went on my honeymoon. Nothing says romance like wireless internet, but I decided it was best to spend my time enjoying the Caribbean islands of St. Croix and St. Thomas with my wife, rather than with my eyes glued to my laptop screen.
The trip was a honeymoon for a week or so which then morphed into a gig/island vacation with Wild Asparagus on St. Croix. Both events were a huge success!
I think it's a bit tacky to blog about my honeymoon so here's my thoughts on the working vacation portion of the trip!
St. Croix is a cool island with amazing beaches, outrageous snorkeling, a rain forest, and a vibrant local culture. It's also home to a very cool kind of music called Quelbe. Here's what wikipedia has to say.
I got to hear an amazing set by a musician named Jamesie Brewster. There are varying reports, but everyone is pretty sure that he is between 80 and 90 years old. When I saw him and his band, they started playing at about 9:45 pm and Jamesie wore dark sunglasses the entire time. He's now my hero. Needless to say, he sounded amazing, as did his band. Here's a youtube video about him and Quelbe music.
A percussionist named Juni Bamba, who used to play with Jamesie, sat in with Wild Asparagus for a few nights. We ran into him one day on our way home from a beach on the west side of the island and he informed us that he had just acquired a four foot tall drum that "sounds like thunder!" Here he is with said thunder drum.
I'm now in Big Sky, Montana for the Big Sky, Big Grass festival with Crooked Still. Tim O'Brien, who recently sang a harmony part on the new Crooked Still CD, is also here, as well as our good friends the Infamous Stringdusters. It's been a blast so far!
Those of you who know me, know that skiing is my favorite thing to do, so to say that I am excited about the 40 inches of snow Big Sky has received in the past week is an understatement. The skiing has been amazing! My camera battery died on the slopes today but here is picture of me from last year at this event!
Also, my good friend and fellow blogger Sam Amidon got a mention in the current issue of the New Yorker. Way to go, Sam! He is mentioned briefly in a piece about composer Nico Muhly, who did all the orchestral arrangements for Sam's new CD, All Is Well. It's a great story and you should all read it. Sam's CD is amazing and so is his coop blog, www.speakpeppery.com. You should buy his CD and read his blog too.