Thursday, July 12, 2007

Me, My Kava, and Bobby McGee

It is a huge privilege for us to get to play with a local band. So far Mike and I have been blessed with kind musician friends who indulge us and let us belt out a number or two during their gigs. (Mike on harmonica or guitar and me on guitar and vocals).

In Mankato we have had the pleasure of sitting in with Ann Fee and Joe Tougas of Fish Fry. From time to time we have also done a number with City Mouse, and Mike has been on stage in Minneapolis with 30 Below. In Belize our friend Dennis Wolf and his band of The Usual Suspects have invited us up on stage every Sunday at the Sunday Sundown Jam Session.

It doesn’t matter weather it is a cowboy hat and Waylon Jennings songs at the Pheasant Bar in Hanska, or Buffet and beach tunes on the sand in front of B.C.’s Bar in Belize. I am a happy, happy girl when I’m singing with the band.

Chalk up another very cool “jammin’ with the band” experience. We were sitting at an outdoor restaurant called Maikaira with a group of other traveling families. The band boys are sitting crossed legged, on a palm mat, around a giant bowl of kava and singing their traditional Fijian music with lots of beautiful harmonies. Suddenly I notice that the band has stopped and Mike is missing from the table. The band boys are filing out to the back deck, bringing their instruments and the kava with them.

Wait 20 or so seconds and you hear the unmistakable sound of the twelve bar blues – complete with 4 guitars, 1 ukulele, and one very bluesy harmonica. That’s it! He’s infiltrated their ranks already.

Soon the band files back in and Mike is invited to perform with them for a few more songs. Later, as the crowd is thinning out Mike hands the guitar to me and asks the band “do you know this one?”. I do my best at a rockin’ version of Me and Bobby McGee (if I do say so myself) and am invited to join the circle and offered a half shell of kava. (I did it, I said it, I stole my momma’s credit, uh-hugh, it’s my birthday ((performing a very un-cool over-40 victory dance as I’m writing this. My kids are shaking their heads and walking away in shame)).

Fast forward to the night of the birthday party. Most of the same band boys are at our place and they (that’s right the BAND) ask me to do that song again. I do of course – but first a little “Drift Away” and “Me and Julio Down By the School Yard”.

So there I am, in the musicians circle, drinkin’ kava under the stars, playing guitar and singing with the local band. I can’t wipe this crazy smile off of my face. The Fijians must think I’m crazy.


Blogger I'll Show You Mine said...

Rock on Jules! We're down here still scratching our heads on stage as to the lyrics of Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia. Not that it stops us. Good to see you're still jammin. We miss you down here. Over here? Where are we, exactly?

July 13, 2007 at 3:31 PM  
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