Dateline Monday, February 10, 2014
Today was a day in port: Tortola, BVI. We did not sign up for one of the excursions offered by the cruise line, but instead decided to just walk around town a little while. It was hot, lots of crazy traffic on narrow streets, and there was not much to do in the town area. We did drop into Pusser’s Bar for a quick wifi fix and to have a beer. Cute little place, decent food, wifi sucked, and they did not have island brewed beer. 🙁
We talked at one point about taking a taxi tour, but it was hot and we had decided to walk back to the ship. Whilst enroute, we ran across Kittie, who was trying to get her taxi filed for her next tour. $10/each for a 1hr ride around the island. We thought what the heck, and did it. We helped her convince a few more folks to join us (that was fun) and she gave us a great time. So glad we choose to go.
Kittie took its up a very steep winding road to the top of one of Tortola’s mountains where we had a nice panoramic view of the islands. The vehicle was a Ford F450 with an open air deck of seats for 25 (we had 16 on board). The engine screamed going up the steep, winding narrow roads, with horns a beeping at every corner to alert oncoming traffic. Kittie has balls!
The trip down the mountain was just as exciting, listening to the tranny whine in low gear. She gave us a short stop at a beach, but sweltering Sun is not my gig so we went out to see it but quickly retreated to shade. While in the taxi we learned that the guy sitting ahead of us was with the group called St. Paul & The Broken Bones. (I had earlier take a picture of him and his GF with their camera.)
We got back on the boat at 3:30 and settled in to read for a while. St. Paul & The Broken Bones were kicking off the shows this evening with a performance on the pool deck. The crowd was huge, wanted it loud, and the band obliged. They even had a horn section. The guy on our taxi was their front man!
Our ticketed show this evening was Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Hornsby and the Kentucky Thunder. I contemplated skipping this one in order to get good seats for a later show, but had heard it was pretty good. They are a headline, so we went.
Okay, I saw Ricky Skaggs and The Kentucky Thunder once before when they performed in the arena in Grand Rapids. It sounded, we let’s just say not so good It was not their fault, just bad acoustics. So I must admit, my expectation were a little tainted. Boy, was I in for a treat. It was great. Best show I have ever seen. Ever! Amazing. This should have been the last show off the trip.
he next show was Max Gomez. We had not really heard much about him before this trip, but had heard him in a couple of performances on the boat, and were intrigued. The young man is quite the songwriter and guitarist. He was a little nervous, but still a good story teller. He style was nice, and only slightly repetitive from earlier shows. He’s young, and will build his repertoire with time.
I think Max is one of the young people that will carry the tradition of singer songwriters on for future generations to enjoy.
We hung out in the Spinnaker for the next show, one off my favorites, John Fulbright. He brought on stage with him a few band members from Oklahoma. This will be interesting, as we’ve only heard him solo before. During the sound check we knew we were in for something other than what we came here for. This was going to be loud, and in practice it turned out to be so. Really loud. Seemed way out of character for what we knew of him. But, I understood the expectation to pay really loud to a large group.
He started with an a Capella of I song I did not know, and it blew everyone away (including Karen and me). Some of his piano riffs were amazing, and his band was really good. But I have to admit I felt let down. My own issue I know, because the crowd loved him. I was expecting (hoping for) a more intimate performance.