A little boat music

Cayamo is a little more than a month away now. Time for some music from the featured artists:

I don’t know how I have missed seeing John Prine for so long. Lord knows I’ve performed enough of his music over the years. The first song of his I can remember hearing is “Please Don’t Bury Me,” a favorite of the bass player in my band from the 1980s. Eventually I came to realize that this was the same guy who did “Angel From Montgomery,” a favorite of almost every female singer I’ve ever played with, and “Paradise,” one of the prettiest simple songs ever written.

Here he is with Iris Dement, who’s also playing at Cayamo:

To get on the boat for this floating music festival, I had to sign up last April and start throwing down a scary pile of non-refundable money right away. Nonetheless, the show sold out within weeks by sheer word of mouth (or more accurately, word of social media).

You know a festival is special when it sells out nine months before it begins.

Here’s one reason why Cayamo has that rep: Months after the sellout, when a lot of promoters would have cheapened out, Cayamo added Lucinda Williams to the bill. Here’s “Changed the Locks,” an old chestnut from her catalog that’s been covered by Tom Petty among others. I’m putting it here because it has a simple-but-devastating little harmonica part:

Shawn Mullins is one of those guys who’s had a few hits but isn’t as big as you might expect, considering his talent. “Beautiful Wreck,” one of my favorite titles ever, is just a devastating song:

Got eight and a half minutes to work your way through a great short story that just happens to be set to music? James McMurtry can help you out. Here’s “Choctaw Bingo,” which will help you understand some things if you’re not from the Southwest:

I first saw The Civil Wars when they performed a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR earlier this year. Word of mouth was just getting around about them but the concert wasn’t as well-attended as I would have thought. The people who skipped it missed out; I came back from this set and simply posted “Damn” on my Facebook page. Here’s that show:

Finally, there’s this: Lyle Lovett playing the song people on this cruise most want to hear: “If I Had a Boat.”

Previously: May your days be merry and bright | Hokum home



  1. Hi Randy – I’m doing some pre-Cayamo reconnaissance and found your site, and laughed at recognizing your sense of anticipation. Last year I took a two week trip to France in May – but instead of anticipating and planning for that trip -as I had just discovered and booked Cayamo -it was all I could think about! Paris? Great. But did I tell you about Cayamo…?? I did?? Oh.

    We are going to have fun, aren’t we?!! Buy you a drink on board, ok?

  2. Ohhhhh, yes, we are going to have fun. I’ll take you up on that drink!

  3. HI Randy, I was trying to remember if you still worked for NPR or not – I see not – but lemme ask you – Are you acquainted with Bob Boilen? I think there needs to be a Sixthman “Tiny (Desk) Cruise.” Was suggesting this to Sixthman, and remembered your connection. What do you think? (I never did buy you that drink, dammit.)

  4. Averill — I haven’t worked at NPR for a couple of years now. Bob and I never really worked together when I was there — he was in NPR Music and I was in digital news, and I worked an early shift while he worked later. Our paths would cross every now and again, but we worked on different floors and just wouldn’t run into each other much except (natch) at Tiny Desk Concerts. I think the TD concept would fit better *into* Cayamo rather than as a separate cruise…maybe shows at the Great Outdoors. The whole point of Tiny Desk shows is that they’re supposed to be intimate and they’re almost always acoustic, too.

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