February 5 – February 6.
‘I’m not sure how you are going to follow that one’ said my loving wife. Stuart and Steph had just performed Leonard Cohen’s ‘Allelujah’. Stuart played the guitar and sang while Steph accompanied him on the violin. Suddenly it was very quiet in Lorraine’s. Well, he’s a New Zealander and she’s from England. At first I thought maybe they just didn’t know they were supposed to toss out easy songs that anyone could play along with. But looking back I realize that a gauntlet had been thrown. This friendly jam session would become a balladeer battle.
It was Wednesday February 6th. We arrived back in Black Point, Great Guana Cay, Exumas yesterday. We had a couple of afternoon beers at Lorraine’s, met Dave, a harmonica playing cruiser from Little Wing and arranged to play there today for the gathering pre-supper crowd. Dave must have mentioned it to Stuart and Steph from the sailing vessel Matador.
Earlier today Duwan and I tramped all over the north end of the cay, walking down a long road, through the makings of a resort where progress had stalled, into a mangrove swamp to see an old wrecked boat, on through the mangroves to climb cliffs on the Exuma Sound side, and back through long stretches of beach. All the while I was trying to remember good harmonica songs to play with Dave.
A first the jam had an easy friendly get-to-know-each-other feel. Dave had made it clear he just wanted to play backup on the harp. I did talk him into singing a Lovin’ Spoonful song he knew. It sounded good. And I was able to sing and play along with Stuart and Steph.
Now as the diners trickled in to have drinks before the buffet, it was a Tom Petty rip-off followed by a real Tom Petty cover. Then Stuart’s Kinks song reminded me of one I could play on the uke. Next was a pair of Dylan songs. It seemed that every time I played one of my redneck tunes, Stuart was able to find something in his categorized song notebooks to top it. Dave and I just watched as he and Steph played Bowie’s ‘Major Tom’. His one bawdy song was even funnier than all of mine. I know, I laughed louder at it than anyone else.
Now Lorraine’s was full and dinner was ready. I had told Lorraine we would stop then so the diners could talk with each other. I tried wrapping up with a sing-a-long of ‘Jambalaya’. Stuart and Steph played ‘What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor’. Of course, everyone knew the words.
The only way to stop us was by letting us put food in our mouths. Even after grabbing a bite he and I played a couple of quieter songs. Then the competition was over. Everyone parted as friends. And best of all, we are still allowed to go back to Lorraine’s.