The Cruising Life is full of simple things. We play dominoes, watch movies, have our friends over for an appetizer at sunset. Something new we’ve found is listening to music by other cruisers in a simple get together for a Jam Session. Cruisers bring their instruments, mainly guitars but also ukuleles, mandolins, violins, recorders, tambourines, and even some voices, and are welcome to play at whatever level they can. No pretenses here about talent, it’s all about enjoying the music.
The most stringent evolution is passing around electronic tuning devices to make sure everyone is on the same “page” (notes, actually), then the players pick a song and get everybody in the mix with the chords and words. Even us groupies in the crowd sing along and tap our feet as the afternoon goes by. The local establishments gladly provide the venue to draw us in and buy their wares. This one even sent their van around to give us all free rides.
One of cruiser’s we’ve recently met is a long time musician who can’t read music but is very adept at playing by ear and very supportive of everyone’s participation and enjoyment. Tony’s an Australian gent who single handed across the Indian Ocean, around the southern tip of Africa and up to the British Isles, and his T-shirts and stories talk of music festivals in places like Thailand. This guy’s been around. He plays not only guitar and also has a fiddle and a mandolin, but it’s mostly his attitude that bring a richness to the session and makes it special.
Carrie joined in this afternoon singing a Gospel tune, giving the guys a key and working with them on the backup chords. Our friend Stu played until his fingers got so sore they started to fall asleep, enjoying the chance to play and learn with others. I had lots of fun watching and listening, and wishing I had a guitar again. I’m looking in to it.