The Rock Boat Recap

Every year, I come back from my annual rock n’ roll adventure on the sea with great intentions of writing about the experience…and every year, I fail. Epically. I think I have decided that it is relatively impossible to explain it to someone who has not experienced it. Take 30 artists/bands – most of them amazing – add many of my closest friends, a dash of margarita (and other beverages), the sunshine, and Caribbean air and you’ve got a recipe for something magical.

It was a terrific lineup this year and I feel like I saw more shows this year than I ever have before… And, oddly enough, spent more time with more friends than ever before. Rather than try to sketch out a day-by-day, I’m going to tackle my highlights (these are not in any special order):

1. Finally seeing Green River Ordinance live. After two years as a fan, the ultimate high point of TRBIX was getting to see this amazing quintet from Texas on stage. They were everything I knew they would be and more… It was such a treat to chat with them and get to know some of them, too. They are all such great kids, especially that J Whiskey fella. 🙂

2. Scott Feil’s Fan Club. Seriously, Scotty has got to be the most loveable…and loved…guy on earth. And his friends are all fantastic people. Erinn, Cory, Liz, Sujka…it was awesome spending time with you! And Scott, of course. Darlin’, is it possible for me to love you anymore? I’ll be eternally grateful to Will Hoge for bringing you into my world…

3. Aslyn. I’ve always managed to catch pieces of her sets on the Boat and last year, finally managed to work in a full set. This year, three of them. Aside from having a phenomenal set of pipes, there is no singer out there who I think captures the range of emotions women go through in a truer way. I can’t stop listening to The Dandelion Sessions.

4. Tonic. Back together. On The Rock Boat. Need I say more? “Mountain”…TWICE! Kevin’s shout outs to CW on his drum kit were a touching tribute to a musician who left us too soon.

5. Carbon Leaf…in particular, covering “Livin’ on a Prayer” and the whole entire Boat singing along at the top of their lungs. I got up the nerve to talk to Carter (3 double margaritas in) on the last night. Still can’t get near Barry without going dumb.

6. The rest of the Boat FINALLY getting how amazing Sam Thacker is. And Stephen Kellogg saying (about “The Last”) “I wish I’d written this song.” Yay… Sammy’s rock star is shining bright!

7. Lee and Peter. So glad I met these two fellas at The Heyday show back in October. Spent lots of time with them on the Boat… Happy they are my neighbors in Charlotte. Lee… breakfast at Panera soon!

8. Time with “my girls” & Mr. P. Michelle, Gail and Marc..I adore you all. Thanks for understanding me and being just as crazy in love with the music as I am.

9. Trevor Hall & Tyrone Wells. Both new for me, both wonderful. Can’t wait to get to know their music better!

10. Chocolate Melting Cake. Most likely better than sex.

11. Emerson Hart. This man’s live performances leave me speechless every time. There are very few musicians whose songs touch me in the way that Emerson’s do. And live…he is just so dynamic. Sujka called it…Part concert, part comedy show, part Dr. Phil session. All wonderful.

12. Gareth on board. The only person who can instantly make me smile just by walking into a room.

13. PAVE THE WORLD! I’d lost my voice by night two…Michael Tolcher was rocking it in the very crowded, very smoky casino bar. No way that he was going to hear me hollering. So I begged Lee to yell my “Pave the World” request. Tolcher: “You know what, I’m gonna do that for you!” The only thing that would have made it better would have been Christy singing along next to me. “The aliens are coming! What? The aliens are coming….Pave the world!”

14. Hanson sing along. On the last night, at Aslyn’s show, a Hanson and his wife ended up standing next to us. Aslyn asked the girls to sing one part, while the boys were to sing another. And that little Hanson sang along, smiling the whole time. Was nice to see one having a great time without being hounded by fans.

15. Wideawake and The Kin singing together. Scott Leger with Aussie brother harmony? Quite possibly perfection in music.

16. Katey and Scott airport time. I only get to see my friends from Birmingham once a year, and we’ve made hanging out on flights to and from TRB a tradition. I can only hope that when and if I meet my Mr. Right, we have as great a relationship as Katey and Scott do.

17. Inauguration. Watching Barack Obama become the 44th President of the U.S. was going to be emotional for me no matter where I watched it. But watching it in a room full of people who shared my pride in the moment was nothing short of beautiful. Applause every time they showed Obama or Biden. I actually teared up. There’s no place and no other people with whom I’d rather share the day…

There’s so much more, but nothing that I write can do it justice. It’s truly the most amazing experience every year. And despite losing my voice, getting an average of 3-4 hours of sleep a night, and spending ENTIRELY too much money…it’s SO worth it. BEST.VACATION.EVER.

Bring on Rock Boat X.