Also…what happened to February?

Well, there goes another month in 2014. At the beginning of this month I went down to Florida with Humming House to embark on the Cayamo Cruise in Miami – my first cruise ever. I’m not sure I ever would have gone on a cruise had it not been for Sixthman, the company that runs Cayamo and a number of other spectacular music cruises out of Miami (maybe you’ve heard of The Rock Boat?). We tried to save some money on lodging on our first night in Miami by staying at a hostel…it all ended well, but when we first checked in to the night-club hostel that provided a free solo cup of keystone light from a keg behind the checkout counter (!!) I thought we were in for a sleepless night. We wound up in a nice apartment down the street, so hats off to Ben for finding the hostel and to Miami for the warm welcome! Bueno, ahi va otro mes del 2014. Al principio del mes fui a Florida con Humming House para embarcarnos en la crucero Cayamo en Miami – mi primer crucero. Creo nunca hubiese subido a un crucero si no fuera por Sixthman, la compania que organiza Cayamo y otros cruceros musicales espectaculares que salen de Miami (tal vez han escuchado el Rock Boat?) Tratamos de ahorrar plata la primera noche que nos alojamos en Miami quedandonos en un hostel…todo termino bien, pero cuando llegamos al Hostel/discoteca que daba un baso gratis de cerveza keystone light de un keg atras del meson (!!) pense que se venia una laaaaarga noche. Pero terminamos quedandonos en un departamente que era parte de hostel, asi que una reverencia a Ben po encontrar el hostel y a Miami por la calurosa bienvenida.

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^^getting our key in the lobby…

the scene outside the hostel

And speaking of warm…it was delightful to be on this cruise in the middle of winter. When we boarded the ship on Friday morning it was somewhere in the 80s, and with the breeze on deck it never felt too hot. All told, Humming House played a total of 6 shows on the boat. We started off in the Atrium on Friday night, and the crowd really blew us away. The folks who go on this cruise are music fanatics, so you can’t ask for a better audience. They are rapt and polite when the music calls for it, and they dive into the craziness when it’s time to dance around, yell and throw down during an up set. We had a great crowd that first night and I think I went nuts on stage – it was fun to let loose after going more than a month without performing (since we were in the studio and in Chile over Christmas). Y hablando de calor….fue genial estar en un crucero en medio del invierno. Cuando nos subimos al bote el Viernes en la manana habian como 25 grados, y con la brisa nunca se sintio muy caloroso. Al final, Humming House toco en un total de 6 shows en el bote. Partimos en el Atrium el vienres en la noche, y la gente nos impresiono. Los que pagaron por estan en este crucero son fanaticos de la musica, asi que no se puede pedir una mejor audiencia. Son muy respestuosos cuando empieza la musica, pero no dudan en unirse a la fiesta y bailar cuando corresponde. tuvimos una multitud genial la primera noche y creo que me volvi loca en el escenario – fue genial soltarse despues de mas de un mes sin shows (ya que estuvimos en el estudio y en Chile durante la navidad).


^^some of the awesome folks we met on the cruise after a day on the island of Jost van DykeDSC_1495

We played three shows in the Atrium, on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday nights. During the third show we brought up Ben Griner and Allen Branstetter, trombone and trumpet for St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and they brought us up during their set on the pool deck to sing some “na na nas” during their rendition of Hey Jude with Ruby Amanfu – talk about an amazing moment! We also asked Bonnie of Elephant Revival to play the washboard with us during Gypsy Django and then kept her up for a Justin Timberlake “My Love” encore – I wish I could find video of that! By then I had the worst case of “oh-shit-I-lost-my-voice” ever, due in large part to my inability to pass up a jam opportunity in Bar City in the wee hours of the morning. With my folks along on the cruise (and Ian, Andrea, John, Shelley, CJ, and family friends Mark, Beth Ann, Howard and Sarah, Scott and Renee) we had plenty of opportunities to jam late into the night, and dad and I got to do a ton of our old favorites, which was one of many highlights for me. One night we even got to do a few Susan Tedeschi songs with Joe Nerney on sax – what a treat! Tuvimos shows en el Atrium, el viernes, sabado, y martes por la noche. Durante el tercer show trajimos a Ben Griner y Allen Branstetter, trombon y trompeta de St. Paul and the Broken Bones, y ellos nos trajeron a nosotros durante su set en la piscina para cantar algunos “na na nas” durante su version de Hey jude con Ruby Amafu – un momento espectacular! Tambien le pedimos a Bonnie de Elephan Revival que tocara la tabla de lavado con nosotros durante Gypsy Django y la mantuvimos en el escenario para tocar My Love de Justin Timberlake – deseria haber tenido video de ese momento! En ese momento yo tenia un caso de “oh-mierda-perdi-la-voz!”, debido a que no podia perderme las opotunidades de seguir cantando en el Bar City hasta altas horas de la noche. Con mi familia en el bote (e Ian, Andrea, John, Shelley, CJ, y amigos de la familia Mark, Beth Ann, Howard y Sarah, Scott y Renee) tuvimos muchas oportunidades de tocar musica hasta altas horas de la noche, y mi papa y yo pudimos tocar un monton canciones favoritas, los que fueron para mi los mejores momentos. Una noche incluso pudimos tocar unas cuantas canciones de Susan Tedeschi con Joe Nerney en saxofon – que regalo!


^^singing some motown with the help of the St.P&BB horn section

^^late night jams in Bar City with my pops

Besides the Atrium, we added a last-minute pool deck show – imagine being up on a sweet stage in the early evening on a cruise ship, playing music for a bunch of fun-loving folks, with the surrounding water changing from bright blue to slate gray to orange to black as the sun set behind us. There’s nothing quite like it. We also played a show on the island of Jost van Dyke while we were at port, which was another experience all unto itself. My family/friends went on that excursion, and the whole day was a relaxed, party atmosphere punctuated by a steady procession of rum drinks, the most popular being the Pain Killer and the Vanilla Killa. We played a set at the bar plugged in, then we decided to kick back and play a few songs unplugged on the white sand with the folks from the cruise encircling us and – hello – singing along to Crazy with me. Just another day on Cayamo… Aparte del Atrium, agregamos un show de ultimo minuto en la terraza de la piscina – imaginense estar en un escenario genial a principios del atardecer en un crucero tocando musica con un montons de gente, rodeados de agua que cambi de azul a gris a narajo a negro mientras el sol se esconde a nuestras espaldas. No hay nada como eso. Tambien tocamos un show en la isla Jost van Dye mientras estabamos en puerto, no que tambien fua una gran experiencia. Mi familia y amigos fueron a esa excursion, y todo el dia fue relajado, con ambiente de fiesta, acentuado con la posesion de tragos con ron, los mas populares era el Pain Killer y el Vanilla Killa. Tocamos un set en el bar pero despues decidimos tocar algunas canciones en la playa en las arenas blancas con la gente del crucero rodeandonos y cantando con nosotros. Solo otro dia mas en Cayamo…

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cousin CJ, aunt Shelley, and Scott Mudgett!^^DSC_1346

vanilla killa in hand^^IMG_1171

More amazing moments? There were too many to count, but among others, it was wonderful to hear Buddy Miller and Ruby Amanfu sing “Love Hurts” – one of my all-time favorite songs. We also had a late night hip-hop (and whatever else) jam with Hey Marseilles and Elephant Revival – it was our one night off and I was supposed to be keeping my mouth shut to preserve my voice, but I couldn’t help singing some back up on Lauryn Hill and Beyonce…And then there was the last night on the boat, when we played in the Spinnaker. The water was uppity that night, tossing us around on that stage in a way that made me regret both my choice of heels and my decision to bring an uncovered glass of wine on stage (neither the wine nor I spilled over, so alls well that ends well). I got to play upright to “Atlantic” during that set, which always makes me happy. Mas momentos espectaculares? Hubieron muchos para contar, pero entre otros, fue genial escuchar a Buddy Miller y Ruby Amanfu cantar “Love Hurts” – una de mis canciones favoritas de todos los tiempos. Tambien tuvimos una noche de tocatas de hip-hop con Hey Marseilles y Elephan Revival – fue nuestra noche libre y yo debi haberme mantenido callada para cuidar mi voz, pero no pude hacerlo y tuve que cantar algunas canciones de Lauryn Hill y Beyonce…y tambien la ultima noche del crucero, cuando tocamos en el Spinnaker. El mar estaba movido esa noche y nos movia por todo el escenario de una manera que me hizo arrepentirme de mi eleccion de tacones y mi decision de subir con un vaso de vino descubierto. Pude tocar el bajo durante “Atlantic” lo que me hizo muy feliz.


^^more late night jams in Bar City – with Elephant Revival and Hey Marseilles
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^^got a photo with Kris Kristofferson – there are also photos floating around of him listening to our set from above on the pool deck – pretty sweet! 

sweet moment ^^ my parents slow dancing to the soulful sounds of St. P&BBdIMG_1378 DSC_1765

above – Hey Marseilles in Spinnaker – one of my favorite shows on the boat and below – St. P&BB on the pool deck – amazing!DSC_1563 DSC_1527

I was thrilled that Ian and Andrea fell in love with Elephant Revival and St. Paul and the Broken Bones – two of my favorites on the cruise – so now I’m pulling my brother and sis-in-law into my music world one band at a time. St. P&BB threw a party at every one of their sets, so I got to dance to my heart’s content 4 times that week just at their shows alone, not to mention the dance party that went on until around 5am the final night of the cruise in the Bliss Lounge. When Ben and I went to get some food in the Blue Lagoon buffet after the last song that night, I was shocked to see the port right outside the window – we danced our way home! May the end of all future tours be equally as revelrous. Me encanto que Ian y Andrea se enamoraran de Elephant Revival y St. Paul and the Broken Bones – dos de mis grupos favoritos en el crucero – asi que ahora estoy arrastrando a mi hermano y cunada a mi mundo musical, banda por banda. St. P&BB hicieron una fiesta cada uno de sus shows, asi que pude bailar durante sus shows, sin mencionas la fiesta que se organizo y duro hasta las 5 de la manana la ultima noche del crucero en el Bliss Lounge. Cuando Ben y yo fuimos a buscar comida al bufet del Blue Lagoon despues de la ultima cancion esa noche, estaba impresionada de ver el puerto a travez de nuestra ventana – bailamos toda la noche! Espero que todos finales de futuros cruceros sean iguales.


Ian and Andrea (above) me and CJ (below)

Of course, the best part for me was having my family there – the only holdup that kept this week from being 100% perfect was the fact that Javier couldn’t make it because of school. We did get to bring Bobby’s girlfriend Melodie along and it was great to have another female in the band for a couple of weeks – she even got up to play cello with us during our last set in the Spinnaker. She’s the cellist on our new album, so that was an added bonus for us! If you ever get a chance to go on a Sixthman cruise (particularly Cayamo) take it, but be prepared to get sucked into the Sixthman vortex because once you go on one music cruise I guarantee you’ll be hooked. My folks are already hoping to get back on Cayamo next year! Y claro, la guinda de la torta para mi fue tener a mi familia conmigo – lo unico que falto para hacer la semana 100% perfecta fue el hecho que Javier no pudo estar con nosotros por la universdad. Pudimos traer a la polola de Bobbie, Melodia y fue genial tener otra mujer en la banda por un par de semanas – incluso se subio a tocar el chelo con nostros durante uno de nuestros sets en Spinnaker. Ella es la chelista de nuestro nuevo album, asi que eso fue un bonus para nosotros! Si alguna vez tienen la oportunidad de subirse a un crucer ode Sixthman (particularmente Cayamo) haganlo, pero esten preparados para ser atraidos por el vortex de Sixthman, porque una vez que hacen un crucero de musica con ellos, quedaran enganchados. Mi familia ya esta preparandose para Cayamo el proximo ano!


Bobby and Melodie and their fun meters (above) and the whole family (below)

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12 responses to “Also…what happened to February?”

  1. I have been on all 7 Cayamo and I was really impressed by how quickly Humming House found the magical musical spirit on our boat. The band out performed themselves at every set and Fly On (Forever is better with you) was an anthem for Cayamo.

    Cayamo is not just THE BEST WEEK OF THE YEAR, it is the spirit that sustains us through the other 51 weeks. You’ll never again have a gig without someone from Cayamo cheering you on!

    • Thanks so much!! I couldn’t agree more about the spirit that sustains us – we are still riding high off Cayamo week, and we’ve had Cayamo friends at every show we’ve played since we got off the boat. What an amazing community! 🙂

  2. It was our first Cayamo and certainly won’t be our last. We blindfaithed as soon as we got home. We enjoyed every moment of every Humming House performance particularly at Foxy’s! We fell in love with Cayamo and Humming House and met some great new friends along the way. Leslie, we adore your infectious jubilation and celebration of life through song.
    Iron Bath has it right.
    Please come sail away with us in January 2015.

    • I wish we could blind faith as a band! hahaha. Foxy’s was a blast – I wish we could be there now! Thanks so much for the comment – we had so much fun. Hopefully we will cross paths again!

  3. Thank you so much for bringing the memories back so vividly Leslie – we have been suffering from severe post – Cayamoan withdrawal symptoms! We found the whole Cayamo experience so amazing – and we loved your sets – particularly the one at Foxy’s – and it was a joy to get to know you too! Take care and hope we get to see you again – Jenny and Tim – the Brits!

    • The Brits! Jenny it was great to talk to you too – those couple of days at port were something else! haha. Foxy’s was too much fun. Hopefully we will be playing on your turf soon! 🙂

  4. I have also been on all seven Cayamo’s, and Humming House was one of the best bands I’ve discovered. You were a pleasure to talk to and a blast to listen to.

  5. Thank you Leslie! We had a chance to see you guys in Chicago before Cayamo and were thrilled to come to as many of your shows as we could while on the ship. This was our first (but not our last) time on Cayamo and Humming House is one of our new faves! Can’t wait for your next trip to Cold Chicago…

  6. I became a fan of Humming House before we left Chicago for Miami…the first night in the Atrium I regretted my excursion choice (although I loved Elephant Revival, too) …and that last night in the Spinnaker when you sang Crazy, I was hooked for life! But the most fun was watching you with your family on the boat! Hopefully we will see you next year (and let us know when you will be back to Chicago!!!)

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