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That Key West Music Vibe

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First of all, thanks to everyone for reading and promoting yesterday’s blog post.  I don’t think I’ve ever had anything get more visits in the first 24 hours than that one! 

Now, about Friday night.  Despite some technical issues with the house drum kit which has been worked a bit too hard by successive bands, and some problems tuning Danny’s Rickenbacker guitar (due in part to the humid weather), the band played great before by far the largest crowd of the week.  Based on the feedback and merchandise sales, most of them really enjoyed the music.    But sometimes it takes one bad apple to appreciate how good the crowds and the people of Key West – the locals and yes, even the vast majority of the tourists – really are.1 Sept 2016 key west 004

Near the end of the first set, a woman walked across the dance floor and more or less threw a hand-written note in the direction of Tim that landed on the merch table.  I didn’t pay much attention to it, as I was not focused on her demeanor, but rather  on dancing and enjoying the songs.  (Local musician Dani Hoy was an especially great dance partner last night, but I digress.) 

After the set was over, Tim asked me to hand him the note, which read “I didn’t come to Key West to hear bluegrass music.”  Or something.  (I couldn’t bring myself to read it.) 

Well, where should I start?  Clearly, Ma’am, lots of other people did – or were open to it and then had a great time when the Carter Brothers played it.  But why not just go to another venue quietly – there are so many here, playing such a wide variety of music – and avoid the obnoxious note?  I recall a time in my life where I would have fled a venue playing bluegrass (due to my ignorance), but hopefully in a polite way.  Key West -- and this must be said, the Carter Brothers Band -- helped me appreciate and later love the genre.  This woman's approach went so against the live and let live, experiment with new things, open your eyes to novel ways of doing old things culture that is so at the core of Key West and its vibrant and funky music scene.

1 Sept 2016 key west 003So the pictures in this post are dedicated to the great fans of Key West live music and the Carter Brothers.

Anyway, good riddance to that woman and her sense of entitlement, and a hearty thanks to everyone who got into the Key West spirit last night, and every night here.

It was great to see my wife Emily hit town last night and enjoy the music, and also to have long-time friend of the band Nancy Mayhew come out.  Danny called out songs he knew both of them loved – “Where I Belong” for Emily and of course, “Carolina Backroads” (making its debut on this trip) for Nancy.  Both enjoyed the songs (and were far from alone in doing so) and in Nancy’s case, she broadcast it on Facebook Live. It was nice to have her join the after-party at the Tattoos and Scars Saloon. 

It was also great to see bass guitar legend Tom Conger come by, following an appearance of Ericson Holt a few nights earlier. (Tom is pictured above with Nancy, probably watching the video she had just shot.)  It’s always interesting to see where the musicians go to listen to music when they aren’t playing, and the Hog’s Breath when the Carter Brothers are in town is a likely place for sightings.  Speaking of videos of the band, there are quite a few on YouTube, including this one, which is my personal favorite. 

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Tonight the Carter Brothers perform for the sixth night in a row.  It’s Saturday night, so there’s no telling what might happen.  A bunch of us are going to Grunts before their show to hear the Bubba System and a very special reunion taking place tonight, 7:30pm-11:30pm.  Sunday night Dani Hoy and her band will play at Grunts, so expect to see some Carter Brothers groupies show up there for the first set before our heroes take the stage for their final performance of this incredible week of music.  

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