Mar 7, 2010

The Sounds of Musica!

The hills (PM beach community) have been alive with the sounds of music.
When we first got here three years ago, I hooked up with a group of guitar players meeting once a week to share some songs and guitar licks. We were meeting for an hour or two at Kevin’s palapa. Kevin had been a working musician back in the day and had recorded and charted some tunes with a group. Kevin’s proficiency in finger picking is awesome. He tried to teach us “Travis picking” but I never cracked the code on that.
However, playing and singing with others re-ignited my strumming persona from my folk-singing youth. Back then I had been a busy fish in a small pond when it came to leading singalongs of the early 60’s traditional tunes. But I got tired of the repeats of “Tom Dooley” and gave it up.
The Paamul guitar group and the internet changed all that. I was now going to several web sites, downloading all kinds of lyrics and building a an all-new songbook.

Then last year we moved our group over to Butch’s palapa. Butch had been a working musician for most of his life, playing in various country bands throughout the bars of Southern Ontario. He favors Waylon, Willie and the boys, and it is a gas to strum in rhythm along with his country classics. This group, usually four or five - including Joe and Mike, have been meeting twice a week, playing and singing (sometimes saangin’).
Then it became time to step it up. One of our guys, Jim, is a fledgling bass guitar player. Jim and I got it into our minds to form a band (a first for both of us). We decided to work on a few songs that we could learn well enough to perform in public. The idea was to make our debut at a big annual party here in the park, Phil & Heidi’s fiesta. I also asked another neighbor, Sue-Ellen to join me for some harmonies. 
Well Friday was it. The fiesta was on and we were on the program. Our short five song set went by quite well it seemed -- no major mistakes at least, and we had fun. Susan says we did all right. So now the world looks different -- or maybe I’ve taken to wearing rose coloured glasses like Elton John.
Everywhere I turn, I am sponging up the guitar singer thing. Watching the Olympics closing ceremonies, there was good old Neil Young all alone putting out a simple, haunting “Long may you Run”. A few minutes later, I had captured the lyrics off the net. And with the Idol contestants playing with guitars, I am sitting with pen and paper at hand in case a good tune shows up. Who knows, I may soon turn the corner into the sounds of the 21st  century.


The story of.... said...

Holy mackerel! I didn't know that about Butch.. I love that guy! I can hardly wait to hear your group live!

Glen and Susan - said...

Yeah, Butch has been music central for the last couple of years. Unfortunately, he had a medical emergency last spring and was flown home. So he and Bev have their lovely palapa up for sale. I suppose if it doesn't move they will be back.
C'est la vie...