Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ted Lehmann on the ETA Bluegrass Cruise

Intrepid festival blogger Ted Lehmann leaves his RV parked in Miami this week while aboard the ETA Bluegrass Cruise with Cherryholmes, Grasstowne, Bradley Walker and more. His first installment of his shipboard blog (Internet access is $.37 a minute) is more about the ship than the music. If you ever wondered what it is like on a music cruise, Ted's reports will give you a good idea what to expect.

Here's a snippet about the first evening concert on Sunday night:

The bluegrass crowd reassembled in the Sphinx Lounge for the first bluegrass show of the week. There are about 270 people on the bluegrass cruise most had time to change back into more comfortable clothing in keeping with the usually informal dress of a bluegrass festival, which after all, this looks very much like, even if it’s taking place at sea.

Promoter Steve Wallach served as emcee, combining his usual combination of corny stories, long experience running this cruise, and familiarity with many of the people who have taken this cruise a number of times kept the proceedings moving forward in good humor.

Tonight three bands performed. Tim Graves and Cherokee opened, followed by Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road with Grasstowne closing the evening as midnight approached. The response, even from this rather stuffed and tired crowd, was enthusiastic, too say the least.

The performers, struggling with a sound system not designed for the demands of the acoustic instruments of a bluegrass band, acquitted themselves very well, and the music was of a very high quality, even though it was sometimes difficult for the musicians to keep their feet as the ship’s rolling increased into the evening.

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