The festival was hosted by Jim Lauderdale (who also performed with Buddy Miller). Around the 30-minute mark Guy Clark captures your attention/breaks your heart with a tune dedicated to his late wife and creative collaborator Susana Clark (who died earlier this year). While Bonnie Raitt made Crazy Thing Called Love a hit, I have always considered it a John Hiatt song–so I was pleased as punch to see the two of them perform the song together. The best was saved for last, when all the performers joined together on The Weight, in tribute to the late Levon Helm.
Today, Levon Helm’s daughter and wife (Amy and Sandy) posted the following message on his website:
Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.
Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration… he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage…
We appreciate all the love and support and concern.
To celebrate him as he is still with us, I share a couple of things.
Man, I am behind on doing my write-up about Cayamo 2011 (which ended less than a month ago)–and I realized how behind I was when I received the first notice today about planning for Cayamo 2012. No, I am not kidding. Part of my challenge is just trying to summarize the experience effectively. When you attend around 50 concerts in one week (out of the 120 concerts and jam sessions that occurred) you have a lot to describe. And my description cannot do it justice. So before embarking on my attempt, I will first suggest that you check out PASTE’s 10 Unforgettable Moments from Cayamo 2011and Kim Ruehl’s recollections at No Depressionas they are likely to be more insightful (I did take solace in Ruehl’s observation “Considering there are more than 125 shows scheduled for the week you’re on the music cruise, picking a Top 3 can be tough.”).
Plant’s a witty as hell fellow, but my favorite line happens around the first minute, when he discusses covering other people’s music and instilling the pieces with his personality. Plant said: “I wanted to bring my personality with other people’s songs…and kick the door open… a little bit … or edge it open with my hips. I sing the way I sing–attack those songs…I can only do it Plant-like.” Also be sure to look out around the seven-minute mark for Plant’s take on Townes Van Zandt (while discussing Band of Joy’s cover of Harm’s Swift Way).
Singer/songwriter Sarah Sample has a subtle, yet impressive presence. The first time I saw Sample was not on a stage, it was on an elevator in the Norwegian Dawn (cruise ship) during the second day of Cayamo 2010. She boarded a crowded elevator in the midst of a conversation with another group. Just as quickly as she was engaged in discussion with them, she just as easily brought my wife and myself into the conversations. Not surprisingly she’s just as engaging on stage and with her music in general. After her performance with Darrell Scott on the cruise, I spoke with her briefly and she agreed to do this email interview. We got a chance to discuss her music and her affinity for in-house concerts. Before getting to the questions, consider some of the influences that Sample lists at her Facebook fan page: “Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, Josh Ritter, Paul Simon, The Weepies, Emmylou Harris, Ray LaMontagne, Shawn Colvin…” My thanks to Sample for the interview.
Tim O’Shea: Can you breakdown the process of how you ended up as a performer on the Cayamo 2010 cruise–by winning the Concerts in Your Home (CIYH)/Cayamo contest?
Sarah Sample: I went on the Cayamo Cruise as a listener last year. My experience being on the boat as a listener was filled with beautiful memories of incredible musical moments; and at the same time it was hard to be a singer/songwriter and not be able to perform. This year I saw that CIYH was doing a contest where you could submit a video performance of a house concert, and the winner got to be an artist on Cayamo 2010. I play a lot of house concerts, so I selected a video of a song called ‘Mercy Me‘ and sent it in. When I got the call that I had won, I started jumping up and down in the kitchen. Really big dream come true.
This time next week, I will be on vacation, on a cruise–for the first time in my life. I’m not really drawn to cruises honestly. One thing might get me to board a boat. Well two things, my lovely wife being the main reason. The second reason is if that boat was loaded with damn good musicians.
Well the Cayamo 2010 cruise is going to feature an amazing collection of musicians, including Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Brandi Carlile, Buddy Miller (with wife and fellow musician Julie Miller), John Hiatt, Darrell Scott, Shawn Mullins, Vienna Teng and Katie Herzig, as well as Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keen (solo), Allison Moorer, Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers and Rachael Yamagata.
I had not heard of Buddy Miller until recently, when I saw Miller play with Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin and Patty Griffin on PBS’ Soundstage. Soon after that, a friend heard I was going on the cruise and he insisted I made sure to go see the Buddy and Julie Miller play together. They’ve been knocking around music circles for a number of years–since the early 1990s at the very least. Buddy Miller is also known as a producer. Be sure to go the musicians’ website as you can get a good listen to their music there, as well as an idea of all the people they have worked with over the years.