Monday, November 14, 2011

What a Ride!!!

This past weekend we were invited to Earl Klugh's Jazz Weekend. We know finger style guitar and Django Reinhardt's style of jazz, and, of course, Earl's wonderful music. We don't know what's out there as far as good jazz goes. So, when life gave us the chance to escape, we did!!!
We arrived on the coast of South Carolina late in the day Thursday. We found where the registration desk was, were given our tickets and told to go out to the shuttle immediately! Wow!
The shuttle took us to Mingo Point (kind of ironic, since our daughter loves flamingoes and I think one of her pen names is Mingo!). The sun was slowly setting over the marsh and they had an oyster bar out there, tables and benches to sit on and Spencer Day sang. He's a crooner. Very easy to listen to especially when Earl was accompanying him!!

As the moon came up through the trees, it was magic. Of course, I don't have the kind of camera that captures it fully, but you get the idea. The big silver thing on the left was a heater, one of many we'd see over the weekend. The weather wasn't awful but there was a chill in the air.
As we left, someone offered to take our picture at the sign. We were all headed back to the shuttles to take us back to The Sanctuary, the big hotel on the island, where we had what they call a lowcountry feast. Big buffet with chicken, mahi mahi, ribs and bbq with sauces to choose from and deserts, peach cobbler, tiny key lime pies and tiny pecan pies. Made me think of you, Maggie!

 We haven't been to Charleston in quite a few years and we were anxious to go back, to the market and to just walk around. We walked but there are several forms of transportation available!

 Lunch was at Barbara Jean's restaurant. The She Crab soup was awesome!
Then back to the island and put on warmer clothes because the concert was outside. Gates opened at 6 and the show started at 7. There were about 60 heaters all going full blast.
Here's Earl introducing the evening. The place filled up quite quickly. We were in row AA. It went from A - V and then started at AA again.  As the evening continued, it got colder with the low according to our phones, as we left, at 39 degrees. Not a problem really. We were up and moving around as the evening progressed, awesome music, alot of dancing!!
 First up was Mindi Abair who is an incredible sax player. Here she was in the middle of the crowd, having come down off stage, without missing a beat and ended up standing on a chair not too far from us, just playing her heart out.
 Never missed a beat!! Talk about energy. I was impressed!
 The second performer was Brian Culbertson. Never heard of him either but by the end of the weekend we sure knew who he was! He plays keyboard and trombone, oh yeah, and drums like a pro! During the show as he introduced his players, he told us that on trumpet (just above the guy playing guitar below), was his Dad, Mr C. He had just retired from 39 years teaching high school band!! How cool would that be, going on tour with your son, doing what you always wanted to do and just having a good time doing it!!
 During his show Earl and Ray Parker Jr came out to  join him. Our convention has alot of that too. Where several guys are asked to join the performer. Magic happens then!!
 So, afterwards we went into the hotel. I was ok while we were outside but once inside, I just felt cold. Took awhile to warm up too!!
Saturday  morning we figured we'd better find the ocean. Our villa was inland, not far from the hotel so we took our handy little map and found the ocean. This is off season and still a bit cold but the ocean was so peaceful. Once we were there, it warmed up. Amazing. Kept taking off our layers!! People were out there in shorts and tshirt, barefoot, walking the beach with their kids.
 We didn't have alot of time to explore because by early afternoon we were back at the hotel to watch a question and answer period with some of the guys and to see that, yes, we actually had been right by the water!!! Here's where the music was. When we came in the night before, it had been dark by 6 when they opened the doors, so we had no idea where we were in relation to the water. This time gates opened at 3 and the music started at 4. This time we were in row EE. Didn't matter where you sat, the sound was good!  As the music was going, we could watch boats out in the water. Very peaceful. I suspect they have tons of weddings out here. Oh yeah, the grass. We couldn't decide if it was fake or what. It's real. Apparently it's like a putting green or something. The grass is incredibly short and there's water underneath it somehow to keep it going, all above the sand that's below everything. That would make for an awesome walk if one was getting married... (can you tell we don't golf or know anything about that?)
 The first set was Earl Klugh's. He had his band with him and played alot of his music. Some of the best, tho, was when he was playing solo, weaving intricate notes around a melody.
Then out came Ray Parker Jr. Apparently they played as kids, meeting when they were about 13 and keeping up with each other over the years.
Here Earl's laughing as Ray introduced the song that put his kids through college. Just 3 chords........Ghostbusters. Talk about everyone standing and rocking to that tune!! Oh yeah, this hotel has 2 wings, one on each side of the main lawn. During this show, alot of the people staying there were out on their decks watching. At least one guy had his Ipad up, recording Ghostbusters. There were even a couple of workers up on the roof. I don't think they were security, just 2 guys up there because they disappeared immediately after that!!
 Involved in this song and a few more then, were also Brian Culbertson and Eric Darius (on left with the sax) I tried to capture the moment. I hope you can see the fun and excitement as they were enjoying themselves as well!!

 They could have played all night. It wasn't as cold Saturday evening which was much appreciated!!! However, too soon they were done and there was an intermission before Chaka Khan came on stage. It was really hard to get a good picture of her. She has a very distinct voice.

We stayed afterwards til almost midnight. They had a ball room open for Eric Darius to play with his band. Of course, most of the other players came out to play with him. You couldn't leave. It was just awesome, an event one would hate to miss now that one's discovered it........problem is, next year it's the same date at the Foothills Craft Guild show. Hm......
So Sunday morning I snapped this from our living room window looking out across the water. I think all the villas here had views like this, nice and private. Too bad the weather wasn't warmer and we didn't have more down time. I took alot of things I wanted to do but, of course, never got to it. Next time, if there is one, I want to stay an extra 2 or 3 days just for that down time.
Yesterday we drove back to Knoxville and reality.
Today I've got tons of things to do, handwovens to finish for our show that starts on Thursday.
We bought some CDs from the guys we really liked and listened to them all the way home. Some of the melodies continue to go through my mind.
This was the perfect break for both of us. It's been a very long time coming. Hopefully we can do something like that soon again.
Until then, I'd better get down to the studio!!


Linda said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! It is nice to get away sometimes, isn't it.

Bonnie said...

What a wonderful time. I can just hear the music. A beautiful place also.

Anonymous said...

Even for me - the musically illiterate - it sounds absolutely fabulous and I love the beach in the winter.


Tina J said...

I am so glad you two got to go on a musical field trip. I know you needed it!

Maggie said...

I especially like the photo of the two of you! That sounds like a great weekend!

Theresa said...

Oh you lucky guys! I'm so jealous. It sounds like the perfect get away, and such a small (beautiful) and rather intimate venue too.