While everyone is not a boater, everyone can relate to what makes boaters so special.
This being our third summer “rollin’ on the river”, I am taking a moment to pause and reflect on what I believe makes boat people so rewarding to play for.
Carl and I are lucky enough to be able to entertain at Bumper’s Landing, in Harrison Twp. just about once a week this summer. When I say, “entertain”, I mean play music for. Seems as though, we are also being “entertained“, by the patrons of this fun establishment as well.
While Carl and I labor at entertaining patrons, fans and friends at each and every show we play; boaters just seem to be of an entirely different ilk.
At most events, we start out tentatively and simply, just trying to get our feet on the ground – our best musical foot forward. As it were
We take it slowly from there, song by song, melody by melody until the night evolves and hopefully matures into a melding of melodies that establish a musical connection with the audience. It is a time-honored process that has been repeated throughout our musical careers that have now spanned five decades. It’s tried, it’s true and it works.
With boat people . . . forget all of that. Just show up, add music and your all set.
They are there to have fun, and fun, they will have. You really have to do a lot to screw that up and piss them off. They don’t care about the weather, the temperature and or the politics: If they have blue water, blue skies and Labatt Blue, they are in boater heaven!
Its a new experience for us, and one that we are very good with. We can hang with the best of them under those conditions. Turn us loose, and we will play music for them all night long.
On this last Saturday, once again, the crowd was already in place, and the weather was cooperating perfectly when we arrived to set up, an hour and a half early.
The staff was working hard, as they always do, to make sure that the drinks were flowing nicely.
We set up and tested our equipment to make certain that when it was time to play, we could.
Getting ready early also gives us the chance to find out who was working, what songs the patrons wanted right off the bat, and also to canvas the people for some early requests.
All smiles were on deck and ready to launch!
Set after set of fun music put everyone in an even better mood, until the alcohol took hold of some folks, now ready to cut a rug. We could do that, too!
Boaters, we have observed, aren’t complainers, either. When it gets cool outside, they simply bring the party inside. Problem solved. They don’t critique the music, they simply ask for more.
If they can’t find a waitress, they even go behind the bar to some themselves . . . Wait, that’s not right!
Anyway, they are a happy folk. They love their boats, their drinks and their music. When a vessel comes in to dock, they all scurry around to try and help one of their own join the party.
It is a truly wonderful atmosphere.
No wonder Paul and his amazing staff love what they are doing. Boaters just wanna’ have fun!
Carl and I just can’t wait to get back to the party . . .